Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Hospitals and greetings cards


In just 12 hours, we heard about a friend's son in an Australian hospital with pneumonia - or is it bad asthma? Worrying when the experts can't make their minds up! - and then a fellow professional in Birmingham having a massive heart attack in his early fifties. From the vantage point of 45, that doesn't seem very far away - scary indeed! I hit the post office's card display with a vengeance, got my two get-well cards, phoned Birmingham to ask if they'd forward the card - posted the cards - and then realised later on that I'd forgotten to get the birth congratulations card for friends who have just produced their second offspring. Ah well, I have to go to the post office again tomorrow in any case because I've been busy selling stuff on Ebay.

Noble Spouse is just back from visiting his confused auntie. The confusion is descending like a thick fog - she doesn't know where she lives, how long she's lived there, where he lives, who Noble Spouse is married to, or how many children we have.

She doesn't know how many ROOMS are in her flat, or what kind of a flat it is. In Glasgow terms, a "room and kitchen" is the smallest kind of tenement flat. The term says it all - although there will of course also be a bathroom. But the fact is, she left the family "room and kitchen" four decades ago. She moved to a "quarter villa" when she married (a quarter villa is a building with two flats upstairs and two down - literally a quarter of a villa each, but with their own individual front doors of course.) She no longer knows that she lives in a quarter villa.

She remembers her husband's name - but when she mentioned him, that came as a surprise - she hasn't mentioned him for a good long while. He died 10 years ago.

Noble Spouse made the first phone-call asking about residential care for Alzheimer's sufferers, today. It was only an initial enquiry, but is a recognition of how bad things have got. And he's depressed.

Since I had to be at work for 12 hours yesterday, I took this morning off. I took it so thoroughly off that I stayed in bed until 11 am! Not that I slept - I read, actually - but being curled up in bed with a good book for a nice long read is something delightfully novel to someone who gave up Good Night's Sleep with her first maternity leave!
I phoned home - finishing the call when Mother had to go and get ready for her hair appointment. "And you'd better get up now, dear", she advised me. Why, exactly? I had no plans to go out until 1 pm.

I made another call to No.1 son's piano teacher, and a third to the mortgage company to ask for an explanation to a circular we'd recently received. Quite a useful morning, actually!

This evening, I watched Faking It- a Cambridge undergraduate choir-girl given a month to turn herself into a convincing Rock Chick, with intensive tuition. She did quite well, all things considered. I've often said that the TV programme ought to take me on - 45 and a little heavier than I used to be - and turn me into an aerobics tutor in the space of a month. Now, THAT would be a challenge. I have a great musical sense of rhythm, but two left feet when it comes to moving in time to the music. And flexibility is hardly my middle name.

Enough! Supper then bedtime. Who knows, I might finish that book soon!

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