Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Dear Diary - Day Five, Six & Seven as a Care Giver in England

22nd, 23rd and 24th May 2011

Like all good intentions, I have come to the conclusion that updating this diary on a daily basis shall be impossible as I find myself collapsing into bed between 10 and 11pm after updating my daily Carer report, (this is all written in a book that is handed over to the next person coming in to care for Joan.)
So, I shall write when I can in an erratic flurry when I find the time…
Carers are given “pin money” for groceries.
It sometimes is supplied by the person you are caring for, but more often than not by a family member.
Joan’s sister gave me £100 last week and I thought that would be more than enough for the three weeks that I am here.
But with Joan’s expensive taste in gourmet coffee, exotic cheeses, chocolates, and wine, I am trying to figure out how to approach her sister when she comes for her weekly visit on Friday, -
I feel like Oliver, “Please Sir, may I have some more”, whilst I lick the last smidgen of gruel from the bottom of my soup bowl…
Oh, and since she went next door on Saturday, I also had to buy a bottle of Pimms and have become a dab hand at rustling up the preferred evening refreshment for Joan.
Gosh, I nearly fell on my back when I had to fork out £15.65 for a bottle, - booze is expensive in England, so how come this is a nation of binge-drinkers? –
I’m getting into the swing of things here and have a routine going now that a week has passed.
At 6.30am I start the day with a strong cup of black coffee and fire up my little note-book.
The Vodaphone dongle works well in the kitchen, so I am able to have a brief chat with Graham on Skype.
What did we do without this form of communication in the past?
When I was a little girl there was a cartoon program on T.V. called “The Jestsons” who were a space age family.
They zoomed around in little flying saucers and could communicate with each other at a distance and chat whilst looking at each other on a monitor that looked something like a flat screen T.V…now here we are, able to do exactly that.
If you can imagine something, it is possible to create it!
Yesterday I got to chat to my 80 year old mother over Skype.
Loudly she asked, “So, has the old Girl you are looking after done any poo’s in her pants?”
“Shhh Mom, you must whisper, this is not a thing to talk about!”
“Well…I just wanted to know,” said my mother…
Needless to say I now use the ear-phone and microphone attachment when making my early morning chats!
A couple of days ago I found a tin of anchovies in the pantry, the expiry date on the tin was 31st March, 2003.
I took it to show Joan and she insisted she wanted to eat them on toast for lunch. Horrified I told her that I did not think it was a good idea as the tin had an ominous bloated look about it.
“No, you must do it now” Joan persisted stubbornly.
So I did as I was told…I pulled the tab and the tin exploded!
There was anchovy oil on the ceiling, on the floor and worst of all dripping off my chin and the end of my nose.
Joan was amused, and I was not as I stank like a pole-cat, I still had to get her lunch ready and I had made the vital mistake of humouring her, even although I had no intention of her eating mummified fish from eight years ago.
Who keeps a tin anchovies for that length of time anyway?
Talking about meals, Joan likes to eat her meals off a tray on her lap.
I sit in the kitchen on a chair and eat there…she is totally anti-social and does not like it if
I stop and look at the T.V. if it is switched on.
As I like to keep up with the news, I read her day old newspapers, this I have discovered is taboo!
On two occasions she has shuffled into the kitchen and removed the papers and placed them in the recycle bin while I am upstairs making her bed. Perhaps she figures I did not pay for them, so I should not read them, whatever the reason, I can still read the news on the internet…
Late evening I draw her curtains and turn down her bed. For a joke I placed her teddy, (well actually, it’s not a teddy, it’s a friendly looking mouse) on her pillow last night.
When she came down for breakfast this morning I asked her how she slept and she looked at me seriously,
“Not well at all because I got such a fright,”
“I’m sorry to hear that Joan, why?”
With a straight face she replied, “There was a man in my bed and he made a lump in my back all night!”
Amused, I advised her that she was lucky he was mute as he may have asked her to move over…
I have to say Joan has a very dry sense of humour which emerges every now an then.
I like her.