Friday, 20 May 2011

Dear Diary - Day Two as a Care Giver in England...

Dear Diary - 18th May, 2011

Duck down duvet, soft pillows…what was I thinking? I nearly overslept, and for a self confessed insomniac, the sleep last night was bliss. (Well almost, apart from the very grand, Grandfather clock that chimes every hour, on the hour and rattles the rafters! In retrospect, perhaps that’s why I did not wake before the alarm on my mobile this morning…the darn thing kept on waking me up!)
Joan has one of those stair-lift chairs that zooms her upstairs and downstairs…unfortunately the stairs are very narrow, so when the chair is up at the top of the stairs there is a really narrow gap between the banisters. I had to squeeze one buttock and then the second buttock cheek between it, her walking stick which is carefully hung in a certain position for her convenience and the banister without falling down the stairs like Humpty Dumpty.
How the last Carer managed this feat I have no idea as she is somewhat “well cushioned” but then she did tell me she was not an early riser. Mind you, she had much longer legs than me, so perhaps on the odd occasion she had to get down stairs in a hurry; she did not have the same problem.
Anyway, I chuckled when I had to do this, as in my mind I visualised myself as a cartoon character and added a popping sound effect to the squeezing of my butt!
A great bonus caring for Joan is that she loves well percolated coffee and so do I.
This meant that after the trauma of my having to get downstairs the effort was well worth it, just for my first coffee fix of the day…
As Joan has had a life time serving in the military, I discovered she was very prompt, - when the noisy Grandfather clock banged out eight rowdy chimes she boarded her stair lift and appeared in the lounge.
The newspaper is delivered at 7.30 in the mornings, and I was instructed to fold it in a certain way, (absolutely NO creases) and place it at a certain angle on the table beside her chair in the lounge.
At exactly fifteen minutes past eight her breakfast tray was placed on her lap and I waited half an hour whilst she swallowed, coughed and sometimes let’s off wind…
Then I took in her tablets and a glass of water.
I was warned by the last Carer that this is when she makes a fuss, and she did, - until I hit on the idea of rewarding her with chocolates, which she has a weakness for.
She was as good as gold and happily downed the lot, then gobbled the chocolates happily!
Gold star to me for my inventiveness…
After a refreshing snooze in her chair, Joan retired upstairs and I got stuck into the task of cleaning the downstairs loo.
I have to admit to never having to clean the odd contraption that has been invented to help disabled people get on and off a toilet.
It’s like a large white plastic potty perched upon raised legs with handles fixed to it.
In fact it looks like an insect waiting to pounce on some unsuspecting person and devour the victim through the hole in its centre. Most unattractive, but it serves it purpose very satisfactorily…
Joan came downstairs on her faithful chair lift, - “hi-ho Silver!”
She had her lunch and promptly popped off to la-la land once again, so I let myself out of the house and took the ten minute walk to the village to buy some strawberries, (as that is what Joan wanted to eat for dinner) and browse in the shops.
Bookham village is delightfully quaint…like so many English villages. The buildings are all old and crooked and the shop keepers all jolly and friendly.
There is a very old church with a fascinating graveyard that I plan to go and look around the next time I have time off.
The tomb stones look very old and many are covered in moss and lichen…each one of them tell of some person, which I always like to muse over.
I also noticed that there is a local library which may reveal more of the history of Bookham…so watch this spot; you may even get a history lesson!