Monday, 12 April 2010

Cold Comfort

I am writing this at Mum’s to post later. It’s 6.30 in the evening and I’ve been here since this morning, as Mum has really deteriorated.

It was freezing this morning, which was quite a shock after having such a warm weekend. I called round at Mum’s after I went to the dentist. The filling was ok, but having a face full of a syringe like something out of Loony Tunes was not good. Mum was in bed when I arrived, but saying how tired she was feeling. The milkshake that we left her yesterday evening was still on the bedside table and she’d just had a tiny amount. She’d not had anything from the morning carers. I persuaded her to try some tiny toast, but when she hardly seemed to have the energy to eat it, I rang the district nurses and the MacMillan Nurse. The usual MacMillan Nurse is on holiday, but her colleague phoned and has referred Mum to the Hospice at Home scheme. Then the district nurse called me back and I raised my concerns. She was thinking that Hospice at Home might not be appropriate right now, as it’s only small bursts of care infrequently, so said she would call in to see Mum. She came round this afternoon and said that she thought a referral for some respite care at the hospice would be better. She phoned me later to say that the referral had gone in, but there are no beds at the hospice at the moment. There will be more news tomorrow, but a bed might not be available for a couple of days.

I have spoken to Mum about whether or not I should be going away, and when I said I was thinking of cancelling the holiday she said “No, no, no, no!”. I have also offered to stay the night to be on hand just in case, but she doesn’t want me to stay. I have walked her down the corridor to the loo and helped her to have a drink, and actually she seems to have picked up a bit, which makes me think that it’s this level of input she’s needing at the moment. We watched Home and Away together just now, but I keep leaving her alone so she can have a rest. The carers have been and gone today. Mum doesn’t particularly like any of them and the one that called round this evening reeked so much of cigarette smoke that we had to spray air freshener after she’d gone. Unfortunately I was spraying it in front of me as I walked up the corridor, so got a face full of perfume when I walked straight into it, which gave Mum a laugh. I now smell great.

So I’ll stay for a couple more hours and head home to pack, but even as I write the words this seems a strange notion. I’m planning to come round again in the morning and hope that they’ll be more news about the hospice bed. Brother is due on Wednesday, but I’m hopeful that Mum will have got the respite care by then.

PS – for everyone at the Cancer Support Centre that’s reading my blog. I appreciate you following my news so much and if you think that passing on details of the blog will help another carer, please do give them the web address. It’s hard for us carers to find the time to come to the Centre sometimes, so if a carer reading this blog means they know someone else is experiencing what they’re going through, I think I will have achieved something.

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