Saturday, May 7, 2011

So Frail.

I am truly sadly shocked at Arthur's condition. He is home, he came back on Wednesday. He slept two nights in the hospital bed in the lounge room. The day and night brought cold so I bought an electric blanket to put over him. Arthur took a sleeping tablet on both nights but it didn't help much. It was strange for us to be sleeping in different rooms.

My middle son, the only one of my children who helps me (the others live in other cities), came today and lifted Arthur into our bed and propped him up on pillows. He looked a lot happier. I made him some soft food (egg custard) and crushed his pills for him to swallow, and he had sweet tea to drink.

Arthur is sleeping a lot. He shows little interest in television, or what is going on in the wider world and that scares me. He did watch some of the news last night, though, but no programs.  Normally by Friday he has mapped out his weekend football viewing choices and set up the recording schedule on Foxtel IQ. I hope this is just tiredness from the move home. I fed him his food and passed him his drinks, and made him comfortable. He has me and the dogs for company and I hope he picks up soon.

The AXXXX co-ordinator and OT came out with the first service visit and assessed him. He is at maximum service level now anyway. The nurse came came today because Arthur had a dressing from the nursing home, on his bottom. She found a small skin break and applied a fresh dressing.

While the respite worker was here I went back to the nursing home to get Arthur's gear. At Arthur's suggestion I bought a bowl and filled it with fruit for David, his room-mate. David was younger, still mobile, and they were good together. They talked but respected each other's need for privacy. When Arthur was leaving, David gave Arthur a little Buddha statue and also a little clock and tried to give him his watch, until the staff stepped in. I bought David a little dog statue. They have each something that is important to the other. David wished us luck. He said he would not be leaving the home until he was dead. He said he was in another one before, but this one was nicer. David doesn't smoke, is very friendly and respectful. He has family who visit, and he talks of his mother, and what she was wearing when she died. David has a clear understanding of death and seems to accept it as a reality.

Arthur is sleeping now, without a sleeping tablet. He is next to me, with the dogs all around, under the wool quilt. I have my computer next to the bed and I can type in the warmth. I am more relaxed with him here, and for a little while I can pretend nothing has changed, just for a minute. As my memories fill in the present moment, they lure me into thinking tomorrow the sun will come, and Arthur will wake me with the sounds of vegetables being prepared for the evening's meal, the scent of the grapefruit he has squeezed and the aroma of coffee with toast. I remember those Sundays when Arthur would make me breakfast in bed, as I was getting up early for work every weekday.  Or maybe I will think it is a Saturday morning in the local soccer season, in the 1990's and we are going to get up early to pack the car to go to the soccer club (where Arthur was the Team Manager for over 25 years) for the day. 

But it will not be. We will wake to morning of the 7th of May, 2011, when the only thing we share is pure love, and pain.

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