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Saturday, 18 July 2015

People don't change

They remain largely unaltered from one meeting to the next, from day to day and from month to month. I was reminded of this truth today when I went up to the nursing home to visit mum.

When I arrived she was in bed having a snooze but she got up quickly when I told her I had brought chocolate for her. I put the chocolate next to her sink as she lifted herself from a prone position to a sitting position. Then I called my brother on the iPad and she talked with her other child for half an hour or so while I went down to the nurse's station to arrange a few things. We went then to the park for a walk but the cold weather had returned with the clouds even though it had promised to be warm this morning, with sun. Not much chance of that, it seemed, so we stayed in the park for about five minutes before going back inside. I made my way ahead of mum to her room and stood in the room waiting for her to appear.

When she didn't arrive I backtracked and found her sitting on her walker in H's room. Despite some friction in their relationship from last time it seems they are still as thick as thieves. I told her I would go back to her room to wait and she waved me goodbye. In her room I checked my phone for 15 minutes or so until lunchtime came around, then went back to H's room to pick up mum to take her to the dining room with me.

H was bossing her round as usual, this time making her take clothes out of the cupboard to show H as she sat in her chair. (I have mentioned before how disabled H is in terms of mobility.) H wanted a different jacket to wear to the dining room that would go with her red shirt, and she was asking mum to get different items of clothing out of the cupboard to show her so she could make her decision about which one to wear. When I arrived she turned to me and asked me if a particular jacket in the cupboard was red, and I said no, it was fuchsia. But H wanted it so I took it out of the cupboard and gave it to mum.

But mum had both hands resting on the bed in front of her. I asked her if she was ok, and she said, "I feel a bit faint," so she toddled off to the chair on the other side of the room, taking the fuchsia jacket with her. Then H asked her to hang up another jacket that she, H, was holding in her lap. "I'll do it," I said, worried that mum had taken a turn because of all the orders from H and had become overwhelmed. Then mum and I left to go to the dining room. On the way there I came across a nurse coming the other way. "She's ready," I said, smiling. The nurse was smiling too. "I don't need to tell you who," I said. "No," she said as she went past me.

H made it to the table at last and sat down amid a cloud of orders aimed at the nurse helping her. "You have to pull out the chair, I'm not strong enough." "Can you pull out the chair?" "I want to go there, tell her to move." At last she was seated and then within 10 minutes - during which time we sat around the table chatting - she was complaining about how long it was taking the food to arrive. "I'm hungry, where's the nosh?" "Are they bringing our food?" Meanwhile mum, who was clearly exhausted, would close her eyes and drop off into a little sleep from time to time. It went on like that for a little while and then the food arrived and we all ate.

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