Monday, 16 May 2016

Some leg dramas for mum at the park

When I got up to the nursing home this morning I could hear protesting coming from mum's room even as I was walking down the hallway. The nurses were looking after her right leg, which has bad cellulitis, and she was making loud remarks as they did so. They only stayed a little while after I arrived and then I got onto my brother in Houston using the iPad. We talked for about 20 minutes, just silly stuff about snakes and bears, before we had another visitor, our old accountant, who was there visiting another resident and had dropped by to see mum as the opportunity arose. He was in the room for only about 10 minutes before he had to leave too, then I got mum ready to go out to the park.

We made it to the park and I was heading to the second bench but when I turned around mum had already started off on the grass heading for the first bench, so I changed tack. We sat for a while but there were no dogs to watch. When it was midday, and time to leave, we got up and headed back across the grass but mum soon started to protest about her right leg. We got to the corner of the street, on the footpath, and she said her leg was very tired.

I sat her down on her walker, on the seat and, facing backwards, maneuvered the machine across the road and onto the opposite footpath. Then I turned downhill, still facing backwards, and guided the machine down toward the gate. Mum's feet were juddering along on the footpath on the heels of her shoes but she didn't seem to mind. I asked if they hurt but she said, "No." When we arrived at the gate I got the walker with mum on it inside the enclosure and put on the breaks. Then I told her to wait until I went inside and found someone with a wheelchair who could help us.

Hurrying inside, I asked the lady who was staffing the front desk if there was anyone with a wheelchair to help us, and pointed out that I had left mum outside. She went around the counter to locate a wheelchair in the cupboard but there was not one there. Then she happened on another staff member who she asked to help us; he quickly went upstairs and came back promptly with a wheelchair. I went outside to wait with mum. When the staffer arrived we got mum out of the walker and into the wheelchair, and brought her inside and up to the first floor, where they had set all the dining tables for lunch. We got mum into a spot at her normal table. I went back to take her going-out things to her room. I came back out in a few minutes and said goodbye to her.

She said to me when we were outside that she didn't mind not going out to the park. I had mentioned absent-mindedly that it might not be possible to take her out again while her leg was so sore. It would be a shame on her account if she were not able to go out any more, but it's tough if you have to go to all the trouble we went to, to get her back inside. In future, as it may be, I might have to borrow a wheelchair from the staff and take her out in it, rather than have her walk with her own walker and her sore right leg.

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