Keeping it brief

Brief because, unusually for me, I haven’t got a lot to say (sort of).

Sandra – my best friend of 53 years – spent Friday & Saturday nights with us. Bruno, her wee rescue dog, glued himself to Tony. She got out & about, taking incredible photos for her travel blog. The ones she took of the wreck at Patea beach are incredible, it’s the most exposed we ever remember seeing it.

This afternoon I went to a work friend’s baby shower, which was way more fun that I had imagined. Tony’s brother Roger came round for dinner and got here about 15 minutes before me – and 20 minutes after Tony had a decent fall. He was heading to the kitchen on his walker and got super dizzy, tried to grab the doorway and missed. The walker went forward and he went backward, fortunately landing on his bum rather than hitting his head on the wall. He’s ok but stiffening up and I suspect there’s going to be a great bruise.

He had a very rough day, again, with his tummy on Thursday and that evening we had a brief chat about the fact one day he will need rest home level care. Tonight he and I have talked about how he’s getting dizzy more and more often, and that I worry about his safety when I’m not here. He has a medic alarm but his memory is not always great and this afternoon he didn’t think to use it. We’re talking about the merits of Te Mahana, where he might know people, versus Hawera where I could pop in during my lunch break and after work – or be there in 5 minutes if they needed me.

The time isn’t yet, but it’s approaching – maybe quite fast. Like almost everything, we’re talking about it, planning ahead and having the difficult conversations.

Left foot, right foot

The only way forward is one foot in front of the other – left foot, right foot, hayfoot, strawfoot. That’s Tony and I at the moment, just putting one foot in front of the other.

I’m healing okay but have to be careful; if I do too much or eat the wrong thing, it hurts under my ribs, which – in a medical sense – is a million miles away from the actual injury. No wonder I got so sick without us figuring out the problem!

In the last week or so, with Hospice’s advice/support, we’ve made a change in how we view feeding Tony. Until now, my default has been to make him a “proper” meal unless he doesn’t want it – which he normally doesn’t – in which case he’d have something like yoghurt or baked custard and stewed apples. Now my default is custard etc unless he wants a proper meal, and he doesn’t. They also suggested “baby veges” so we’re trying him on mashed potato, pumpkin, carrot & parsnip. So far, so good and it doesn’t seem to give him unpleasant hiccups like other food had started to do.

Nutritionally it’s not ideal of course, but he has two chocolate Fortisip a day which is sufficient calories etc to be going on with, given he doesn’t do much now. Most days he does a little on his latest project (he’s finished a model truck and is onto a paint by numbers Yoda) and dozes while listening to music. He’s often in bed by 8.30 or so because he’s tired out.

He’s dizzy a lot of the time now, so Mum’s walker is back in use and Goldie is delighted. She sits on it and seems to feel quite at home – bless her ancient creaky wee soul!

We’re grateful for his carers who come in twice a day, Hospice staff who ease the load, family and friends who check on him, and my work who are always supportive.