Care/self care/caring

My Nan was transferred into a care home yesterday. She’d decided before Christmas that it would be the only sensible thing to do, then she fell and has been in hospital since. She spent two weeks in the general hospital, a week or so in the rehab hospital and then back into the general hospital as she’d developed an infection. Yesterday she was 98. I don’t suppose she would have imagined she would spend her 98th birthday moving into a care home.

The care home is the only one she was really prepared to go into. She didn’t really want to go but I think she knew it was inevitable, but on her terms! The care home is opposite a park that she used to play in as a child and only has 15 residents, all under the care of Mrs W, who sounds lovely. She met with Nan in the hospital a couple of times and has taken her into her care without question.

We have all breathed a small sigh of relief that she is now being “cared” for. I say that in inverted commas because, of course, she was cared for before. We all care. My mum and aunt shared the responsibility of her day to day care, with outside paid carers coming in to help with dressing etc. But this is what she needs now: to be cared for day and night, with someone to check on her and make sure she is OK all the time; to have someone to talk to, if she wants to; to be safe and recover from her ordeal and feel better. My mum can go and visit her (when her leg is better – that’s another story*) and actually spend time with her, just talking, not with endless jobs to do or things to sort out.

It’s a small sigh of relief because she is 98; she’s not going to be here forever and she has been through the mill these last 5 weeks. We won’t stop worrying. We just might not worry quite so much.

My New Year list of things to make me happy this year included booking some trips. We started looking into Paris but have decided we need to wait until the government (if they ever manage to) sort out leaving the EU and what will happen when we do. We’re not making any plans that involve leaving the country for now.

But we have booked two trips.

We’re going Cosy Camping in May half term for 2 nights. I know, I know. Camping? No, this is not camping. I will be sleeping in a proper bed, under proper bedding. We will have a fridge, a microwave, a kettle, underfloor heating, and most importantly – a toilet! No going outside with a torch. So it’s really not camping at all. Its cosy. We will have a firepit/bbq to cook on and lots of countryside to walk and cycle in.

And last night we booked 4 nights away in Sherwood Forest during the Easter hols. Starting to see a theme? Yep, I am getting in touch with my nature-loving side. Not really. It’s a cabin in the forest yes, but it has a hot tub, separate rooms for the kids (essential) and a food delivery service if we want it (they even deliver “night in treat packs”). We will be going cycling and walking a bit but we will also be relaxing, a lot. It’s all about feeling good.

I’ve been filling in my happy book every night. It’s not going to make very exciting reading but hopefully a few things will make me smile again when I come to read them back at the end of the year. (Can’t thank Mrs L enough for this idea).

Another thing on my list was to go and enjoy some live music. I did go to Gang Show a few weeks ago, but it’s not quite what I had in mind. So imagine how pleased I was when my 6 lovely book club friends all said that would come to Pub in the Park in September where the very brilliant Tom Odell will be playing live. I have been listening to his album non-stop and it makes me cry, smile, sing very loudly. I was sitting at 9.55am today with my mouse hovering ready to click the link when ticket booking opened at 10am and WE HAVE GOT TICKETS! I am so excited. Just have to wait until September but with all we have planned so far I am sure I can cope.

My lovely A has been off school most of this week with a heavy cold and hacking cough. She is at an age where she doesn’t really need to be looked after but I like to think I have been caring. She has spent the whole time in PJ’s (apart from a quick trip to the dentist) and I have made her nice food. I did ask her if I could shut her bedroom door the other night (she normally sleeps with it closed so I was sure she would say yes) and she was reluctant in case she “needed me in the night”. Hmm. “but you might keep me awake with your coughing” was out of my mouth before I had chance to stop it. Not VERY caring but I did let her leave it ajar. And put ear plugs in.

*mum’s leg story- she leaned down to talk to Nan in hospital last Wednesday and ended up on crutches. At least she was in the right place. Not funny. She spent 5 hours in A&E locally the next day and thankfully nothing is broken. But she has done some soft tissue damage and to her hamstring. She’s in pain, not able to do anything and is, understandably, fed up. She wants to go and see Nan, she wants to get stuff sorted. But we have got her online with her supermarket shopping (next task is to get Dad online banking but I that could be a harder battle) and she has been able to make some calls to sort out stuff for Nan. The enforced rest may do her good. I hope so.


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