about writing and life and God

Beggars can’t be choosers – the carer’s dilemma

on June 28, 2013

Today fell into three parts:

First, the novel. Another 1500 words written and it moves gloriously towards resolution and happy-ever-after. (I mutter darkly that at least I can give my heroine a happy-ever-after!)

The second and major part of the day was spent on prep for Sunday’s all-age service at my ‘home’ church. “Prophets and own country” doesn’t seem to apply here, I’m delighted to say, but I like to ensure the service is the best I can offer.

The third part of today focused on my husband. The medical person did not turn up yesterday despite our rearrangement of our day to suit her, but she promised to appear today. I decided I’d just pop over for tea and be available for discussion. But when I got there, again it was a no show. By this time both the senior carer and the manager were getting frustrated. As a result, I was delegated to ring the surgery and speak to the doctor.

Which I did. To discover reassuringly that John’s ECG was normal and they hadn’t the faintest idea what might be causing the dizzy spells. ‘Multifactorial’ the doctor said. And proceeded to explain to me what multifactorial meant. I shall not carp because he has promised to visit and see John on Tuesday (between 12 and 3) and check him out.  He also said with the list of my husband’s health problems, it was unlikely they could do anything about it, but he’d check him over in any case.

I decided to take this as reassurance, passed it on to the senior carer and the manager, and in reassuring form to John. So often in the caring situation, one feels very strongly ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ and rather than raise one’s voice or push, one accepts what’s on offer – even if it’s not very much.

rusty squeaky bolt on my gate

rusty squeaky bolt on my gate

We know the squeaky hinge gets the oil – but it might get blacklisted or receive poorer treatment from an already over-stretched and stressed professional. So we accept the crumbs we can beg from the National Health Service’s table and hope they will be enough.

We – the senior carer, the staff at the home, the manager and I – are doing our best for John. But I come away, yet again, fretting because I actually want better for him. Sadly with dementia, it doesn’t get better and I need to come to terms with where we are on the slippery slope.



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