Mum is taking the antibiotics and beginning to sip water and hold it down, she even ate some custard – unthinkable before her dementia. Custard was on a long list of things considered way beyond the French pale. Along with Christmas pudding, sprouts, jam with meat, Victoria sponge etc. And there were secret lists too. When my father died, Mum never ate turkey again, she said she’d always hated it, but ate it annually for the forty years they were married.
I’m back home for a few days and knackered, physically and emotionally. It’s all I can do to crawl into bed and sleep, with the occasional glass of water to keep hydrated. I’m so tired I even do without my sleeping tablets on two successive evenings and still sleep like a log.
Today I make some calls to arrange a specialist appointment for Mum and am struck with a wave of sadness when I realise that our last appointment was when I was still caring for Mum at home, before I became seriously ill. I had a job and a completely different life.
I call a good friend who is looking after both his elderly parents – it helps just to articulate the sadness with someone who really gets it. We exchange sadnesses and then laugh about something else. Just the tonic I needed.