Some days are affected by the trials and tribulations of caring much more than others. Generally, grandad is quite straight forward to care for and we have a routine that we follow like ‘Groundhog Day’ every day. But this routine can be derailed by the peculiarities of his bladder or bowel and unfortunately today they both caused problems simultaneously! Whatever problem (still to be investigated, post Covid) that dad has developed with his bowel, means it mainly has two settings… ‘stop’ or ‘full on’, very rarely does it behave normally. This accounted for our endless trips to the toilet starting yesterday. I did notice a little more confusion yesterday and then he buzzed his buzzer at 2:30am! I had just got to sleep, having had to deal with Tiggy (the cat), bringing up a massive fur-ball before going to bed…why do I get all the good jobs! I stumble sleepily across the garden to check on dad and he says “I was wondering, where is everybody?”. I explain (trying to be patient) that they are all in bed, asleep, because it is the middle of the night and return to bed! The buzzer goes off again at 6:20am, Patrick kindly goes ahead of me to the annexe but rapidly has to call for assistance. Dad has got up, tried to get dressed and has removed all the straps on his leg catheter bag and is trying to walk around carrying the night time catheter bag and stand. He thinks he has been outside walking in the garden and by a river? Something is obviously wrong and Diane, who has got up to help me change the bed, mouths ‘UTI’. I’m sure she is right, I sort out grandad who has got in quite a state and put him back to bed and phone 111. I am extremely impressed with their service, because after speaking to an operator, a clinician and a doctor, finally a lovely out of hours doctor is sent to us by 9:30am. Thank goodness, he has antibiotics with him to give to grandad, I am so grateful! Unfortunately, antibiotics take a while to ‘kick in’ and dad continues to behave strangely all day, even managing to try and come outside on his own at one point, which could have been disastrous, but luckily he was spotted in time!
As a result of all of this drama, I am very tired and don’t get much done. In fact, everyone is tired, the digging yesterday has left the digging team with aching muscles. James disappears to play cricket and Meave leaves to visit a friend who is about to have a baby. She puts together a beautiful hamper of goodies from the garden to take as a gift. She picked plums, different varieties of tomatoes, onion, garlic, rosemary, basil, raspberries, strawberries and obviously courgettes. It is a good day for garden produce. I start the day by trying to invigorate myself with a bowel of raspberries strawberries, yogurt and honey for breakfast and I make a big bowl of tomatoes, basil, red onion in garlic/olive oil/balsamic vinegar dressing on toasted olive bread for lunch. Aideen and Diane try to keep digging on their own, Patrick keeps working on his office re-fit but progress is slow and I weed the lettuce beds but I don’t get as far as planting the new lettuce. In the end, I give up and have a lie down, Aideen having told me to try and have a nap saying, don’t worry about dinner, we’ll order a pizza…I guess you can’t be healthy all the time!