Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 5 Dec, 2023

Tuesday

On The Dog’s morning walk yesterday we let her decide where we went. She took us down the bridleway towards the river. We haven’t been that way in ages. Sadly, it looks like they’ve started some construction work near what used to be the gravel pits – now a nature reserve – and because the bigger trucks have found it tricky to get down the narrow lane they’ve taken out a hedgerow on one of the tighter bends. Just ripped it out. Smashed it to bits. In amongst the carnage, though, I spotted what I think is half a willow trunk. Beautiful wood with lovely figuring. I thought to myself “I reckon I could just about pick that up.”. I resolved to return under cover of darkness and do just that.

Tonight I drove past the road closure signs and the flood warnings to retrieve my treasure. It was a big bit of wood but not too difficult to pick up. I guessed 75Kg. A fraction more than the weight I pick up when warming up for deadlifts. It fitted in the boot perfectly. The only problem was that I was then covered in mud.

On my arrival at The Home I decided I ought to take my boots off to save trailing mud through the home from one end to the other. On entering the front lounge there were screams of laughter – from residents and staff. Same again in the rear lounge. On the return journey I’m cross-examined on why I’m so muddy (I’ve been up to no good), why I’m wearing a kilt (practical, comfortable, cheaper and harder wearing than jeans, warmer than shorts when it’s cold, cooler than shorts when it’s hot, not likely to split when I bend down to pick heavy shit up) and so on.

In between all this excitement, I did actually get to see Mum. But she was snoring loudly. I woke her enough to make her aware that someone was there but she was out for the count really.

 Juliette said that she’d spoken to more of the team and some of them thought mum was actually lower now than she was before the Sertraline started. Her recommendation will be to keep mum on it. I also spoke to the staff in the rear lounge. Al said Mum had been OK today but his colleague had more detail. Mum was very chatty early on this morning. It sounded like the same stuff she was talking about to me last night. Churches, pharmacies, prescriptions and so on. But later on she got quite aggressive. Mum’s normally completely compliant when being changed. Rolls one way and then the other on request. But this time she was really fighting back and the nurse had to call Reggie to help her. 

As I was putting my boots back on and signing out in the hall, Jess arrived for her night shift.

 “Oh! Nicky, Nicky, Nicky! How are you!?” which is her standard greeting. 

“I’m absolutely wonderful thanks. How are you?” which is my standard response.

 “Oh, I’m very well thank-you. Very well.” 

And then, “Tell me, did you come yesterday?”

 “Ah, yes. Yes I did. But I don’t think Mum knew it was me.”

 “Oh, I see. Because she was shouting “Nick, Nick, Nick” all night long”

 It was only after I’d left last night that I realised that with Mum not knowing it was me there she’d be waiting for me to get there all night. And I didn’t have the energy to go back and try again to see if she recognised me second time round.

 Bloody hell.

Author’s Note

My Mum is in a nursing home in a small village in the Thames Valley. The photo is not of the home. I used an AI image generator to give the reader some idea of the home she’s in.

All, some or maybe even none (you’ll never know!) of the names have been changed to protect privacy and hide real identities. If you think you recognise someone then let me know and I’ll edit the post or remove it entirely

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