Nursing Home

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 26 Jun, 2024

Wednesday

Twenty-nine degrees today. That’s Celsius. Equivalent to Too Flaming Hot in Fahrenheit.

Consequently, the day was shuffled around a bit. The Dog got her walk early and involved a swim in the brook so she wasn’t over-exercised in the worst of the heat. That meant travelling to The Home at a less than optimal time traffic-wise. Come to think of it, I don’t yet know when the optimal time would be. It’ll take some time to work out what with avoiding morning and evening rush-hours, the school runs and the impact of the various festivals and regattas during the summer. Add to that not yet knowing what Mum’s Sleepy/Active cycle will settle down to or how long she will take to acclimatise to her new accommodation. I guess I’ll just go when I can and put up with the traffic at the bridges over the river which are the pinch points.

I arrived at The Home just as a delivery of t-shirts was being handed out by The Manager. She had decided that it was too hot for staff to wear their tight tunics and gave them the option of wearing something looser. The Boss thinking of their staff!? That was novel. The last company I worked for I was expected to wear a proper suit and tie no matter what the rules were for the site I was working at. And was true even if I had to pay a ‘fine’ to charity if I didn’t dress down on a Friday. Pathetic.

Anyway, Mum was more awake today than she’d been yesterday. Still not communicative and still not mobile but she looked brighter than she’d been in weeks. She brightened even further when I told her so and said how pleased I was. She confirmed that she felt better, that she was comfortable, that she’d had enough to eat and that the food was “Not bad”.

Mum gave a clue as to how lucid she was. I mentioned that there was going to be a General Election next week.

“Are you going to be involved?”

“No Mum. Not this time. With the boundary changes I’m in a group that’s very switched on. They seem to coping alright without my help. Anyway, I don’t have time now.”

“Oh. I’m sorry.”

I don’t know why I said that. Realising my mistake, I changed the subject sharpish.

“It’s bloody hot today Mum, isn’t it?”

“Is it?”

“Yeah. It’s quiet and peaceful too. Well, it was until I arrived.”

She laughed. The first proper laugh in ages.

“I think I may have made a bit too much noise yesterday. I was having a laugh with Reggie, Sean and Mike.”

“Yeah, I heard”

“Ah, sorry about that. You know me, I’m a silly sod just like my Dad.”

“Yes. You are.”

More laughter.

I started telling her about my day and told her that Eldest Sister would be coming to see her on Sunday.

“Have you got any stories?”

“Of course I have Mum! Are you going to have a drink first?”

“Yeah”

I got her to drink far more than than I was usually able to during a visit.

Before I got going, she asked me to get in touch with the vicar from her church at home. Mum wanted to see her. I said I’d let her know. It had been an age since she was last mentioned and I have to admit some surprise that Mum remembered her name.

By the end of the first chapter, Mum was starting to feel uncomfortable. I think it was trapped wind. The more I read, the worse she got. Until the pain stopped completely.

Sean arrived to change her and Mum got quite agitated that I was going to leave her. I was about to but hadn’t said anything.

“Eric! ERIC!!”

“It’s OK Mum. I’m still here. I’m just going to pop outside while Sean changes you. I’ll be back in a minute”

“Don’t leave me on me own!”

I went and had a chat with Audrey. She was calmer today and talked clearly without resorting to f-bombs.

“I think it’s time I went to see my Mum”

“Do give her my regards. She’s such a lovely lady”

I can guarantee Audrey’s never met Mum.

“And thank-you for coming to see. I do appreciate all you’ve done.”

“It’s been my absolute pleasure Audrey.”

“Oh, you’re such a poppet!”

With Mum changed and calm again, I headed for home. Mum had asked where Reggie was earlier and I went to find him.

He was with one of the other nurses. His opening statement was

“Heeyy!! Nick! This fellow here says he thinks you’re a cross-dresser!”

I explained, again, the benefits of wearing a kilt.

As I headed for the exit, Reggie walked with me.

“Mum said she wants to see you.”

“Did she!? OK, I’ll go up and see her.”

“Has she eaten anything yet?”

“I’ll tell you what… She’s eating better than any of the other people that transferred here.”

“Is she!? 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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