Our Hound

By Nick Gilmore

Published: 4 Jul, 2024

Looking Back

In the past few days I’ve been wondering whether what I write every day here could be used to give me an idea of how Mum is doing long term. Mum’s been in a home in the Thames Valley getting daily visits from me for a year now so perhaps a look at how she was a year ago compared to how she is now might be informative.

Before I get into it, The Dog is telling me she thinks it’s time for a walk. I’ll have a think while we’re out.

So, briefly and in no particular order, my thoughts are

  • that going back a year is too far. Six months is probably enough and my record is better at that point
  • that I will need to ration how much I read from the past for the sake of my mental health
  • that this kind of view is something that none of the staff at The Home will ever have
  • that the record is almost entirely about Mum with my relationships with staff and other residents and their families thrown in for some light relief. There’s little about the effect this is having on me

The walk with The Dog was weird. She’s very sensitive to our emotions. Normally, when Lesley’s gone to see her dad and left us at home, it’s seen as a chance to go on a longer and dirtier walk. Not today. Two thousand steps instead of the usual twelve. Didn’t know where she wanted to go and didn’t want to go where I wanted to go. She didn’t demand to get fed when we got back home either. I’m blaming it on my anxiety.

It’s General Election Day. A once in a lifetime chance to make an historical change. I’m not worried that Labour might not win. That’s a done deal and has been for months. It’ll be the biggest win ever. But I want this to be a punishment beating for the Tories. I want them beat so bad that they aren’t even the official opposition. I’m worried that the big win might not be big enough. I’ve got local worries too. Round here, the LibDems seem to have the best chance of beating the Conservatives. They have a new candidate as the sitting Tory was one of the many who bottled it and declined to take his punishment at the ballot box. My concern is that Labour’s campaign has been quite energetic. If they take enough votes off the LibDems that it allows the Conservative in then I’ll be absolutely livid. I’m crossing my fingers that the energy has been directed to neighbouring seats where a Labour win is more certain.

There’s another source to my anxiety though. If you’re reading this in July 2024 then you’ll notice, if you dig a bit, that not every day’s update has been transferred here from WhatsApp. Most of them are pretty much as written at the time but there’s a fair bit of work to do in checking that a real name hasn’t slipped through. The hardest part is actually reading them. I notice that on days when I do a lot of transcribing my mental health is knocked for six and all my Key Depression Indicators go up.

I will get round to doing it though. Just not in huge chunks. I feel it’s important to do as I get to see Mum in a way that none of the staff do. They do 12-hour shifts so they only work three or four days a week. I’m there every day. When I talk to them about Mum’s weekly Sleepy/Active cycle they often look at me blankly. They spend a lot of time with her when they’re on shift but they’re not getting the chance to the patterns that I do. I know that staff at the previous home used to read these updates and I mentioned it in passing to the manager at The Home. But nobody there has seen it. Yet.

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

You may also like…

Wednesday

Wednesday

Wednesday Mum had been sufficiently sleepy yesterday for me to feel confident that she'd be sound and unresponsive...

read more
Tuesday

Tuesday

Tuesday Starting the family update with "Another long day for Lesley visiting her dad" seems to happening more often....

read more
Monday

Monday

Monday A slow start to the week today. Normally, I'm wide awake and up and about before my alarm goes off. Today, I...

read more
Sunday

Sunday

Sunday Eldest Sister was on the hook for today's visit. Over the past few days the list of people she was bringing...

read more
Saturday

Saturday

Saturday The visit today was much earlier and briefer than usual. We were trying to cram in a quick visit to Mum...

read more
Friday

Friday

Friday Mum had all the hallmarks of having just woken up today. She was still stiff and sore from a couple of immobile...

read more
Thursday

Thursday

Thursday When Mum moved to The Home I promised myself I'd be stricter with myself and to allow myself a break when I...

read more
Wednesday

Wednesday

Wednesday I got another heads-up from Reggie on my way in to The Home. "It's Sleepy Mum today. She's been that way all...

read more
Tuesday

Tuesday

Tuesday Cousin Sue and her husband came to see Mum today. They did the journey by train so I picked them up at the...

read more

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *