Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Between Uncle and George ...

Blood's all more or less normal so the next step is other tests, such as x-rays. We'll wait for a day or so and see how he goes as the vet can't really find anything to suggest we need to worry.

Today George seems a little brighter and ate some yoghurt for breakfast. This evening I bought some chicken and gave him chicken and rice for dinner and he cleared his dish so hopefully that will have woken up his taste buds and made him feel like eating again. As long as he doesn't get used to living like a king ...

Meanwhile Uncle has decided he wants to go into a care home (at least for respite) and he wants to go NOW. The fact that there's only one home with vacancies so not a lot of choice hasn't deterred him. The fact that his friend is coming down to stay with him for a week from Thursday hasn't put him off. He has made up his mind and he wants to go NOW. Or better still yesterday.

We took him to look around the home this afternoon. Afterwards he asked me what I thought.
'Um...' Very long pause as I tried to think of a polite way to say, 'horrendous.' I ended up with, 'Okay.'
It wasn't the home particularly although it's an old building and not really designed for easy wheelchair manoeuvrability; it was the residents sitting in the lounges staring into space. 

I'm sure some of them have all their wits about them but you can't help feeling the environment isn't suited to some temperaments. And I fear Uncle will hate it. I hope I'm wrong and he'll get a new lease of life.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Stop the press: George is off his food!

No improvement - in fact George is off his food and he is NEVER off his food - so back to the vet who mentioned lungworm.
'I panicked when he said that,' I said to Husband on the way home in the car.
'I could tell,' he said. 'Your brain froze.'

Vet: 'When was he last treated for lungworm?'
Me: 'I can't remember. September I think.'
Vet: 'It says in his records that you collected the treatment this month.'
Me: 'No, I've definitely not treated him this month.'
Husband: 'It's the stuff you put on the back of his neck.'
Me: 'Oh, yes, I treated him earlier this month!'

He's having blood tests and we'll get the results tomorrow. There's nothing obviously wrong with him from the vet's point of view, temperature, heart etc all okay, so we're still hoping it's just a bad cold and nothing really nasty.

'I was a very brave boy when they took my blood. Unlike my mum who had to sit down.'

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Dog flu

Back to the vet today as George was worse than yesterday. And very sorry for himself.
He had a bit of a temperature and a bunged-up nose so the vet diagnosed a cold.
'Do dogs get colds?'
Apparently yes.

It's most likely just a cold - or dog flu as George likes to call it - and he will recover in a few days and in the meantime he has pain-killers and antibiotics.
'See? I told you I was ill,' he muttered under his breath as he stretched out on his bed and sighed pathetically. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

George and the au pair

We were having our cup of tea in bed this morning when the phone rang. It was Uncle. 'When are you coming here? I need to see you both urgently.'

I looked at Husband. 'If he wants us to kill him we're not doing it!'

It wasn't really that urgent in the urgent sense of the word but he is increasingly anxious if left on his own for any length of time so we're having to come up with a rota of paid carers and volunteers. You forget how many hours there are in the day until you have to fill them with people.

However there was an article in his Daily Telegraph about au pairs now being given bed and board in return for looking after the elderly. Maybe he could have a glamorous French au pair - or even a Scandinavian who can do massage ... (without wishing to stereotype of course!)

Meanwhile George is unwell. 'What's the problem? asked the vet.
'Well, his eyes are red and ... he looks sad.'
'Is he lethargic?'
Didn't like to say it's hard to tell with George.

So we've got some eye drops to see if that helps with the prospect of a blood test looming if not. 

On the plus side, in spite of spending a large part of the last week sitting in Uncle's flat and eating chocolate, I discovered this morning that I'd lost 2lbs in weight. So that's the way forward for me. Forget this exercise and sensible eating malarkey, I'm going to become a chocolate-munching couch potato. 

Monday, January 09, 2017

Shredded wheat is never a good idea

It seemed like it at the time. But I'd forgotten how ... much of an effort is required for so little pleasure. Even generously covered in sugar.

It was just my attempt to start the week off on a healthy note. I'd spent the night at Uncle's again after the carer who was supposed to be doing it fell and couldn't come and the options for breakfast were SW, Rice Krispies, Alpen, porridge (or rather porage as these were Scotts' porage oats) or toast. I was tempted by the porage but suspicious because it came in sachets and could be prepared in two minutes. That and the fact that it seemed like quite a small sachet. Anyway I'll know next time.

On a sadder note we heard last evening that Great-auntie Joan (97) had just died.

Her younger brother survives her but Auntie Joan was the lynchpin of the extended family, keeping in touch with all the various branches. Without her we will be much less.


Saturday, January 07, 2017

And ...

And on a positive note - sort of - I have an appointment at the gynae outpatient department. January 25th. The day after Uncle is due to have his second cataract operation. Which is neither here nor there but I thought I'd mention it.

I shall be a nervous wreck by the time I get to the appointment so think of me.

'Today is a new day and ...

I can try again at the healthy eating regime.' 

My words yesterday morning. Then we got the phone call that Uncle was unwell and I spent most of the day in his apartment with him. And ate half a box of Cadburys Fingers (because there was only half a box there) and a slice of millionaire's shortbread. So much for my healthy eating.

After his fall Uncle had a lot of pain in his back so the doctor prescribed him co-codamol, which apparently is notorious for its side effects. Which he suffered from. Nausea, dizziness and hallucinations. He was frightened to be left alone so we've arranged for his carers to spend some nights with him and some extra time during the day. Except tonight and tomorrow. So I'm doing the night shift tonight. I really hope I hear him if he calls. I sleep very deeply normally but I assume that being in a strange bed and being supposedly on alert will keep me in a light enough sleep to answer should he call.

Yesterday he was very poorly and seemed to go downhill but he's perked up today and has eaten a little so, with luck, he's on the mend and he'll lose his fear and regain some confidence.

But it's amazing how tiring it is doing nothing. I say doing nothing; I've actually done a lot of brain-work today attempting various crosswords and puzzles in his weekend Telegraph. And I've read about how porridge is becoming the in thing. But not porridge as you or I might know it. Oh no. Very fancy porridges with all sorts of added extras. The journalist writes: The porridge I’m about to eat is made with oats and coconut milk, scented with turmeric and cardamom and topped with pears, yogurt, maple syrup, nuggets of cocoa crumble and tiny purple flowers. 

I think I'll stick with sugar and milk for mine.




Thursday, January 05, 2017

'What do you mean unrecognised?'

Yesterday I took some books back to the library. It has a machine-thingy you can put books in so I did that and one of the books, a card-making book, came up as unrecognised. The machine didn't spit it back out so I just ignored it. 

I'd had the book a long time so expected a hefty fine but when I came to borrow some more books - again with a machine - it said I owed nothing. 
'Ah ah,' I said, 'it didn't identify the book so hasn't worked out yet that I owe money.'

But then this morning, in bed, I suddenly thought, 'Was it actually a library book I took back or was it one of my own books?'

Not to worry. I'll check next time I go to the library. I'm sure I can't be the first person to return a non-library book. 

In the same visit I returned Britt-Marie was Here, a follow-up to My Grandmother Sends Her regards and Apologises. I did enjoy it - and began shouting at the main character because she was about to do something I thought stupid - but My Grandmother remains top of my Frederik Backman list. Probably followed by A Man Called Ove.