22nd March 2020
It’s Mother’s Day. I’m sitting here with Hannah and Sam watching my mother die. She’s in the final days we think.
It’s a bright sunny day, if a little chilly.
Tried to get mum into a care home as thieves have tried to break in whilst the carers were there. Now she’s not safe to be left unattended in between carers. The bastards are watching where carers go and try to break in when they leave. They also break in while they are visiting apparently. Phoned the Care Home to arrange a move. We’ve been given a number to arrange an ambulance to get her there. The ambulance people say it’s the wrong number as they only take folk to hospital. Care home say it should be the up to the GP to arrange, GP says it’s down the ambulance people to arrange. I’m too annoyed to argue and tell them to get it sorted out and just let me know when they have.
Doesn’t matter now anyway as the Marie Curie nurse said she’s too bad to move now so we take shifts to stay with her. Hannah going to do most nights with the cancer nurse. No one has a clue what they are doing here.
In spite of the global pandemic of Coronavirus, life is going on around us, not quite as usual with a lockdown imminent. I’m so frightened of catching it, I’m going about wiping everything down and over washing my hands. I’ve washed all the tins and packets from shopping. My hands are bleeding and cracked. My skin is really thin and I’m using loads of hand cream. My hands look like my nana’s when she was 92.
The carers and district nurses come and go 4 times a day. Usually the same 2 carers. One of them doesn’t speak much English. We’re going backwards and forwards to Sam’s house, taking turns at being with mum. Too dangerous to go anywhere else. There’s still a double bed in the living room but mum is in a hospital bed in her bedroom. There’re sides on the bed but they said they don’t use them anymore because people ‘climb’ over and fall out. There’s a crash mat on the floor. Mum can’t ‘climb’ anywhere, but she does slip down and falls off the side. Still, you can’t legislate for common sense.
Emails are coming in. I’m working from Sam’s. My phone internet is better than home.
We’re reading Facebook. Hannah sees a post about an old friend, Gem, ‘being brave’ and ‘helping out’. Sam rings Gem’s mum, and seemingly a 7 yr. old girl was stabbed to death in the throat, at the local park, as Gem was walking her dog. Gem tried to help but nothing could be done. The ambulance crew didn’t have the right kit when they arrived on scene apparently. A 30 yr. old woman is arrested on a murder charge and detained under the Mental Health Act.
The district nurses come and go. They’re giving conflicting advice. One pair are saying don’t give any more water sips now she’s on a syringe driver. The other pair say, ‘Oh it’s ok’., so Sam gives her a spoonful of soup. She starts to cough and is making a gurgling sound.
We decide to deep clean the kitchen as we’re feeling a bit useless. Should’ve been done long ago! Several trips to the bin outside. The Council haven’t been to empty the bins and they’re overflowing now. I go out to put an empty tissue box into the recycling bin and find that it’s gone. The neighbour says that kids have stolen it, so they can set fire to it. No-one knows why. They’ve stolen the neighbour’s bin as well. Fucking typical of this place. I hate it.
I leave my phone by mum’s bed. I’m playing 1950’s, early 1960s songs on my Spotify. Mum’s lifelong friend, Brenda sent her a card and recalled them both listening to Del Shannon.
Sam picks out mum’s favourite Pjs for when it’s time.
The washing has been put out on mum’s line. Hannah says it’s a ‘proper northern thing’ to have a washing line and a prop instead of a rotary dryer.
23rd March 2020
We’re on hold for 30 mins to the GP who needs to come out to mum and give her stronger meds. Finally get through and they say that they aren’t coming because they’ve had a meeting and given instructions to the district nurses instead. There’s a bag of ‘anticipatory’ meds on the bookcase.
We took down more things for the tip. All of it is smoke damaged from cigarettes, and the walls are stained where pictures have been hanging.
Hannah needs more Flutiform inhaler. She phones her doctor who give her instructions on how to get them from a pharmacy down here. The pharmacy doesn’t have a fax machine, so the instructions don’t work. Scotland doesn’t have the same systems as England. I think she’s trying to get them another way. I think they’re sending the prescription in the post to Sam’s.
Playing Michael Bublé to mum on Spotify.
Sam and Hannah have to go to the council tip with the rubbish. It turns out they have an NPR system and you’re only allowed 1 trip per car per week otherwise you get fined. Hannah gets a row for putting wood into the cardboard area.
Watching catch up TV at Sam’s. It’s a bit weird locking ourselves in with security cameras sitting on top of her microwave. She’s been followed home by ex-cons and broken into 3 times. It’s not safe to live here for her. Thinking that I’ve not brought enough clothes.
Boris says we’re on lockdown now, just as I develop another dry cough. I’ve had to use the more buttercup syrup. Thinking I should tell Ju and Hannah where everything is and what I want if I die. My life insurance is in a folder in my wardrobe, I think. My Will is in the back-room drawer in a carrier bag. The dogs should be rehomed to Berner people except maybe Beryl who I suspect Ju will want to keep. They can throw everything else away except what the kids want, but I hope they keep the family tree stuff for the local history place. I expect Ju will sell up. Hope that he clears the kid’s debts.