December 30th 2018

One more day to go, until one more sleep top go before a very overhyped time in the calendar. New year! Whoop whoop! Genuinely I am very excited, or at least I was until My poor Dad fell ill.

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We’d spent (me, Mrs T and the kids) Christmas at home and travelled far and wide to visit our elderly parents at their homes, across the country to Norfolk and then back half way to Leicestershire. Both sets of folks have their issues, both have been given driving bans by us so as they do not try and approach us in our own counties and thus the potential of injurious behaviour is averted, at least in our county by people connected to us. The only driving endorsements I have are for speeding, not for having little clue what 80% of the cars instruments are for and yet still they roam around rural Leicestershire, maybe a 10 mile diameter from their house in my folks cases, cruising to Marks and Sparks, or heading to the golf club, getting a lottery ticket and thereby creating a lottery on the roads, or cruising to Marks and Sparks, filling up with petrol or cruising to Marks and Sparks. Guess where my Mum shops.

I’ve made my feelings perfectly clear I think, I really do not think my old Dad should be driving; He can no longer feel his legs, they are, as he puts it, Numb, and have been for years. I have tried to reason with him, I have mentioned that he really shouldn’t be driving a 2 ton piece of metal (what ever they weigh), when he can’t feel the accelerator or brake; it’s an automatic see. I rode in the car with him 4 years ago; never again, although he probably thinks that about my driving, but at the moment, I have age on my side. He’s been to the doctors recently because he has had agonising pain around his hips and down his legs, the doc has asked him to book himself in for an x-ray asap at the local hospital so they can see what the base of his spine looked like. My Dad had a stroke 18 years ago and my Mum refuses to wear a hearing aid, so guesses a massive amount of what is said. These two are meant to book this appointment. This morning I was awoken by my Mum at 4:45, she said Dad wanted to go to hospital because his hips and legs were in agony, and he hadn’t slept properly for 2 nights. I spoke to the ambulance service, they told me that there was a real rush on life critical cases at the time and so they would call me back when there was more capacity, Dad and Mum had assured me they had taken the pain killers prescribed earlier, and so what could I say apart from the Great British Get Out Clause;

Fancy a cup of Tea?

I went back to bed to doze while I waited the return phone call which came after 90 minutes or so, they told me the ambulance would be with us by about 8:30. Nothing to do but wait I guess. On the dot the paramedics turned up and proceeded to cross examine my folks and me, it became really apparent within 2 ¬†minutes that Mum didn’t hear 1/2 of the chat, and Dad had no idea how many pain killers he had had, turns out only 1. We discussed diet and found out Dad barely touches water to drink all day, he eats bananas, which aren’t great for someone with diabetes apparently. He hadn’t had any paracetamol for months, Mum thought a paracetamol with a grove down the middle to make it easier to halve and thus swallow, was 2 paracetamols. So the whole conversation went down a surreal cul-de-sac, where Mum assumed the whole reason Dad had a sore hips and legs, in fact everything below the belly button was sore, was because he had constipation. Listening to people talk about “movements” is interesting and in the discussion I did manage to slip in, after the chat about laxatives, that, “shit happens”. Mum didn’t hear, Dad was flustered, the stern paramedic ignored and the other one smiled. It’s the little victories.

The whole conversation was centred around the constipation which was only for one day, the paramedics trying to explain that a symptom of taking pain killers was constipation, and thus a change in diet, and actually taking paracetamols might be a good thing.

An interesting undisputed medical fact of the day today is: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” refers to the stool loosening properties of the humble Granny Smiths, so there you go. I find apples hard to eat, and frequently choke on them if I don’t concentrate, so now apple mastication for me is a lumbering affair.

A trip to the super market, a bag full of dried prunes and 18 apples of mixed variety, plus some laxative powders and laxative syrup and a shit load of paracetamol. I have written down the instructions for Dad, drugs wise and fruit wise, and I hope he reads it. He didn’t go to the hospital thank goodness, this time of year wouldn’t have been much fun for any of us, but he did load up on paracetamol, laxatives, water and has been asleep. His back doesn’t hurt as much as he’s had the maximum dose of paracetamol today, and he’s had the shits, in part because Mum has given him double the dose of the laxative syrup! This happened when I had to go back to Worcester, drop everyone off, pick up my car and come back to see the olds. The idea being we can get them in for an x-ray tomorrow morning, then I can get home, back to Shrawley.

But this isn’t how things work in real life, and I expect to get him in, if at all, just before they close, this means I will not be able to travel down to Chorley Wood to see my friends for New Year, this is a shame and I am gutted, but today has really opened my eyes to my folks “modus operandi” and it genuinely terrifies me, this is why he shouldn’t be driving a car.

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I have no idea what these fruits are, suffice to say I had some wonderful Quince jelly at the Mother in Laws a few days ago. Nice one, sweet and would be brilliant in gravy I’d wager.

 

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