A Week In The Life

“Woke up, fell out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up I noticed I was late”

Dear Old Dad had five days in hospital recently.  That dreadful ulcer was doing OK, but his foot had started to go a bit red, and then became swollen, so having seen cellulitis on his leg before (which resulted in almost a month in hospital), before he could say ‘Gosh that doesn’t look too good’ we were at the hospital emergency department of the hospital where he previously received treatment for his cellulitis (why DO these things happen on a Sunday?).

He was sent home with oral antibiotics, with instructions that if it was not better in 48 hours, to come back.  So come back we did on Tuesday afternoon and he was admitted to go on to IV antibiotics.  Phew. He only needed to be in for five days (much to his delight – I’m sure he worries that any reason to go into hospital can’t be good and he might not come back out).  I raced home to feed Oscar and pack a bag with all the necessary accoutrements for a hospital stay.  I found myself explaining to the cat what was happening and had to talk myself out of the notion that I was going completely mad.

Many well-intentioned people thought this hospital visit was good for me – it will give you a nice break, they said. You can relax a bit, they said.  But it was not to be. While I didn’t have to cook his meals (he quite enjoyed the three course dinners with choice of meals), I still had to visit every day, feed Oscar twice a day (thanks to my spouse for doing the morning cat feeding routine).  Actually I didn’t HAVE to visit Dad at all; I wanted to. It can be lonely in hospital; plus I had to check up on what the nurses were doing with his ulcer dressings.  I’m possessive and neurotic about that ulcer.  And we had to keep the daily cribbage tournament going.

Dad in hospital

Hospital Cribbage – Still Smiling

But it got me thinking about the things I do for Dad, and decided to keep a running diary – while he was in hospital the things were a bit different from the norm, but here is a summary of the week that was:

Friday (day 4 of hospital)

Feed Oscar
Collect paper
Visit Dad in hospital – deliver paper, wondering if he is more pleased to see The Australian or me
Get beaten at cribbage
Meet his carer from Five Good Friends for a sneak clean and tidy of the house
Hose out his garage because #filthy
Take out Oscar’s chicken breast dinner from the freezer (spoiled brat)
Water new trees on footpath
Take home and wash doona and doona cover
Wash woollens – jumpers, vests

Later that day…

Collect mail
Wash dishes in sink that had been there since Tuesday
Empty bins
Meet carpet cleaning man
Go back and rearrange house after he’s been
Feed Oscar and give him some love and attention 


Feed Oscar
Collect paper
Go in to collect DOD from hospital – he is READY TO GO but we have to wait for the doctor
Change ulcer dressing because nurses are too busy (rolls eyes)
End up calling nurse as the man in the bed next to DOD was clearly distressed and some bodily function was happening.  Grateful for curtains if we can’t have walls
Game of cribbage while we wait for Dr to visit
Dr thrilled with DOD’s progress and signs him out with a ‘keep on keeping on instruction’
Pack his bags
Help DOD to main entrance
Collect prescription from pharmacy
Go to car park and drive back to
 front entrance
Get out of car and help dad in
Buy milk on the way home
Drag suitcase and other stuff up stairs
Unpack bag and put away contents
Make him a sandwich for lunch
Recharge his emergency alert
Make bed with fresh linen
Email DOD’s brother in Wales to let him know DOD home 

Later that day…

Take down dinner (no three course meal or choice of mains)
Game of cribbage
Check account from hospital emergency department  and call re discrepancy
Post letter
Pay carpet cleaning man


Put DOD’s hearing aids in for church
Drive him to church
Buy new mop and bin liners on the way home
Buy paper for TV guide for DOD .
Confirm with private nurse that he’s home from hospital for Monday afternoon wound dressing
Confirm with cleaner to come following Monday 
Put bins down on road
Wrap birthday  gift for my spouse
Provide card for DOD to go with gift

Later that day…

Collect DOD to drive to my house for dinner
Help him out of car, readying myself to catch him on the slope of our driveway
More cribbage.  I think I may have won a game
Drive him home
Rub lotion into his back (worst job in the world)


Drive to Dymocks for book shopping – his brother wants to me find soe books for DOD for his birthday
Try to ignore instructions from passenger seat on how to drive
Cup of tea and raisin toast at the shopping centre
To shops for bananas
Order more ulcer dressings accoutrements
Phone call to vascular specialist to confirm appointment for Wednesday
Texts with nurse re dressing change
Cook vegetables to go with sausages for dinner

Later that day…

Take dinner down
Game of cribbage
Write emails to three charities on his behalf telling them politely  to bugger off – someone gave his address to a commercial list seller.  Bastards


Print off email from his brother in Wales
Take dinner down in afternoon with email
Take down his birthday presents with strict instructions not to open until the morning
Change ulcer dressing
Bring his ironing back home for my ironing lady to do
Suddenly remember to call carer and cancel her visit Wednesday afternoon because he’s coming here for dinner


Happy birthday call to Dear Old dad – 96 today!
To his vascular specialist for check up – hearty congratulations and cheering on state of ulcer, which is much improved
Pat self on back
Call local chemist to see if they do compounding – no will have to go back to the hospital chemist to get prescription filled
Drive DOD to church and stay for mass because #birthday
Drive to Cathedral to collect donated stamps for him to sort and value
To shops for apples
Home for a cup of tea and cribbage
Post letter
Put rubbish in bins
Various texts re visits from carers
Text nurse with update from doctor 

Later that day…

Collect DOD for dinner at our place for his birthday
Take him  home after dinner


Woke up feeling ill with a cold – thanking goodness not much to do 

Take dinner down in the afternoon
Take DOD to physio
Take dog the size of small horse with us so I can take him to the park while DOD at physio
Call to make follow up appointment with hospital doctor
Back to physio – 
Make next appointment
Take DOD home
Beg off cribbage because #sick and don’t want to lose again


Cook small roast dinner and take down to his place
Cribbage (two games!  Winner!!)
Change dressing – remind dad days nurse is coming (not Fridays any more)
Water trees on footpath
Take home typewritten letter to his brother and scan and send


Cook a weeks worth of meals – two casseroles
Bake cake for freezing in quarters for DOD’s morning teas
Take dinner down
Change dressing
Console him about expected cold weather

So there you have it – some routine some not; some fun, some not; some necessary some not but all done with love

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