Jane Reynolds's Weekly Blog – 17th February 2013

IMG_1389A bit of sad news for any of you who’ve ever seen any of my photos on here occasionally and on Twitter: Mr and Mrs S’s ‘little duck’ flew away this week, which only leaves ‘big duck’ all by herself now. Aah, poor thing.

I went to do my Thursday ironing job on Saturday afternoon this week, and as I went to hang one of the ironed shirts on the curtain rail I spotted a group of baby birds wandering along the field by the back of Mr and Mrs S’s fence. A couple of minutes later I heard a bit of a commotion and saw that one of them had somehow found its way into the garden and couldn’t get out.

The rest of them were going berserk: all squawking and looking helplessly at their brother (I’ll bet it was a boy!) to ‘get the hell back’ over the wire fence to them, but – of course – he couldn’t work out how to!

IMG_1582Every time I hung the next shirt on the rail I had another look and nothing had changed, so after half an hour or so I realised I’d probably have to get out there with Harvey the dog when I’d finished the ironing to try and sort it.

Luckily, it somehow managed to free itself from its ‘prison’ a few minutes later and I was relieved to see them all toddle off up the field.

I’ve googled baby pheasants and turkeys this morning, but neither of them look like these birds (which were almost white). Anyone know what they are? Unfortunately, the camera on my phone wasn’t able to zoom in far enough to be able to get a good enough close-up of them.

That little moment was the highlight of my week – which probably gives you an indication of how my week’s gone …

This week’s *daddysitting* has brought different challenges to last week. He’s deteriorated a lot over the last seven days. As I write this (at 10.45 am on Monday morning) he’s sleeping, and has been all morning; not even having had his watery porridge – which is virtually the only food he’s now eating.

He started on pain relieving patches on Tuesday (which were meant to replace his liquid morphine and paracetamol), but the dose was probably too low as we’ve still been having to give him regular top-ups of his ‘medicine’. The nurses will presumably just ask his Doctor to write a prescription for a higher dose later on today when they come.

When he gets to the point where he can’t swallow any more he’ll have to have to go onto intravenous medication, and I don’t think it’ll be long now before that happens. He’s very poorly, and we’re all just preparing for the inevitable. The most challenging bit for my brothers and I is that whenever he has a ‘bad’ day we brace ourselves for him dying, but (up until now) he usually follows that with a ‘good’ day so it’s a complete roller coaster of emotions for us all.

I really will be surprised if he lasts another week now though. He wants to die, but until his body finally gives up we have to carry on doing the best we can for him. You’d have put an animal out of its misery long before now. Why, oh why can’t we do the same for people?

If you could see our father you’d cry. He’s like a skeleton. It’s heartbreaking to see him, and even harder to have to commiserate with him every morning when he realises he’s woken up again and not just died in his sleep (as he prays for every night). Why should ANYBODY have to endure that?

Our carers (from Bailey Care Services, Melksham) are angels. We have about a dozen different ones who all do various shifts, but every single one of them is so dedicated and committed to their work that we feel very lucky to have them. We’re so grateful.

A couple of the girls were attending to my dad last Wednesday lunchtime so I left them to it and went into the kitchen. I’d got the radio on and was listening to the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2, where at that exact moment Jeremy was inverviewing a 76-year-old man whose carers were giving him a ‘less than satisfactory’ service.

As the poor man recounted his terrible tale I compared it to our situation and quickly sent a tweet off to the show to say how lucky we were and how lovely our carers were. A couple of minutes later I heard Jeremy start to read the tweet out on-air so turned the radio up loud so that they could hear it. They were absolutely chuffed to bits to get a mention and left with big smiles on their faces – as did I. It was a lovely ‘happy’ little moment in the middle of this sad time.

It’s such a lot of work looking after my father that I haven’t even finished watching last week’s Soaps yet, so – needless to say – there won’t be any Soapy Corners again this week. I apologise for this (again!) but hope you’ll stick with me.

I won’t be doing my ‘Soapy Spot’ on Alastair Greener’s Big Mid-morning show on Thursday again this week either, or my live Wednesday night Soapy Show on Tellyspy (it’s a bit hard to talk about Soaps when you haven’t actually watched them!) but I’ll hopefully be doing my TGI Friday show with Paul Dawkins from 4.00-5.00 pm on Friday on Swindon 1055.com.

‘Jane’s Soapy Corners’ have gone digital. Simply download the Podcasts App onto your iPhone or iPad then search for Tellyspy and all the previous editions are on there.

Thanks for reading. Have a good week everyone.

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2 Responses to Jane Reynolds's Weekly Blog – 17th February 2013

  1. BB February 19, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    Jane, I so, so sympathise with you. My father, who passed 25 years ago now, but is still so sadly missed, was in exactly the same situation. It was heartbreaking and I remember screaming at his GP to give him more morphine because he was in so much pain. I even said to him that we wouldn’t allow an animal to suffer this much. Something really needs to be done but I doubt it will in my lifetime. Good carers are angels and I’m not sure how they do what they do – they must have very special hearts. My thoughts are with you and your family for a peaceful end to your father’s suffering.

    • Jane March 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

      Thank you very much for your comments. We’re so lucky now, that pain relieving medication has improved so much. My father’s told me of how HIS father was crying out in pain as he was dying in hospital (about 25 years ago) & the other patients were shouting at him to ‘shut up’.

      At least my father’s barely suffering – pain-wise – because of the great medication & great support from the MacMillan nurses & the team of carers we’ve got in place. When I look at the skeleton who used to be my father lying in that bed I just want to weep.

      Like you say: we wouldn’t let an animal linger like that, yet ‘The Powers That Be’ feel it’s perfectly acceptable to allow terminally ill people who are begging to be allowed to die, to lie there for weeks on end. It’s beyond ridiculous.

      Thanks for taking the trouble to contact me.

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