31st October 2011 Monday
8.30 am I’m doing the morning shift at my father’s - but I can see there is too much peeing going on. In the bed, in the chair cushions, on the bathroom floor, in his socks. He says he’s had a shower but I don’t think he has. I phone the surgery, get an appointment with his doctor - a miracle. My sister phones social services and the respite care home. I have a quick cup of coffee with my niece in the Boston Tea Party - she has come to visit us before flying off to Beirut to be with her husband.
11.40 am The doctor says he wants to admit my father to Honiton hospital tomorrow or the next day - ‘to see what’s going on, sort out his waterworks, re-assess his medication’. He says the confusion isn’t due to a urinary infection - more likely a little infarct in the brain - that’s why the antibiotics aren’t working. I want the district nurse to come and sort out the peeing situation. The doctor says he’ll organise it and call me.
1.30 pm In the warmth of The River Cottage Canteen in Axminster, while the rain drizzles down outside, my niece and I order pumpkin soup and a roasted tomato brushetta. The soup is cold and tasteless - except for a smidgen of garlic oil on the surface. But her parsnip and ginger cake is moist and tender and my fridge cake is gooey and chocolatey. I keep my mobile on - waiting for the doctor’s call. Which doesn’t come.
5 pm. I ring the surgery - talk to the district nurse. She says she can come and see my father tomorrow about the peeing but can’t say when. No news re hospital admittance.
6.30 pm We all sit down to a supper mostly from the freezer - a butternut squash and mushroom pie with Gruyere cheese, my husband’s fresh tomato sauce and his pink fir apple potatoes - followed by a lemon curd ice cream and the giant pomegranate my sister brought back from Istanbul which leaks clear scarlet juice when I cut it open - like bleeding rubies.
Tonight I’m thinking about my father - hoping he’s asleep - hoping his sheets are still dry.