25th November 2011 Friday
When my husband and I arrive this afternoon my father is lying on top of the bed. He hasn’t shaved for many days, his hair needs cutting. His teeth are on the bedside table. I can tell immediately he’s different from yesterday. He is confused - he thinks I have been here all the time and he sent someone to look for me. He says he thought it was teatime but they told him it was lunch time.
A lovely carer - a man who has had a catheter himself - helps my father empty his bag and says he’s not drinking enough and if he doesn’t the pipe can get blocked and it’s very painful then. But there doesn’t seem to be a routine in place for checking my father’s liquid intake.
I pour him a plastic glass of ginger beer. He only sips it. I say he has to stop talking so much and drink instead. He laughs but finishes the glass. He drinks two more glasses of blackcurrant juice. We try and work out a chart in his diary for him to tick when he’s had a drink but I don’t think he’ll remember to do it.
My husband cuts my father’s finger nails with clippers - but too close to the quick.
I don’t know how to do this - leave my father in the hands of people who are supposed to care for him. And they are but just not how I would do it. And it’s this that is cutting me to the quick.
Last blog for a while. I will be in Portugal after tomorrow with my dear sisters. Leaving my father in the care of the angels.