Tuesday, 31 March 2009

A Day In The Life

Polly has been off Clown Doctoring at a hospital in London somewhere. I'm not allowed to give you too many details but it involves her speaking in a west country accent and saying 'curly-wurly' a lot. Oh, and she wears a carrot on her shoulder. As she left this morning she called out to me, “Have a good day,” and then she vanished into the metropolis. I settled down for a 'good' day, by which I mean quiet, and booted up the computer to check emails and manage my football team on Facebook.


11.00am The doorbell shrills and shrieks and warbles at aircraft taking off volume to indicate someone has arrived at the front door and wants my attention. I may have mentioned before that our doorbell is VERY loud because I am disabled, and therefore, presumably deaf. (Visitors to the flat who are here when it rings often think it must be a fire alarm and start tying sheets together in the hope of making their escape.) I attempt to use our intercom system to let whoever it is in but this proves easier said than done. It is supposed to operate via an 'environmental control' system but doesn't any more, so I have to manually push buttons on a unit fitted to the wall. On bad days it can take several minutes for me to align myself in such away so as to be able to press first the 'talk' button and then the 'enter' button. Often, by the time I have, whoever it was who rang the bell has grown old and given up. Today is an okay day and I manage to let the visitor in after he has identified himself as an engineer. You can be sure that if he had said 'robber' I would have asked for further identification. The engineer turns out to be from the Royal Brompton Hospital and has come to fix the BiPap ventilator which has been beeeeeeeeeeping all night for no good reason. (Polly maintains that the alarm should only go off if I am seconds away from death, and only then if it has tried to resuscitate me by itself.) 20 minutes later the engineer gives up and replaces the machine.


11.40am The ear-splitting doorbell goes again. Once again I successfully negotiate the entry system and once again someone identifying themselves as an engineer comes in. This one, from a company whose name is made up entirely from initials, has come to fix the back door opener. He has come equipped with a young man whose job it seem is to hold things. It takes an hour of mild cursing and a lot of Allen keys before the automated door stops opening and shutting of its own accord. The young man passes things beautifully.


12.30pm Kalepo, one of my carers, arrives to help me with lunch and to go to the loo. Fortunately he knows how to let himself in so we are spared being deafened by the doorbell.


2.50pm Once more my ears are made to bleed. This time it is a specialist dermatological district nurse. My skin has been erupting in mini-pimples since a change in my medication. I thought I'd left acne back in my adolescence so I am grateful to see him. He has given me a prescription for a number of salves and lotions that should restore my skin to adulthood.


3.20pm The district nurses (or big stick nurses as Sam calls them) let themselves in and help me go to the loo again. They also wrestle with the coffee-maker, a technology they regard as suspiciously futuristic.


3.50pm Our friend Andi arrives back from the school with Matty and Sam. Within seconds they are arguing about whose turn it is to go on the Playstation 3. I do my daddy thing and make them share.


6.00pm Godfrey, another carer, arrives to help me give the boys their tea that has been in the slow cooker since Polly prepared it this morning.. He leaves 50 minutes later.


7.30pm Both boys fed, showered and ready for bed. Sam read The Avocado Baby, Matty surgically removed from computer. I am the daddy! Now, where's Polly?


7.50pm Polly returns, all curly-wurly'd out.