Sunday, 30 November 2008
Nothing Goes to Plan
The best laid plans etc.....
Things are not working out as they should. We had hoped to have the living room completely decorated today and intended to make an early start.
The first thing that happened was a ring on the doorbell whilst we were still in bed. Mike went to the door in his robe. Our next door neighbour but one had said his wife had heard our next door neighbour calling out for help.
We had heard nothing at all. As I mentioned yesterday, Mike is the key holder. Every morning he buys our neighbour his newspaper and gets shopping for him and he also lets all the social services people into the house. He is constantly "on call" so to speak. Mike hastily got dressed and he and Pete entered the next door property. The gentleman concerned was in the toilet - that is the far side of the house to us which is why we heard nothing. Luckily he had his toilet window ajar and that is how he was heard by the other neighbours.
They could not lift him because he said he had lost feeling in both his legs and could not stand so a para-medic was summoned. He did lots of tests and then decided our neighbour needed to be admitted into hospital - so that entailed a wait for the ambulance. The paramedic asked our neighbour why he had not pressed his alarm. Apparently, the alarm had been taken back by social services as they felt he no longer needed it! No matter that he is there alone, that he cannot cook, cannot bathe etc. etc and is very rocky on his legs having to use two sticks.
The paramedic then asked what help he received. Once again we found out none, the nurses no longer come. He is supposed to have physiotherapy but there is a long waiting list and he keeps being fobbed off. He told the paramedic his only help was Mike. The medic looked disgusted. He took Mike to one side and asked about the neighbour's family. Mike told him he has a son who only lives ten minutes drive away, another son somewhere else plus a daughter. They visit about once per month. They have been no help to him whatsoever and the property that was once so neat and tidy is now a pigsty.
Anyway, the ambulance came and took him away. Then Mike phoned his daughter to let her know. She did not seem in the least worried and when Mike tried to explain the circumstances and what happened, she put the phone down. If she knocks here, she is going to get a piece of my mind I can tell you.
Mike and I both agree he should no longer be living there on his own. He is only the same age as Mike and it does seem a shame but, in circumstances like his, where the family do not help, it is dangerous.
Suppose he has fallen yesterday and cracked his head, he could have lain their all night before Mike found him. He could have died. He needs to be in sheltered accommodation or in a nursing home where he can get the attention he needs. We cannot take the responsibility. Mike is always the first to help, never complains, he has had many a cold dinner being called next door and I know he is now finding it a strain. He looked very stressed when he came back this morning. The neighbour thought he had been in the toilet for around four hours!
After a cup of tea, we did get down eventually to opening the boxes that came down from the loft yesterday and did get a couple of things in place, then the problems started. We bought a new roll of blanket type artificial snow last year, that always goes in the fireplace with our fibre optic snowman sitting in the middle of it. It took ages last Christmas to cut it to shape. Yes, you have guessed it, we cannot find it anywhere. It is not in any of the boxes. Mike seems to remember bagging it up but cannot remember where he put it. After hunting for ages, we gave up.
Never mind I thought, we will put the small white fibre optic tree up on the mantlepiece and at least that will be finished. Wrong! We took the tree out of the box to find it had discoloured but only in patches. Some of it was pristine white and the rest had gone brown. I filled the bath, added some Vanish and threw the tree in there. I have washed fibre optics before so I knew it would be o.k. Well, the brown was not dirt, nothing came off it, even after a long soak. It has actually discoloured although it was sealed in its box. No way can I put it up, it looks horrible. It is only two years old. I went online to see if I could find a replacement from the site where I bought it. Oh yes, they have the same tree but the price has doubled. No way Jose.
So, now I am sitting here, tinsel and baubles all around my feet, boxes everywhere and Mike has gone off to see if he can buy more snow and a replacement Christmas tree. I said originally to the family, that I was not going to decorate this year. I am wishing now I had stuck to my guns.
These things are sent to try us!
P.S. Mike has just returned having had no luck whatsoever. He is going to try a much bigger place tomorrow, so, for the moment, all is being heaped back into the boxes and will have to wait for another day.