On top of that, he’s pretty much unable to move his right leg, and regularly has the shakes in his right arm. Either the lump on his brain and/or the lesions on his spine are deteriorating his mobility on his right hand side. Watching him eat his jacket potato yesterday, he dropped his spoon way too many times.
The nurses told me on the phone last night that I needed to speak to him, urgently. I phoned him, and he was crying.
“J….I woke up…and I was dead…I couldn’t move anything and it was all dark…and I was dead and I couldn’t open my eyes…and then the nurses….all the nurses were standing there laughing at me…I called them but no one would help me…”
I couldn’t go to him. I couldn’t drive, because I had had a drink.
I did whatever I could to console him over the phone – I don’t remember much of what I said, though The Mr tells me I said exactly the right things – and then called the nurses back to see what action could be taken, or at least find out why he’s hallucinating.
(Mental note – I’ve just consumed an entire packet of Cheese and ‘Oh-So’ Onion Ringos, large bag, with one hand, in the time it’s taken me to type the above. And I speed type.)
Of course, at this stage it’s the morphine which is causing him to hallucinate. 50mg a day, as well as boosters before he needs to move for anything. At the moment, he can sit up for approx 2 minutes, before extreme pain in his legs and back means that he has to lie down again. Whilst on 10mg, he could sit up for approx 30-45 seconds. Which was pushing it. He needs to sit up to eat…and it’s taking him so long to eat, he gets pissed off because he has to go up and down in his bed so much.
I’d be pissed too. No one needs that kinda bullshit when you just want to eat your food.
I have no idea what I’m typing right now, and nothing is in order, because my brain keeps throwing this information at me and I can’t always keep track and/or make sense.
He can’t do it either. He got cross on Thursday because the ward doctors keep asking him questions and telling him information (to varying degrees) which is an overload for him, and causing serious confusion. (Including, they’re going to operate on him, they’re going to give him radiotherapy, they’re going to get him walking and many more things, despite not having the results from the oncology team as yet. Yeah…that’s not going to help a 77 year old who is now struggling to keep track of what fucking day it is. Every day is the same when you’re in hospital.)
He’s become increasingly paranoid, and his forgetfulness kicked it up a proper notch.
I took him some curried goat on Thursday, which he inhaled at lightning speed with some rice. He ate the rest of it that evening with a jacket potato.
Friday I went in with some chicken soup, and he was telling me about the curried goat…which L (my sister’s partner) took in. Apparently, L brought it in and sat with him whilst he ate it…with some rice. And then he ate the rest with a jacket potato.
I had a horrible fleeting moment of guilt last night when I realised that, not only could I NOT go in to the hospital because I had been drinking, but that I also DIDN’T want to go in because I couldn’t face what I would find. I still have no connection with him, and it’s getting harder and harder as time goes by and he still recognises me, to pretend that there IS a connection.
(There is no connection. He knows NOTHING about me. He doesn’t even know that I spent a week in the mental health care home, right across the road from where I walk into the hospital to visit him. I got put in there 15 years ago when I repeatedly tried to take my own life.)
I’ve lived with an alcoholic. It was pretty fucking terrifying, not because he harmed me (he never did), but because I was helpless to do anything. I watched him repeatedly spiral off the rails, and as an 19 year old at the time, I wasn’t exactly equipped with a wealth of knowledge on how to deal with the situation.
So when I woke up this morning, knowing I needed to make the various family phone calls, I did my Morning Self Assessment to see what my strength levels were like. By 10:40 this morning, I found myself walking to the kitchen ready to grab a glass.
“I need a drink” I thought to myself.
“Not juice. I want alcohol.”
And immediately scared the crap out of myself, because it was so automatic and it felt so right.
I reached for a ginormous bag of crisps and a carton of fruit juice, and I’ve decided I’m not an alcoholic. Of course I’m not! That’s just stupid.
But it’s not stupid. And it IS frightening.
My mind is doing all kinds of fuckery with me, at the mo, and as my big brother said on the phone this morning, “This is just the beginning…”
This IS just the beginning. And I need to conserve my energy and keep my head on straight, because this roller coaster is the shittiest roller coaster I’ve ever been on, and is already 3 weeks too long. I’d rather go back to Drayton Manor.
This is just the beginning. And I’m hoping I’m not classed as the worst fucking asshole in the world for hoping that this fucking crap ride, one way or another, doesn’t go on for longer than I can manage.