Wednesday, 7 November 2007

A Belated Sabbath

Our family functions with the assistance of a large number of helpers. We have carers who come in to help me get the girls dressed most days, we have a cleaner who helps reduce the effects of Little Fish's mission destruct, in theory we have a chap who comes to mow the lawn and hack the hedges although we haven't seen him for a year or so, and again, in theory, we have a builder who has been here on and off for the past 2 years and now has just one week of work left to do. We live in hope. Add in to this mix social workers, visiting therapists, relatives (mine or the girls') and it's a rare day when we don't have people in our house.

This has required some serious adjustments to the way we live. Our carers arrive at 7AM, so I need to be up and dressed before this. I need to be awake enough to be sociable and pleasant to them, organised enough that they can find everything they need, tidy enough that they can walk through the house without falling over, and generally willing to accept the fact that my home is someone else's workplace. It needs to be a pleasant place to work, or they may not come back again.

Since Mog had her hip op, we have had carers here three times a day, seven days a week. This means we've had people in our house at the start, middle and end of each and every single day. We've had people here when the girls wake, people here when they go to bed, people here interrupting my midday meal. I have had to ensure the house is pristine spotless beautiful not likely to cause them to call Health and Safety three times a day, have had to end phone calls and generally time our lives around them. And I have been incredibly thankful to be able to do so, to have these carers, without which Mog would either have spent the entire recuperative period in hospital, or in considerable discomfort as I struggled to move her without joggling her brace and yanking on her metalwork.

Now that Mog is out of her brace, I can manage without such a high level of care, and we will be moving back to our regular programme of carers, i.e. six mornings and three evenings per week. It's still a lot, especially compared to the help some families desperately need and don't get, but it is the right balance for us. However, as Mog was expected to be in hospital until the end of the week, we cancelled our care and it does not kick in again until tomorrow evening. What this means is that this morning, for the first time in over two months, we had no carer here. For the first time in a very long time, I did not need to set my alarm. Mog woke me at 7 needing pain relief but she was able to go back to sleep after that, Little Fish had a nice long lie in, and I had a wonderfully relaxed morning in my pyjamas catching up on life in the slow lane again.

It is now half past eleven. Mog is dressed and relaxing on our settee, snuggled under a blanket listening to life. Little Fish is pushing Madeleine around in Mog's wheelchair, and we have no appointments, no visitors, no ties to anything at all all day long. I have an instant lunch all ready in the 'fridge and will be ordering takeaway tonight, and in the meantime all three of us can take a breather and enjoy just being ourselves for the day.

Happy Sabbath!

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