Monday, 31st July, 2023

[Day 1232]

You are never quite sure what a day is going to bring and so it proved today. It started off with a very interesting, and supportive, email from one of my University of Winchester colleagues who lives in Oxfordshire and whose email indicated some of the sources of help that might be available to cope with Meg’s failing health. So I replied at length, indicating some of the problems that Meg was experiencing as well as some more positive news. She replied with a very full and informative email, full of helpful suggestions and we engaged in a kind of ping-pong email throughout the day. Today we decided to go and visit the Morrison’s superstore in Redditch which is some distance away but at the end of a very fast dual carriage way. On the way, our tyre pressure started to play up again but fortunately, in the garage part of the supermarket, I managed to get some air put in until I can find the time for a visit to our local Kwikfit. In Morrison’s, we had a bit of a race around and managed to buy some tinned fruit for our teas as well as some innovative knee-highs (sort of tights) for Meg. Then we had a not altogether happy experience as we wanted to avail ourselves of some hot chocolate but having paid for this, it was ‘greyed out’ and presumably unavailable in the automatic dispensing machine. So we bought some not very nice milky coffee, not to our taste and not helped by the fact that Meg spilt hers over the table. We then raced home because time was pressing and we needed to get home before our chiropody appointment at 12 noon. In the event, we did not need to rush because our chiropodist was delayed by a good half hour delayed by horrendous roadworks afflicting the main A38 that runs through the centre of Bromsgrove, causing generalised mayhem everywhere. Then after we had both of our feet ‘done’, Meg and I had a delayed lunch and thought we were going to have a quietish afternoon. But the telephone rang indicating that an occupational therapist was available to give Meg an assessment later on this afternoon, so this we readily accepted.

The occupational therapist was very good and supplemented some of the notes with which she was already equipped with notes and observations of her own. The initial focus was on things that might be causing some of Meg’s falls and slithers to the ground so we discussed some things that might help such as risers’ to the chairs in our sitting room. We then went on to assess how Meg coped with stairs, getting into/out of bed and finally toileting and shower arrangements. Altogether the assessment must have taken well over an hour becaue in the course of investigating things in the bedroom, we discussed such things as ‘slip sheets’ (to ease access into/out of bed) as well as some mechanical aids. We turned our attention to the shower and the OT took some measurements for a potential grab rail to be fitted. In the course of these investigations, the OT took Meg’s blood pressure both lying down and standing up. Finally, we discussed the possibility of having a half bannister fitted to complement the full bannister we have on side of our flight of stairs and again a range of measurements were taken. All of this having been done, we made another appointment with the OT who would come along with a range of aids some of which we could try out and others of which might eventually be fitted by the fitting team (after quite some delay, we were informed) I did feel particuarly pleased that eventually Meg was assessed by a competent professional and not just advised of things over the phone and the OT and myself put our heads together to discuss the things that Meg might need (and might not need for that matter)

As soon as the OT had left, we had to make a lightning visit into Bromsgrove to collect our Monday newspaper. Our normal newsagent was closed yeserday and was going to have a delayed opening today as he and his wife were attending a large Asian wedding – we know that the guest list for this can sometimes run into the hundreds. Then it was a case of getting home and having a bit of afternoon tea and then some relaxation with the aid of ClassicFM before we start this evening’s eventful TV viewing. The most important thing is how England have fared in the fifth day of the final Test Match of the series. England need to take all ten Austrialian wickets in one day and this is quite a tall order against the team currently ranked as No. 1 test match team in the world.

There is some breaking news tonight that all of the teaching unions have recommended acceptance of an offer of 6.5% Every major teaching union has now accepted the government’s offer of a 6.5% pay rise and voted to end strikes. This based upon recommendations made by the independent School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB). Probably the membership are quite weary of striking by now as well as having lost a lot of pay so perhaps this unhappy period of strife is drawing to a close.