........everyone did what they said they would, when they said they would do it? This week we have had an extraordinary series of diary changes. It's not at all unusual to have a couple each week - I can cope with that - but this was something different.
Monday: We visited a day centre for people with young onset dementia. The actual visit went smoothly (more of this later) but despite my emailing and trying to phone last Friday, I only got directions and a clear idea of the schedule by phoning first thing Monday morning despite a previous promise that everything I needed to know would be emailed to me in good time. It was decided that full sessions would probably not suit S but an art therapy session on Fridays would be worth a try. We agreed that I would take S back on Friday for this so that I could meet the woman who rums it and be on hand to help S or to keep an eye on her if she decided to walk about. It was suggested that the following week I could use the carer we have been put in touch with to accompany S so that I could have little respite.
Tuesday: I asked the carer to do three (paid) hours on Tuesday so that I could take one of our two cats to the vet to be neutered. We got a pair of Siamese cats (brothers) from a local animal rescue place because we thought they'd be good for S who's always loved animals. (it's still early days but it's clear that S is finding it more difficult to relate to them than we though she would though she is trying). The cats were supposed to have been neutered but when I took them to the vets where this had supposedly been done - for injections - the vet who saw them (it's a large practice) said that one of them still had testicles. This was duly reported to the rescue place. I expected that they would sort out with the vets what had actually happened but a few days later they phoned and said could I get the cat neutered at their expense. I explained that this was not so easy for me because of my carer role but agreed to do it, knowing that I would be using up some of my precious three hours a week. When I got into the vets for the pre-op exam, the young intern from Romania who was dealing with the cat said he could not feel the testicles and thought the cat must have been 'done' after all (what about their record-keeping, you may well be thinking). A more senior intern was brought in, who might or might not have done the original op, if it had indeed been done. He didn't remember the cat so also played 'hunt the testicles' and finally declared that the cat must have been neutered. In this course if this, I learned a lot more about the location of cats' testicles and the development of their scrotums than I'll ever need to know.
I took the cat back home and got on with some of the things I'd planned to do. In the afternoon, Someone should have come to test S's eyes but there had been a phone call the day before to say that illness meant this would have to be postponed.
Wednesday: The cleaning service, who are supposed to come after 12, turned up at 10 a.m. I'd just finished getting S up and dressed but had not started on the tidying that I needed to do following a messy job that our wonderful decorator/handyman had done for us on Monday and Tuesday so I just had to leave the cleaners to do the best they could, knowing that they would have to spend time moving things around instead of cleaning. I phoned the agency and they made a note so that it shouldn't happen again - a note you might think they'd have made already. In the afternoon S was due a reflexology session but her friend who does it phoned to say she was unwell. This was disappointing as there was a break over Christmas and the last two sessions have never really got going as S seems to have forgotten how well she was doing with it previously.
The new home hairdresser phoned to say that she could not do 10.30 tomorrow as she was wanted in work early so would come after work at about 5.30.
Thursday: We went and had lunch with my brother and sister-in-law. They invite us once a week and cook us excellent food which S usually eats with gusto. When we got back home there was an answerphone message from our young onset contact to say that the art therapy wasn't on this Friday, he'd been mistaken and not to come tomorrow. Later on we were supposed to have a visit from the new hairdresser. She phoned after the time she was due and said that she had been kept late at work but would be with us soon. Nearly an hour later she phoned saying her SatNav wasn't working, she'd got lost and wanted directions. By this time S's daughter had arrived to take her to see friends so we had to reschedule the hair wash a second time.
Friday: Today we now have a free morning. I may wash S's hair myself as some very good friends are coming over to visit this afternoon. They had been coming this morning but we had to rearrange when the art session fell through and as it happened this suited them.
All this chopping and changing probably affects me more than S but it's interesting that over the last couple of months her standard response when I tell her that someone's going to visit is, 'No they're not!' This week she's usually been right.
I think the thing is that this job is hard enough when everything goes according to plan. A week like this just makes it that much harder.