Monday, 4 October 2010

Fog patches



My mental weather is exceeding bleak at the moment, and I can’t see the point in anything. Books, music, food, getting up in the morning – I mean, why? All the world’s a stage, and the production is a tatty one. I went up north last week to my mother’s. With my customary reluctance and guilt for same, I went just once to see my dad in the nursing home. He was always active, immensely practical, a joiner and builder who made furniture, built extensions, tiled, plastered and painted – all things I’m hopeless at – and now he can’t speak or move, feed or bathe himself. I think he recognised me, but I may be wrong. I hope I am. It would comfort me in some small measure if I could be sure there was nobody home, because to be stuck immobile but conscious in that bed for however much longer is left to him, unable even to switch off the relentless twaddle of daytime telly, must be hell. It wouldn’t be so bad if he were ninety, for then we could be reasonably confident that he would not have to endure this for long. In fact, he’s only seventy-five and has the constitution of an ox. All my mother’s contemporaries are aging and ailing to some degree, and so naturally much of her conversation is devoted to who is taking this or that medication or undergoing this or that medical procedure, and there is a constant undercurrent of apprehension - who's next? Even if I get away to see a friend of my own age up there, the conversation hardly changes, as her father has had two massive strokes and so our discourse is of aging and disability, digressing occasionally but inevitably returning to it. Oh, yes, and then my sister’s partner’s mother died last Wednesday and the funeral’s on Friday. I’m going over to Suffolk on Thursday to look after my sister's menagerie while she and Pete attend it.

So, what with one thing and another, it’s been pretty damn gloomy around here this last couple of weeks. There is still no certainty of more teaching work, and so tonight I cancelled a rendezvous for dinner at the local Thai. Bloody hell fire. Things are getting bad when I start entertaining notions of thrift.

So. Reasons to be cheerful? Well, today I do believe I saw Sa’ad for the last time. Next Monday he is going for a medical. All the pilots have to get one before they leave us. I once saw the checklist, and it’s quite a going-over. I was curious as to why a helicopter pilot needed a rectal exam, but I suppose helicopters are so dangerous and accident-prone that ace sphincter-control is required. I asked the admin assistant if I could put forward some suggestions as to possible medical attentions that might be necessary. I had in mind anything terminating in ‘-ectomy’, but my request was turned down. Still, this means that his sulky, resentful presence has been removed from my life. They’ll be poking things up his bum round about lunchtime on Monday the eleventh, and I’m going to Greece on the twelfth.

11 comments:

Diarmuid said...

My sympathies - have been going through an aged parent thing that is not entirely dissimilar. Enjoy Greece, will you be here to participate in the stoning of the police on 17 November? Find some direction for all this frustration.

Vilges Suola said...

Thanks - it does get you down a bit sometimes, doesn't it? I'm going to Greece again on the 20th of November, by which time I hope they will have put out the fires. Actually, despite 15 years residence in Greece I didn't give Nov 17th a thought when planning my trip - I reckon it coud be pretty bad this year especially.

Nik_TheGreek said...

Λυπάμαι που το ακούω. Δεν έχω φυσικά την μαγική συνταγή να σου δώσω και ένα λόγο που απλά θα σου αλλάξει την διάθεση.
Ίσως το να φύγεις Ελλάδα και να αλλάξεις παραστάσεις σου φτιάξει λίγο τη διάθεση.
Θέλω να πιστεύω ότι έχεις καλούς φίλους εκεί να σου κάνουν καλή παρέα...

Vilges Suola said...

Ευχαριστώ, Νίκο. Ναι, έχω φίλους εκεί, σίγουρα θα περάσω καλά.

Bo said...

God, that's grim. So sorry to hear you've been having such a bad time.

Vilges Suola said...

Thanks - it'll pass!

Fionnchú said...

As you know from my own blog yesterday, we've been dealing with dying parents too; it's hard as there are few of us children left and more of them, due to stepmothers and birth-mothers and such! The opposite of what it used to be; I wonder how in the future there will be all sorts of blended and broken and halved families aging with fewer children scurrying about to care for them, or us, in our nursing homes.

I hope Greece perks you up.

Vilges Suola said...

I hope so too - gloomy thoughts still sit on me like ravens. Hope you are OK.

Doomed But Cheerful! said...

Another reader adds his sympathy, who is also going through similar ... whatever the words are.

Also, sadly, I lose 1/2 my class tomorrow, as they are being removed from the roll, after managing to miss too many classes - I guess they found better things to do.

Have a good time in Greece. G =]

Vilges Suola said...

Many thanks,DBC. I heard today that we now have enough students to start a new group, so I'm OK again financially, until the next slump.

David Warr said...

Very personal.

I've just found your blog and am reading your posts starting with the most recent, so have just read the Sa'ad story part 1, knowing part 2. Unintended irony indeed.

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