Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Autumn falls

What autumn brings is a sudden rush of things to do. The garden neglected, the allotment neglected, I have been spending hours on emails, Open University work and studying the poems of Susan Wicks. But most of all, in common with friends - Hilary, Jane, Jane, Allie - I have been looking after mum.

Last week she fell in the garden, fracturing her arm and dislocating her shoulder.

Since then it's been days of cups of tea (the poster for the Poem-a-thon so aptly mirrors those Penguin author mugs), discussions about pain killers and regular sit down lunch and supper at regular times of the day.

I have decamped to her house with the cat, my laptop, iPad and books. We've been shopping to buy her a tablet because one arm is out of action. We've been to M&S for elasticated-waist trousers that are easier to get on single-handed. We've wondered about how we take mobility for granted.

I managed a five minute experiment using just one arm.
Imagine. One hand to eat with. No cutting up food that might slip off the plate or need force.
One hand to butter bread. One hand to shower and towel yourself dry.

Feeling out of it from pain and from pain-killers. Feeling out of it because you can no longer drive yourself to the shop.

Friends ring her, have sent flowers, a DVD, a book. But five more weeks loom with an arm in what the NHS calls a 'collar and cuff'. She has so far seen just one nurse at the hospital and the radiographer. All other care is on the phone. Exercises are emailed and viewed on YouTube.

This morning I walked on the Tye and saw layers of mist to the east, over the fields, merging into the grey of the sea. This evening the sun went down red as virginia creeper and now the first fireworks are being set off in the valley.