Friday, August 16, 2013

What a Holiday

I, for one, was as excited as I reckoned I might have been if I was about to go on a ‘Scenic Tours’ cruise boat tour of Europe.

Monday 5th arrived and I was up early enough to pack my stuff and what was left to pack of Pam’s into the car.  I’d loaded the electric wheelchair the night before and on this morning, I had to fit Pam’s feed pump and pump-stand in front of that along with many boxes of meds, feed kits, feed boxes, colostomy gear etc., in addition to hers and my personal luggage.  It all fitted nicely.  Pam was due to be picked up by the ambulance at 9:30am to be taken to the air ambulance, but we had to wait until 1:30pm because of emergency needs elsewhere, whereas Pam’s travel was ‘Non-emergency’ - and fair enough too.

I was away soon after in order to get to Benlynne Park Private Nursing Home as soon as I could, without having to have Pam wait too long.  I had requested that Pam’s sister Val could be there when she arrived – and she was.  I got there 5hrs 50mins after leaving (approx. 7:30pm) and Pam had been there since 4:30pm.  Soon after arriving, I had all her belongings about her and our world kept turning.

I then drove down to Corio to spend the following six nights at my sister-in-law Dorothy’s place, travelling back and forth to Pam each day.  While in Geelong, I visited my poor brother Ted, who has fronto-temporal degenerative dementia.  I have a picture or two, but for some reason they load side-on and I don't know how to make them upright.  If I can figure it out, these last two sentences will be replaced with the fixed pics.
I quickly learned to go to some trouble to avoid peak-hour travel.  Even then, the traffic was not nice (compared to Mildura).
The staff members at Benlynne Park were doing their best and were lovely.  They went to great trouble to watch me as I demonstrated several things re Pam’s ongoing comfort, but sadly did not share the details with the staff of other shifts.  However, by the time this fact really jelled with me, there was only a few days left and so I didn’t say much.  Pam’s neck angle suffered as a consequence.  (I might detail exactly what that means in a later post.)
I collected Pam on Wednesday 7th to take her to see her Mum on her 90th birthday, at Brunswick Private Hospital in Moorland Rd. where she was rehabilitated after breaking her hip after a fall about a fortnight earlier.  They were obviously happy to see each other after several years apart.

I again collected Pam on Saturday 10th to take her to her Mum’s 1:30pm – 2:3pm official birthday party at the same place, but in a large room there.  Here are some pics from that Stivala family event…

and, of course, a family shot; taken by a staff member as requested by Pam's sister Val, who is standing behind Pam's right shoulder:  Pam's got the rug and is being admired by her loving supporter from the middle of the back row:

I took Pam back to Benlynne Park and then drove to Val and Tony’s (Pam’s sister and brother-in-law) to kill an hour or two.  Each year they build a bigger and bigger Christmas Village - this is how it looks this year...

I later took Pam along to have a look.  It's stunningly brilliant and Tony claims that they made it up this year "Just for Pam".  The village is incredibly detailed and I was dumbfounded by it.

Then it was back to Benlynne Park to re-collect Pam and take her to Dino’s Restaurant at 518 Bells St. to celebrate grand-daughter Ellie’s (our youngest daughter Jeni’s little girl's) 2nd birthday party.  It was another family do – this time the Shinas' side of the family.  Another bonza time to which these couple of pics attest…  
Poor Pammy had to watch on without eating... 
...but she thoroughly enjoyed herself regardless.

I dropped Pam back to Benlynne Park and returned to Dorothy’s in Corio.
On Sunday afternoon, I collected what I could of Pam’s goodies and spent the night at Val & Tony’s place in readiness for and early getaway in the morning.  I was up at 6am and had collected Pam’s remaining stuff (feed stand & pump, baby monitor etc.) and was away home by 8am.  Pam was scheduled to leave Benlynne Park at 2pm and I needed to be home before she got home.  As it turned out, I arrived home at 1:45 and learned that, because of bad weather, Pam’s departure would be delayed.  She arrived home at 6:30pm, having taken nearly as much time as I had to cover the distance.  I had the place precisely back to ‘square one’ before she arrived and no-one would’ve known we’d actually been away – except Pam and I.

I managed to pick up a bug on the way home causing cellulitis in my right shin.  Pam returned home with a dose of bladder infection.  Each ailment requiring Keflex capsules to fix 'em.  I have one pack for Pammy and another for me, with one repeat each.  Ah, something to souvenir!

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