Domestic drama has had its wicked way with John and me over the past month. While I like change and novelty, I also like to pick and choose what happens. Holidays. Outings. New people. I’d like to keep all serious drama on the pages of books, or on television. That way we wouldn’t have to deal with it.
The title of this post reminds me of the delightful documentary series on ABC TV. ‘Old People’s Home for 4-Year Olds‘ and ‘Old People’s Home for Teenagers‘ touch me deeply. They deal with lonely old people whose lives we see transformed by the introduction of children whom they do not know.
The old folk seem apprehensive at first. But they soon become immersed in the task of getting to know the youngsters and they accept the challenges presented. Their relationships with the children spill over so that they also enjoy the company of the other people iun the group. Physical, social, intellectual and emotional challenges abound.
In the end, everyone benefits from this immersive program. Developed by geriatricians and psycholgists, it also includes social workers, physiotherapists and teachers among others.
Domestic drama of a different kind
John’s and my domestic drama has been nowhere as benign as the dramas of the television series. For a while it felt as if we were being thrown on the rubbish tip. But, thank goodness, we’re recovering! Life moves on, and sweeps us with it. We couldn’t have done it without family, friends and strangers, and I’m deeply grateful.
When I started this blog, ‘How to be eighty,’ I planned to write lighthearted posts. They’d cover topics that I learned about as I travelled the path to older age. Hopefully they’d entertain readers. Life-long learning, my passion, would feature heavily.
Occasionally, the posts have dipped into more serious topics, and a couple of times I’ve shared deeply felt experiences. You can read about the death of one of my babies , and a post about recovery after tragic loss.
What we’ve done this month
The month has been a litany of hospitals, doctors and dentists we’ve visited.
Here’s a list.
- John started with a blood transfusion to correct his anaemia. An afternoon in a hospital, and he came home to recover quickly.
- A couple of days later, he reached into the cupboard where the sweet biscuits live, and suffered a spontaneous compression fracture of a vertebra in his thoracic spine. After visits to the physiotherapist and the general practitioner, he had a scan and a further trip to the GP. He came home with analgesia. No further treatment. He continues to recover.
- I went to the dentist for a check-up and clean. The new dentist worked vigorously. Her boss later reframed that as ‘thoroughly’. Two days later, in a restaurant in Fremantle with some of my family, I bit a crust and lost one of the crowns that festoon my mouth. To be precise, I lost a front incisor, which leaves me with a gappy grin.
- The following Monday, at the first possible cancellation appointment with the dentist. I trotted briskly, slipped and hit the back of my head. Hard. On a busy road. An ambulance ride to the nearest emergency department, bleeding profusely came next. I’m deeply grateful to my daughter, Jenny, and son-in-law, Simon, who sat with me in the doctor’s surgery and the hospital, then took me home and cared for me for several days.
- Jenny took me, bruised and shaken, to another dental appointment, where I discovered my forty-year-old crown needed to be ditched. Now I’m faced with surgery, as soon as I can see an oral surgeon. I’m a total dental sook.
For a few days after this domestic drama, I looked a treat. A khaki beanie to hold the dressing in place and a gap-toothed smile made me look somewhat, ummm… Well, you can imagine. My navy felt hat (from Paris) and a yellow wool cap (from Amazon) now act as camoflage for my wound. Much better. (There’s a picture of my hat in happier times, below)
The day after I came home from Jenny’s and Simon’s home, my darling great-grandson Edward (6) fell from the fort in the school playground. The poor little boy fractured his radius and ulna which were realigned under a general anaesthetic.
. Jenny again put her hand up to help Claire and Bhen, in spite of her days off from a heavy workload to look after me. The great-grandmother did nothing except visit for a few minutes.
We still walk gingerly, my husband and I. We don’t go far from home. But at least we’re alive and moving. And improving. And here I am, writing a blog just when I’d begun to think I’d never write another one. You can read more about this story here.
Oh my goodness – you have all certainly had a rough trot. Here’s hoping that you, John and the rest of the family are past the worst of it. Your candid posts are refreshing and encouraging; they put me in mind of arms outstretched to invite connection. Thank you (and that hat! Gorgeous!).
Oh, Sherene, thank you for your lovely comment. I’m glad you enjoy my posts and I love connecting with you. And yes my hat is fun and I tell myself, flattering.
I do hope you receive this message and comment okay. I will be in touch soon by other means anyway.
But I am so sorry to hear of all the drama that the last few weeks have thrown at you. You seem to have weathered these storms well considering the extent of the challenges and you are so brave to have written about these challenges too. Writing about them maybe helps you to fling away the trauma of the set back and free you to a degree. Let’s hope so. I do wish you both well so things go more smoothly over the next months.
Loads of good wishes to you Maureen x Trish
Yes, thank you for commenting. I look forward to hearing from you, and expect you’ll be back in Perth soon. I’m really glad I got around to writing a blog this afternoon. I think I’m still a little affected by the concussion I received, and thought I’d give up writing a blog. But writing as you know, is very therapeutic for me, and I enjoy sharing my stories. It always sets me free, as you so wisely point out. Thank you for your good wishes. I’ve missed you while you’ve been away.
Goodness me Maureen, you have been having a bad trot. I hope you’re fully recovered from the bang to the head, and best of luck with your oral surgeon appointment. And wishing John a full recovery too.
(By the way, I can empathise with the dental work issues, after having 5 crowns – some root canals as well – I’m officially traumatised and hate dentist appointments too!)
Thanks, Fiona. It’s good to hear from you. Crowns and root canals seemed like a good idea all those years ago, and I didn’t realise they could go wrong. But I had an abscess near the end of the root, which I hope has resolved after a course of antibiotics. Only people who’ve had poor experiences understand how a person can hate dentist appointments.
So sorry , what a series of frustrations you have all coped with. The dental treatment will be a “breeze” after everything else.
I love your confidence, Maureen. Dental treatment! I hate it. Thank you for your sympathy and kind comment.
Oh, my goodness, what a time you’ve had. And painful to boot!
I do hope you all recover very soon.
Yes, Sue, not a fun time. But hopefully getting better by the day’ Thank you for your kind wishes.
This came across my feed – after a long hiatus. I do love your posts, Helen, and I’m sorry things happened in more than the touted threes for you! We are in the proverbial washing machine health wise ourselves – so thanks for this post. Gave me heart.
Hi, Deb. Good to hear from you and thanks for the comment. I’m not sure why you haven’t had a post recently. I write one almost every week. Sad to hear you are in a health whirlpool. Look after yourselves.
Goodness! I am so sorry that all of that happened. Heres’ hoping a speedy recovery and brighter days ahead. love Michele
Thank you for your kind wishes, Michele. We are slowly working towards recovery, and looking forward to a few nice outings next week. xx
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