2010 — 9 August: Monday

A somewhat slow start.1 It's already 09:22 — good (un)job I'm retired. Mind you, things seem pretty quiet around here (not counting the Bach) so I guess a lot of folk are away in full-on bucket and spade mode elsewhere. Which gives me an idea.

Business first, however. I shall pop over to the care-home and arrange a rendezvous with the GP. Not without breakfast and a cuppa, though.

When scientists disagree

I was tickled to see who wrote this, and when:

Princeton is a madhouse: its solipsistic luminaries shining in separate & helpless desolation. Einstein is completely cuckoo.

Robert Fulford, quoting Jeremy Bernstein, quoting "Oppy" in National Post

I shall keep a gentle eye out for this new book.

In the bewildered world...

... of the elderly mentally infirm — a world, moreover, into which I sometimes feel I am now being pitched at bewildering speed — Time flows gently hither and yon at its own sweet choice of pace and direction. Still, having first had a useful and reassuring chat with "da management", I then sat with dear Mama to make sure she nibbled her way through quite a bit of a nice-looking fillet of fish with the usual sort of stuff and a slice of chocolate cake before finally beetling back over here to a very late lunch of my own. Now it's already 17:07 and I'm left thinking "Hang on. Where did the day go? I haven't got anything done yet, dammit." But I squeezed in some supplies shopping, and I'm staring vacantly at the green bin thinking "Don't forget to put that out tonight".

The GP will be in on Thursday but, as part of the exercise is to take a snapshot of dM's state now, rather than revisiting how she arrived at it, I was told I would actually serve little or no useful purpose2 by being there. Obviously, I will get involved at any subsequent decision-making conferences but (so far) and (of course, strictly off the record) all medically-experienced parties I've canvassed (up to and including the Kamp Kommandant herself — a delightful lady, honestly) have predicted a diagnosis of some flavour of dementia, causing a severe loss of short-term, erm, what's it called? No, not aphasia. And a degree of natural confusion and befuddlement that may or may not gradually wear off. Her latest fall, and her current infection, didn't help, though she still remembers the incident at least vaguely (and it was over 36 hours ago). The bruised back probably keeps jogging her mind.

She shows signs of starting to take on board the idea that she now lives in a nursing home, though that didn't stop her asking about ten times "When do you think I can go home?" She is still rational on some level for short periods. Just after the meal and a cuppa, for example, there were some sparks of humour (to me, always a sign of a working mind). But her thoughts are obviously fighting through what must feel like the mental equivalent of a London Particular. She's not distressed, but is fed up (just as Christa became, actually). She again told me to pray that she goes to sleep and simply doesn't wake up. That (apart from the 'praying' bit) is an entirely rational thought in my book.

Checking around London Particulars...

... by the way, brought me to this delightful destination. Source and snippet:

Not wanting to waste the heinous amount of research that went into making sure that Edward the Blue Engine doesn't pull a train of clay in the wrong direction, the Awdry brothers published a volume called The Island of Sodor: Its People, History and Railways. This is not the sort of thing you would read to a three-year-old child. It barely even references the in-universe fact that the trains are alive. Not to mention the slightly traumatising information that the Fat Controller from the early stories is dead and it's now his identical grandson running things.

"Tom" in his blog

I was blissfully unaware of the factoid I've highlighted. It sounds a bit like the American academic who spent a lifetime of research proving that The Odyssey wasn't written by Homer, but by another Greek of the same name :-)



1  Evidently, I must have needed the sleep...
2  Relatives don't usually attend, it seems, even if the centre of attention is a little ol' lady largely absent one working brain. I gather family members tend to get upset... But from what I've already carefully observed in this care-home, I am confident they are doing, and will continue to do, everything possible to get dM into the most appropriate form of long-term nursing care. I couldn't do the job they do (but then, I don't imagine they could have done the job I did, either).