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Early morning

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Good morning ladies

We are mid heatwave here in Zürich and to be honest I can’t remember it being as hot as this in ages. I probably notice it more because the office I work in is verging on the unbearable with no air conditioning, being surrounded by building sites and a main road, so opening the windows is a bit of a no go ….and about seven million computer screens happily exuding heat. My ladies don’t like having the fan on (because of draughts), so there is only one thing for it…..sitting and melting (or sweating excessively!). But as it isn’t raining and the sun is shining I’m not going to complain.

Last week I finally made it to my goal – and can now happily tell you thatI have survived moving mum to her new home and the audit at work and I’m off on a (very well-deserved) holiday soon.

We have however had a little more drama on the way.

Last Monday I spent the evening trying to reach mum in her flat – no joy, but I thought it was unlikely she was out. The manager of the senior living facility went to check that she hadn’t collapsed or anything…nope, no-one there. By 11.30 English time I realised that no, she couldn’t possibly be at a church event and that something must be wrong.

So I started the lovely task of ringing round the hospitals in the middle of the night….

I hit the jackpot first time. Yes, at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle…’she’s in Ward 22, but they are very busy. Can you call back in half an hour?’. (It’s already 12.45 my time and I have to get up at 6….). I spend the time googling and giving myself a shock when I realise that Ward 22 is the ward for major orthopaedic trauma. Broken hip anyone?

The minutes tick by. At 1.30am I finally make it through the ether and reach a lovely nurse, who tells me that mother is fine. She tripped over in Northumberland Street and landed on her face. She may have broken her nose and she is a big mess, but essentially she is fine. Nothing majorly orthopaedic is broken. She is drinking tea and happily chatting to the nurses and I am able to talk to her and she seems fine (but unfortunately less than beautiful). They are keeping her overnight for observation and to run some more tests.

I am relieved but there is so much adrenalin rushing through my blood that I can’t sleep and end up heading off to deal with the auditors on 2 and a half hours sleep. (Not recommended).

The next morning I ring the senior living facility to keep them in the loop and speak to the hospital again. Mother is fine; she is a trooper and must have very good bones as yet again, nothing is broken; she will be taken home in an ambulance. I talk to her again and she is quite jolly (enjoying the attention?) and full of praise for the kindness of the nurses and their tea-making ability.

I speak to her again once she is back home – a delicious salad is waiting for her as she has missed lunch – the facility are really very good. (It helped that I primed them to do this). She is fine. Battered but fine and not in any pain.

The next morning I receive a concerned phone call from the centre manager who has just returned from holiday. He is letting me know that my mother has had an accident, but is fine……? I tell him that I know this and I am the one who informed them….

He has spoken to mother who insists that none of her family know about the accident and he particularly must not tell me because I will worry and make a big drama out of it….


Have I made a big drama????

Failing memory I can deal with (plus I assume in this case mixed with a case of good old fashioned shock), but I do have a problem with mother instructing people not to tell me what is happening…. That is not fair…

We had words…..

Several times….

I hope she now understands that this is not a kind thing to do or say….

Thankfully, as the manager happily informed me, he is happy to ignore her request as he is obliged to tell me. I’m rather pleased about this. It feels like I have a spy on my side.

Sorry about the length of this. I was going to tell you about spectacularly mis-matched socks, but I’ll save that for another day as the office is calling.

I hope the sun is shining on you, wherever you are!

8 Responses to “Early morning”

  1. Leanne Says:

    Gosh, a fan does not give you a draught, it makes the hot air move a bit which is helpful. I hope you are not melting too badly, I love the air conditioning at my office and wish it was at my house. As for your mum, there are some things that maybe can be done regarding the memory before it is too bad, I assume you are having that checked out. The don’t tell x or y might not be about you so much as about the memory loss thing. I am so glad she is so sturdy at least.

  2. Amy at love made my home Says:

    Get yourself a little usb powered fan, they give just enough blow directly on your face to give some relief, but it will not provide any relief – or drafts! – to anyone else. Sorry about the difficulties with your Mum, at least she is alright and doesn’t seem bothered by the experience, I guess that is something, even if no comfort to you. xx

  3. Diane stanley Says:

    All this time I thought you moved your mum to a place where they live with assistance. I didn’t know she could go out on her own and such. That’s a bit scary seeing that she has the forgetfulness. Hoping her bruises heal quickly and you have a restful vacation.

  4. Betty Says:

    Hi Helen, so many worries about mothers. i so recognise that. I agree with Leanne, that the forgetfulness might be the major issue in her saying that.
    A lot of people changewhen they get older, mostly for the worse. Matbe that tiny laquered finish is coming off now and then …
    You’re doing everything you can!

  5. Vreni Says:

    It sounds all too familiar, your story with your mum. Mine did a similar thing not too long ago; escaped from the home she’s living now and went down a steep hill in her wheelchair and tipped over, wheelchair and all. Luckily also no broken bones, but looked like she had been in a boxing match. It really feels like we have an additional child in the family, doesn’t it? I wouldn’t take it too seriously that she doesn’t want you to know, deep down I’m sure she’s embarrassed, like my mum was, as it meant that they are getting really old. I hope it has cooled down a bit in Zurich as well in the meantime.

  6. Thimbleanna Says:

    Oh dear — what a worry when you couldn’t find your mum! Reading through your comments — isn’t it sad that so many of us are watching our parents decline? At least we’re in good company. ;-D I hope things will cool off there — our summer so far has been cooler than usual — and VERY wet!

  7. Julie B. Says:

    You could add a new word to your website url, Helen: runquiltknitwritesherlock. (Even though Sherlock isn’t a verb.)

    You were brilliant in tracking your mom down, and I’m so glad she’s really okay.

    You are a woman of so many talents, and one with a good heart too. xoxo

  8. Swissrose Says:

    Oh nooo…!! 😮 I do hope she’ll be ok, what a fright you must have had – presumably she was able to give her details to those at the hospital, since you found her, but surely she ought to carry some kind of ID so that the hospital could have informed the assistants at the home??!! Oh dear.
    At this end, anti-psychotics have finally been prescribed to Granny, who has become so anxious about “the man”. Fingers crossed they help her without any side-effects 🙁

    We all seem to be in the same sort of situation, don’t we! And I still have my parents to come….!!!

    Hugs xx (and phew, this morning it was COLD at Ermatingen on the shore in the wind!!!)