SLEEPING ON THE FLOOR WITH LUCY
Lucy brought me so much pleasure and comfort during this time; our days seemed to be grinding to a halt, but I did my best to push all negative thoughts from my mind – “three weeks to live” – I was in a surreal world. I was determined to enjoy each precious moment with my dear man, I still wanted to get him out of the house into the fresh air; but his walking was almost non existent and it was extremely difficult getting him in and out the car – however, where there’s a will, there’s a way!
I was having a real problem getting Alan in and out of our King Size Bed – his brain was no longer sending the signals to his legs and feet and he couldn’t help me maneuver his body. He was becoming a dead weight which I tried to lift, and even placing a draw sheet on top of our regular sheets, and trying to pull that to slide him over to reposition him was very difficult. Eventually, I conceded that I needed to get a hospital bed, and then had to arrange for some “muscle” to come and move our king size to another room, and generally move all the furniture about. Hospice promptly delivered the bed, and because I wanted to be with him I started sleeping alongside him on the floor with Lucy. Eventually, my back couldn’t take it, and I knew I needed to get a single bed.
Rashanee, one of my soul sisters kindly gave me a folding wheelchair she had used for her husband before he’d gone into a Nursing Home. That was such a blessing, I was able to fold it up and put it in the back of the car, so we were ambulatory once more. One day, after a bit of a struggle I got him into the car and we went to the Shopping Mall so that I could purchase a single bed, and I pushed him around in the chair – I actually hate shopping, but just doing something so normal as wandering around the shops felt such a wonderful release, if only for an hour or so.
Each day I would put him into the wheelchair so that we could both take Lucy for a walk. Unfortunately, one morning part of the sidewalk gave way, and the wheelchair tipped over. Fortunately, Alan was strapped in so he wasn’t hurt, although I was. I managed to get the chair and Alan upright again and we went back home, and I phoned the City, who eventually came and replaced that stretch of sidewalk – now, every time I walk that way just seeing the new concrete reminds me – memories everywhere!
We never saw the Hospice Nurse who had been assigned to us again; instead it was a different lady each time, all with varying degrees of compassion, who usually spent most of their time complaining about the extra workload they had. Another lady did come once a week, just to check Alan’s blood pressure and wrote up notes as to how we were were coping, she also gave me information on how to manipulate Alan by backing his rear end into a seat, or bed, then swinging his legs around – that was very useful information.
During this time, at the back of my mind, was my question to Alan about renewing our wedding vows, and his response of “course I would”. Alan’s mother was Scottish and he was very proud of his heritage, so I tried to make contact with a Scottish Priest we had met on a few occasions. Although weren’t part of his congregation, I knew he would be the ideal person as he was always very jovial. Unfortunately, making contact with him proved quite a task, and I feared we were running out of time.