Only during Juliet’s tea today did I realise that in practical terms she can no longer feed herself. I’ve cut up her food and fed her at every meal today. She really doesn’t like my having to do that – if I don’t pay attention, she’ll grab the fork and try and do it herself. That’s if she can actually find the fork. Forget coordinating the knife. She even had trouble putting a single chocolate in her mouth this evening. And when she did some freelance manipulation of banana custard this evening – messy.
I had a hurried lunch with J – fish and chips, so it must be Friday – and then went for my dentists’ appointment. Forty minutes of discomfort, rather than pain, consisting of two jabs in my gum, drilling and grinding out some of the old filling, removing some decayed tooth and filling it with new “amalgam”. It wasn’t too bad, certainly not how I remember it from childhood which is pretty much the last time I had major fillings done. The pretty blonde dentist gave me a running commentary, although I could have done without “this bit might tingle the nerve, so just raise your hand if it does and we’ll give you a top-up” (of anaesthetic, i.e. another jab in the gum).
It felt worse afterwards, as my jaw felt like Quagmire‘s (cartoon character) and my jaw started to ache as the afternoon went on. Went for a haircut though and a couple of errands around town before returning to Katharine House, just as the fire alarm was sounding and various staff streaming out into the grounds. I spoke with Mandi & Katie, our Macmillan nurses, although not about Juliet which was strange. The in-patient nurses and their patients don’t evacuate except as a last resort. The false alarm was soon over and I took my yellow roses in to Juliet. She had slept through the fire alarms.
The head nurse (why don’t we just call them “Sister”??) gave me a letter from Neil Gadsby, thanking me for the chat the other day, sympathising with the fact we were in KH and to let him know if any care was falling short. I also had many staff complimenting me on my piano playing which I’d been doing again earlier this morning. I didn’t think they could hear it all the way down the corridor but they go up and down the corridor a lot. I’m particularly keen on “Lullaby of Birdland” at the moment.
And so to J’s tea of poached eggs on toast / banana custard. I wept at the end of it, it’d been a long day, my jaw ached and I now have to feed my wife. I told the nurses, but they know – I now realize that one of them asked me at lunchtime if she should stay and feed J.
Let’s finish with a nice photo, Juliet and Lucy in our garden in Southborough, 2nd October 1994, so Lucy almost two years old.