A post by The Blocked Dwarf
Mr G is not only a ‘one in a million’ [sic-the Landlady] husband but he’s also a good friend to me too . That picture is of the bench Mr G knocked up, in passing, the other day between mechanically hoisting (aka ‘her flying machine’-more on that in a minute) the Raccoon out of bed and varnishing the teak of the wherry (apparently the arse or blunt end of a boat is called the ‘stern’, who knew?). Let me just repeat that: He knows “Madame” enjoys talking to me, that my time on visits is limited by my own first world type problems and he knows I smoke-so he knocks up a bench so I can sit outside smoking and still talk with her! And I made full use of that bench this (Sunday) morning, sitting in the sunshine, smoking, talking with her and watching her watching the boat things go by. Obviously living with G she has gotten quite good at identifying boat-things and could tell me that the ones with bits of cloth above them are called ‘yachts’ (who knew?). She also recounted how, during the recent storms, those yachts were coming down the river-thing at great speed to avoid a fiery immolation due to something called “St.Elmo’s Fire” -which wasn’t, as I thought, a naff film and an even naffer song from my teenage years but an actual real thing…something to do with having a metal pole or metal capped pole sticking out of a bit of wood surrounded by wet-stuff in a thunder storm not being a particularly good idea?
In case you’re wondering why I just recounted that about the yachts & the Elmo’s fire (Pyromania On Sesame St.?) it’s because it demonstrates that despite the weak and feeble body of a cancer patient and hospice escapee she still has the mind of a Queen of the Blogosphere. She can recall an incident in all it’s colourful detail and recount it back in finished prose and (herein lies her real skill) make me, who has no Interest in boats at all, want to listen to it/read it.
After my last ‘Anna Raccoon Update’ post , Jonathan King quite rightly took me to task, in the sweetest possible way, for omitting to mention the most important thing; namely whether she still had her sense of humour (she has!). JK’s critique also made me realise I hadn’t said enough about how she is , both physically and mentally as there are apparently still people out there in the ‘bipolar furnace’ ( © David Rose) of twitter who think she has gone mad or, even, that she is faking her illness! In fact there are people out there who think she is Old Holborn in disguise, I kid you not.
So let’s ‘bench mark’ a bit more. Firstly her physical health: The first thing that struck me walking into hers at Far-Too-Bloody-Early-On-A-
A silly little anecdote, yes but there is a point. As with the ‘boat things’ it illustrates something. It says something , all sorts of things, about her lucidity…and about her lack of pain otherwise G would never have asked her. “By the little things shall ye know them”
But this first section was supposed to be about her physical health so I better get back to it.
I say she’s “dying of cancer” but that isn’t actually true. The cancer almost certainly won’t be what does for her. Any one of the 6 external and 20 or so internal tumours could kill her tomorrow but so far they show little inclination to do so. And yes you’d be right in assuming the only internal organ of hers without the cancer is her brain. As I said in my last piece; it will be an infection and/or sepsis that knocks her off her perch. Likely the next infection. Back when she went into the hospice the last time, Carol42 (another mutual friend whom barflys will remember) reminded me that there was a real danger of ‘Antibiotic resistance’, that the antibiotics would stop working for her and she, Carol, has been proven right. In fact her doctors have said that there probably isn’t much point in trying to antibiotic-a-cide the next infection; which is , of course, a death sentence however kindly expressed.
Time for another little anecdotal observation: Her eyebleedingly expensive ‘Orgas-Ma-Tron’ robotic, vibrating, bed is set up in a sideways ‘Z’ shape to prevent her sliding down too far. As we were chatting she pushed herself up the bed in bed, so she was sitting ‘higher’ having slipped down a little. Anyone who has worked in nursing will know instantly what that says about her upper body strength. First thing I was taught on the geriatric ward where I was a Volunteer Nursing Assistant, and I do mean the very first thing, was: Never attempt to pull a patient, however small and delicate they might appear, back up a bed on your own. You will damage them and damage you. It takes two strong nurses and, depending on the patient, maybe even 4 (under each arm and leg). She did it with almost no visible effort, despite a tumour in her left bingo wing that looks like a poisonous violet tennis ball, tumours in her neck and with vertebrae torn asunder by tumours which now press on her spinal column. Before going down to see her I got in the shower at the wrong angle and locked my facets again; I doubt I could stem myself up in bed at the moment. She likes to claim that it is only possible due to the special ‘frictionless’ sheets she uses. Sheets which are hand woven with genuine silk by Chinese silk weavers from the finest organic silk from the last Emperor’s personal silk worms then carried by hand all the way to Europe under guard by genuine Ninjas …at least that’s what I assume is the justification for their £800 price tag a set (and she has two sets)! But to be frank I think she was trying to spare my embarrassment at wincing every time I got out of the chair to go and smoke on that bench.
I promised earlier to explain about the ‘marvellous mechanical flying machine’ , which also leads nicely into the next post which will be more little anecdotes but this time to illustrate the Landlady’s state of mind-or at any rate my impressions of it. Then there is nothing like “your naked arse suspended in mid air being wiped by a stranger” [sic] to make most people a bit a ‘depressed’ , a bit ‘this isn’t how I envisaged my death’.
The problem is she has lived too long. Every time she has been sent home from a hospital or hospice her doctors and carers have assumed she was going home to die within a matter of days- to pass peacefully from this Vale Of Tears whilst her loving husband dabbed her fevered brow with a sweet smelling handkerchief and saying all the right things (which of course is total bollocks; a Raccoon gets home, tells G to put the kettle on ,fires up the computer and finds some online windmill that requires the sharp end of the lance of her mighty pen) . This erroneous assumption on the part of her doctors and nurses means no therapy was undertaken to keep her legs from losing what little strength she had- which wasn’t much but she could still get out of bed with assistance and sit herself on the commode. So now she has to have her ‘flying coat’ placed under her which then is connected to the hoist and she is lifted aloft and deposited on the commode.
As she says herself “dignity -there is none!”.