wings and things

“Can I get you anything from the shop, Ants?”

on November 19, 2014

This has pretty much become my exit strategy lately when leaving Ants and coming home from the nursing home. I say I am just going up to the shop to get some eggs (just as if we are home), then I ask if he wants anything, like chocolate or cake or cheese or bananas and sometimes he says yes to one or more of these items. “Don’t be too long,” he sometimes says and I promise that I will be as quick as I can. If I have been at the nursing home since 11am or earlier, I leave at around 3.30-4pmish; if I have only arrived to help him with his lunch, I will often stay until 5.30pm so I can help him with his dinner (his ability to feed himself fluxuates a lot) Occasionally, like yesterday, I take the day off and Ming visits for me, or my indispensable mother does.

My exit strategy is a ruse of course, a way of leaving Anthony that deceives him into thinking that I am coming back soon but, after weeks of using this, at first tentatively, but now confidently, I am convinced that this is much better than saying, “I’m going home now, Ants – I’ll see you tomorrow.” If I say that, I have to explain at length that he is in a nursing home and this is the kind of conversation that happens, when he is able to talk:

ANTHONY: Why can’t I come too?
ME: Because of your Parkinson’s disease, remember?
ANTHONY: But I’m getting better!
ME: I know, but you are still too heavy for me to bring home.
ANTHONY: Well can you tell those kids [the staff] to keep an eye out for me?
ME: Of course!

Sometimes this kind of conversation goes on and on and on and might be prolonged by Anthony’s hallucinations that there are dogs, cattle or even snakes in his room, all of which I have to dispel before I can leave; sometimes he is unable to speak at all and will simply grab my hand and snuggle it up to his face; sometimes he will be asleep when I leave so I tell the staff.

This afternoon, this was our conversation:

ME: I’m just going down to the shop, Ants. Do you want anything?
ANTHONY: Love – a lot of it.
ME: I’ll give you a bit now [hug] but I’ll get 100 kilos of it and bring it back soon, okay?

And he smiled his beautiful new slow smile and let me go….

28 responses to ““Can I get you anything from the shop, Ants?”

  1. susanpoozan says:

    You are so clever, it is heart warming to read how you cope with the situation you have found yourself in.

  2. ksbeth says:

    what a fantastic strategy and approach –

  3. Simple is good.. and he always knows you’ll be back. He just doesn’t know the timing…Diane

  4. You add so much sunshine to my day.

  5. You and your love are brilliant.

  6. Terry says:

    You have found the perfect answer to a difficult situation!!

  7. tootlepedal says:

    I’ll ask my local shopkeeper for a bucket of love next time I am in.

  8. Trisha says:

    It is heartwarming to picture that beautiful new smile.

  9. Meg says:

    Can I send a message to your wonderful tootlpedal friend, and mine? Apart from delighting in Juli’s posts, I often look for your name in the comments, and what you write always either warms the cockles of my heart, or makes me grin. What great
    memories I have of visiting you and your lovely wife in the picturesque surroundings you have created in your beautiful B&B, when I was over for my grand daughter’s wedding in Scotland.Your blog friendship with my daughter, brought this about, a memory I cherish. You both gave me a bucket of love I still dip into.

  10. Luanne says:

    What a smart way to handle this. You are being kind to him.

  11. Tiny says:

    Both brilliant and heart warming!

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