wings and things

Routine to the rescue

on July 16, 2015

I’m not crazy about the idea of routine and now that I am once again a lady of leisure unemployed, there is even less incentive to exit the world of spontaneity and knuckle down.

In my recent interview with the finding-another-job people, I stated that I only wanted part-time work because I liked to spend the afternoons with Anthony in the nursing home. I also stated that I would be happy to do something completely different from my previous jobs (lecturer, nurse etc.) So it’s with a degree of mild excitement that I am now looking at outside-the-box possibilities. We shall see!

In the meantime, I have settled into a routine of being with Anthony from just before noon until about 4pm. This way, I can help him with his lunch; make sure he is warm enough; get him comfortable in his electrical armchair; give him chocolate, bananas and beer (but not all at the same time); and just be there, very close, one hand on his head and the other hand inside both of his.

This arrangement is great and our mutual friends and relatives now visit us at the nursing home. I am free to make visitors coffee or tea (our friend, C, visited this afternoon and it actually did feel like we were all home at the farm). I also have plenty of long-lasting snacks in Anthony’s cupboard, you know, like nuts and stuff, plus red wine, brandy, scotch and warm beer. The ready availability of this kind of sustenance also helps to make Anthony’s room homey and, I hope, welcoming.

If I am meeting friends for lunch, I simply go to see Anthony a bit later in the afternoon and then stay later in order to help him with his dinner. So I think the fact that I am now always there in the afternoon has become something he can now rely on; it gives both of us a definite daily expectation. It also frees my whole morning up so I can do other things like the exhilarating tasks of housework, washing and cooking for a fussy son ha!

Sometimes I feel incredibly lazy and unproductive sitting on the side of Anthony’s armchair with him, watching Dr Phil or a television series, or Master Chef. But, thanks to either the ‘pause’ or ‘mute’ buttons, I can always stop whatever show is on and we can converse with each other and/or visitors, AND the wonderful staff who are so affectionate and friendly to both of us

Today, Anthony was quite vocal and ‘with-it’ until about 3pm when he thought his mother’s eye-glasses were on the floor (yes, the hallucinations are getting worse but not distressing yet, like they used to be at home).

Anthony: You are popular, Jules.
Me: What do you mean?
Anthony: Everyone always wants to know when you will be here.
Me: No, it is YOU who is popular, Ants! The staff here love you!
Anthony: I don’t think so – I think it’s you.
Me: Rubbish, Ants!
Anthony: I beg to differ.

But a couple of hours after this lucid conversation, as I was about to leave to come home:

Me: I’m off now to do the grocery shopping, Ants, okay?
Anthony: Is everything in the shed?
Me: Of course!
Anthony: What about the calves?
Me: They’re fine; Ming is taking care of it – don’t worry.
Anthony: Don’t be too long, Jules.
Me: I’ll be back as soon as I can.

And, after one last kiss, hug, joke, lie, I come back home to this beautiful farm and begin to accept that this new routine is working.

Anthony’s face is no longer as expressionless as it was six months ago….


He is smiling again!

42 responses to “Routine to the rescue

  1. That is so wonderful πŸ˜€

  2. How great to see a smile again.

  3. Amy says:

    :). It is so wonderful that you are writing about this journey.

  4. Colline says:

    I think what you are now doing is great. Not only for you but for Anthony as well. I am a great believer in routine as it gives comfort to children. I can see now that it gives comfort to the sick as well as their caregivers.

  5. Judy says:

    Anthony isn’t expressionless anymore – I thnk the “expression” is love conquers all.

  6. susanpoozan says:

    Your routine sounds absolutely perfect, it is obviously good for Anthony too.

  7. You are such a devoted wife.

  8. You are such a wonderful and devoted wife.

  9. tootlepedal says:

    Good for routine. I look forward to your job as a bricklayer.

  10. Terry says:

    What a great photo of Ants! I see nothing wrong with your routine. You are doing all you can and spending quality time with Ants. Love and hugs

  11. “I beg to differ”. He makes me happy. πŸ™‚

  12. ksbeth says:

    yay, for the return of the smile!

  13. I did notice a difference in his face as well Julie! Do symptoms come and go?

    I love how homey you’ve made it there Julie. ❀
    Diana xo

    • jmgoyder says:

      That wasn’t the best photo of the newfound smile. The symptoms do come and go but mostly it’s all pretty predictable – that’s why the return of the absent smile is so fantastic!

  14. I’m happy for you, that the routine seems to be working well for you. And hoping for the job that is right for you!… Diane

  15. bulldog says:

    Wow Ants looks good… good luck with the job search… but it certainly looks like your regular visits are doing Ants a lot of good… Sterkte friend…

    • jmgoyder says:

      Your Sterktes to me have made a big difference to my attitude, Bulldog – many thanks!

      • bulldog says:

        Being Afrikans speaking, through all Lindas cancers it was the one word that all our friends said…. it has a high regard in my mind and always gave me strength on a day to day basis

  16. Trisha says:

    How wonderful that you’ve found a routine that works and that has helped bring a smile back to that handsome face!

  17. you and i are lucky, our men are quite handsome! sorry i have been mia (missing in action). though i have not been writing (typing is painful at times) i have certainly been reading and catching up on life with your family.

    i send you all big warm hugs and love from the two of us:)

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