Tuesday, 14 July 2015

For Worse

I'll tell you lot another story from work as you seem to like those.  It follows on from something I heard on  Radio 4's science programme 'The Infinite Monkey Cage'.  Have I ever told you that I started off doing a physics degree at university?  Had any of the blokes on the course been quite as hot as Prof Brian Cox then I might have been tempted to continue!  On the show they mentioned that scientists hadn't got to the bottom of what love is.  All that experimentation and there isn't a method to work that one out.  'That's rubbish' said  Lou during a snuggle. 'I know what it is'.  I think all of us do when we see and feel it.

There's something about sticking in there even when the other person isn't being particularly nice.  'I hate you mummy!!!!' screamed the toddler.  'I'm not liking you at this moment but I still love you'. replied the mother.  Parents may have all been here.   Oh, by the way this doesn't mean that persistent abuse within any relationship is acceptable.  If you're in this position please review your options. However most of  us are pretty  vile  to those who we hold most dear from time to time when stressed, tired or exasperated.  The expectation of forgiveness will be part of the love equation if the boffins ever work it out.

Last week Ibiza Queen Vikki went out to do an assessment together.  We're learning to put the new found skills that we learnt on our recent course/jolly into practice and putting two heads together is a good way of doing this.  Our travels took us to a residential home where we'd been asked to see a woman who lives there with her husband.  She'd been there for ages but still doesn't know where she is or why she's there.  Because she is so frightened and doesn't understand what's going on she attacks the carers every time they try to help her.   As she's forgotten how personal hygiene or going to the loo works this is a pretty dire state of affairs.

We met her and just chatted for a few minutes as she could not tolerate more from strangers.  Even though this was nothing threatening the look of fear did not leave her face.  I can normally get a smile out of the most reluctant people but not this time.  Moreover the woman got quite angry when she was failing  to understand even simple language. This was one of the saddest situations that I'd seen for a very long while.

What will stay with me for a long time is that her husband did not leave her side.  He held her hand and stroked it.  She asked the same three questions repeatedly  'Where are we?', 'Can we go to bed now?' and 'What's that over there?' over and over again with distress in her voice.  Each time he answered with patience and compassion.  She calmed momentarily and then the angst returned.

When it was time for us to go Ibiza Queen Vikki took the woman back to the dining room in her wheelchair and I had a brief moment alone with her husband.  I asked him if he knew what a brilliant job he was doing.  He didn't but he was very keen to let me know what a beautiful intelligent woman his wife had been.  I told him that I'd guessed that.

There's no easy answers sometimes in my job.  Vikki and I had tears in our eyes when we were discussing what to do afterwards.  We were bowled over by this man's love and compassion.  Just maybe we've started to think of a plan that might alleviate some of that extreme distress.  What's clear is that this could be an even worse situation if love wasn't in the equation.


  1. I don't know how you do your job. I'd be an absolute emotional blubbing wreck xxx

  2. I do hope I never get to that stage. I think I'd prefer a visit to Beachy Head.

  3. You have brought tears to my eyes too. I hope that you can help this lady and her wonderful husband. Please let us know if you succeed. X

  4. I read this morning and was too choked up to comment. My mom was not to that stage but her last year of life she was always sickly, cranky, not wanting to leave the house, and just plain ready to be done with life. I don't now how many times I stopped by and there would be my dad sitting next to her just holding her hand.63 years of marriage-I was a tail end baby after 20 years, so never witnessed the young stage love, but in hindsight, I didn't need to.

  5. Bless you for not only doing your job but also trying to find a solution for the poor woman. I take my hat of to you and your colleagues. Chapeau, as they say in France.