Like many good publications, I've moved from a daily edition, to a weekly, to a monthly, to a quarterly...no doubt that means this will be the last post until 2022! Some people know me on Facebook, and recently I've been taking up more time with another social media outlet called ello. I think you can find me here https://ello.co/notabene do give it a go, as it's full of nice pictures!
Health has been the pressing concern of 2016. The Cat's Mother's mother was in hospital in January for an op to remove a growth. Amazingly she's bounced back and is the life and soul of the party again, whilst the rest of us are flagging.
Overseas, Grandpa in Cyprus finally got admitted to Nicosia General Hospital to have his aorta replaced with a plastic one. Apart from the obvious concerns this has caused, it brought up a whole load of logistical ones too. Fortunately he got through the operation well, although has subsequently had to have a week back in the hospital because of an infection. In truth, he is not a good patient, and he has tried the patience of friends, family and hospital staff. I flew over for a week to help the process at the beginning, and it was a good job I did otherwise it would have been a disaster...the admissions process appeared to be a matter of wandering around the hospital until you find the surgeon's secretary who will issue a slip which you then take to a reception desk before being pointed in the direction of the records department who will then give you your files to take up to the ward...there was more, but i can't bear to think about it!
Mum and I stayed for a couple of days in Nicosia to be close during the operation....it's about an hour or more away from 'home', and she no longer drives. We had time to kill during the days, but I can't say that I would recommend it as a holiday destination, although we did find one quite nice museum. After he had successfully got through the operation and was on the road to (painful) recovery I headed back to England. My brother arrived as I left...our flights crossed in the skies above Cyprus. He had said he would stay for 10 days, and spent that time running around helping out, and taking mum backwards and forwards to the hospital. After a week, the patient came home so there was a lot to be done to look after him, so it was disappointing that he had to be re-admitted to Nicosia the day before Kevin was due to return home. That evening it all got too much for Grandma and she collapsed...fortunately it turned out to be 'only' exhasution and stress...we had initially feared a stroke. She was admitted to the local hospital. So Kevin had to cancel his plans, and has spent a further week over there than he expected. Mum returned home after a couple of days, and Grandpa returned the day before yesterday.
We are hoping for a more straightforward path to recovery now.
I think my brother has been an absolute saint, putting aside his homelife to care for them in Cyprus...I have never been more in awe of him.
But the whole thing leaves many questions as yet unanswered. It's hard enough when parents live down the road when they get older...a five hour flight away makes the situation impossibly difficult. Kevin (in particular and I) have stepped up to the mark...but I can't help but feel that Grandpa's fanily have been woefully lacking. We were able to jump this time, but it isn't something that can be assumed in future...that isn't good, nor does it make us feel good or confident. Grandma and Grandpa need to carefully consider implications for the future - there are going to be many weeks ahead when they are dependent on friends, and who knows beyond that whether that is reasonable? Perhaps some home help would make all the difference, and that is something they will need to look at. There are more questions, but perhaps this is not the place to ask, let alone answer them.