At The First Stroke It’ll Be….

Tuesday 4th May affords me a rare odyssey out of the home, chauffeuring Mrs Strachan senior to fulfil an appointment with a stroke consultant. To clarify, the scheduled meeting is with a neurologist at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield; not that my octogenarian forebear’s booked herself an afternoon swimming lesson.

On arrival at UK’s top hospital rhyming with Hinderfields, Maggie will be sporting a resplendent new hairstyle following this morning’s first follicle reduction for three months. A cut leaving her wire-like grey mane strewn across the floor, resulting in the kitchen floor full of fibrous hair remnants; manifesting notions of an explosion in a Brillo Pad factory.

As I write, I’m unsure whether COVID protocols will even allow me to accompany my mother into the medical establishment’s corridors and chambers. I’m assuming, as Mags will be in a wheelchair, I’ll be afforded access, but I’ve yet to attain confirmation from hospital staff.

Mater has made remarkable strides with her mobility since her release from Dewsbury Stroke Unit in the middle of March. Although, still cognitively afflicted, which’s more likely to deteriorate than improve, the old girl’s walking capability has seen encouraging development.

In fact, so ameliorated is the matriarch’s footwork, she reckoned her iPhone fitness app recorded her walking over 8,000 steps yesterday. As she hasn’t got an iPhone, I’m unsure who was more confused at the time, me or her.

God bless her, though, in a confused and distressed state, consequential of her early stage dementia, when asking about the reason for today’s tarry to Pinders, she required reassurance it wasn’t for the purposes of having her re-admitted to hospital, or worse entrance into a residential home.

Uncharacteristically for yours truly’s mischievous nature, I responded with empathy, re-assuring Maggie her mobility was better than when discharged and, as such, wouldn’t be kept in hospital today. And, as long as I was capable of undertaking the carers role, she’d not be transferring to a residential home…… Emotional support assurances I followed with a meander upstairs with a bottle of Tippex correction fluid to self-servingly amend her ‘Last Will & Testament’ in my favour over siblings Ian and Helen..

After all, I’m not subjecting myself to the strain of Mag’s full-time support provision for the good of my health!….. On the contrary, the role is exposing yours truly to stress levels which I posit won’t be good for my health…… Consequently, I fully deserve that danger money for undertaking such a fraught role!…… Incidentally, those observations are made with tongue very much lodged in teeth; I can assure you I’m not that mercenary.

Anyhow, since penning the last paragraph, I’ve learned that mum’s meeting with the Stroke Consultant was in fact over the telephone. A meeting which has just concluded…… It’s amazing what you learn when you correctly read an appointment letter.

A further boon from this news being it saves travelling time to and from Pinderfields; now allowing Maggie time for a swimming lesson!……. So she’ll, indeed, be able to engage with two different stroke consultants in one afternoon…… There you are, I’ve crowbarred in the same lukewarm gag twice in one blog……. Have you no shame, GJ Strachan?!……. I’d venture such a literary misdemeanour suggests clearly not!!

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