the last visible dog (intertext) wrote,
the last visible dog

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Further developments on the elder millstone front

So I phoned her when I said I would, to find out how things went with the public health visitor. If I had been in a video game, I would have been knocked backwards by the ice that came down the phone when she heard it was me. When I asked her how she was, she said "Not Well At All Today" I suspect that she'd either had time to think about what a rotten person I am, or had been nattering with her Other Friend, another senior, about Young People Today and how thoughtless and generally nasty they are.

Apparently she was Suffering some kind of Stomach Ailment. She's complained of nebulous and indeterminate IBS for decades - now, as one who actually suffers a form of this myself, I do sympathise, but on the other hand can hardly be held responsible if someone eats something she shouldn't, and in any case this Ailment has nothing to do with the pneumonia that had kept her in the hospital. Also, I tend to get less sympathetic when she says "this has been going on for the last few days" and I ask "was it happening when you were in the hospital?" and she says "no..." but she was IN the hospital "the last couple of days..." The implication, of course, was that I had Upset her, and all the Stress had caused this latest Upset. She also declared that she Hadn't Slept a Wink All Night (and it was All My Fault, I could tell).

Not much joy from the health visitor, apparently. She can get home help, but - gee, what a concept - she'll have to pay for it. If you genuinely can't afford it, you get it free, but if you can afford it, you pay. Fair enough. This woman probably thinks she shouldn't have to pay (she no doubt thinks I would be a good "home help") So we are at an impasse. Or she is. But she can wait till doomsday if she thinks I'm going to offer to come and clean for her.

And if those of you who know me are wondering about the distinct note of vitriole that is seeping into this (I don't usually eat little old ladies for breakfast), I should point out that this was a woman who visited my mother for tea every week for about twenty years without ever, in my mother's words, so much as bringing a packet of biscuits or making any truly thoughtful or unselfish gesture. When my mother was dying, she didn't go and visit her in the hospital or come to the house when she came home at the end, or send flowers or a card either to her when she was ill or to me after she died. She got shirty with me at one point because I dared to let some time go by without updating her by phone on my mother's condition. And, what I probably will never forgive her for, she couldn't make the effort to get out of bed an hour or so early in order to get to the church by 10:30 am for my mother's memorial service. But of course I had to phone her afterwards and let her know how it went and send her a copy of the obituary and of the service etc etc etc.

Perhaps my lack of enthusiasm for this project becomes clearer?
Tags: grumpy grump grump

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