So, Mum was moved quite suddenly from the hospital to a nursing home the other day.
Fortunately, given that some of the possible moves could have been some distance away, they have actually sent her to a place just down the road from me and I can be there on my bike in less than 10 minutes so a great result!
On Tuesday night we picked up my Sis to go an visit her. Sis hasn't tended to visit in the evenings during the week as she works long hours and so by the time she gets home, feeds the family and gets herself sorted it really too late and Mum would be too tired for visitors.
That's been fine as my step dad spend several hours each day with Mum and I pop in for an hour or so each evening and then Sis spends as much time as she can with her at weekends. She doesn't go short of company.
Anyway, Sis was keen to see the new place and see Mum was happy and settled so SD and I swung by and picked her up.
I've often passed this particular nursing home, in fact many years ago I worked at the building next door and often used to drop any magazines I'd read off for the residents but I'd never been inside.
I've got to say that after the uber modern and bright atmosphere in the hospital I was a little taken aback by the decor of the nursing home.
As my step father said - it's rather reminiscent of a 1930's boarding house and I was just itching to splash a bit of paint around and just generally give it a good tidy up.
It's not so much that it was untidy, just SO cluttered and (despite that fact that I am no domestic goddess) I struggle with clutter.
That's probably just me though, someone else may find it homely and certainly the residents seem content enough.
The young carer who showed us in offered to take us to Mums room.
'Stairs or lift' she asked.
I would obviously have chosen stairs as I have a strong aversion to lifts but Sis beat me to it and chose the lift.
I'm not sure she will make THAT mistake again!
The lift was the teeniest, tiniest lift I have EVER seen - the three of us just about squeezed in together and then, as the doors closed, I noticed that in my corner there was a little puddle on the floor. I looked at it, looked at Sis, looked back at the puddle and lifted one leg. The carer looked at me standing on one leg, glanced at the puddle and then we all looked straight ahead until the lift came to a shuddering halt.
Mum's room is considerably smaller than the one in the hospital and, although a little shabby like the rest of the place it does have a more homely feel to it than a hospital ward.
One thing she does have is a state of the art bed which is so important given that she is not at all mobile right now.
I sat on the only chair in the room while Sis had a little nose around checking out Mums bathroom and making sure that all her personal things had come with her from the hospital.
'Sit on the end of the bed urged Mum when she was done'.
There was an odd popping kind of sound coming from the bed. Sis giggled ...
'It's the same noise as in hospital' she told Mum - 'I thought it was you and you had a bad case of wind but I didn't like to mention it'.
'It's not ME' said Mum looking slightly affronted.
' I knew it wasn't you Mum' I said hastily (and therefore establishing myself as the favourite daughter) - 'it's the hydraulics in the bed'.
'Well' said Sis - ' It wasn't just ME who thought it was Mum - so did step dad!'.
We all giggled for a bit given that we share a similar sense of humour.
Then we got on to talking about the other things that we have in common - the things that perhaps Mum had passed on to her daughters.
'Well' I said - 'I've got your wide feet, your collapsing veins and your god awful tendency to gurn in photos!'
Mum looked contrite - 'Sorry' she said, 'but surely I've passed on SOMETHING good ...'
We looked at each other for a while in silence ...
Eventually I hit on something!
'I know' I told her - 'I'm not scared of snakes - 'THAT'S definitely something I get from you!'
Mum looked relieved that she had actually done something positive for her youngest until I made the mistake of adding.
'But we don't actually GET snakes in England do we ...'
Then we all giggled a bit more and remembered that she's passed on her fear of heights to me too!
While we were sitting there I'd observed something odd about Mum - she appeared to be rippling ...
I didn't like to say anything because she seemed to be unaware of it and anyway, why SHOULDN'T you ripple in your own bed if you want to so I just ignored it. Mum was happy enough and Sis didn't say anything so I just left her to ripple.
When it was time to go Sis stood up from her place at the end of the bed and immediately there was a loud bleeping sound.
We looked around in concern.
The bleeping was coming from the bed and more than that - there was a large depression in the bed where Sis had been sitting.
I fully expected a whole army of nurses and doctors to descend on us and accuse Sis of breaking Mums very expensive bed which continued to beep and also, suddenly start to INFLATE!!!
Mum rippled a little more and slowly started to sink as the bed continued to bleep and inflate at the end where Sis had been sitting and we suddenly realised it was self adjusting (which it presumably does for Mums comfort).
I think we were all relived that Sis hadn't actually broken the bed and I for one was VERY relieved that Mum wasn't about to be catapulted across the room or something.
We giggled again and I teased Sis about her weight breaking the bed.
'Well YOU sit on it' she said - 'I bet it will go down just a much if you do!'
'Depends on which of you is the heaviest' Mum piped up from the other end of the bed.
Sis and I looked at each other, neither of us willing to insist that it must be the other.
'I'm not sitting on it' I said 'and I'm not going down in that bloody lift either!'