Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Hands and feet

So mum and Maya have finally taken an evening off. I'm filling in for them at dad's. I went in before dinner to say hello, but dad was fast asleep: knocked out by 10 mg of oxycodone. Dad woke up and called for someone just as mum and Maya needed to leave to go and see Karin Bloemen, so I went up to see him... and stayed there most of the evening tending to all sorts of things he mumbled about.

Dad was very busy reading the top section of the terms and conditions. He also needed a drink. But he had to go to the toilet... He thought hard for a while. Then said, "I don't think there's anything in the terms and conditions about that," and then added, "so I think it should be okay..." I confirmed that it indeed was okay, so he started getting ready to get up. Once he was sitting upright, he wanted me to pull him up into standing position. "You have to put your feet on the floor first dad." "Oh yeah... that's a good one. Hands on the floor first." Once dad was sitting on the edge of the bed, I held out my hand and positioned myself sturdily to be able to hold dad's weight. I presumed dad would get up into the direction he'd walk to the bathroom... so I was standing at an angle to the bed. Dad wasn't planning to make two movements at the same time though (up and turn), he was going to do them one by one. So I should be standing perpendicular to the bed. And dad knew this. His hand instinctively pointed to where my back foot should be standing, and funnily enough, my foot knew exactly what dad's hand meant even before I knew what was going on. My foot was suddenly in place (my tiny private aikido lesson) and dad pulled himself up.

Back in bed, dad started talking to me, wanting to update me on happenings. "Oh, you don't know," he started, "I've been sick today. Been sick... sick." I sat next to him on the edge of the bed as he lay on his side. "That's a nice hat! ...is that your white hat? It's a nice hat." "It's a skirt though..." "Oh, but it's a skirt, of course. It's a nice hat that. Makes a nice hat." "Thank you."

"From the drinks section... some milk!" I brought dad some more milk. He'd turned to his other side, and then said, "So, lets try the new game..." I waited, wondering what game we were going to try. "The new game... lift up my shoulder!" Lift up your shoulder?? Ehm, okay... "Which shoulder?" "My left shoulder." "So the shoulder you're lying on." "Yeah." Hmm, okay... well, ehm... lift up his shoulder. Right. So I bent over him and tucked my hands under dad's shoulder. He didn't protest so it was apparently exactly what I should be doing. So I lifted... and then I understood, because dad said, "Yeah and now I tuck all this under my head." and he punched up (read: poked) his pillow so it wasn't under his shoulder, and it was nicely bulged under his neck. That made sense. I carefully set his shoulder back down.

Some time passed as dad rested. And then I heard, "Helloooooo!" so I went to see him. Dad was sitting up straight. "You got up!" I said, in surprise. "Sat up." he corrected sternly. That made me grin. "Yeah. You okay?" "Yeah... I smelled tea!" He smelled tea? Hm. I hadn't made tea. But I was actually about to make tea. "You want some tea?" "Yeah!" and then he added, "...you got string!" and he pointed at this:


"That's my hair..."
"Ah... and you got stick!" and he pointed at this:


"Yeah. That's holding my hair up, like this..." and I turned around to show him:

String and stick.

"Yeah. String. Cuppa tea would be nice!"
"I'll get you some tea. Anything else?"
"...piece of paper! Glassa milk first."

I came back up with tea and milk, but no piece of paper. Dad was sitting, gazing into his lap. He didn't react to me. So I asked "What are you thinking?" "I'm trying to zoom in." "On what?" "The piece of paper." "There isn't a piece of paper though..." that made dad laugh... "Now that's an interesting thought!"

Later dad told me he was trying to make the contract. He was reading it backwards, and it wasn't there. "Is no good. But we can't make it on Dutch paper anyway... need some English paper..." "What contract do you mean?" "The contract! Must get the job done." Dad was struggling for a while with difficult contracts and terms and conditions... so I suggested, "Your thoughts are all so serious... They don't have to be you know, you can also think about fun things!" "Aaah!" Dad turned to his other side, and said, "I turned this way now. Come this way. To all the fun." So I went to the other side of the bed and sat next to him again. "Ah. You left the tea." Yep, I'd left the tea on the bed side table... "It's good to have drink there when I wake up. But if you didn't bring the tea, then give me the hands. And you take my arms and then I can get up." Give him the hands? Huh? "Where do you want the hands?" "About the middle of my back." Riiiiight.

Eventually we figured it out, he just wanted to be pulled upright to go to the toilet. After he came back, he sat in bed again, leaning all the way forward... "I'm trying to find central gravity..." he said. And mumbled quite a lot more about central gravity. After dad'd lain down again, I was about to leave him rest. I walked towards the door and dad said, "Thank you..." "You're welcome."

The last time this evening that I went up to see dad, he was in deep thought. "Plants... plants can be clever! Clever, plants." a little while later, "We could use that for something!" "That's an interesting idea..." "Ah, you understand me!?" "Sort of... how did you come up with that idea?" "Right in front of me..." he pointed at the huge bouquet of flowers Steve and his family had had sent to dad. Then he added, "You could use that big bunch that's right in the middle [all the stems], but use it from something boring like rhododendrons. Then stick in interesting stuff in stead." he contemplated that for a bit, and then suggested, "Yeah, you could do that with plants that look like Sjoerd..." "Plants that look like Sjoerd?" "No, shit! Plants that look like shit..." "Aaah..." "Like rhododendrons or rhubarb. Yeah, you could use rhubarb."

After a while, I tucked dad in, and got ready to go downstairs.
"Thank you very much for everything..."
"You're welcome."

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