Last night I revealed that I had failed to achieve the word count for the virtual camp where I am supposed to be writing this month. Tonight it has got twice as bad. For yet another day, I have failed to write a single word, unless making notes in my morning pages counts.

Today was definitely not my fault. My husband is working away tonight so I confess I did allow myself a lie-in, Nevertheless once I was up and full of tea, I got the dogs walked and back to the house then shot out to buy veggies and was back in time to pack them away, throw a load of washing in the machine and take my husband to work, walking the dogs briefly again in the way back. I had the dog sitters to meet but after that the whole day and night was mine.

There was only one thing that could go wrong. My parents were meeting their NSW opposite numbers – the parents of my brother’s partner – and the other grandparents to my nephew. My mother had booked a table for lunch as there was a football match on in the area and her suburb gets flooded with supporters pre game. The only concern I had was that my dad would forget his PIN number but my mother assured me she had it, even though when she told me what it was I thought she had it wrong. She insisted it was correct.

Halfway through the meeting with the dog sitters my work phone went off from a caller whose number I did not recognise, I thought it might be a general enquiry so left it till the sitters had gone and then picked up the message. It was from NSW grandmother (My mother of course had failed to take her mobile to lunch) to tell me my father had collapsed while trying to pay the bill and had been taken to hospital in an ambulance.

My mother had gone with him in the ambulance, their poor interstate visitors had been given the keys to my parent’s place so they could retrieve their car and were now very kindly delivering them back to my mother at the hospital. Welcome to WA, was all I could say. My poor dad had passed out and then vomited his lunch up all over the restaurant floor. Fortunately, two of the people in the restaurant were nurses and looked after him while the ambulance arrived.

It is still not clear what happened, but seems to have been his blood pressure plummeting as he stood up. I have the same reaction to paying bills. Normally the body copes and the BP equalizes out soon enough but my father’s did not, possibly because he had been battling an infection.

My mother and I sat in emergency while my dad was X -rayed, his blood and urine was tested and his head was scanned. He was also given a litre of saline solution to see if that might help his BP a bit, but four hours later his blood pressure was still dropping 40 points when he stood up, leaving him nauseous and out of sorts.

So they decided to admit him and keep and eye on him for 24 hours. Unusually for my father, he did not want to go to hospital, possibly because he was feeling vulnerable and just wanted his own bed. Since his memory started to fail him, he has become more and more reliant on my mother and for the first time, he was unable to tell the doctors what medications he is on. It is an impressive list, but he has always been able to recite it. Not today. I had a go at guessing some of them and then the Dr produced an enormous file with my father’s name on it which had his medications from the last time in it.

‘Wow, that file is as thick as a telephone book.’ I said.

‘It is file number two,’ he replied, ‘his first one is filled up.’

Hopefully, after a distressing day, he is now under the white cotton blankets and asleep. I know I will be soon. After they told us they were going to admit him I dropped my mother off home and headed back to our house. The dogs were fine but in a frenzy having had weird visitors and then been left on their own for hours. I walked them and gave them some food and then made a beeline for bed, absolutely knackered.

But of course all this means that once again I failed to write. My daily word target has now increased to 1034. It is not looking good, is it? But let’s hope my father will be looking good, or at least a little better tomorrow.


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