15/09/2014

The 120-litre container has now been dug into the ground near the reedbed, with the top just above ground level. We haven’t had much success in finding any discarded refrigerators; however at the aged FIL I found a refrigerator door. I will mount the solar panel on this, and use pallets to construct a frame on which the door can sit. The construction can then be insulated. I don’t really want to use glass fibre as it absorbs moisture and gets soggy very easily. Perhaps some bits of polystyrene? We’ll see what we can find.

The aged FIL is definitely not a happy bunny these days. Upon doctor’s orders, he is now spending his mornings sitting in the special chair. Instead of lying in his bed contemplating the ceiling, he is now sitting in the chair contemplating the wall. Last Saturday I popped my head around the door to say hello. For the first time ever, there was no “hello” back. His face could have curdled milk.

He complains to all and sundry that he wants to be in his bed instead, and he has apparently become quite abusive to the washers (the medically-trained specialists who give him his daily bed-bath). After his wash, they put him in his chair, as they have been instructed to do. The thing is, when he’s lying down, his breathing is quite laboured; you can hear him wheezing. When he’s in a sitting position, there’s no wheezing at all. Conversations with him all run along the same lines; whether it is the washers, carers, or LSS speaking to him.
“Would you like to read a book?”
“No! I want to be in my bed.”
“Would you like to listen to the radio?”
“No! I want to be in my bed lying down, not sitting here.”
“Would you like to watch television?”
“NO I WOULD NOT. I’M GOING TO BREAK IT! I WANT TO BE IN BED!”
“Well the doctor has said you have to be sitting down, not lying down.”
“I’M GOING TO BURN THIS CHAIR!!”
“Good luck with that; firstly you don’t have the strength to get out of the chair and go to the kitchen to get the matches. Secondly the chair is made of fire-resistant material. Thirdly if you do succeed, you’ll probably burn the house down too, with you in it.”
“I WANT TO BE IN BED!!!”

If you’re wondering why we don’t just let him have his way, we tried that before. After a couple of days of lying down:
“Gasp! Wheeeeeze! Wheeeeeze! I can’t breathe properly. Call the doctor!”
We call the doctor.
The doctor arrives and examines the patient.
“The problem, aged FIL, is that you’re lying down all the time. This is not good for the body. It puts added strain on the heart, and the lungs start to fill up with fluid. Your neck muscles are also sagging, putting added pressure on your windpipe. This is why you can’t breathe properly. There’s no miracle tablet to cure you; the best thing you can do is to sit upright as much as possible. Do you understand?”
“Yes, doctor.”

The following day:
“Gasp! Wheeeeeze! Wheeeeeze! I can’t breathe properly. That doctor’s no damn good, he didn’t give me any medicine.”

I think that the relocation of the aged FIL to a retirement home is becoming more and more likely.

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