Thursday, 17 June 2010

A litany of being and doing

When I arose yesterday morning it was in the expectation that it would be a nice clear day during which I could get done everything I needed to. Ha! Caring, bureaucracy and the filling out of forms is my lot in life.

It was unexpectedly such a busy day. We started rather late, and then Dr P needed help with his showering and toilet. While we were thus engaged a person appeared at the bathroom door. Yes, it was V, SD1, and No, she did not ring first, or knock, she just came inside and upstairs to the bathroom to see her naked father being cared for. I stared! "What's the matter", she asked? She's really sensitive!

Yesterday I told V that I wanted to go to Canberra for the weekend, and could they take over his care? Nice to be told, she said, so I replied I was telling her now, and that if they could not help, I would cancel the trip. Due to a regrettable propensity not to be able to think quickly when put upon the spot, I missed the opportunity to point out that she could not have been told sooner, as she'd gone off for a long weekend at the beach. Half her luck. We then had a discussion about my possible trip later this year. Dr P was extremely forgetful while V was here - I fear that such days are becoming more frequent. Aging can be a very sad process. More and more I miss the man I married.

We need to get a resident parking permit. As Dr P gave his car to his grandson and surrendered his licence, in order to get this permit he needs not only to supply the Council with a copy of his rates notice (I mean, the Council ISSUES the rates notices, you'd think their computer system could match all these things up) but also must make a statutory declaration to say that the household car is owned by me, his wife, and I live here too. They also require a copy of the current registration documents for the car. The statutory declaration needs to be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace. So commenced the search for a local JP, bearing in mind that it needs to be close and easily accessible for Dr P. JPs are not listed in the telephone directory any more, and the Internet proved of little help. However I did discover that you can ring the Attorney-General's Department to get information. I was given names and telephone numbers but no addresses and most of those names were not in the directory. I then found a more extensive listing, but still without addresses. Rather than go into the highways and byways, calling loudly for a JP, I did the sensible thing and rang the office of our local MP. I now know where and when to go. The staff member was wonderfully helpful, and also suggested, when I told her of the burden of all the information we have to provide, and Dr P's relative lack of forms of ID, that we get the ID available from the Roads and Traffic Authority. So we will do that - next week. Apparently identity fraud is rife, and thus, they say, all these questions, forms and pieces of evidence are necessary. Although I still think some of them could be omitted.

All of this took a long time. It was 2.30 before I set out to do the shopping, and called in to the Centrelink Office for an Information Pack. The staff member was very helpful. The butcher asked me how had my day been. I smiled and said, "Not as planned".  He laughed and said, "There's always tomorrow." "Yes" I said, "That's part of the problem."

Late last night I wrote my Italian homework. Strangely enough, it was reasonably free of errors. Well into the small hours last night, despite my being so tired, sleep did not come. I lay awake for hours, while the traffic continued, young men rode skateboards along the road, talking loudly, and causing a neighbouring dog to wake and bark for ages in protest (quite understandable, I was tempted to bark myself), then Dr P set off his panic alarm button, the phone rang and I had to check his well-being.  It is amazing how well you can function, at least for a short time, on about three hours sleep.

As usual it was a great class. I was in no great hurry to get home afterwards as SD2, the WSD arrived today for a high-powered conference. She and her sister came here for lunch and unfortunately were still here when I returned. Very little conversational interchange occurred.

I have to say that all the Aged Care people have been terrific, very helpful, prompt and very useful. So too was Centrelink, and my local MP's office staff. I am most impressed. When I read day after day of the manifold deficiencies of the government and the administration, I get rather sick of all the whinging done by the newspapers and others. Some appreciation of what government does for people would not go amiss. I sometimes wonder, with all the complaints and criticisms, whether they all want a dictatorship. It bears remembering that when many of the services we now expect as our right were enacted, there was bitter opposition from the conservative parties, who loudly proclaimed that the sky would fall in, the economy would be ruined, and that the unworthy would unfairly benefit. For us, the provision of aged care services is a great help, as, like so many others, we do not have a great deal of family support here. I do not live near my family, and of Dr P's four daughters, only one lives in Australia, and her support is not an unalloyed joy or blessing.

My lovely son and I talked last night, and he cheered me up considerably. On Friday I will be OUT OF HERE. My step-family can have their father all to themselves. There will be no step-daughters around. Instead, children, two of my very own. And grandchildren, two thirds of them. Friends. Peace, tranquillity, sympathy. Blessed relief! And probably extremely cold weather.

Good things happened today. The baby of my nephew and his wife was born, a boy, amid great rejoicing. My sister is beside herself with joy and excitement. This is her first grandson.


Stomper Girl said...

Even though I know she has no manners or social skills to speak of, I am still going to say that SD1 was v. rude.

Relatively Retiring said...

I hope you can have a real break away from the tensions. ENJOY!

Frances said...

I agree with your points, Persiflage: ie, the gratitude we should acknowledge, as well as the irritation with bureaucratic processes, which are extensive enough to be a burden to the honest, but full of loopholes for the dishonest to exploit

Meggie said...

I do hope you are enjoying your time away from your everyday life.
I agree with C, SD1 is extremely rude & particularly ignorant.

I too, miss the man I married.

Pam said...

Have a lovely time with your family.