Thursday, December 6, 2007

Geoge is in St Thomas' hospital

Lisa and George are in hospital.

I managed to get an earlier train than I’d intended and as I left Glasgow at 17:40 Lisa phoned to say she’d got a call from the doctor and they’ve been found a bed. George hasn’t put on any weight and the doctor has insisted that he’s malnourished and something needed to be done. The hospital has given in and found a bed for them.

I feel so far away here on the train. I wish I was there with them. I’m upset that Lisa didn’t call to tell me as soon as she found out. She was trying to spare my feelings, but I would rather have known.

Anyway, they’re monitoring George now and looking after him. They’re fitting a canular to his little and and they’re going to have to feed him with high energy milk and step up his medication.

It looks like they’ll be in for about 4 days. That means we can’t meet up with ben and karen and Russ and Pietro tomorrow. It means we can’t meet Dyke whose in the country for a day (although maybe he’ll come to the hospital before his plane leaves). It also means the Christmas meal looks a bit iffy - at least for Lisa. Lots of people to disapoint, but they’ll all understand.

In one way I’m glad because at least he’s getting the intensive treatment he needs and hopefully he’ll start putting on weight too. He’s in the best place.

However, I can’t help feel cut off from it all, and I’m not looking forward to going back to an empty house tonight. I also can’t help worrying about the speed with which they’ve whisked him in. they’d intended to wait for 4 weeks before concluding that the medication wasn’t working. Even when they realised he wasn’t putting on weight, they were talking in terms of the end of the week or next week. Suddenly, they’ve found a bed and have to bring him in today. It’s not reassuring.

Just remember: this is a common complaint and they deal with it every day. Even if it comes to an operation, there’s nothing to worry about… but still I worry and still I wish I was with them.

Mum went home today before finding out, but lisa’s going to phone her. They’re organising to have Grace and igor’s (my grandparents) house cleared out in the next week. Now that the two of them have gone into a home, there’s no point keeping all the piles and piles of stuff they have in their house and the house has to be returned to its landlords.

It’s the family’s decision to have the house cleared, but both Mum and I thought that the best option would have been to have the contents put into storage for them. Not because any of it will be used again, but just because it would make Grace and Igor happier to know that all their belongings hadn’t been simply given away to a clearance company. Of course keeping the stuff would have cost money, but I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to have it all cleared out.

Dad and Carol(his sister) see the whole thing in practical terms, and practically a house clearence is the best move. Mum and I see things in emotional terms and feel that practicality’s only point is to make people happy. Logic has its limits in my opinion - or more accurately, logic exists only to provide mechanisms to achieve the goals of the heart - and occasionally to tell the heart that there are other hearts out there with their own greater needs.

All of which falls down when you consider that it really doesn’t matter what we do with Grace and Igor’s stuff - they will not be happy. Igor has always been a little miserable and since his stroke stopped him from driving, he’s taken it to a whole new level. Grace is less miserable, but nonetheless isn’t happy to be living in the home.

Again, practically the home offers them a better life than they had in their house. They can move about, go on outings, go to a lounge to chat to other people if they feel like it. They’re also closer to Mum and Dad who continually offer to take them out to town. But logic is not important. They have both spent a lifetime gathering things around them. Particularly Igor has filled their house with a nurotic level of posessions, from dozens of cans of condensed milk through to camping stoves, fairy lights, VCRs (along with literally thousands of recorded films), heaters, fans, bycicles, and basically anything he can order from catalogues (to the extent that Grace ended up cutting out and throwing away the addresses from mail order catalogues to stop him ordering more stuff that will never be used).

Mum thinks (and I agree) that it’s probably because as a child he was forced to flee his home in Estonia with the German army as they retreated in the face of a Russian re-invasion. Apparently his father had been a minister in the government who had been arrested and shot by the Russians in the early part of the war. When the Nazis arrived, Igor befriended them and ended up working in their hospital. When they withdrew he was told he could come with them or stay with his family to risk being rounded up by the Russians.

He opted to flee leaving everything. It wasn’t until the colapse of the soviet union that he was able to trace his family again and find a brother (who later committed suicide).

Igor was 6 weeks away from working in a U-boat (one of the war’s most dangerous occupations) when the war was ended and he ended up working with the peacekeeping force and eventually made his life in England (where he met my Grandmother at a country and western dance - although that’s another story).

We think that Igor’s obsessive hoarding and collecting of possessions is due to his having to leave everything early in life.

Now, he finds himself in a home, with his possessions gone and little control - even of his body. I can’t blame him for being miserable - even though he could be a lot happier if he allowed himself to be.

Still, the decision is made and the house will be cleared. Igor is resigned to it, and appears to have resigned to anything. He’s even saying he wishes he was dead.

George seemed to make both he and Grace very happy though!

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