Tuesday, 27 October 2020
In my home office I had, until this week, a deep plastic filing box marked "Medical Stuff" - paperwork, his and mine.
Probably time to go through it and throw out everything obsolete (or something), I thought. The paper was twelve inches deep: letters from Lewisham Hospital, from the consultant psychiatrist, the occupational therapist, the podiatrist, the palliative care nurse and so on and on. Yes, Nick really did become a "case" in his final couple of years - having hardly ever seen a doctor in the preceding seven decades. "I feel as if I've been cheated" he would say in his more sentient moments. And I would reply: "Yes, you've been very, very unlucky. It's a horrible illness and there's nothing remotely fair or just about your having got it," I've never been a liar or a dissembler. Spades are spades in my world.
Anyway, I systematically disposed of every letter and document - keeping only the dozens of newspaper cuttings I'd collected in case I need them when I come to edit The Alzheimer's Diaries; a love story. There is still an Alzheimer's story almost every day, incidentally. On the the day of writing it's a study from Denmark suggesting that manual workers are more susceptible to the disease than office workers.
Once all Nick's "medical stuff" was gone I was left with just two pieces of paper which relate to me: my most recent optician's prescription and a letter from an orthopedic specialist I saw a couple of years ago about pain in my left thumb which has since improved on its own. I no longer need that big plastic box, A thin folder will do. As an exercise it brought home to me just how very fortunate I am and how miserably unfortunate Nick was. Blessings, counting and all that.
Meanwhile The Alzheimer's Diaries: a love story is 50% funded. Please spread the word as much as you can to help raise the rest. Onward and upward!