We are at home, all of us, but my parents' room is becoming more and more hospital like. That started with the hospital bed I had to rent for my mother even before her discharge from the hospital last month, as her mental state rendered her unsafe in a bed without railings. It is incredibly sad to see her struggle to get up because she wants to go to the bathroom, something she has done without thought for most of her life, and which is now not possible for her to do. She has no memory of her fall or her surgery, and my beautiful mother is now a blank-eyed stranger, most of the time. She does recognise us, and at times is fairly lucid- when I told her it was Daddy's birthday on the 26th of last month, she immediately responded by saying 'Happy Birthday'. She was happy to meet my sister-in-law and my nephew, and spoke to them in English. But now she mostly lives in a world which is alien to us all. I have felt overwhelming rage at seeing her in this state- at her (most unfairly, I know), at myself, at the One above. Rage and frustration and grief at my utter helplessness in the situation we all find ourselves in. I can only imagine my father's sorrow. He tries to talk to her, sits next to her bed in his high chair and holds her hand, yet it doesn't seem to register. Because of her bed sore (which is much better now) I did get an air pressure mattress. I also had to employ a night home nurse for her. And then, after a couple of weeks in which Daddy's home nurse thought she could manage two patients single-handedly, but couldn't, we now have a second nurse in the day time. I had been hoping that Lakshmi could manage on her own just so as to not have another person crowding up the room, but I am finding that having Kalpana around makes life much easier for everyone. Daddy is not too pleased at having all these women floating in and out of his room. We joke, though, that he has KLM, an entire airline, in attendance! (The night nurse is Maya). Besides their wages, the home nurses all have a meal and a couple of rounds of tea and a snack in my home, so I need to make sure I have enough vegetables, dal, rice and bread available at all times.
To add to our woes, my father hasn't been at all well this week. He's now on antibiotics, steroids and has to use a nebuliser six times a day, as he has been wheezing most evenings. He's a lot better since he started the treatment, which is a relief.
I don't think I can let my sister return to Delhi anytime soon.