The final part of my attempt to explain why I am in no fit state to complain to Victorian plumbing about their non-flushable toilets, of which we have two.
Wednesday 10 am. “Did they ever send me an appointment for my cataract operation?”
“No mum. I’ve phoned them 3 times now for a follow-up appointment after your first one, and they’ve all assured me that you would get something through the post.”
“Well phone them again.”
I phone the Royal Eye Unit. Again. After giving mum’s details, and explaining that this is the fourth time I have called, I say this.
“I am not getting off the phone until I speak to someone who will give me an appointment.”.
Amazingly, this works. It’s a technique advised by Teresa, who has had years of dealing with short-staffed and occasionally lazy and careless NHS administrators. We have an appointment for the following Monday morning. YES!
1pm. Mum’s mental health care nurse phones for an update. The phone call lasts for about 40 minutes we cover the mishaps.
7.30pm Mum calls. She’s in a bit of a state in the loo. I go round. I help clean her up and then get on with cleaning the loo, which in one way looks like a plasterer’s radio, but in other ways, doesn’t. The evening carer arrives at 8.30. I say it’s far too early for Mum. She says she has lots of other calls, it’s difficult to get them all to bed at the time they want. She is a nice girl, really and I feel a bit sorry for her. It is a struggle with Mum this evening as she is very tired and it’s difficult to get someone who is 79kg and hasn’t much use of her limbs into bed. Normally she gets herself into bed. We don’t know it but this is the beginning of a Urinary Tract Infection which will lay Mum low for a while. The evening carer says she really needs a device called a Sarah Steady, which would make the process of transferring Mum from sitting to bed easier for her. I promise I will ask the Occupational Therapy for one.
All these phone calls are in addition to running Mum’s house and garden, let alone my own life and work, and are mostly as a result of professional people not doing their job properly. I am pushing against a tide of negativity and can’t be bothered, what’s it got to do with me-ness, and that’s not even including my close family member who just visits on a three weekly basis and brings a shepherds pie.
Which is why, when Teresa asks me why I don’t phone up Victorian Plumbing myself to complain about their bloody toilet, I say, I just can’t face it.
In the end the job is done, with a tiny sink, and a flushable loo with an independent cistern, and now just needs decorating. Mum has already christened it, and pronounced it good.
But we are left with two non-flushable toilets and a cistern and a ball-cock, which in a better week, I decorate with flowers and herbs before my husband takes them to the dump.
And thanks to the power of targeted advertising, I frequently see this.