Maybe I’ll make you an eggy?
Most evenings I bring in my lunch box full of food options for mum.
I start by giving her the boiled egg - cut into quarters with dots of tomato sauce - already on the tray. This is her new dinner menu instead of the regular facility dinner which, lately, she shoves away.
She tastes the egg, pulls a face and spits it out. I wait awhile and try again. No use. She’s not interested.
Next option. I heat some chicken soup in the microwave. ‘Just a little bit of hot soup’ I encourage mum. No luck.
Option 3. A few weeks ago she loved boiled chicken feet dipped in tomato sauce. I heat them up, lay them carefully on a little saucer, also with tomato sauce. She glances at them and refuses to eat.
I’m starting to feel tired out and low spirited.
I rack my brain - anything else I can offer her ? Oh yes, a fried egg! When I bring in the lunch box, I also bring in some raw eggs in a little container, just in case. I already had the induction cooker, frypan and spatula stored away in her cupboard, so all I needed was some energy to get into action. 'Come on Jane, it doesn’t take long to fry an egg'.
Up I get, and soon the fried egg is sizzling away in my make-shift kitchen - the frypan on the induction cooker on the floor.
I’m feeling hopeful; she’s eyeing the hot buttery fried egg. But after one taste she pushes it away. Resigned, I eat it myself.
And then the cramps and the groans start.
I have enough, she whispered. She’s not moving much, not eating much, and she has constipation.
I try to soothe her, It’s hard isn’t it, being nearly 100.
I want to go to the toilet, she whispers to me.
I call the staff who bring in the machine that lifts her. It’s painful to watch - she is so helpless hanging there.
But it works. She manages to ‘open her bowels’ as they say.
She’s poor and exhausted.
It's so hard being really old.
Maybe I'll make you an eggy?
Marysia - koo koo!
The make-shift kitchen in mum's room
When Hannah, my sister in law came to visit mum this month, I demonstrated how I fry an egg for her