Mollie news

Mollie is in a bad way.

It’s been months since she could walk. She has been using a wheelchair, sitting up at her spot in the dining room for a good part of each day, and being wheeled to and from her room. At Christmas Carols last year, the former manager of our institution noticed that she seemed uncomfortable in the chair and instructed – right there, right then, with ‘The Little Drummer Boy” banging on over the PA system and hundreds of elderly people being herded in all around us – that a sheepskin pad to be put under her, as a precaution against pressure sores. As it turned out, the precaution wasn’t enough, and somehow she managed to develop a large, ulcerated sore on her bottom. A tiny sore, even a red spot, is a signal for complete bed rest for a couple of days. By the time this one was noticed, Mollie had to go to bed indefinitely. Several weeks  and multiple courses of antibiotics later, the sore is showing no sign of ever healing. Presumably because of the pain, Mollie pretty well stopped eating for a while and though she is eating again now (we’re told), she is shockingly thin, and spends most of her time sleeping. She is now being given morphine for the pain, so she may be in a narcotic trance rather than actually sleeping.

On the weekend, Penny noticed that Mollie’s skin had a yellowish tint to it. Imagining that this could be a sign of something seriously wrong with the liver, she spoke to the chief nurse. When she said that her brother was in Europe and couldn’t get back in less than a fortnight, ‘Oh,’ said the nurse, ‘two weeks should be all right.’ This was the first indication from the nursing staff that death might be in the air. ‘How long would he be away if he didn’t interrupt his trip?’ the nurse asked next. When Penny named a date later in July, she responded with an ominous, sympathetic twist of the mouth.

She hardly vocalises at all now, and her facial expressions are hard to read, but she looks you full in the face, grasps your hand firmly, and sometimes reaches up to stroke a visitor’s face.

8 responses to “Mollie news

  1. My heart goes out to Mollie, the poor dear, and to both of you. I’ve always thought of her as the godmother of our friendship, and am saddened to hear this news.

  2. God Bless Mollie and ease per pain..It’s very painful for loved ones to see this. Wishing your family strength.

  3. This is hard stuff. I’m sure she is slowly fading and not aware of much discomfort. Sending good thoughts to you and Penny and the family.

    On another note, I passed you both yesterday morning on my way to work, striding out with er… the dog who’s name I’ve misplaced… her with the four legs… under the looming wall of the harness racing track. I was driving and couldn’t even call out.

  4. Haven’t read your blog for a while so didn’t know that Mollie was really ill. I am really sorry to hear that. But what a terrible way for Penny to find out. Considering that the staff see her so often you would think the news could have been more gently broken.
    My thought are with you both.

  5. Oh, Jonathan, so sorry to hear this. Love to you and Penny.

  6. Thank you, everyone. I’ll write another post about Mollie soon, but for now it does look as if our alarm was ill founded. She’s still in bed, but her colour has come back and she is talking again – just one word at a time, but the word tends to be “yes” …

  7. and yes I said yes I will Yes

    the most life-affirming phrase in English literature, Mollie’s own.

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