Joshua is in respite this weekend and that gave me more flexibility to make full use of my day off work, as he was collected by taxi from school at 2 pm and I received a text from his passenger assistant at 4.10 pm that they had delivered a ‘very happy, lively’ Joshua there. Knowing that he was taken care of, meant that I was able to visit Mum in hospital again yesterday afternoon. As I had driven a lot this week already, I decided to let the train take the strain. So I caught a train at 12.40: I tried to doze on the way there but there were some very rowdy hens who were very excited and kept me awake. My connection was delayed and then I walked to hospital at the other end, so it was 3.30 before I reached my Mum who reported that she felt ‘floppy’ and as she lay in bed, she looked floppy too.
Afternoon visiting time was due to end at 4 pm so I kept a low profile and was able to stay until after 7 pm. I bought her a hot chocolate ,which she enjoyed and while I was gone, she was able to doze too. I was there for doctors’ rounds which was unexpected that late in the day and as time wore on, she began to recover and became more lively. I was hoping that we might have heard some results form her biopsy while I was there, but nothing appeared so I finally left her to catch my train home. I updated my sister as I walked back to the station and as we were chatting on the platform, I saw on the screen that my train home had been cancelled. So I enquired as to my best way home and I had to travel to another station and catch another later train home, getting me back home at 11.30 pm.
Now this was not how I planned to spend one of our monthly respite nights, sitting in a station waiting for a train to take me home, but it gave me the opportunity to do something that would have been more difficult if Joshua had been at home and I am grateful for that. I called them at 9 pm, as is my routine, even though I was on the train but the first time, nobody answered. They called back and explained that they had been searching for the telephone, which my son had hidden! I heard that he was ‘happy, cheeky and flirtatious’ and then twice I was cut off as we went into tunnels, so I gave up, reassured that they were making the most of their last Friday night with him. In the past, he has been rather shy or sleepy on a Friday when he arrived there after school and he has often not eaten much tea, but that does not sound to have been the case last night. Reassured that all was well, I settled down for a snooze on the train – my destination was the end of the line, so I was not concerned about missing my station. But unfortunately, although I went into a deep sleep, the guard jiggled me awake asking to see my ticket and I never got back to sleep again after that.
We have more fun things planned for the rest of the respite weekend, but their care was invaluable to me yesterday. After a long day, I knew that I would be able to sleep when I wanted to and that if I awoke during the night – as indeed I have done – it would be my doing and not Joshua’s. Respite gives us more flexibility, not just for the nice treats in life, but also for the other essentials that arise. It is invaluable to be able to relax and know that Joshua is in safe and caring hands, while he is not in my care.