Say My Name

I’m kinda well known for either not spotting people  I know when I’m out and about or for people knowing me but my having no clue who they are.  To be honest, that second one tends to happen a lot – as a CAB adviser I’m often the only person their someone deals with (plus I stand out because of my wheelchair) but if I’m doing drop ins I can see up to four people in a day.

For slightly over two months my parents (mostly my Dad) were coming in twice a day to do personal care tasks related to some treatment for my lymphoedema.  However on Tuesday this week a care agency finally took over so I’ve been having carers again.

Which is horrible. Because I don’t like being tied to a schedule etc. But nice because so far I’ve got on well with the carers I’ve had and haven’t had any problems. And also great because my parents are really good at supporting me and I appreciated them doing it but my god I think we were all getting a bit frustrated with each other and ground down by it and it was just nice to get a bit of independence back and go several days without seeing each other.

The carers all had to be trained in how to do my care because although they’ve all done compression before, no one from the agency had done compression wraps. And also they needed to be signed off by my lymphoedema nurse as trained in me – specific concerns etc. Because she knows my legs.

So there I was, Friday last week. Sat in one of the lymphoedema clinic rooms at The Churchill.  Lymphoedema clinic doesn’t have it’s own space so it’s squeezed into a corner of the renal unit.  It’s the smallest, hottest room ever and it has no air because it used to be a transplant room so the windows can’t be opened.   The lymphoedema nurse on one side of me and the woman from the care agency who was coordinating  sitting on the other side running down a list of names as a never ending line of carers (12 or 13 were trained) came into the room all at once “This is X, that’s Y, then so and so” etc etc.  When I described it to someone afterward I thought it was a bit like that joke where about a million clowns get out of the smallest car ever. And I said hello to the group of them then pretty much immediately forgot all the names.

I’m slowly meeting the carers and learning names but I think I’m going to spend a lot of the next few weeks looking blankly at people who know me with no clue what their name is.  Still at least they’ll be wearing a bright blue carer uniform as they do it so I won’t be wondering how I know them!

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