On Doctor's Orders

Entry by: Olivia

27th January 2017
On Doctor’s Orders
‘Take this’ he said, ‘it will help’. As usual he tore the prescription off the pad, handed it to me and returned to his computer. The consultation was clearly over.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect a cure for everything but I did think that maybe he could help this time. It was such a simple thing really. It surely shouldn’t be so hard to get through the day. I can remember my mother and her vacant expression and her irrational anger. I can remember vowing that I would never let that happen to me. But now I am not entirely sure how to stop it.
Monday was OK because I wash the towels on a Monday, there wasn’t much of a dry, but I hung them out anyway. My daughter was so bossy, ‘what have you put them out for Mother’ she said, gathering them in like last year’s harvest, ‘they are wetter now than when you put them out’. Well how would she know, she was always off saving the world in that job of hers. Whatever is it she does anyway? Something to do with the environment I think. Anyway, drying them outside is much better than using all that electricity. But she was off on one, there was something wrong with the food and apparently my dishes aren’t clean enough. ‘It was always good enough for your father’ I told her. It seems that he is dead, but I am not sure I believe them, I think I would know don’t you? She busied herself, bustling around like a cross between Florence Nightingale and Mrs Beeton. How was I supposed to know how long that milk had been in the fridge? I didn’t put it there. To be honest I can’t altogether recall when I last went to the shops. There never seems to be anything I need.
Tuesday was a different matter. That man came round Tuesday but Diana – she’s my daughter. Did I tell you? Have you met her? Diana had said I shouldn’t let anyone in but he seemed nice, and who is she to tell me what to do? Well, I think he wanted to sell me something but I didn’t want it whatever it was. He had three cups of tea – three, I ask you – what is the world coming to? He kept asking me if I had made arrangements but I said Bob dealt with all those sort of things. In the end I asked him to go, I really didn’t like the colour of his socks.
‘What day is it today? Have you had your tea? I could make you a sandwich, I think I have some bread’. It is my handbag that really causes me the most worry, it never seems to be where I left it. Diana gets so cross when I ask her where it is, but I think she keeps tidying it up. ‘Would you like a nice cuppa?’ If its Wednesday I will need to be getting ready, its Tescos today you know. Bob and I go every week. We will probably have a bit of lunch in their caff, its nice there, not too posh. ‘Have you been? Have you seen Bob? I expect he’s down the garden, sure to be, he’s always down there these days’.
‘Anyway, its nice of you to call round, are you from the welfare?’ I am now very confused, this woman is telling me I need to be looked after. Like a child I think. Diana is here now and is nodding. What is she nodding about? ‘Mum’, she says loudly – for goodness sake child – I am a bit muddled at times but I’m not deaf. ‘Mum, its not safe for you to be alone any more.’ Safe? What does she know about safety? How the hell does she think I have managed all these years, how come she got raised, I kept her safe. She says my clothes are wrong; bossy cow, if I want to wear two cardigans and my vest that’s up to me. I don’t like what she wears either. Yes, yes, I left the gas on, everyone makes mistakes. Her Dad will soon be in and he’ll sort her out. ‘Mrs Ovens’ says the welfare woman, ‘you really would be best in a home’. Who does she think she is? Telling me where to live indeed. My Bob will soon send her packing.
Is this what my life has come to? Is this room it? There are a few things I recognise but lots of my things are missing. He must have signed the papers for this, it wasn’t a prescription after all, it was the Doctor’s Orders – ‘send her to a home don’t pass Go, don’t collect £200 ‘– oh yes, I know how to play.
Do you want a nice cup of tea? Let me give you some advice dear, If you get muddled, hold on tight. If you forget which day it is, don’t let on. If you are not sure which of your grandchildren that little one is, just call it sweetheart, it works every time. Above all, don’t lose your handbag and always wear a vest.