"Good morning, world. Another day in the life of Malnutrition Villa," thought Lynnie, an ageing, free caregiver for old Bobby Dullton. She barely did her hair, before he was moaning and calling for her. Lynnie attended to his needs, he was trying to turn on the television with his mobile phone.
"Up and about early," she commented. She asked herself what Jesus would do. Smile and turn the other cheek. "Captain Smiley's here!" It was a day in the life of the ageing Dulltons. Lynnie answered the summons. Lynnie affectionately titled the villa unit, Malnutrition Villa. It was the worldwide center of geriatric indoor sports, featuring old, obese Bobby Dullton, and starring her own octogenarian mother, who did not live far away.
"Time for breakfast!" Lynnie Dullton said blithely. Always kind, she said the next line in the script. "Here's your breakfast, here's your nice hot cup of tea, here's your meds. All ready."
Bobby Dullton lumbered over to his feast. "I'm not taking my meds." Lynnie was used to this. She resisted whopping old Bobby Dullton on the head with the frying pan. "Better to be patient," she told herself. Logic had flown from the window, but Lynnie valiantly proceeded. "I'll phone your doctor and you can discuss your meds with him." Old Bobby was menstruating this morning. "He doesn't know anything about medicine. Not taking my meds."
Lynnie was a brave camper in this Malnutrition Villa. "Right, I'll phone the paramedics and they can assess you again." A kind smile for this indoor sport, sort of a geriatric game. "There's nothing wrong with me," Bobby responded, "I'm not taking my meds!"
Lynnie had to fire a big cannon here. "Okay, give me your phone, I'll call your daughter, Betty." (Betty was his scary fat daughter who had all his powers of attorney. She lived conveniently 100 kms away. Betty was scary.)
Old Bobby Dullton caved in. "I'll take my meds...." Lynnie smiled weakly, it was only 6 am. Bobby Dullton was muttering rude cathartic words, but job done. Malnutrition Villa was off and running for the day. It was time to listen to sports radio, and play geriatric indoor sports.
Old obese Bobby Dullton made sure he had eaten all his breakfast, and drunk his nice hot cup of tea. it was time for Game 1. Oh, the whinging, the pity party. Lynnie was aiming to encourage him with patience, channeling positive vibes. She did not really want to listen.
Today was the day she ritually visited her mother, who also never missed a meal. Old Bobby Dullton was playing up, to vary the geriatrics' Good Cop, Bad Cop routine. Lynnie suspected they were trying to elicit a response from her, to see how she would react.
"God listens...." she told herself, praying for more strength to grow tolerance for these geriatric control freaks. There was just no one else for them. Everyone else's problem seemed to be being there. She thanked God for His guidance, it was time for indoor Geriatric Game 2. Blubbering started the minute Lynnie walked in to visit her mother. "Why is my life so dreadful?" Lynnie answered, "Never mind," and made yet another nice hot cup of tea.
Basically, Lynnie did not waste too many thoughts on Pity Parties and Blubbering. She, too, had a bad back, being one of the Dulltons, grey and chubby. She had decided not to worry, as both the geriatrics were still eating good food, and slabs of it. She would worry when they needed pies and cakes via nasogastric intubation. It was all sort of ironic.
Then it was home to Malnutrition Villa to feed old, grey, obese Bobby Dullton. Time for dinner, this time he took his meds. (Betty was still scary!). Blubbering had by now led to Geriatric Game 3. This one was titled, Stinking Thinking. Old Bobby Dullton and Lynnie's mother both tied here, playing emotional blackmail. Lynnie wondered if anyone she knew even had emotions any more. It was all a facade. Both the geriatrics were scared silly about ending up in the back of a black limousine, or being controlled by geriatrics in a proper geriatric nursing home.
Lynnie's faith in God had got her though the day. She internally awarded both octogenarians a gold medal for that day's performance in Malnutrition Villa. She smiled one more time, and sank onto her bed. Job done, from her patience her tolerance had grown and developed. Lynnie supposed it was one way of spreading the word of her Lord.
Just as Lynnie was sinking into golden slumbers, old Bobby Dullton called her again from his room. She managed to solve one last issue for him, it was his radio this time. All that blubbering and stinking thinking had led old Bobby Dullton to recycle his next great Game 4, Phony Fear Campaigns. Generally, he was as tough as old boots, like many ageing folk.
Lynnie was a champion, said goodnight kindly, and switched off the lights and heating system. Whatever had happened that day, she had managed. It was like her adage. Then she heard old, obese Bobby Dullton in the loo again, might be one of those nights. He muttered rudely to the toilet brush, Game 5, indoor sports. This one was affectionately known as Silly o'clock.
"Yes, quite cathartic." Lynnie said some silent swear words herself, for once. But they were only thoughts, no drama. She called, "Are you all right?" But old Bobby Dullton did not hear her, as he shambled back to his room. For anyone ageing, this indoor sport, whether you are fat or not, is a classic. It is Malnutrition Villa's best game. Podium finish. Game 6 is the real world, "Dodge the Audiologist."
Lynnie smiled in the gloom. "One day, I shall be so deaf I won't hear a word he ever says. Just say and hear, "What did you say?" Lynnie was looking forward, not back. "No blip, Sherlock." Maybe all the Dulltons needed to channel Beethoven as an interpreter.
Lynnie reflected on that day in the life of the Dulltons. At the going down of the sun, and at the rising of the dawn, nothing really bad had happened. Lynnie said, "Thank you, Jesus." She held her own as a champion, she knew how to persevere. A day in the life of the games played in "Malnutrition Villa." Did anyone ever mean a word they said, let alone have feelings any more?