The late Dame M (check the cast list if you are a newer reader) was rather visually impaired. She owned about three dozen pairs of glasses and she had two very bright reading lamps sitting on her kitchen table. She was a reader and found not being able to read quite distressing. I forget who, but one of us connected her to the
As she lay dying in her bed for the last couple of months, audio books would arrive from Vision Australia and although she was well educated and well read, she exclaimed to me one day about how much she was learning. As she would not seek medical help, we did not know she was dying except I do now recall that she told me she was. I just said something like, don't be silly. If there is a chance I can bury my head in sand, I always do. I recall the late Leonard Teale and Bud Tingwell both recorded books and I expect they weren't paid for this. If I am dying, can someone supply me with podcasts please? Anyway, the talking books were a great comfort to her in her final months, so good on Pants for doing this.
This was only going to be about recordings for the blind, but now I am remembering back to when Dame M died. When she said she was dying and I told her not to be silly, I was very very wrong. I did everyone a disservice because none of us knew what was happening. I it erased from my short term memory. She was clearly very unwell, yet she would not see a doctor in spite of everyone trying to get her to see one.
What I should have done after informing others, was say, ok, you clearly want to spend your last days at home. We will help and do what we can for you. Once she was in tears by our constant pressure to seek medical help. She knew medical help was futile. I have no idea why she told me, someone who buries their head in the sand, she was dying, and not someone a little more sensible.
I don't actually know what she died from. Lung cancer? When I and her boarder admitted her to hospital, that is when she could still stand and yet two days later she died after all her family had visited her, the nurse at reception put a peg like thing on her finger or thumb and then said, oh, you've slipped through the cracks my dear. Jayne or Cazzie, what would that peg like thing be? Just pulse? Surely you can't measure oxygen in the blood with something like that?