Thursday 25th October 1990   Home visit  13.20 

Mrs Austin was panting as she carried our drinks in. Dr Lewis got up and took the tray from her.
“You really know that things are catching up with you when you can’t bring three cups of tea through from the kitchen,” said Mrs Austin. She sat down with a sigh. “Oh, I forgot your chocolate biscuit, Dennis,” she continued.
“It doesn’t matter. I’ve just had lunch!”
“How are you then?” Dr Lewis asked.
“Not very good, really. I’m sleeping in the chair now. I can’t lie down. I take a teaspoon of morphine liquid before bed. It helps me sleep. Who’d have thought that I would have ended up on morphine?” Mrs Austin looked at me and winked.
“Don’t worry about that. The most important thing is keeping you comfortable.” Dr Lewis smiled.
“My legs are more swollen too. They are really getting heavy.”
We sipped our tea. Dr Lewis and I were both looking at Mrs Austin’s swollen legs: wondering if there was anything else that could be done about them.
“How’s your appetite?” asked Dr Lewis.
“I feel nauseous. I am not eating much, now. I don’t know why that is.”
“Your liver is probably congested, full of fluid. It can affect your appetite.”

“Anyway, I’ve had some good news?” Mrs Austin looked over at us as she spoke. “My daughter, Alice, has managed to get some time off work. She’s coming over from Australia for a week at the end of next month. It will be the first time she’s been for two years. I’ve wanted to see her so much. We’ve always got on really well.”
“That’ll be nice,” said Dr Lewis.
“Yes, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve got a feeling I’ll be alright until then, at least.”
Dr Lewis nodded: “I’m sure you will.”

I’ve had some good news.
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