09 January 2018

right now

I was planning to write about some of the stuff that never made it to the blog last year. I started and then got shunted into the sidings when my mum came out of hospital and now I've hit the buffers. She is barely mobile, spends most of her time in a hospital bed, clarity has been interrupted by delirium as she has yet another chest infection. The plan is to sleep over until she becomes more settled and mobile. Even though careers come four time a day, there are times when she is on her own while I dash out to tick off the long list of things that need buying, collecting, doing. The promised cleaner has never materialised, and sometimes the carers go on the m missing list too. No wifi, a few runs back and forth to home, a dash into the local Idea Store to use their facilities - much more stressful than a "proper job". What's more this is looking like a long term project. So like the weather, the forecast is somewhat foggy. I was rather hoping my resolution word for 2018 would be more hopeful, energetic, bright.. I'm still working on it. Meanwhile here are the tete-a-tete forcing their way into the light through the winter-chilled stony, craggy soil this time last year. The were lovely when they blossomed. A bit of a metaphor perhaps.


Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

So sorry to read this post. May the tete-a-tete help cheer you and give you strength.

Best wishes

Liz said...

Oh, gosh, I don't know what to say other than I know that caring for an infirm elderly relative is tough, really tough, one of the hardest things you can do and at times overwhelming. That whole role reversal is just so hard emotionally, not to mention the physical toll. Although the focus will be on your mum, make sure you take care of yourself as well during this difficult period. Not sure it helps but thinking of you.

colleen said...

Thank you Lucy. The tête-à-tête are just coming through. Clearly haven't checked out the forecast.

Liz - you might be surprised how much it does help actually. I find the notion that we are connected even though we have never met a wonderful thing.

Anonymous said...

Oh my lovely you must be absolutely shattered. Just focus on the here and now and not the long term, you’ll exhaust yourself just thinking about it.

Let’s hope medication resolves the chest infection and in turn alleviate the delirium, it’s frightfully upsetting witnessing it.

In the moments of calmness make sure you read/sit/pop to the library (use their WiFi, have a cuppa made by someone else and grab a book). Breathe remember to breathe. Give your grandson a big hug when you can and watch him just being him, he’ll be a fabulous distraction.

Hugs to you
Karen x

E15 kids said...

I'm afraid this feels terribly familiar. When my mum was laid up with a combination of pulmonary fibrosis, repeated urine infections and vascular dementia I spent every day consumed with her needs travelling over on the DLR to spend the day with her. I couldn't stay over since my kids still needed getting up for school in the morning but fortunately she had a neighbour who was magnificent in checking up on her at night time. The carers were very hit and miss - some times not arriving at all and sometimes barely stopping to check that she was alive. We too had them notionally come in four times a day. It was hard for them as she had undergone a personality change with the dementia and was often less then pleasant (I always say that what hurt most with the dementia was not that she didn't recognise us but that she was so changed by it that it was difficult for us to recognise her) and a number of them were dependent on the bus. We came in contact with some magnificent people when she was ill - people like the oxygen suppliers and the panic alarm operators who went above and beyond but it was still gruelling. I would say that the important people to get on your side - if at all possible - are the pharmacists. My mum was on such a bewildering array of medication that I practically wept when they offered to get it packaged in such a way that I could immediately see what needed to be taken at any point.
My mum died two years ago this month and I'd say we've all been a long time recovering. My middle child was particularly badly upset by it and has an ongoing problem with severe OCD and an eating disorder which I think is not unconnected to his seeing what his nan went through. But it is, of course, part of life, and we are able to look back to the eighty very good healthy active years my mum had before her deterioration.
I wish I could come up with a magic wand but, as others have said, take care of yourself. I knitted a lot of small things when my mum was ill (Christmas baubles for example) as I found that it was good to have a portable craft on the go.
Thinking of you,


Gina said...

Not what sure what to say really other than life can be tough and unfair and although we have never met, I'm thinking of you. My mum recently moved to be nearer to me and although she is in relatively good health I still find that constantly popping in to check, having to help her gets things sorted out etc really tiring so can only imagine how tough it must be for you. Try to make some time for you xxx

colleen said...

Joan - Thank you so very much for such a considered comment. It is so helpful to engage with people who have gone through similar experiences ( although yours sounds very burdensome) and to share experience and learning. One of our carers is so helpful, really experienced, and has been very good at pointing me in the right direction. And of course there is a knock on to the family, and your children would be at such an impressionable and knowing age. I hope your lovely boy recovers.

Your portable crafting made me laugh. I started a scarf. It's been frogged about four times. Even moss stitch seems too demanding! I may have lower my ambitions but it will be done.

colleen said...

Gina - My mum lives a couple of miles or so away, but even this takes around half an hour, so going to and fro certainly quickly eats up the day. And then there is the constant challenge of making sure I don't get parking tickets when when I use the car (which is often this time of year and with all the carrying stuff back and forth. I'm hoping things will stabilise a little when all the necessary kit is in place.

Jane S said...

I've just refound your blog after a good year or so and caught up on your happenings. I do so enjoy reading what you write and love the little joys you find around you at home, in the rhythms of life and in your walks. Your grandson sounds like a wonderful addition to your family life. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother though, and can empathise with the huge demands and the responsibility of looking after her. I do hope the situations settles down for you and her. Be kind to yourself when you get a chance.

annjennyg said...

Oh Colleen, I do hope things settle down and get a little easier for you. It must be exhausting both physically and emotionally. I wish I had something more helpful to say,but I'm afraid I don't other than to say I am thinking of you and I hope the sight of the little tete a tete cheers you. Take care xx

Val said...

I wish you a better weather forecast.
My Mum had vascular dementia and my Sister bore the burden...we were just talking about the cardi she was knitting then, that still isn't finished and had to smile.
I hope your mum improves and the pressure eases for you.
Just because we love someone dearly (perhaps more so because we do )the worries and responsibilities and chores both big and small can really wear you down.
I think you have to conscientiously build in some rests and treats for yourself (that may sound impossible but even if tiny they are important) caring for someone is a marathon not a sprint.
A garden/mature can be very grounding and reassuring in tough times
Sending you best wishes and a virtual hug! x

Val said...

Nature ..even
I don't think typing or spelling are my special subjects...

rachel said...

It's all been beautifully expressed in previous comments, so I won't repeat them, but I'm sending you my warmest wishes, hopes and sympathy at this especially tough time.

purejuice said...

found you. strength to your arm. please come back.