Keep Breathing…

I’ll start this post tonight, but it is unlikely I will finish. It’s 23.16 and I really should be in bed, but as usual I am not. I’m tried, emotional exhaustion as opposed to physical exhaustion, although it’s there too.

I’m listening, and I can’t hear anything and it’s a blessing, it means all is peaceful, something that in this household has been severely lacking of late. There is no shouting, crying, cursing or stamping of feet. The Mothership is in respite and I can breathe.

A few weeks back a routine glucose check promoted an urgent trip to the hospital, where it was discovered that she has iron deficiency anaemia. They don’t know the reason and because of her level of understanding are not sure they can complete the necessary examinations. 9 hours we waited while she was topped up with both blood and iron. We hoped that perhaps that had been the reason for the decline in mood, but we were wrong and things steadily got worse.

The Fathership contacted her social worker and when she eventually returned his call a visit was arranged. They discussed carers, incontinence clinics, day care centres and medications. There was no discussion about what you do when you feel you’re at the end of your rope and have no strength left to tie a knot and hang on.

We persevered for another couple of weeks, but there was no improvement and neither of us could remember the last time there had actually been a good day. Her new favourite word became no, which she said a lot when we were trying to get her to eat and drink, a vital part of staying alive.

I’ve cried so much this last 2 – 3 months, because there really is nothing else to do when you feel there is no where else to turn. You look at the person before you and in your head you check off all the tactics that you have tried to stop the shouting and crying, and when you realise that you’ve actually reached the end of your list you think how, how the fuck am I going to deal with this person.

In sheer desperation the Fathership contacted her Doctor and outlined everything that had been going on, the lack of eating and drinking and the increase in the aggression and she took the decision to have her placed into respite for a couple of weeks in order that she could be assessed to see if perhaps there were any other underlying reasons for the decline.

I cannot explain the weight that has been lifted off our shoulders even if it is for a short time. How delighted I was to be able to sit down and watch the TV or sleep all through the night, something that I had not been able to do in the last 2 months.

It’s not been the stress free week that I hoped however, one set of worries just becomes replaced by new ones, like how is she getting on, will she kick off with the staff, will she fret for home and also, will she hate us for placing her in there in the first place. There are still things to be done, certainly a lot around the house and lets face it the cooking and cleaning never stops. I badly need to catch up on sleep, because the world is a scary place when you are suffering from a lack of it.

She’s been in for almost a week and I have not yet been to see her. I’m not sure people understand my reasoning, but in order for me to make the most of this time I have been given I need to try and distance myself, because if I go to visit and she is either upset or accusatory then it is going to take away any of the benefit that this period of peace should have.

Others have reported that she is doing well. albeit she will not eat and drink more than the minimum for the nurses either. She seems to like the company and to be honest that was a fear of mine for the last few weeks, that she was lacking the interaction with people other than myself and the Fathership.

We have big decisions to make, but I think we all know that the time is coming when we will have to choose where the best place for her to be is. We can’t seem to make her happy any more and if she needs that connection with others then perhaps she needs to be where that can be provided.

I’m trying to take one day at a time, but already thoughts of her return home are crowding my head, because when you have had that little bit of freedom and realise what life can be like, you realise it’s going to be very hard to return to how things were.

One day at a time eejit, one day at a time. Keep breathing.

(As predicted, this post took me 4 days to complete)

Remember Me!

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I sort of feel like I need to provide an explanation with regards to my absence, when in reality I probably don’t. Even I was caught a little off guard this time when WordPress informed me it had been 23 days since my last post. I’d love to tell you I have been having a whale of a time, but why sugar coat it, things have been pretty shit to be honest, there is just no any other way to say it.

This whole Dementia thing is proving really stressful. We’ve had the worst month ever due to tantrums, constant crying, hospital visits, in fact you name it and we’ve probably dealt with it.

It’s becoming apparent that 9 out of 10 times I am the only person on the Motherships radar meaning she will essentially ignore everyone else and come to me for assistance. It’s like having a shadow and it’s exhausting. She leaves me with virtually no free time at all until I eventually put her to bed. I wanted to write last night but I was so tired I was unable to string a sentence together.

So that’s where I have been, every night I come home from work and step into the cocoon of caring that is so intense it almost makes you forget there is a world outside. Returning to work on a Monday after a weekend spent here feels like I’ve been away for a month, not two days and I am less than rested. As much as I dread work sometimes, I am glad of the escape.

Things are happening though, there is talk of Carers coming in to assist and a mild tablet that will hopefully bring calm, but we are doubtful it will make any difference and we certainly cannot tell the Mothership for fear of a reaction of explosive proportions. We will just have to wait and see. My Sister has been down every weekend which has been great and taken the pressure off.

But still, I am living on my nerves, and they are frazzled!

Apart from that there is nothing, not a fecking thing can I tell you that will in anyway entertain or amuse you. I just wanted to update you.

I read when I can and comment when I can, but less than perfect WiFi on my train journeys is a bit of a hindrance. Just know I am still alive and well and usually around somewhere :)

Making referrals

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When I am absent from the blog for a while I feel like a stranger when I come back, despite the fact it is my own space.

I’ve found it really hard to write this last couple of weeks, the ideas keep coming, but I just never seem to get time  to sit down, or when I do something else has happened and I am no longer in the mood. A war of words with the Mothership will do that to you.

A few weeks ago I finally made the decision to have myself referred for counselling, although my boss had also decided that if I didn’t they would anyway. So far I have had two assessments in quick succession, and I’ll now have to wait to find out which kind of counsellor I am being referred to, that could take 12 weeks, but at least I am in the system.

I need to do this. In the first session I cried for the whole 45 minutes and even though I am usually uncomfortable talking about myself, I tried to be as honest as I could. At the second assessment the lady really gave me something to think about, she asked about experiences I had been through. I though I was pretty unremarkable, but when I answered the questions I was able to say I had seen someone die, had a friend murdered and witnessed someone attempting to commit suicide. She wrote frantically at that point, even though I said I didn’t think any of those events had shaped my life, but how do I know.

At the end of the session I asked her if I was just wasting everyone’s time being there, because in my head I didn’t feel that what I am going through warranted their time, but she assured me it did, and told me I had done the right thing. She was also able to tell from the way I answered the questions that I lack confidence, which lifted a weight off my shoulders, because that is one of the things I would like to address.

Although I am scared about what is to come because several people have told me this will not be an easy process, I feel better that I have finally been brave enough to try. It certainly can’t make things any worse.

You will however be glad to know that she was full of approval with regards to the fact that I write a blog. I was particularly glowing in my description of you all, saying how beneficial I found it, and it was nice that she got it and understood, because not everyone does. She says I need to keep writing because it’s a good way to get things out in the open as opposed to bottling them up. How I do that I don’t know, because I am not sure here is the place for that. I think perhaps that as I start to change so will the blog and perhaps that is no bad things as long as I can keep an element of humour running though it. I told her I miss my funny and want to find it again.

So my hope is that I will be a little more regular here, but then again I always say that and it never happens, so for now I won’t be making any Mid Year Resolutions, I’m just going to see how it goes.

Missed you all :)

It’s going to be one of those days…

 

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No matter how tired I am this weather I can never seem to get enough sleep. Granted, part of that is my own fault, I’m a bit of a night owl, but when I have the opportunity to sleep a little longer in the mornings it never happens and it’s extremely frustrating!

So here I sit with a banging headache, the next door neighbours dog is having a noisy showdown with the cockerel, as in one is chasing the shadows of birds and the other is trying to call for them. There is housework to be done and people to be fed and I just can’t be arsed doing any of it, no point in sugar coating how I feel, lack of sleep clearly makes me a cow.

I’ve missed not writing and reading blogs, but there has just been no time. It’s something I am going to have to rectify, because honestly, sometimes in the middle of everything that goes on I think it is the only thing that keeps me sane.

This last couple of weeks have been challenging, and it’s a stark reminder that things are going to get worse instead of better. Don’t get me wrong, the Fathership and I face each situation we come across, usually successfully, but it’s mentally and physically draining sometimes. It would be nice to think that in the midst of everything life would stop and give you a break when the shit hits the fan, but it doesn’t, so you have to deal with all these things whilst dealing with life too, which can be complicated enough on its own sometimes.

I’m sick of trying to explain to people what it’s like, or make excuses for the way I live my life or do things the way I do. I appreciate that most people mean well when they say, you just have to get up and do it (when referring to going out), but real life just doesn’t work that way and perhaps if they walked a couple of weeks in my shoes they would realise that. I mean would you get up and leave a two year old child and go to dinner without putting any preparation in place, because that’s what dealing with someone with dementia is like. Any deviations from the normal routine or changes to schedules can have disastrous effects and invoke meltdowns of epic proportions. Sometimes you have to weigh up the pros and cons and ask yourself is it worth having one night of fun to endure 6 nights of torture. When you’re already at the end of your rope and trying to hang on, then answer to that is no.

I’ve wanted to write so many times over these past couple of weeks, but on the rare chances I had to sit down I had nothing to say, because all of this was rattling around in my wonky top box and I couldn’t figure out if here was the platform for it, this is after all meant to be a humour blog. Although I suppose I do try to put my usual slight comedic spin on things. Both the Fathership and I agree on one thing, if we didn’t laugh we’d cry.

I suppose in the end, the conclusion I came to was this, it’s my blog, I can write what I want, and it is definitely better writing about these things to get them off my chest rather than keeping them bottled up. I have however (if I can figure it out) turned off the comments on this post. I don’t want sympathy, that’s not why I write, there are people in the world dealing with much worse things. I just need to expel my ramblings into the ether.

Trust me, it’s good to talk – even if it is just to yourself!

Love you all :)

 

 

Where am I?

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Sadly, this it not going to be one of those posts where you try to guess my location. I’m right where I always am, I’m just not sure who I am anymore.

I’ve found this last month or so a real struggle, I’ve been feeling a little disconnected, from pretty much everything. My anxiety levels have been through the roof, which has a knock on effect of a messed up sleep pattern, it’s a vicious circle. I still function, I do all the things I am supposed to, I keep things ticking over, and everyone fed, I go to work and the rest of the time I just feel tired. In my head the world is going to fall apart at any second and believe me, that’s not a nice feeling.

I miss the person I was. I used to be mildly funny. Perhaps in the correct setting I still could be, right now I just feel lost.

This life swamps me sometimes, the enormity of it all. I don’t think about just one person now, I have to think for two. I had trouble enough looking after myself.

I miss writing here, but I have nothing to say but this. I’m left not knowing what to do, should I wait until I have something funny to say, or should I just write everything and hope that the few people who interact don’t run for the hills. It is after all part and parcel of who I am, no one can be funny all of the time, right?!

I was cleaning out my computer of all the junk it has amassed over the last five years it has been with me. Reading through old posts left me wondering who the person who wrote them was, because it feels a world away from who I am now. If I’m also hurtling towards the menopause then I am well and truly fucked, throwing hormones into this mix is going to be about the the same as throwing a firework on a bonfire, looks out folks she’s gonna blow!

The thing is, I’ll get through it, I always do. Tomorrow I’ll get up and I’ll still function exactly as I did today. I’ll write about it and you’ll tell me stupid jokes and make me smile.

One day if I’m lucky, and you lot are incredibly unlucky I might just write a funny post again. Most likely the next one, because it is amazing how cathartic writing this shit actually is :)

Let me start with the bad jokes, to set you off on the right track:

Did you hear the one about the magic tractor? – It was driving down the road when it suddenly turned into a field!

And finally, whilst perusing Spotify this week, they were kind enough to give me a little playlist all of my very own based on the songs I listen to. One of the choices was a band called Amber Run with a song called I found which I love, however for the purposes of this post I am going to leave you with their song called Spark, simply because as the song says, I need to let the light in.

Till next time eejits :)

 

Smiling despite it all…

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Writing my post last night, and all the funny comments that followed really made my night. I went to bed with a smile on my face, the first in a long time.

It reminded me how I used to be, I felt a spark of my old self.

I wish you had all known me before my accident and the birth of Alien leg. In essence I was, and always will be the same person, but I was a little more carefree and a lot more fun.

There have been a lot of changes over the last couple of years, and the stresses of everyday life sometimes takes it’s toal. Both physically and mentally I am no longer the same person. I’ve had to grow up, while learning to adjust to my hopefully temporary disability.

There are some things I will always be stuck with, like anxiety and worry, they are now ingrained in me, perhaps they always were, because looking back I cannot remember a time when I did not worry. That said, these days I seem more able to put things into perspective and employ coping mechanisms. There are other more important things to deal with.

Home life has been the biggest change, even since the time of starting this blog. It is also the main reason why sometimes I do not blog. We have to approach life one day at a time, as the mood of the Mothership determines the mood of everyone else in the household. Sometimes I am mentally drained and incapable of sensible thought never mind writing.

Someday I will write about these things, I need to, it’s not healthy to keep it bottled up, but for now it is not something I feel comfortable doing, even though this is my space.

There are days I resent the fact that I have become a carer, yet other days I just get on with it. Lately I have become resigned to the fact that this is now my life and I am trying to deal with it as best I can. Perhaps this is what has been mapped out for me.

You may not have liked the person I was before, but I loved to laugh and make people laugh. I was always a thinker, but I chose to write my thoughts rather then speak them. I was relatively funny, but better when I had someone to spark off, a partner in crime so to speak.

Last night the interaction and laughter gave me hope that perhaps someday I will be able to return to the person I was pre injury.

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Image from notable-quotes.com

I like the fact that I can write this post and still be smiling and feel positive, despite everything. Perhaps the fog of depression that has hung above me since my accident is now starting to clear and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you to each and every person who has helped to guide me towards it. You kept on pushing me forwards. In the words of Owl City, it certainly does feel like every day like I get a thousand hugs from ten thousand lightening bugs!

Keep smiling eejits! :)

 

Daily Prompt: Beyond the Pale!

Daily Prompt: Beyond the Pale

When was the last time you did something completely new and out of your element? How was it? Will you do it again?
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Image from sophisticatededge.com

Seriously folks, this is so randomly boring and banal that you’re going to think to yourselves, seriously, WTF!!, did she just post that!

On Wednesday the 1st January 2014 for New Year’s Day dinner I cooked a whole chicken! Now before you all start to panic, the chicken was not alive at the time, in fact it looked quite peaceful in it’s little roasting bag, lightly dusted with herbs and spices. I did however have a minutes silence, after I saw my neighbours brood lined up outside my kitchen window  giving me the evil eye. Now before you all start to panic again, it was NOT one of my neighbours in the bag.

I have to be honest and say that while I had respect for the bird before me, I had no remorse, because if truth be told chickens, the live ones that is, scare me just a little. They seem to lay in wait around the vicinity of the back door and when I step outside they are prone to chasing me and pecking at my feet. They always seem to pick the bad leg too, because they know I cannot kick them a boot up their feathered fandangos. In my head they are saying, “Here lads, look at the drumsticks on that, attttttaccccckkkk!!!” In reality there are probably saying, “fooood, this bitch is bound to have foooooood.”

Now I know for most of you cooking a whole chicken will be the easiest thing in the world, in fact most of you probably do it with your eyes closed. I know when I do the funky chicken, everyone else keeps their eyes closed. The thing is, my Mum was a fantastic cook and she would have been the one who did all those kind of things when we were younger. In later years I cooked for myself, but I preferred things like stir fries, korma, noodles etc. Don’t get me wrong I have a healthy appetite but not even I could eat a whole chicken on my own.

The saddest things about the way my Mum’s illness has progressed is that there never seemed to be a need to learn all the cooking secrets that she knew, and now I need to know them, she is not able to teach me. Thankfully for most things I knew the basics which I was able to expand on.

Now I cook for us all everyday and I’ve been trying to experiment and try new things in an attempt to vary our daily menu, which if truth be told is the bit I find the hardest in the whole caring process to date. So you see, to me cooking a whole chicken, which was not only edible but delicious  as well, and best of all didn’t kill anyone was actually a big deal. I served it up, and looked at the plates with a huge smile on my face and thought I did that, while mentally high fiving myself.

Next, which will be another first for me is Shepherd’s Pie….and no before you ask, no Shepherd’s will be harmed in the cooking process!

Under no obligation.

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Image from searchquotes.com

Obligation – an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.

This week Jed from Okay, What if? challenged us to think about what life would be like if we had no obligations in the New Year.

It’s a very complex issue, as we have many obligations in our daily lives. I’m terrible at saying the word ‘no’, I think it in my head but it’s never what comes out of my mouth, therefore I place myself under unnecessary obligations all the time .

The biggest one in my life at the minute would have to be work. In fact for a long time everything was about work. Something changed though, I am not sure whether it was to do with the time I had to take off because of injury, a change in job, a change of office,  or simply the fact that I have more obligations at home, but I don’t seem to have the same enthusiasm I once had. I like being challenged and kept under a little bit of pressure, those are the conditions under which I thrive.

Even though, at present, I no longer do my part time job,  I still feel obligated to them. Another firm approached me about a position if I ever consider making a return, but I don’t feel like I could make the move without giving my old firm another try, even though I know the new position would be less stressful as there is a better structure of management in place.

Home life has become more of an obligation in the last year or so, although it falls more into the ‘sense of duty’ category. It somehow does not seem right to refer to looking after a parent as an obligation, it makes it seem cold and clinical .

I think it is expected  that we look after those who have looked after us. We don’t always have to like it, but its the way of the world.

We’ve been given this life, and we have an obligation to see it through to the end.