Sunday, 6 July 2014

Rollercoaster report of the week

I have lots of nascent blogposts I would like to write but simply don't have enough time to write them, or more accurately wait for blogger to load the pictures. So instead of not posting I am just going to do a sweep of the week then do the others with pictures when I've got more time. Sorry if this is only vaguely coherent and swings from plus to minus but it matches my week!

My chest infection and sinusitis is not yet gone and probably needs a trip to the GP tomorrow and another week's blast of antibiotics. I am miles better than I was which is a huge relief. I'm still not able to sleep flat but I think in another few days that will sort itself out. I am fairly certain, in retrospect, that the infections got hold partly due to medication that I am on but mainly due to the calamitous amount of stress and concern that has been around me for these past few weeks.

My Mother has been attacking her carers and the other vulnerable residents over the past few weeks in explosive outbursts of purest venom. Interestingly she never attacks anyone who might reciprocate so I struggle to believe it is 'just' her condition as she is surprisingly selective. It has been worrying as I don't know why she is doing this, sickening to see the bruising, gouges and scratches on those she has attacked and shameful that this is my mother. I have also had to go up and down to support the staff as, although they are brilliant and only call if she has gone off totally, I can still handle my Mother better. My chest infection has put paid to this since Monday as taking a rip roaring respiratory infection into a care home is dangerous and stupid. Instead of giving me a rest this has made me berate myself as being restricted to telephone calls meant I couldn't give her a present on my birthday as my thank you to her for giving birth to me which I've done since I was nine years old. She'd no idea it was my birthday but this didn't help me stop feeling guilty.

Magic, my sweet cat, went back to the vet hospital to be checked and the good news is things are improving clinically but she is still not eating which is worrying and baffling. Her vet is most supportive and has called every day to ensure any changes can be made or problems picked up promptly. This meant there were additional trips to the vet school too for additional medications to be added to see if they would improve things. A variety of cat illness supplies had to be sourced and although I am so grateful for the internet it all still adds up and the money just seems to be flowing through my fingers. I've been so grateful for practical support from a friend in helping me with the feed and care set up for Magic which has been invaluable. I'm also trying to decide which pet insurance policy would be right for the younger cat. If he became seriously ill that could tip us over the edge and I could not face making a choice over who to treat. Magic is uninsurable due to her condition and age but the little one can be covered. Advice and support from fellow cat bloggers has been a great help too.

A close friend has been the victim of a nasty financial crime by someone she trusted and there was a worrying period this week where things had to be checked to ensure that I had not been a collateral victim too. This would have been quite the worst timing but luckily, for me at least, it looks like I have not been affected. However, I am still worried for my friend who has had to disclose what happened, the impact on her and the destruction of her trust by the perpetrator.

In all the chaos, I'd even forgot my physio appointment. When I called to apologise and rebook I got one for the following day. I should probably have said no but I felt bad for missing the last one. However, I was very limited in what could be achieved especially as I was more breathless than I was prepared to admit to. I was able to walk slowly or talk briefly not both so he settled for advice instead of testing my exercise tolerance.

I am increasing my working hours now as I have used up all of last year's holidays and my phased return. I am delighted to be back at work as I enjoy my job and like my colleagues. I am also grateful to have been so well supported but I am concerned that I'll be up the mark and manage the full week.

I am also another year older-woo hoo! This year I got a long service extra day off which I used for my birthday. I am normally on holiday now but as my gammy knee wont take me anywhere it seemed kind of futile and my petted lip is threatening to suffocate me. I'm insisting this is only a postponement till I am fitter as I just cant see the point in driving all the way to the Peak District to stare at it through the car windscreen then drive home again.

A wonderful friend offered me a Grand Day Out as part of my birthday treat and another friend made me an amazing meal the evening before. At first I was going to decline both as I was breathless, exhausted, concerned about leaving the cat any longer than necessary and felt as though the week was just a series of demands and must do's and worries. However, both were able to accommodate the essential timing for cat feeds and must do's etc. So I made the decision to dial down the worry for one whole day and evening and stop pretending I was what was holding the universe together with the result that I had the most marvellous occasions. There were special perfect gifts, beautiful cards and lots of heart-warming kindness which made me feel most special. I also managed to get to a book launch and have the latest James Oswald autographed. I love having a new birthday novel and use it as a sort of diary as I note where I am and what I am doing each time I start to read it. This means if I reread it, I also get a little reminder what I was doing the first time I read it.

Every summer I usually have a big personal reflective point at the summer solstice and stay up to see the dawn. This year unintentionally I watched the dawn rise as I sat in the garden worrying and praying for news of my little cat on the night I'd had to take her to the vet hospital. By the time the Solstice rolled round my mother had turned into Arnold Schwarzenegger, one cat was still in vet ICU, the other was distraught and needing lots of support, my financial cushion was vaporising and my own health was taking a beating. I could not even bear to take a reflective glance at my life as it just seemed like everything was falling apart so I made the brave decision to stick my head under the pillows; if nothing else I needed the sleep!

One phrase seems to keep repeating in my head...'Just because you can, doesn't mean you should'. I'm not actually hearing voices, as that really would be the last straw, but this recurring thought is something I probably need to find a way of incorporating into my life. I am becoming so bogged down with doing what is right for others that I am neglecting myself. It is quite apparent this is the case but the fixing it and doing things differently is what seems insurmountable at a point where I don't have the energy to fix it and tackle my own life.

Ironically, before even more began unravelling, I'd decided I was going to make my life better and become more Zen. So I ordered the fashionable mindfulness book-de-jour by Jon Kabat-Zinn called Full Catastrophe Living. Well, I have not had time to read the book, or live in the moment, as I've been too busy firefighting imminent catastrophe. The book seems to have been a bloomin' Jonah and has brought disaster instead of contentment. So I'm still trying to decide whether to find the time to read it or call a priest to have it exorcised and cremated.....?

In the meantime, as the house looks like a bomb has landed, I am going to go out to bring the emptied bin back and smell the roses while I am there. I will even snip a couple to bring indoors to inspire me. Then I am going to try and make a dent in the housework otherwise I'll end up on one of those crazy home makeover/decluttering/forensic cleaner programmes!

I hope your week has been good and hopefully next time I'll share some better news and events. Please God...!


  1. Oh dear what a dredful phase you are going through. I do hope you will feel better physically soon as then you might be able to deal better with all the other stuff. I hope too that your cat will get well soon as I know only too well how much that kind of worry can take you down. It sounds as if you really need a few minutes of me time in there even if only to run away to an imaginary hidey hole - it's what I do in similar circumstances!! Just to stop the world for a moment and take a breath - though that's not easy when you are suffering from a respiratory problem! Thanks for you comment on my latest post - what a shame you couldn't come with me for an outing just to escape for a while isn't it?!

  2. I am so sorry times are so tough, it is good that you are getting it all written down as that is a very Zen move on your part. Get it out of your system. I swear being the main participant in my parents lives it isn't easy. You can not blame yourself for your Mom's actions, ,it is her illness, certainly her caregivers understand this. You are also not to blame for your knee, it simply is what it is and you are doing all you can to get better. I am sending you a prayer for strength and patience, peace and joy and of course for healing for you and your cat.
    Hang in there, and you know I already wished you a Happy B-day.

  3. Oh dear, what a time you've been having. Makes my lack of job worries seem quite daft! It sounds like you have some good friends to help out and I really hope life gets better soon... hopefully from here things can only get better :)

  4. Oh my goodness you are going through a dreadful phase, but you must know that this will pass perhaps not soon but it will pass. Your illness will get better and then you will feel more in control again. I hope your poor cat gets better soon, its a worry when our pets are ill. I agree with another commentor that you must not blame yourself for your mum. Assuming she wasn't like this before, it can only be an illness which i'm sure her carers understand. You must get healthy again and to do that you must look after yourself and not worry about things you cannot do anything about. I hope all gets back to some kind of normality again for you soon. x

  5. I am so sorry to hear that you are going through all of this. I truly hope that things start to improve soon. Of course I have no idea really about the situation with your Mum, so please feel free just to tell me to shove off, but if you can and if it is appropriate, take some time for yourself to remember that you are important in all of this. If you take too much of this on your health will suffer even more and then you will be of less help and support when it really is needed. I know that it is easy to say this, but please believe me that I know what a difference taking even a little step back can make if it is possible to do just that. Even occasionally helps. Also, these dreadful illnesses do terrible things to lovely people, it is so very hard to deal with, and I am sure that the staff caring for your Mum and your friends and family all know and understand the situation and do not think that it is anything that you have done or not done on purpose. I am just saying all of this to try and be of some support and reassurance, not to upset you, so I hope that it helps. Thinking of you, sending good thoughts and best wishes, and most importantly of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! xxxx


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