Monday, February 28, 2011

Its Meh-day

For some reason my brain is having an off day. Ok, so anyone who knows me will know that me having a dumb day is nothing rare. But this isn't me being stupid for once. Today is not about brain not engaging, its just not starting. Flat batteries, flooded with thoughts? I don't know, but its frustrating as hell.

Usually by this time I'm alive with thoughts, ideas, even if they are somewhat depressing but today, nothing really. Instead I'm moping around with nothing but bah and meh on my mind lol.

I'm sure fresh air with the dogs will help, so fingers crossed I can get the morning started soon. Thinking about it, I think one of the other problems is, I have done so many of the important things I needed to do now that there is very little stimulating or worrying left to do. Compared to a few weeks back, with bills building up, problems with the carers, stressing about work etc, this week so far is rather dull and mundane.

Not to say there is nothing to deal with, of course there is. But for once none of it has me in a spin.

Instead I'm left with other things that are months away yet. And other things that I can only wonder about. How is my dear daughter going to do in her exams (I'm sure she will do amazingly well), what is going to happen about my escape to Florida this year, what will I be doing by July/August... So many things, but none that I can influence so far away.

So my plan today, spend some time talking to mum, the weekend has been a bit quiet between us, keep up with the housework, give the dogs a groom with my super new brush from Pets at Home, walk and feed the dogs, feed myself. Oh I just remembered, pick up prescription for mum from the pharmacy... I'm sure more will come to me as the day passes, but for now, that's it.

Quick updates on other things...
Mum, been feeling a little less energetic recently, seems to have more of a job moving about. Quite grumpy (understandable with me about) and spoke to an old friend the other day on the phone. After being asked how she was, she went on to inform her "not that good, I have cancer now, I'm tired of all the fussing and just want to be left to die now". Great way to break the news. But her choice.

As for me, maintaining weight, believe about another 2-3lbs went over the past 10 or so days. Not paying too much attention now, but I'm not gaining, and recent weigh ins have been after food and drink, and are still lower than previous. Happy happy.

Right, I better get on, have a great week all.

Sent using BlackBerry®

Friday, February 25, 2011

Who am I ?

A question I clearly don't ask myself enough these days, but one that springs to the front of my mind right now.

Forgive the ramblings of a mad man, but its all bubbling up to the surface right now, so as you know I like to blog it before it starts to set and make no sense to me.

I am chatting to a few people tonight on my faithful BBM (I would be lost without Blackberry Messenger), while at the same time watching/listening to a 90's resurrection set on MTV Dance, and as things are said, and tunes play, I am slowly starting to figure out a few little things, like "who I am"

Adult life started in the 90's for me, so clubbing days, driving around like a misguided youth, and discovering myself, were all done with this music as my soundtrack. Hearing these tunes play while I am in deep though provokes all sorts of thoughts.

Tunes that remind me of first experiences, ones that remind me of friends who have since passed. Past relationships, watching my daughter grow, and so much more. You know what I mean. Music is like a smell or a taste, in an instant we are back 10 years, living a moment all over again.

Then the next thing I know I am reminiscing of days gone by, and comparing the me of yesteryear, and wonder what is real and what is the adapted me. The me that has shaped myself to fit in, or accept what I have before me.

We all do it, set out with dreams and aspirations, and before we know it they are changing. Changing because its easier to change our way of thinking, than it is to make changes to our life. Leaving the comfort zone, stepping forwards, moving on, and daring to think outside the box... All too daunting for anyone and everyone from time to time.

*Just to digress for a moment, N-Trance "set you free" has just come on, and my god that has gone from being a club banger, to almost a sentimental meaningful song... Anyway... Back to the other bit.

So our aspirations change, but in my case when I look back in reality, I think I have stayed pretty true to my chosen path. OK so I'm not successful, retired and living in Florida, but we can all dream eh.
But in general, certainly up to a couple of years ago I would say I have stayed on track.

Its the past 24-36 months that provoke deeper thought for me. I have not strayed, and I still know what I want, but my life has been put on the back burner, until recently at least. The past week or two have honestly made me realise I need to live for myself too, and stay in touch with my own realities, not just those of people who "need" me.

Achievements of recent make me stronger and more positive. Steps I have taken in different directions make me confident, and people around me empower me to strive for a better life than the ditch I seem to have slipped into over recent months.

So when I think about it, the answer to who am I is a simple one really... I am me, Michael. The deep minded, over thinking, complex emotional guy. The one who spends most of his life wanting to improve other peoples lives, and forgetting to take the occasional time out to focus on his own life. Yet here I am... Taking time to reflect and think about my own life. So maybe I'm not as set in my ways as I think.

OK so I said I was rambling, and know this makes no sense, so let me summarise...

Respect your own decisions, regardless of what others try to make you believe, or opinions they impose upon you.
Don't be afraid to do something different, new, unexplored. Just because you think it might upset someone. If it upsets them, then is their opinion that important to you?
Take time out for YOU. Regardless of how smooth sailing life may seem, there is always room for manoeuvre, and time for a quick sanity check. When you lose touch with yourself, reality becomes a blur.
Remember who YOU are. What you stand for, your beliefs, morals and goals in life. There is always room for compromise, but rarely room for total surrender.

After blurting all this out, I am making sense of the root of this all, and getting back in touch and in tune with my own thoughts and emotions (as those who know me will be able to tell by how much I'm writing)

So thank you for reading, thank you for inspiring my thoughts this way, and take care of Number 1

Sent using BlackBerry®

Oops, sorry!

While taking a moment to reflect recently, and talking to someone about day to day life, I realised something shocking.
I am without realising it, cutting away at life lines, and pushing people away, when in fact I actually need them close by.
Last week I had an amazing time in a friends company, we chatted, laughed and messed about in a way that truly felt unfamiliar to me at the time. Yet the more I think about it, the more I realise that was actually the real me, the normal me. Not the current me that is beaten down by emotions, and weighed down by events of day to day life.

But over the past days, as I have settled back into my normal role, I seem to have been a bit negative to said people, and really should think before I act.

Now I'm not trying to get all deep and emotional, I'm not going to run away and start a new life as a hermit living under a waterfall or anything. BUT... I am going to make a concious effort to make sure I treat the people who make a difference to me, with respect, and hope I can keep their company for a long time.

So thank you for listening to me, for entertaining my thoughts, and for all the kinds of company you offer. There are some special people out there, for which I am grateful.

A line of arrogance from me for a moment. Usually being the one offering the hand of help, I now know what it feels like to receive care, comfort and ne respected by someone who owes you none of that.


Sent using BlackBerry®

Friday pig-out

Look at all that starch and carbs! Shame on me!

Sent using BlackBerry®

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A half decent picture!

Finally taken one, now I have shed some weight again, and have found my chin!
So this is me, for now. May the fun begin.

Sent using BlackBerry®

Physical conditioning time..

..But where to start.
Weight loss has proven successful, and I am happy with where I am now, so the next logical stage is to start conditioning.
Mentally I am conditioned already towards healthier choices in food, sensible eating patterns etc, so now its physical time.

When I say conditioning, I'm not talking ripped, six pack, and vascular (although that would be nice lol.) I just want to head back to firming up around the edges, and not looking like I just lost a huge chunk of weight. Tighten up the stomach a little, some definition back in my back and arms would be lovely for me right now.

My problem, an ageing, brittle body lol. Heavy training over the past few years has seen me end up on the operating table too many times, so I am keen to avoid any more surgery.

So I am currently working on a daily home circuit that I can do to enable this all to happen, and trying to decide what would help. A small resistance machine with a weight stack would be good to vary the movements, while limiting the impact on my joints and tendons. Along with simple things like push-ups, chair dips, crunches etc to work the usually unworked muscle groups.

So here we are, phase 2 of getting back into shape. I can't wait to get started, and start exhausting my body nicely lol.

Suggestions for movements welcomed.

Sent using BlackBerry®

That's a bit better.

For me anyway. After a few days of battling to get back on track I feel like I am finally getting somewhere now. That said, its 8.50 and I'm back in bed lol. So maybe not a great example.
Difference between today and yesterday is that I'm all geared up and mentally prepared to get the day started properly. My feet and legs are craving the morning walk with the dogs, so must answer their calling soon.

After that, a few more things I have to do, bank, shops, doctors... But all in hand I feel.

So first up, getting ready and going to give the dogs a good walk. From my panic list of to-do's from the earlier part of the week there is really not much left. Work contacted, chunk of rent paid, accounts balanced to hopefully cover the remainder of the months expenditures.
So really nothing too stressful to do for the day, other than make sure mum gets some fluids inside her, and takes her meal replacement drinks that the doctor prescribed yesterday.

Right, gonna step it up a gear now and get going. Back later with more, if I don't wear myself out with housework and walking.

Sent using BlackBerry®

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snap out of it!

That's what I have to keep telling myself over the past few days. It seems that taking a day out from caring and stressing has had a profound impact on my ability to function. Ok, so I'm probably over thinking this, and let's face it, it would hardly be the first time now would it!
The night I spent away from home kinda threw my sleep pattern, but that's not to say I'm complaining, trust me IM NOT! But I just seem to lack the get up and go I have had over recent months. Little jobs stacking up, reluctance to get out of bed.
Hey, you know what, maybe its just my body and mind saying "chill the f**k out". After all, everything seems ok here right now.

That said, the past couple of days, mum is back off her food and drink again. Complaining she is feeling tired and weak, and is really quite wobbly too, which really isn't good. Not sure if she has not recovered very well from last weeks bout of being ill, or is just at another stage of the illness now.
I am trying to let her stay in control of seeing doctors etc right now, and we spoke about them yesterday, but her mindset seems to me that she will see one when she is ready too. Which anyone reading this blog will know, is usually too late.

So all these little jobs building up, anything major? Nope not really. Rent arrears need paying towards over the phone, but can't be bothered speaking to people right now. My mind is shying away from conversation like mad.
Also I need to speak to work regarding the current situation, but again, the thought of that conversation just makes me put it on a back burner and add it to tomorrows to-do list.

I also have a whole load of reading to catch up on too, which I am going to use today for. The crap weather is almost a sign saying, "nowhere else to go, so crack on with your chores".

So todays to-do:
Rent payment
Contact work
Consult GP for mum
And I'm sure things will add themselves to it by the end of the day.

With that said, I guess I better get started. Once the carer is done with mum I can get going on the housework.
Speaking of the carer, I meant to say, she is getting on with them much better now, just the weekend one that is the issue. She still won't depend on them but is more at ease.

Oh one last thing, just as a time stamp for me really, but feel free to read on. Mums confusion seems to be playing up a bit. Nothing too serious, but not like her to get something like this wrong.

Yesterday, 9am the carer left the house. 9.30 I took the first dog out. 10.15 I returned to the house. On opening the outer door, the inner door blew open. Mum was in the hallway and said there was post for me. (Postie had been while I was out with the dog) I said to mum "did you see me in the hall and leave the door open for me", she replied no. So I asked why the door would have been open. Her reply was "those bloody women (carers) they keep leaving the door open, I will have to say something". Pointing out that I had left AFTER the carers, I tried to explain it could not have been the carer, but her reply was "well it certainly wasn't me". So I explained further that she was last to open the door as she had just checked for post. This made her quite angry, and she said "ok it must have been me" then slammed the door behind her. Oops!

Right this was meant to be a quick entry, so I'm done.

Have a good day

Sent using BlackBerry®

Monday, February 21, 2011

640 miles later....

And I'm home. A great 30 hours away from home. I am completely drained, quite literally, and had a great time and feel like I have truly shed a load!
As exhausted as I am, I am glad I took some time out, went to see my aunt, and feel I have achieved a great deal from one trip.

Can't say much more than that, as due to my exhausted mental state I am lost for words of any depth.

Now sitting at St Christophers Hospice waiting for a meeting with the family worker. Not sure how productive that will be because I am not quite switched on.

But worth a go lol

Sent using BlackBerry®

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lunch is served!

Loving it!
Just popped the gammon on to cook for tomorrows lunch!

Sent using BlackBerry®

"Those bloody steroids!"

Regardless of the fact they have got mum back on her feet and feeling better, they are of course the devil. (Well they are red!)
Her first comment this morning as I got them out of the packet was "those bloody steroids, I have been up since 3am"
I am starting to see a pattern now, and her comments moments ago confirmed that.
Speaking to the carer while waiting on a cup of teas, she was talking about her meds. She described her fluid replacement sachets to the carer a little something like this.
"I am meant to be drinking more to help clear a urine infection, but the doctor put me on these, and they stop me from going to the loo"

No dear, they replace the missing glucose and sodium in your body to allow your body to retain the necessary fluids to function properly. Any by all accounts, they seem to be working a treat.
After complaining to everyone for 2 days that if she drinks, she just wee's it out, now we are at the opposite end of the spectrum.

By her description the urine is getting weaker now, which shows the anti bi's are working, and flushing with fluids is helping, but now there is less to complain about there, its time to switch tactics. She has not mentioned kidney pain today, so has hopefully forgotten that for now, and its not really going to turn into a kidney infection (for her sake)

She managed to open the door to the carer herself today, which was impressive. Nice to see her motivated to interact with the new carers.

Right, let's see what the rest of the day can bring lol

Have a good one, enjoy the sunshine

Sent using BlackBerry®

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another "told you so" moment.

Yesterday, with all the medical people talking, visiting, and giving advice over the phone, mum made her stand and said she was sick and tired of being told she was dehydrated, as everytime she drank something it just went straight through her.
This was of course corrected by the doctors, and she was told it was doing its job of clearing out toxins on the way through, so doing more than mearly passing through.

Either way she said she would not be drinking more than she already was as she was tired of going to the toilet. Told that failure to do so would result in a urine infection which she may already have, then spread to the kidneys which would be very painful, she barked a reply which said no one knew what kind of pain she was in, and kidney infection was the least of her worries.

The doctor however prescribed rehydration powders, aimed at helping her retain a little water, and with persistence I have got her to drink 2 yesterday and 2 today. So you can imagine my surprise (or lack of) when she came to talk to me today and informed me she had made a decision. She said due to the LACK of going to the toilet today, and the building discomfort in her kidneys, she will NOT be having any more than one of these drinks a day now, as she WANTS to wee more to clear up the apparent kidney infection she feels she is getting now, as its very painful.

For the record, it is obviously important to both be able to retain AND pass fluids in order to stay hydrated and keep the toxins passing through your system. Mum however sees this as different doctors contradicting one another, and that either she needs to retain or pass water. Doing both is clearly impossible.

Dear oh dear!

Sent using BlackBerry®

To supplement the diet

These are the items that added with my food packs from Protikee will go to making up my intake for the week. Gammon will last a few days, roast (drained) chicken joint will do the same. The veggies there will probably go in to 2 portions per pack to make up some green intake, and the pepsi max will supply the bubbles.

And not forgetting the mighty porridge. Oat so simple, but oh so delicious and filling as an evening stop gap.

Added together with the myriad of bars and snacks, as well as chocolate shakes and hot chocolates I have, and I am taken care of for the week ahead. And not forgetting the phenomenal amount of water and squash over the course of a day too.

Weight loss, or weight maintenance, you decide, but we will find out between Saturday and Monday. If this damned pizza from yesterday ever clears my body lol

Sent using BlackBerry®

Physio time.

Ok so with it being important that I maintain flexibility this week, I thought it was time to pay the physio a visit. With all the stress so far this week, the top of my spine and neck is tight as hell, Its time to see Kevin @ Back on Track to get me back to my old self.

Usually a monthly thing, I have missed Dec and Jan due to commitments and financial reasons, but Feb, let's call it my little birthday treat shall we.

In 30 mins time I hope to be free again, to turn my head, look all around and use my back as it should be used.

Is it strange to look forwards to the manipulation of the spine and making it creak and crack... Well if it is, call me weird, because the end result to me is so worth it.

So here goes......

Sent using BlackBerry®

The difference a day can make.

And probably the threat of hospital helped a little too. But this morning mum is making much more of an effort to get drink and food inside of her. Unsurprising but she is feeling a bit better, and is able to get herself in and out of bed, as well as to the loo, out for a ciggy and into the kitchen.

She says its all down to the steroids, but something tells me state of mind plays a part in that too.
Of course, its not all rosey. After being told over and over by the medics yesterday that she probably has a urine infection because of the dehydration, she didn't bother to mention the problem to the doctor when he came. So of course, they have let her down and she wants to know why the hell they are not treating it. Needless to say, it needs diagnosing properly before they can treat it.

The district nurse will be calling today to do mums blood sugar and wound checks. And a nurse from St Christophers will be coming around to see how mum is doing, and to see if anything can be done from their end to help with matters too. Thankfully things are better than yesterday though. As I type, she has just popped out for another ciggy, so has her priorities straight.

She ate before the carer arrived this morning, but was very positive when she did arrive, and they got on well, which was nice to see. Chatting, and just getting on the little things mum needed doing. After the carer had left, again mum was complimentary about her, and said it was lovely that she just did her thing and left.

Me and my sister wrote up a list of little things for the carer to do daily as her "plan" and she has been brilliant at following it, just need to do one for the afternoon now too. Then she can check it off against what mum needs, and if nothing else is needed, can go.

Going back to yesterday, just after I thought nothing else could go wrong, the dog threw up on the bed, which ended up costing £60 to replace all the bedding. But on the + side, the bread bin and biscuit tin I have been meaning to buy were in the clearance sale with 1/3 off. Balance restored.... Almost lol.

My birthday binge of food didn't go down well, and I could not sleep most of the night, so I was pleased when postie arrived with my weeks supply of Protikee this morning.

Right, I have physio booked for 3pm to get me sorted physically. Important things to do this week and need to be in my best possible shape to do them. So looking forwards to some violent pampering lol.

That's me for now, hopefully we are on the up now.

Have a good one.

Sent using BlackBerry®

The week of food ahead.

Thank you once again to the wonderful world of Protikee, aka The Kee Diet, for their supplies package which arrived prompt this morning. Packed full of both my favourites and some new bits to try during the week ahead. Including a couple of packs of their new Maltester style snacks, gratis for my birthday (thanks guys)

Now I am around my goal weight, its more about maintaining and adjusting to my new intake. With a variety of Total loss, and weight control products this week, some new flavours of bars included in the line-up. This weeks plan is maybe a shake in the morning, along with my usual 2-3 pints of fluids. Some chicken breast for lunch (a £5 frozen roast joint from Tesco lasts 5 days), some porridge early evening, and then a bar or hot chocolate at night. Bars are also there for snacks if needed throughout the day, due to the amount of activity walking the dogs etc.

I have to say, after yesterdays birthday blowout, I have never been happier to be back on meal replacements. Going back to food reminds me how much slower you feel while digesting a meal etc. So I think I have found a happy medium with the mix of Kee and foods. Just got to keep the ideas fresh now.

So this is me saying urrrgh to over rated heavy food, and yay to nice light on the stomach stuff. Chicken and porridge rock!

Sent using BlackBerry®

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wow this is SO much fun!

The ambulance crews (yes 2 of them) spent the best part of 2 hours with mum. Talking to her, testing her, finding thingd wrong with her etc, and everything points to a trip to the hospital.
As soon as it was mentioned, the defences went up and the arguing started. Refusal to go to Lewisham hospital, they treat her like a prisoner and she is not going there.
A rethink and how about St Thomas's. No, their patient transport there is shocking and she is not going there. The list carried on, Kings College, Guys, but no no no.
Eventually they suggested taking her to St Christophers Hospice, amazing treatment and care etc, but shock horror, NO!
Apparently her visit there last week was very bad, she could not stand the noise there and now doesn't like it.

So after an almost 2 hour stand-off they finally had to offer her the "I don't want your help" form, which she signed quite happily.

So she is left with, a urine infection, severe dehydration, an irregular heart, no appetite, no strength and no will to go on.

The GP called shortly after they left and bluntly (as he usually is) asked did she not care about the impact she was having on others, she screamed down the phone at him that she was sick and tired of caring what other people wanted, and was doing what she wanted now, and that was doing nothing, and being left to do her own thing and slip away.

Problem with that is, none of the conditions from the symptoms she is displaying are related to the cancer, so it unlikely that "this is it" at all. So instead she is committing to lots of pain and discomfort, weakness and less dependency, and infection spreading to her kidneys. Which she will no doubt say the cancer is spreading to too.

So here I am, at home, on my birthday, 3 years to the day this journey begun, wondering what I am supposed to do. I will admit I am feeling VERY resentful right now. Disappointed that mum is doing this to herself, and feeling its fair on everyone else around her to be left to cope with this.

When my sister asked earlier if she had wished me happy birthday she just grunted "NO!".

Its not about my birthday really, its about her lack of comprehension of how this impacts me and my sister. Mum doesn't want to talk to me at the moment (in the devil), hung up on the doctor, but is nice as pie to my sister, laughing and joking with her.

Oh well, I guess I better get back on track, I was meant to be having celebration pizza today, but for some reason have lost my appetite!

Thanks for reading

Sent using BlackBerry®

Birthday limo !

Flashy way to celebrate a birthday I know but hey.
Hopefully mum will give in and go with them soon.

Sent using BlackBerry®

Another typical birthday begins....

And this year, it starts with an ambulance.
Mum has been unwell and a bit unwilling for the past 24 hours, but this morning is refusing to get out of bed, to take food or drink, or even her medication.

The carer called me in this morning to say how she had found mum, and on speaking to the GP he informed a home visit was not worth while, and he would send an ambulance for her.

Feels her general condition warrants a trip to the hospital to check her over and see what they can do for her.

All feels rather normal to me these days, less adrenalin pumping round the old body, even though I know an ambulance is coming for mum. How am I writing this you ask, should I not be doing something else?
Well the doctor has advised its a non priority 1 hour call for the ambulance, and in my judgement, given how she will respond on their arrival, especially to me, its better I stay out of the way for now.

I am expecting them to advise that she is dehydrated, and a little malnourished, as for what any other tests might show, that's hard to know, but I'm sure time will tell.

So here goes, waiting on the ambulance and what she says to them now. If she refuses to go with them, this is going to be one hell of a day. And if she does go with them, who knows what to expect.

Sent using BlackBerry®

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Coping with cancer Blackberry BBM group

A bit of a long shot, but the blog gets a wide audience now, so thought I would reach out there to anyone dealing with cancer, either as the patient or the carer.

Sent using BlackBerry®

"I give up"

Ok so today is "I give up" day, mum not me.
Since the other day with the change of colour of one of her meds she has become more and more determined to do things her way. Refusing to take the yellow pill now, so I have changed it with the few remaining ones of the other colour until I can see the GP about it, and now eating less and less.

Needless to say it is frustrating as hell to sit back and watch someone slowly starve themselves, as well as have such a low intake of fluids.

To me, another stay in hospital is on the cards, but if course she can refuse that too.

She said in short to my sister today that she is fed up of it all now and just wants to give up. Which is fine if that's what she really wants. But there is a right and wrong way to do it, and right now, it's the wrong way of doing it.

On top of all this, her interest towards her sleeping tablets is a worry too. Complaining that I won't let her keep the entire pack of 28 in her room. My reasoning to her for this is the kids. All she has to do is drop one, or the pack, and one of the little ones could be enticed by their pretty blue colour and down some.
Obviously I have a dual agenda, and my other concern is, with no one about, on a bad night she could decide to take more than she should. For obvious reasons I want to minimise this risk.

One way or the other I am going to have to speak to the GP and the hospice in the morning and try and get some advice and some hands on help with all this, as it is rapidly becoming more than I can deal with.

I can't imagine how it feels to be going down hill, knowing you are terminally ill, and at any time there may be a droip off point. But at the same time I can't imagine not trying everything possible to stay on to of my game too. Maybe its because I am not in that position, maybe we have different mindsets or something, but I can't figure it out.

There have been numerous "false alarms" along the way with her getting ill over something totally unrelated, and we go to the hospital, she stays in, gets hydrated and comes home much better. But this time the train of thought is on another route. Fighting help, refusing to discuss, and turning away almost anything offered to make life a little easier.

Needless to say, that just makes my life harder. I know, I know, poor me, but I'm not the one dying right. Nope, you are of course right. Instead I'm the one feeling shitty about being off work for so long, wondering what is being said about me, on medication so I can think straight and life a "normal" life, and be there for my mum while she wastes away right under my nose. What would I know, right!

Ok rant over. Here's to hoping that I can get some help from the GP and hospice with this tomorrow.
Tomorrow, my 38th birthday, and 3 years to the day that I ran around like a crazy man trying to get a doctor to see my mum who had just admitted to me she thought she had breast cancer.

Birthdays are great eh!

Tense times ahead I fear, but time will tell.


Sent using BlackBerry®

Getting there.

Yesterdays weigh in saw another good weekly loss, another 4lbs gone, in 6 days. That's allowing for a chinese treat meal the previous Saturday, and slightly reduced exercise this week due to appointments, weather etc. As well as the reintroduction of food this week, turkey, bacon etc.

So I'm a happy man. I'm now in my comfort zone, so losing a few more lbs won't hurt, but if the loss slows right down, no bother.

Well as its my birthday tomorrow, I have decided for a treat. Pizza! If I can still lose a lb or 2 by the weekend, bonus. If not, I will still be happy :)

Sent using BlackBerry®

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The wrong colour!

Following on from the past few days of negative behaviour from mum, I have to say no real improvement today. In fact if anything she is getting worse.
As some of the more frequent drug takers might know, the same drug from a different distributor can be a different colour. On this occasion it is an anti sickness tablet to help with excess acid, and indigestion.
This afternoon I asked how mum was and she said still feeling sick and poorly.
At lunch time while making my lunch I noticed all her meds for today were still there, so I asked if she was going to take them.
First off she said she was sick of taking tablets at all now, and was fed up of them all. Then she said she was not taking the yellow one. Insisting it had made her ill the day before and she didn't want to feel like that again.
I tried to explain to her that it was the same as the blue/white one, but was from another supplier. She still refused to take it. She grew angry about me challenging her, so instead I ended up having to open a different packet and give her a different coloured one. Which she took reluctantly.

So today, she feels weak, has a headache, says she feels sick but has had Bovril and 2 bowls of cornflakes, and some tea. So sick or not she is getting food and drink in her.

Problem is, with issues like this coming up more and more frequently, I have to ask the question. Is she genuinely tired and fed up of it all (understandably) or is she progressing to the early stages of confusion now.

With the recent behaviour I am starting to think more confusion than anything else. Blaming pills for making her ill, refusing to eat certain things, claiming people are not doing things they are meant to etc.

She complained earlier that the new carer had not made her bed for her. I asked mum if she had asked the carer to, and all I got back was a dirty look and the reply that she didn't notice in time. She did however comment earlier that the carer had nothing to do.

Time to talk to the GP again I think, appointment asap.
I feel my stress levels rising again.


Sent using BlackBerry®

Friday, February 11, 2011

Testing, testing...

My patience that is.
It seems that whatever is suggested or offered to mum recently is wrong. The hearing aid was not as promised, the nurses at St Christophers are getting on mums nerves, she is sick of the doctor mentioning anxiety, the new carer is no good as she doesn't understand what mum wants, and my sister should not come around daily but believe text updates from mum.... All of these are of course mums perceptions of how things are.

In reality, but without wishing to sound harsh, she just seems a little unwilling and ungrateful right now. With help being offered at every turn and dip in the road, I personally feel humbled by how much is being done by both the NHS and the hospice to help with mums comfort and condition.

Anxiety IS an issue, and the more you step back and look in, you can see how some of these mood swings and outbursts are driven by the anxiety she is feeling. And before you say it, yes, of course I can understand the feeling of anxiety in all this. Difference is, I am accepting medication to try and help with my anxiety, caused by dealing with the stresses of mums anxiety. She of course finds it amusing that I am in fact taking medication for her. If I wasn't, I honestly think I would be close to giving up right now.

Today, following on from yesterday, the carer situation has once again changed.
Meeting the new carer yesterday afternoon mum said other than some difficulty understanding the carer (middle aged indian woman), she was lovely, effective and efficient. Today however she is now useless, not going to work and can't understand a word mum is saying, let alone mum understanding her.

The old carer made her last visit this morning, and from what I understand, Sandy, the new one starts covering both visits from tomorrow. From "just hanging around passing time", we are now at "could not get out fast enough". It truly seems, like me, whatever the carers do, its wrong.
As I have mentioned before the carer has been coming an hour early recently. It started as a one off and soon became the norm. This is why I requested a change. Today, when poor Sandy said she would be here at 8 tomorrow, mum was angry with her, complaining that she was messing about and she was meant to be here for 7. Not actually the case, 8 is correct. They finally agreed 8, which is a relief to me. I then explained in private to Sandy why there was confusion. Thankfully she was fine about this.

I am really hoping that mum can get along with this carer, and all the worry and stress about her that I have can relax a little. With my sister now visiting in the afternoons too, (just started yesterday) hopefully this is the start of me getting back to work. That said, mum is already saying to my sister that it must be a terrible strain on her, and maybe she should just call or text if she needs anything. Obviously I have set my mum straight, telling her that her recent honesty issues and hiding problems meant this was not an option, and physical visits were the only way. (Harsh but fair)

OK all this thinking is giving me a headache now. The day has already been too much for me. Medication and walk the dogs time I think. Air is needed!

Thanks for reading


Sent using BlackBerry®

Friday lunch

Really pushing the boat out today, meat and veg! Boiled unsmoked bacon, turkey breast, with steamed cabbage and leek!
Completed with a bubbly can of Pepsi Max.

Sent using BlackBerry®

Join the healthy revolution

So I ignored the talk about Graze for ages, then finally took a look, and was shocked.
Expecting nothing but seeds and rice cakes I was surprised to see the range of nibbles on offer, for those wanting healthy intake to those wanting their 5 a day but have a sweet tooth, there is something for everyone.

Don't believe me? Take a look yourself at, enter the promo code on the site and get your first box absolutely free, and a second half price, a whacking £1.70 delivered!
You can choose from a wide range of yummy snacks, and cancel any time, commitment free.

And the best part, I get £1 off my next order, just for you getting your box FREE! Talk about win-win!

So, promo code 1XL4VNP is all you need to feed us both for literally nothing.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rebellion or something else?

This afternoon we headed to St Christophers for a meeting with Karen, one of the care nurses. From the off mum was obstructive and not really willing to talk about anything. Still hell bent on this whole "blood too thick" situation that she has been focusing on, which has been rejected a number of times now.

As Karen tried to work through the various problems mum described with her health, she dared to touch on anxiety. Big mistake! Just like with the doctor a few days ago she almost displayed disgust at the idea that she was in any way anxious or depressed with her situation, and insisted there was no point talking about it, or taking drugs. Instead it was something she needs to deal with herself, and not talk to people or groups about what she can do to help her cope.

After the session finished (somewhat early as mum was fed up and tired) I spoke to Karen in the hope she had seen the same as me. Mum stone walling anything offered or suggested to her. Massage, exercise groups, group discussions, medication etc, all very bad ideas in mums mind.

Problem is, this leaves me in a really awkward situation, of knowing mum is spiralling mentally, but not being able to do anything about it. Feeling a little powerless at this point to say the least, but trying to stay positive that I can do something at least. Hopefully the weather will be good to us over the coming days and I can get mum out a bit in the afternoons. Clear her mind a bit and let her unwind.

On a positive note, a new afternoon carer came today, prompt, efficient and mum seems happy with that. No hanging about, does what she needs to do and leaves. Which right now is what suits mum. She hates people hanging around for no reason at all. She says she will be back tomorrow, so I'm hoping this is a permanent fixture now. Now just the mornings to sort out. Mum said at the meeting today with Karen that the carer is MEANT to come at 7am. A little confusion maybe, or is mum trying to allow the current carer flexibility in order to keep her. Would be far easier if she just said " I want her to say ". Rather than having a go at all the other carers who come, about her timing, then being nice to the one in the wrong.

Phew, seems there are a few issues cropping up here again now, but all I can do is keep an eye on things, and try and get help when I can. Main concern now, mums mental state.

Sent using BlackBerry®

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Talk about getting it all wrong.

I can't complain really as the last few days have been quite good really, but I will come back to that. But today more problems with the carers.
The regular carer has started making a habit of showing up at 7am for some reason. Its hit and miss if she makes it on time, and today was a great example. Yesterday she said see you at 7am. She text me at 7.10am this morning to say she would be here for 8am, and arrived at 8.30.
On leaving she informed that it would be someone else this afternoon as she has college today.

Now this is where it becomes a bit wonky. The new carer has never been here and was a little late. We were called to be informed, and on her arrival she seemed lovely. I introduced her to mum and left them to it. Next thing I hear is mum ripping into her to say she is sick of the lateness and not knowing what's going on. The poor girl tried to explain to mum that she really needs to call the office and tell them she is unhappy, and that the carer can't really do much about it. Then mum started talking about why should she pay for the phone calls etc.

The habit of talking to the wrong person about things seems endless.

I will make sure she speaks to the care agency asap now though. I'm sure she will protest and say she should not have to though.

(As expected I just spoke to mum and she refuses point blank to speak to the office about it, apparently she has had enough for the day. So that's not going to get solved)

Other than that things are ok, her health has been getting better day on day. Oh although yesterday I walked into a kitchen flooded with gas. Mum had turned a burner on the cooker on, not lit it and sat down for lunch. I have never smelled so much gas in a room before. Worrying! Because of this my GP (who is also mums GP) feels its better she is not left alone right now.

Today, I am off to the housing benefits office to see if they can re-establish the payment for mum. Having just had a claim for DLA refused I'm not holding out too much hope. Also in the post today I received an official notice of possession on the property due to rent arrears, strangely enough caused by the sudden and unannounced suspension of mums housing benefits. Fingers crossed, but not holding my breath!

In other news, weight loss going nicely still. Daily intake of turkey and another of porridge are getting the stomach working again nicely.

Oh and I had a lovely blast from the past the other day too which has put a little smile on my face too.

Right, off to see the benefits people.

Sent using BlackBerry®

Monday, February 7, 2011

Wow, now that's a kick in the nuts!

Thank you once again to the benefits office at Lewisham Council. Thanks to you I took a lovely call from my housing organisation today, informing me that I will be served with a "Possession Notice" because of the non payment of the benefits part of my rent for over 4 weeks.

I should add that I don't blame L&Q for this, its their procedure and right to do so. And the kind lady was good enough to go on to say that they are not considering eviction, but the notice is a formality for them to do.

Thankfully they are aware that the payment is based on the decision of the benefits office, whom I am meeting with on Wednesday to further the claim. If of course the claim is NOT successful, then I will have to absorb the full punch of the arrears, which stand at about £400 so far.

Add that to the other screw up from Lewisham with the council tax, and I have been dumped with £1000 of back payments because of their slow arsed, backwards way of dealing with enquiries and claims.

I also went to see Marilyn, the family worker at St Christophers Hospice today, to follow up on previous meetings and discuss where I stand right now. The more I talked, the more I realised how uncertain I am about things like work, caring for mum etc. I have a dilemma.

For me to return to work, which right now I dearly want to do, I need certain things to happen, and certain assurances to put my mind at rest.
I need to know that mum will not be left unchecked for more that about 2 hours at a time. When I go to work there is approximately a 7 hour window that I am not here for. At the moment the carers second visit is 12 midday, which would be just after I have left for work.

My thinking on the matter is if someone visits from 2 til 2.30 and someone else around 4.30, when I return home for about 6.30 I will know mum has been looked after. Because she is resistant to the idea of the carer being around too much, I would like my sister to be able to make one of these visits. Firstly to spend time with mum, and secondly to break the load up.

I have been putting off the inevitable preparation for me to return to work, knowing that the care side of things is going to go tits up somehow, and today proved my point perfectly. Mum is back to her negativity towards carers, saying they do nothing, are useless, and just wanna get in and out asap. But in the same breath, hates when they hang about for no reason. *sigh!

*time out for deep breaths, shallow breathing just writing this!

Riiiight, back to the keyboard.
So mum has decided to put up barriers again, out of the blue her mood has swung violently towards care, medical help and other things relating to her condition. I can't help but feel we are going backwards at the moment. Doesn't want to go to anymore appointments, and to top it off, spiralling from a simple comment made by the blood test clinic last week, has become obsessed by the fact she believes she has thick blood.

The comment made referred to the difficulty the nurse was having getting a vein to give up blood. She commented that the veins were thin, then when she got a good one, she said the blood was thick, too thick to get a feed from the smaller veins. Mum heard this as "Oh my god, your blood is like syrup, you need help", and since that time has told everyone she has spoken to that the nurse told her to get it sorted... Which she didn't. All she said was, aspirin or salt would help thin the blood a little.

Of course she mentioned it again today, and that turned into an argument, so I have said I will book her an appointment to see the GP asap.
Next up was my apparent failure to get her more sleeping tablets, as she has apparently me asked numerous times to get them from the doctor for her. My fault of course, even though she saw him last week herself.

So an all round pretty pants day really.

Highlights otherwise.
I reached my weightloss goal at the weekend and had a chinese. 6 hours to eat what usually takes me 20 mins.
Adapted diet starts from today, with the intro of porridge and protein every couple of days.
The weekend saw the 20th anniversary of me passing my driving test, and also the re-passing of my mock driving test.

Ok, fingers are aching now, so adios for now.

Sent using BlackBerry®

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lord give me strength!

Ok, so we have been leading up to this day for a while now, and finally it arrived. Audiology and mums fitting for her new hearing aid.
We rolled up just in time for the appointment, and were called almost immediately. Lovely little, clear spoken audiologist. She explained what the new hearing aid was all about, how it worked and what was expected of it etc. Mum had her old hearing aid in and said she understood.
It was programmed and fitted, and when asked was it a bit loud mum said it was indeed loud and clear. All was explained, we left, and on the way down the corridor she exclaimed she was fed up of seeing different people as they all say different things and do different things.
I explained that they had been consistent in their decisions, and all had been done as planned.

In the car on the way home she then decided to say that the new hearing aid was in fact no different to the current one, no improvement in sound or volume. Great, so instead of telling them that, she has told me, which makes me feel is was somewhat pointless bothering.
Unless of course she is just being bloody minded about things and it IS actually better.

I have to say I am somewhat grumpy today, just no patience for things, blocked in by a builder, messing about with the appointment, and now we are in the kitchen where she is (through no fault of her own) not making a very good job of her tea. I really should take my meds and hide away for a while lol.

Meanwhile work called for an update on my return. This brought to mind that I still have not managed to get a proper plan in place for when I do. So still have that to arrange. Making sure the correct number of visits and checks are made on mum daily in my absence is indeed still a worry. Not sure I will ever achieve it to be honest, but I can try.

Days like today, watching her walking around the kitchen with a saucepan of boiling water, confused with how best to deal with getting the egg out of it, whilst shaking and tipping her hand is a massive worry for me. A number of other things indicate she is starting to get a little confused, so that's something else to go and get looked at.

I just dared to mention to her that she is getting a facial twitch, much like the one she had before last going into hospital. Apparently I should just shut up and stop depressing her.... Hmmm OK.

Sent using BlackBerry®

Thursday, February 3, 2011

An image of my recent luck

No better way to help visualise my luck recently than this.
Its the upstairs neighbours turn to have their improvement works carried out, and today its the bathroom.
Sadly due to heavy banging and pouring of water the ceiling has cracked and the water has come through to mine. Lovely.

Just thought I would share that.

Couple of other quick updates, mums review went well at Guys yesterday, they are happy with how things are and don't need to see her for 2 months.

My diet, wow, really good progress now, probably ending in the next week or so, but heading nicely towards my next goal which will be diet end time anyway.

Back with other updates soon.

PS February REALLY sucks! :)

Sent using BlackBerry®