Saturday, July 30, 2011

When feet go wrong!

Gout in one foot is clearly NOT enough, so today my body has decided to introduce it into the other foot too.
Can't remember a time I have had it in both, but its pretty messed up having no good foot to hobble on.
The right foot has been ongoing for ages now, from the little toe, stretching up to the ankle, all down the right side.
Today the left foot has decided to join in, this time in the 'knuckle' of the big toe (most common place to get it) leaving the skin so sensitive that even a sheet dragging across it causes pain.

*sigh, just when I thought things were getting better!
Oh well, better stay in bed today, no duvet.
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Crossroads and roundabouts

Have you ever reached a point in your life where you have to make a choice. Choose a direction, aim yourself to a goal, and commit to it? Sucks doesn't it!
It seems so easy to look on at people and decide for them, and drop the "well if that was me" line, but actually being there, that's so very different. Mindbending, confusing, frustrating and actually quite upsetting.

Whatever you decide in life it will never suit everyone. Someone is always left out in the cold, or gets the short end of the stick. Every direction offers hope and also threatens disappointment and rainy days. I think we all know there is no such thing as perfection. So its a matter of holding your breath, hoping for the best and committing to it.

Ok, so say for example after lots of contemplation you have decided what to do. Do you weather check, mirror signal manoeuvre, and proceed with caution, or just hammer the gas and go for it, without a care in the world? Some things in life should just be rushed at, raced into, where others require a little more tact and delicate handling, for the sakes of all parties involved.

A wise man once said "Every action has and equal and opposite reaction", something like that anyway. Ok while not quite relating to the same thing, that is actually how these things work. The pursuit of happiness leaves behind a trail of misery. Some may be able to keep moving and leave that all in their wake, me however, I am mindful of what the results are. I am no true believer in karma, but experience in life suggests you always get a losing streak after being an arsehole.

So ahead of me is a junction in life, straight ahead, continue with life as it is. A left turn is a new direction for me, continuing with some familiar things in life, and a right is away from it all, fresh start, break free, and take the easy way out. But wait... That's not a crossroads at all, its a roundabout with 4 exits. Same options, but the time to drive round and round in circles until I can work out what the hell to do.

No wonder I'm left dizzy as hell, and unable to tell which way I'm facing, let alone which way I should go next. Problem is, the only solution now I am on the roundabout is to choose an exit, commit and pull off... Then and only then can I pull over and catch my bearings. Sounds so simple, but the wrong choice can leave everything in turmoil.

Truth is, I know which exit I want, but I am so dizzy now, I can't think straight about what signals to give before taking the exit. I know that there will be a wake left behind that will need dealing with, but I guess I have to accept that.

I think what it comes down to is...
You can please some of the people all of the time, and please all of the people some of the time... But you can never please all of the people, all of the time.
In short, look after number 1, accept there will be casualties in life, so man up, and move on!

Hope some of this makes sense to some of you. I know 3 people at least that will appreciate this particular ramble.

Thanks for reading and take care.
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Monday, July 25, 2011


Another day, another dollar less!
No car again today, so limited to walking everywhere. Which doesn't seem to bad until you figure in that its just over 1.5 miles to the home, 3/4 of a mile from the home to the park I'm now currently sitting in with mum, then the same again on the way back. That's followed by walking the dogs to 'de-stress' believe it or not, so that about another 6 miles. Then after lunch I have to walk back to the home.... All with Gout! Lol

The chances of unwinding right now seem pretty remote, as much as I like the idea, its just not going to happen. Each morning at the home being the same, complaints, upset, confusion, discussion, disagreement, compromise. Today for example, on my arrival mum was complaining that they hadn't given her the right meds again, and were still refusing to let her have her proper amount of sleeping tablet. Leaving her unable to sleep, and distressed. They also won't leave her alone, daring to being her food and drinks, as well as medication and being there to help with the toilet and cleaning. God forbid!

Ok I guess it must be a bit annoying having people coming and going, but its really no different to home, with being checked on etc. But when all is said and done, the list of "oh she is lovely" candidates is endless, with mum singing them all praises. Food still scores highly, even though they apparently bring her the wrong thing, it still fills a gap nicely.

After me being there for half an hour today the doctor came in, mum chatted to her about some of her issues, and also complained the door closes too loudly, so the registered GP is dealing with that! We went through the prescribed meds, and identified a few things that could be causing confusion. Mum still insists that she is on three sleeping tablets, but this remains as its normal one Zopiclone. After getting bored of talking to the GP mum called an end to the consult, so I took a few mins to chat with the GP myself. Bringing her up to speed with the normal 'change of environment' situation with mum. So hopefully we are all singing from the same page now.

In the meantime, with all this attention and fuss surrounding mum, I'm starting to feel like an outsider or something. Still trying to come to terms with certain things like the impending doom of the work situation, finances and needing to work out who I need to speak to about benefits and help with other things. No car doesn't help. Just leaving me feeling trapped and confined to certain places, people and actions. For the first time ever I think it feels like the walls are slowly closing in on me. Reducing me to a confined space. Its not panic stations, no padded room required. Its just circumstance that is cutting off my options. Mental state, lack of money, no reduction in sense of responsibility to mum etc, its a bad recipe.

What I need to do is find my way back up the hill, a way out of this maze of confusion. Once I have spoken to the benefits people maybe I will be able to relax a little more. But where to start? Its a minefield, and one I have never traversed before, so I don't even know the way in.

I hold out a hand here, looking for guidance, support and assistance in what the hell to do next. In the meantime, the smiling face remains up front, the 'all is well' signs are showing, and I continue to offer any help to others that I can.

Thanks for reading

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Have you ever.....

Been surrounded by many people, yet somehow felt so alone?
Have you ever had so much, yet still feel somehow lacking and incomplete?
I can't really explain what I mean properly. Best I can do is say it feels at times like I'm living the wrong life for me.

For the whole of today I have been on the outside looking in, asking weird questions of myself and others, and wondering from time to time what the hell I am doing. Having spent a lot of yesterday with mum at the home, and realising how she is more and more out of it these days, I have been able to take the time to reflect. Examine myself and my behaviour, as well as take stock of exactly what I have in life.

Priorities in the right order, well yes to a great degree, but somehow self care priorities are lacking there somewhat. Caring for mum, without a doubt #1. But then when it comes to caring for me it all seems to fall apart. Having spent years surrounding myself with people, "friends" etc, I am suddenly here on my own wondering what the hell just went wrong. Now I'm not ungrateful, nor expect others to drop their lives in a heartbeat for me. Hell, life goes on for everyone, can't just put it on stop because one wet 38 year old is sobbing to themselves about things no one quite grasps.
But then there is the flip side. When you send a message to a dear friend, in this case Nicci, and within half an hour a message saying everything you wanted to hear and know pops into your inbox. Thank you Nicci.
That's not to say I'm ungrateful. There are others around me, Rachel, Cadell etc who have been amazing for me over the past week, support, comfort and a slap back to reality when required. However, the feeling remains.

Selfish, childish, attention seeking or maybe just plain natural human instinct, I don't know which. But right now I am like a lost child in a shopping precinct, aimlessly flailing about, looking for comfort and my mummy. Somehow having lost my way for a while. I'm not sitting here in tears (chance would be a fine thing). But instead I'm kinda just waiting for something substantial to happen. Something that makes my heart warm a little. An emotional hug, hell even a physical one would be great right now.

Isolation, feeling useless, and a little confused by what the hell I'm doing is what's got me by the balls right now. Reflecting on myself, looking inwards, there are some fundamental things wrong right here. Drastic action required, but quite what I don't know. A page needs to turn in my life, but not just any page. Not even a new chapter. Hell no, this page must turn to the sequel of the whole 'My Life Pt1'. Moving on swiftly to part 2. All the pieces are there, the story line is revving up, and the plot thickens. But for now, turning the page is an effort. Maybe even a little scary.
In fact yeah, its like the lone woman coming home on a rainy night in the movies. Door open, power out, but you know she is going in. Na-ah, not for me, for now I'm waiting outside in the rain and waiting to see if its safe. Call me cautious, call me slow, even the one who missed the boat, but slow and steady is my pace, I have rushed too many times before and got burned.

Confused from reading all this? Welcome to the insides of my head. Messy isn't it.
One day I promise I will make the changes I know I need to. Til then, please have faith, and stand by me, just til I catch my footing again.


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Saturday, July 23, 2011


That is the sound of the road we are currently travelling down. On arrival at the home I was greeted with a very irate mum, full of complaints about all the things they got wrong over the past 12 hours. They have given her the wrong medication, refused to give her sleeping tablets, messed up her breakfast, kept ignoring her, telling her to wait then never came back, and so on.

One of the first things she said when I got in was, I just want to get out of here. Confused by all the changes, which is understandable, she doesn't want to give things a chance, and would rather just be out of here. Having been here for as long as I can over this period, I haven't seen any real short fallings from the home yet. The meals have looks adequate, in fact more than adequate. The responses to her requests have been fine, and the medication looks right to me. I can comment on the medication as its still sitting in its cup as she has refused to take it again.

Her biggest issue of all is her sleeping tablet. Having gone through this first at home with the carers giving her meds, then with me or Paula giving the meds, over to St Christophers where she still insisted her sleeping tablet was not there, and that they were making her beg them for it, and now to here, where once again they are not giving her the sleeping tablet. Their records show they are, their distribution regime is sound, so there is no reason to believe she didn't have it. Not to mention she admits she slept and is fresh this morning.

Rough times are ahead, and this is gonna be a serious PITA battle to keep her calm enough to give the place a fair chance, and consider staying. But that said, this is typical of mum to be like this. I have already seen the bed punching this morning, as I dared to suggest she just had not realised that they had given her the sleeping tablet, big mistake!

So now, for a while we have escaped the boundaries of the home and come up the road, away from it, just up to my sisters old school. All was well until she reached into her pockets and realised while muddling about last night she had taken her lighter out of her pocket. Distress has hit hard, so back we go to the home to get her a lighter. *sigh

Right, back out again now, and the nicotine is flowing, a moment of relief. When we first went out, the sister and the care team all asked if she was going out for a cigarette, when I said yes, they all smiled and laughed, maybe a little relief washed over them. I said expect mum back a little calmer, and a little happier. So at least they understand that part of her. For now we are perched on a wall down the road from the home, mum recharging herself. *phew

One of the other things from this morning was another bit of confusion from mum. Trying to get into the wheelchair and get the foot rests down, sadly by lifting them. That was never going to work, but it was enough to provoke a "look how tired I am" comments from mum.
The final part was irritation with the staff. She buzzed to ask to be got washed, wee'ed and dressed. The carer came straight away and took her to the bathroom on the walker. On their return to the room the carer observed that mum was breathless, so said I will let you catch your breath, then come and help you dress in 10 mins. As she walked out mum said " and that's all they do, say they will come back and never do". After reading the paper for five mins she then decided she wanted to get dressed, so tryed to start doing so. Within the ten mins the carer returned, surprised mum had started without her, but praised her for her efforts and helped her finish off.

Here's to hoping the next day or so will see some changes. Fingers crossed she will be more relaxed by this evening.

Thanks for reading

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Not quite to plan.

There is no denying that we took a huge a positive step forwards yesterday. Moving mum from the hospice to Westwood House went quite smoothly all things considered. Arriving there with all the possessions she had requested, and my sister being there with the kids, so we could ease her into the new place.

She loved the room, chair is a little bit low thought. Loves the location, the gardens, and thinks the food is out of this world. Is not unhappy with the smoking arrangement, and enjoying being out there to watch the world go by for a bit. So all in all a good start.

That was until one of the many staff members who were introducing themselves said to her "so are you with us for good Ann".... Oops. No mum said. During the remainder of the conversation mum indicated that she was only in there for respite, but was not sure for what duration. This sort of backs up what she said the day before about coming home and the dogs.

The last thing I want now is confusion, awkward conversations of when she is going home, and for her to be distressed. I guess there is some understanding in my mind of how this has happened. When we spoke about it we said there was no hard and fast rule that she had to stay, and if she didn't like it she could come home again (if all was in order for the right level of care).

The hope now is that she will like it there, get into the routine of things, and settle nicely. Its a great little room, with all she needs. Dining room just outside, toilet and bathroom just outside, next door to the general manager, nice view out the window, close to the exit and to the garden etc. What more could a mum want.

However, with all the positives come a few negatives. She was getting frustrated with people coming in and out to see her, but then its early days so they have to get her familiarised. Annoyed that they changed her bed table, as she had got it all organised.

Right, so positive mind. Off up there now with the intentions of checking, chatting and distracting her from the negatives, and trying to build her up a bit. Friends coming over later too, which I hope will be appreciated.

Wish me luck!

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Today is the big move!

Well in some peoples minds it is. To others its an excuse.... Let it go Michael, let it go, lol.
So from this morning, with the aid of my sister, I shall attempt to move my mum into her new home. Never in my life did I see this day coming, but then I have got used to surprises. For example, as I type this, one of the dogs has just thrown up in the hallway, yay!

My only concern at this stage are a couple of comments made by mum yesterday. A little confusion, referring to a doctor from 30 years ago, she has never done that before. Doubts and upset at a doctor who worked on her ear recently, during which mum claims they blocked her ear with ear drops which set hard. And finally reference to the dogs, stating they would be a problem when she needs the loo. Which indicates somewhere in her mind she is still coming home at some point.

So who knows what to expect. Maybe its just a little pre move stress causing a bit of confusion. Or maybe she thinks its a brief stop-over. But at the same time she had a long discussion with Kate (WH manager) covering off her final wishes and dignity wishes once at the home.

Only one way to find out I guess.....

Til then, I am going to rest, let my morning meds take effect, and gear myself up for what else is coming today.
Got to try and fit in time seeing about financial support in the meantime too. *sigh

Thanks for reading :)
Have a great day.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dear Doubters......

This is where I am posting this entry from.
If you are such a do-gooder, try coming to volunteer here once in a while!

I thought I would take the time to type you a little entry all of your own. Whoever you are, however many of you there are, you deserve something directly from me to you. Seeing as you take the time to read this blog so often. So here we go.

In the time you have read this blog, misinterpreted it, and made your judgements which you choose to sell to others as facts, others have taken the entries at face value, with a pinch of salt where required, and accepted that all entries are open to change, especially entries about the future.

Some who actually give a shit, who know what they are reading, and know myself and my family have even offered comments and help where possible. However you choose to sit in the wings, watching silently, reporting back, spreading rumours, and bitching about me behind my back. Are you someone I call a friend? Do I afford you the time of day, or even offer you help and advice? Or are you just some sort of vindictive little fucker that I work with, who doesn't have the spine to speak to me about your concerns?

Either way, I would rather know who this/these people are, not for revenge, nor an argument, but more so I can save my time and breath from engaging in conversation with you, and most of all, sae my piss should you burst into flames! Everyone has their place in life, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and these are mine of you.

On your actions you have caused more harm to me than you could ever imagine, causing distress, upset, and worst of all, causing my mum worry about my wellbeing, when all I should be doing right now is caring for her. If you didn't realise the repercussions of your actions, then I forgive you in the beat of my heart. If you intended malice, then I congratulate you, and suggest you watch for the backlash of karma.

But just for the record, and this is really important for all to know... Whatever you throw at me, whatever you do to beat me down, I will stand proud, determined to do "the right thing". I refuse to be judged by others, I am equal to all, no man is greater nor lesser than I. I will stand by my family, and laugh as hard as I can manage at your futile attempts to bring me down.
I have pride in myself, and do the things I do, because I choose to see them as the right path to take. I regret nothing I do, and will not be forced into changing such decisions.
I will answer to only one person, and take whatever judgement you have of me as nothing more than uneducated opinion.
Whatever the price, I stand tall, while you stoop in my shadows.... Shame on you.

Today is a huge day!

This is gonna take some writing up, so will be done when I have time throughout the day. But it starts off right here at St Christophers Hospice with an early arrival for me, getting here in time to get mum ready for a meeting. A meeting which has been put off a couple of times due to delays getting a funding decision from the PCT, and the care home manager not being able to fit it in. Both very fair reasons. So today, 10am, it all happens.
By the time I continue this entry, the meeting will have happened, and we will know a decision on if mum is moving into Westwood House Carehome, and hopefully when (today or tomorrow) I pray it happens either way.

Of course this to some people (who I hope are reading) is all fiction, and just an excuse to be off work. Clearly I am just a lazy person, uncaring, who has used the excuse "my mum is dying from multiple cancers" to take a lazy ride, and a free one at that. If you want to subscribe to this belief, feel free, just have the balls to tell me so I can stop wasting my time with you!

Ok so the meeting is over, and the assessment and stuff has gone well. Kate, the manager is happy for mum to become a resident, and that they can meet her needs, so we officially 100% have the green light for mum to become a member of the little community at Westwood House Carehome. Now to start arranging the move and settling etc. This should be interesting with no car to move her possessions with... Hmmm.

Looking back over the past week, the meetings, discussions, visits to possible homes. Checking facilities, decisions needed making and so on, I'm quite surprised I'm even still functioning. That said, if it wasn't for the help of a couple of very good friends at the weekend being there for me, helping me make a choice about medication, and being able to talk to them, I'm sure I would be on a secure ward right this second! So thank you to those people, its nice to know what a true friend really is, and can do.

Right now, mentally I am fried. Yesterday I was struggling to walk in a straight line, and would just fall alseep unexpectedly for a few hours at a time. As I sit here now, I could just sleep.
Crash is the word I choose, and best describes what I am mentally doing right now. Kept airborne by the heat of the ongoing situation, and now suddenly there is nothing there (almost) Nose diving to the ground at 77mph. Can I pull up in time. I need to shed dead weight, lighten up my load, and get rid of anything that is weighing down on me.

Apparently it appears that one of those things is in the process of dealing with itself. But right now I don't have the emotional or mental strength to invest in such matters, let alone deal with humiliation, judgement or lies.

I am off to see the GP later to get things sorted for me, then I have to start dealing with benefits etc as my SSP has run out, so I'm broke too lol. How much better can things get!

But you know what, amongst all this, one story shines through. My amazing mum and her three and a half year battle with cancer (so far). There have been mountains to climb and valleys to traverse, but through it all mum has come out the other end. Still fighting all the way. During that time I have fought depression, had 3 operations on my left arm (elbow, wrist and palm), and another more delicate op, gout, and god knows what else. But through it all, I feel proud to say I have been there for my mum, for her chemo, radiotherapy, operations, consultations. Been there to care for her, call ambulances when needed, been at her bedside, and been a part of this journey through the hospice system.

So once again I turn to those who cast shadows over me, and say, regardless of who you think I am, how you choose to judge me, and what you decide to say to others about me, I stand proud. Sure of my decisions, guilt free and with no regrets along this journey. If you disagree, that is your opinion, but I pity you, and say shame on you.

So, as this bit draws to an end, another chapter starts, a page turns, and the slate is almost cleaned. Will you be a part of the next chapter?

Serious thanks to my true friends who have stood by me, the surprise support we have been given along the way, and the understanding offered by those who were in a position to.

Monday, July 11, 2011

hey Blog..... long time!

Ok so I admit it has been a very long time since I last blogged, but to be honest I have been on a long super low. Illness, drama with mum, personal failures, and all sorts of other things have tainted my appetite to do anything, let alone blog!

Sorry to those who have messaged me with concerns, I'm ok, honest, just not been on the right level to do this for a while.

I will start with mum, she has been down and up, down more than up to be honest. Speaking of downs, here we are in the hospice garden yet again. Mum has been in for a week now, and for the first time has made almost no improvement whatsoever. Other than her stress and anger, she is in the same condition she came in in. Deterioration in body weight, muscle tissue, strength, energy, mental capacity and breathing. Now having pain killers for stomach pain, which she puts down to constipation, but she has never asked for painkillers before, let alone admitted pain. She is happy enough though. Its a lovely warm sunny day, and she is sitting in the shade having a fag. Oh how the other half live lol.

It has been difficult to get here over this past week, with a viral infection keeping me planted in the bathroom for most of it, and an eternal bout of Gout keeping me off my feet. Between the meds for the foot and the stomach bug keeping me in bed, I have slept the best part of the past week.
In the meantime I am being ripped apart by financial issues. Very little income now, so that's stretching the last of the resources very thinly. So thin in fact that I resorted to !

Work, well that's a serious bone of contention. My intention was to go back some 2 weeks ago, but then all this started to unfold with mum, and I have continuously let them down. I have a meeting with them on Wed morning, and to be honest I will be shocked if I walk away still with a job.
Now that mum is back at St Christophers I am kinda hoping we can put the care home stepping stone in place now, and get mums eyes opened a little wider. Its clear now that she can't cope at home, never lasting more than a week before declining again. And to be honest, if she goes into a home I can get back to work and stop worrying about money. That would be a relief. Cruel as it sounds, I really think its for the best now.

Hopefully with less stress my health will improve too, and I can start looking after myself again.

Right I could go on for a long time, but for now that's it.
Thanks for caring, and thanks for reading.