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diemzone: (Default)
Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 19:32
For some reason I was looking back over my blog entries for this time last year. We were full of hope for the new baby (wonderfully fulfilled by the arrival of Lovely Grandson)and relief at getting MiL into flat with no stairs and various aids to living in place. A year later and it's almost painful to read how happy we were to be 'getting it sorted'. It isn't sorted at all of course.

I'm waiting at home while the Spouse and the Baby Bro visit MiL in hospital. We all know now that the flat was a good move, for a short time, but is now inadequate. She has someone to come in and help with housework twice a week but she usually says 'not much needs doing' or does it vefore they arrive. Mostly, she forgets about hygiene in the kitchen and we live in terror of her giving herself food-poisoning. Whenever I'm there I try to do a surreptitious clean and I find that Sis in Law does the same. Her sons tend not to notice, or think it matters, until it's pointed out to them. Forcefully.

We think the next stage may have to be assisted living, if not straight-out care in a home. I hate the idea of doing that; especially with the reports of abuses and neglect we've seen recently. but I don't want her falling and killing herself all on her own either.
None of us have a house without stairs, which she can't manage, and we don't have the money to move. BB has small children and he and Sis in Law work. Spouse works and I'm at home but physically I'm next to useless. I can drive her places - as long as my arthritis doesn't make it impossible. I can check up on her - as long as the asthma is under control. I'm pretty good at forms and letters and official documents, but if she falls over, or even is just having a bad day and can't get off the sofa, I can't lift her, raise her at all.And more than once she's fallen on me, so that I ended up more damaged than she did.

The scary thing is how easily she forgets things. She forgets that the reason she forgets is the series of mini-strokes. She forgets who spoke to her on the phone, and what they wanted. She can't remember what she's agreed to, and will happily allow herself to be persuaded of anything by someone with enough confidence - or fraudulent intent. There are days when she is bright and happy and can chat away nicely. She's still a lot slower and often loses track of her thoughts but she's generally ok. And then there are days when she cannot make the connection from the words the woman at the checkout say, to the purse in her hand, to the notes she pulls out. she, who was always so on-the-ball with money, sometimes can't identify a ten pound note. We have found her v. upset by a demand for money from, say, the gas company, but when we look it's not a demand, it's a refund and it's dated a year ago. I could go on but it's clear, I think, that she needs help. We can pop in and out as often as we can, and that is quite often all things considered, but she can fall in the blink of an eye, from a safe standing po9ition, and still hit her head or break her neck, or her arm. She has now fallen so badly, and so often on her right arm that it doesn't work any more. She cannot lift it at all, it's painful, and dreadfully difficult to dress/undress or get up and down out of beds and chairs.

I know there are thousands of families going through this at any one time. Hundreds of thousands probably, yet no one really talks about it when it happens. You don't get details and have no idea what to expect. So I'm trying to put down as much as I can here, in the hope that someone else will find it useful. Even if it's only to say - oh that happens to other people too.
diemzone: (Default)
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 00:18
Today I thought I was fine so when the Ma in Law asked to make a trip to the bank, I was agreeable. She stumbled coming out of the flat and almost went her length. She tends to set her eyes on her destination and set off straight for it, this would be fine if everything was in straight lines. The path to her gate is not, so she falls off the edge. Practically every time. So a bit of concreting to do, I reckon.

We got into town and parked, then I negotiated the way to the bank. I swear there isn't a decent stretch of flat, even, well-maintained path in the whole of Chester le Street. I was a nervous wreck. Luckily we got through it with no damage, to MiL.

Me, my nerves were shot and I'm not sure if the driving, or that she was on my arm for the walking, or just the tension, but tonight is pain night, it appears. Oh joy. I'm off to bed to read a John Ringo book. If that doesn't take my mind of my hurts, nothing will.

Am saving my just-arrived copy of Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamour in Glass as a treat to enjoy when I'm better. And I've downloaded the missing first sentence as a bookmark.
diemzone: (Default)
Thursday, October 27th, 2011 16:20
Middle Daughter is now late in her pregnancy and the baby is still breech. He's in a kind of 'v' position with his bum firmly plugging his only way out. Tomorrow they are going to try to turn him. If it works, great. If it doesn't they'll deliver him by C-section. So I might have a grandson by tomorrow night. Or not. Think I'd rather have an uncut and relieved daughter but if it happens, then we deal.

In other area: am finding it very difficult to write stuff. No- hang on that's not correct. I've been writing, longhand, and need to to type it up and expand but I cannot find a way to do this comfortably. I've been using Merlin, the netbook, to write with for nearly two years no, but in that two years the pain in my neck and shoulders has become more difficult to deal with. Currently I'm sitting in my chair with Merlin on a lap-table typing this but the position feels wrong now. There's a pain in my left shoulder, and one in my right arm, shoulder and neck, as well as one from my neck up through my head. My back aches too, but I think that's more from anxiety and lack of exercise. It's very hard to copy-type in an armchair, but I'm not sure that sitting at a desk is any better. That was why I got Merlin and took to the armchair. Perhaps I should go back to the main desk and see what happens.
Was talking to the Middle Daughter about books the other day and she told me I ought to have one of those stands/tables things that sits beside the chair and comes over in front of me, taking the weight of a book. It's certainly tempting, and I have some very heavy books. Future ones I can get on the Kindle, but there are still a lot of them on my shelves.

The handyman came for the Ma in Law and put in some new shallow but wide steps to her back door (which is the only one we use). Also put in grab-rails in all the parts of the bathroom she may need. The OTA also sent other aids (like a bath-board) and with the tablets from the doctor which seem to be working, she's a lot more relaxed and settling in very well. The rail for the steps outside is still to come, and there are lots of small jobs to be done (like hanging pictures and sorting out the endless supply of 'stuff' from 40 years in the old house) but it's getting better.

I've done a major re-organisation of the kitchen, the cupboard under the stairs, my wardrobes and so on. I don't know if it's related to anxiety over the fully-cooked grandson, the approach of xmas, general exasperation at hoarding, or a natural consequence of asking the MiL every few minutes, "Do you really NEED this?"

Watched the last Spooks this week. Sniff. Sniff, sob. Poor Harry. Sniff.