Tuesday, 31 January 2017

A Broken Promise

Have you ever made someone a promise? A promise you swear you won't break?

I did.

But now I have broken my promise.

I feel terrible, I know I have actually done the right thing in my head, but my heart ...well my heart is a little bit broken.

I promised my Dad that I would not put him into a home. He wanted to stay in the home he had lived in for the last 60 years.

But, my Dad's general health has deteriorated since my Mum died in 2012, nothing specific, he has been just less interested in life. 

He has become increasingly frail, developed a hump on his back, lost mobility and had incontinence issues. He started having falls, so I got him a carer.

Initially, the carer was just intermittent throughout the day, but as time went on his condition worsened so 24 hour care was required. So that's what I got him.

I complained that he hated growing old and got frustrated with his forgetfulness and loss of physicality. 

Other family members talked about putting him into a home, I refused, I explained my promise. He was genuinely concerned that he would end up in a home and he had seen what it had done to his sister and he really didn't want to go. I stuck by my guns, for 3 and 1/2 years.

Then he was hospitalised with Gastro-Enteritis.

He was sent home too soon and sent back to hospital, at which point the carer said he needed more specific care, including nursing care and she couldn't cope.

The hospital diagnosed him with Vascular Dementia.

He wasn't safe at home anymore, even with all the additional assistance I had added with the help from the occupational health people.

I made the arrangements and he has been in a care home since October. It's the best home I could find in the area and the people are lovely there. 

Since arriving he has lost all mobility and now spends all day in a chair watching telly. He doesn't want to eat with the other residents or go anywhere.

So he sits in his chair alone the majority of every day. 

I try to visit Dad once a week (He is about a 130 miles round trip, away from where I live with my family), he knows who I am, who my kids and husband are, but his imagination runs on over drive, and he is losing his words. 

He thinks he is at home. Which is a relief. 

But, I can't stop thinking what sort of life is this for a person, a person who worked in an office for 30+ years, wrote plays, poems and a book.

For a person who was so bright, and creative and a great parent, this is no life.

How I remember Dad, Big, smart, creative and capable.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas Thoughts..Part 1

I have been getting ready for Christmas. We put our tree up this weekend and today I spent all afternoon writing my Christmas Cards.

I added little personal notes to people and gave it all my care and attention, which is why I am saddened when I hear people say, that they are not sending cards this year.

Personally, I feel, that this is part of Christmas, its is a time to think about friends and family and to take time out to write to them.

I love receiving cards as well. Just knowing someone is thinking of me and has taken the time to sit down, write a card and post or hand deliver it to me. How lovely.

Blatant self promotion, these are available in my shop
Now, I do understand why people say they don't want to send cards, I really do, saving the environment is important but the cards I use are made of recycled card and are for a charity, and I know people say that they will give all their money to a charity, but by sending your card you are promoting a charity and extending it's reach.

I love buying the Christmas stamps that come out every year and look forward to seeing the design.

There is no stopping me, it is all about the magic of Christmas. So come on, get out your pens and go old school, no eCards for me, just the real tangible lovely thing. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Stand Up to Cancer

On Friday Channel 4 do their yearly Stand up to Cancer event. It is hugely worthwhile and I urge you all to watch it and donate . It will make you laugh (download the Crystal Maze if you missed it), but it will also make you cry.

Last night I watched 24 hours in A & E for Stand up to Cancer. I couldn't get over the conversation of the women in the waiting room, two of them had breast cancer and one had lost a husband to prostrate cancer.

Another lady, had terminal cancer and was very unwell and her family were so distressed, particularly her daughter.

Having lost my Mum to cancer, I totally understood, although my Mum, never had chemo as she just carried on until it was too late to do anything.

I am still angry with my Mum for that. I wish she had gone to the doctors earlier, got diagnosed earlier, looked after herself, instead of everyone else.

My Mum may have been eighty three when she died but she was very spry prior to the cancer, always in the garden doing stuff.

Mum looking after the bees with her grandson and my nephew, about two years before she died
I fully expected my Mum to out live us all out of sheer bloodymindedness and anyone who knew her would agree with me. It was a shock.

I was lucky, I was diagnosed early. Even though I have a cancer you can't cure, I have the best outcome I could have, currently the leukeamia is undetectable in my blood and has been for years.  I have some minor side effects from my drugs, but over all I am well.

So, my message to you is, face cancer straight on, if you catch it early it has less of a chance of taking hold of you. I know it's frightening and Doctor Google terrifies us all but if you feel unwell, or find a lump, go to your doctor.

I know survivors of it and I know too many people who have lost the battle. So donate what you can so we can beat this stupid thug of a disease once and for all.

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