Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Small Changes

My Man usually tries to force himself out once a day for a short walk. Sometimes he feels too weak and tired to be bothered with exercise. To make his walk purposeful he'll walk to the village to buy a daily newspaper - about half a mile with an uphill walk home. He usually refuses to drive into Sidmouth with me where there is a lovely long promenade along which you can walk. There and back for a 11/2 mile level walk. But today he has had to go into town for a dental check up. As it is a beautiful, mild sunny day he is thinking of taking a walk along the seafront before he returns home. I am envious. It is such a lovely day it feels more like spring than autumn. But I am confined indoors. We have a team of hedge trimmers and tree surgeons here today. So I had to remain at home. With 4 burly men wielding petrol driven trimmers and chain saws astride ladders I need to keep out of the way. But on the hour and every hour I produce gallons of strong sweet tea and biscuits. With luck they will have finished by early afternoon and I'll get out for a walk myself.

MyMan is still a very up and down. Sunday he was so down he decided he would contact the CPN after all. He felt so low he wept. I almost weep with him. There is very little I can do to ease his pain or his low moods. Yesterday was better. We went out for a couple of hours to Topsham. Not that far at all really for a man who used to drive 100s of miles a week to various locations for work. But it is over 3 years since he was last in Topsham. He enjoyed seeing the river and the lovely buildings. He suffered pain in the neck and head long before we reached home. But the change of scene did raise his spirits. He's continued with the decision he made on sunday and has asked the CPN to call to give some advice and/or support.

Now he is at the dentist with strict instructions from me to make sure that his head and neck are properly supported during the examination. I still feel some anxiety when he is out alone. I have to remind myself he is not as bad as he was in 2005/6 when sometimes he could barely remember where he was or where he was going. In the days when I thought he was showing signs of early dementia. It may be slow progress but it is progress.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Its A Matter of Pride

The trouble is I was feeling 'hassled' because I didn't have a spare few hours to spring clean the house in readiness for a Kay's visit. Normally when we have visitors I whizz through like a dervish with the feather duster, the polish, vacuum cleaner, oven cleaner and leather for the windows. By the time I've finished the books are in regimented order on shelves, magazines are no longer a slithering pile on coffee tables. All paperwork and mail is filed, or hidden, away. The house gleams, sparkles and smells like an aromatherapist's waiting room. I like to pretend we always live in this clean and tidy palace which somehow manages to be homely and warmly welcoming. A cake baking in the oven is the final touch.

At the moment I think all I can say is it is 'homely and welcoming'. Gleaming it is not. Clean enough is the only expression I can use. I've the ingredients for a cake but think they'll not be put together until after our visitor has gone back to Norwich. I do have flowers. Several bunches have been thrust into various vases and pots. I had the choice - sweep up fallen leaves, pot up winter flowering cyclamen or housework. Today was lovely and sunny so the garden won.

I'm working on the theory that all of us whoosh around cleaning before a visitor. Maybe if I just concentrate on hygienically clean enough; ignore the cobwebs - call them conservation corners - then maybe I'll be starting a new relaxed trend. After all - do we go to see our friends to judge how clean their oven is or to chat with them, relax and laugh with a glass of wine. If I died tomorrow would they all come to my funeral and talk about what a great, intelligent, lively friend and wit I was; or would they all stand around saying 'and did you see the state of her oven?'.

I'm trying to get my priorities right. I'd rather blog than do housework so that's what I'm doing.

At least now I've no cats to walk behind the settee and emerge trailing dusty, fluffy cobwebs from their whiskery faces. So no embarrassment there then. I think I'm becoming less houseproud. I remind myself of the saying that "Dull Women Have Immaculate Houses".

Monday, 8 October 2007

Irritability Can Be Contagious

I'm full of frustration and am irritable. All manner of minor domestic problems are rearing their heads. All of them are coming up together.

I have a friend visiting at the weekend. She's flying down for a flying visit from east Anglia. For the first time I've had to book her in for 2 nights B&B at a local guest house. We no longer have a guest bedroom. The guest bedroom has become my bedroom. My Man is sleepless most of the night. I go to bed, sleep the sleep of the dead for 2-3 hours then wake at 3.00 am. A couple of more hours of restless sleep then up at 5.30. This kind of sleeping pattern is not conducive to sharing a bedroom never mind a bed. We are like the little man and woman in an old
fashioned weather station. If He is in[bed] then I'm out and vice versa. We've turned into a 24 hour household.

I used to be an 8 hours deep sleeper kind of woman. But over the last 4 years that seems to have changed. I don't know if it is due to circumstances or older age. I am very tired so my irritability levels are sky high. I am not nice to know. The fact that I'm irritable is irritating me. I have lost all patience with My Man who is wondering why I'm telling him to ignore his aches, his pains, his blurred vision and his sleepless nights. I now try to avoid asking him how he is. If I ask I only want a brief answer; not a blow by blow account from head to toe of every ache and non functioning body part. I tell him that I don't know the answers to his questions. Whether what he experiencing is down to side effects of the medication. He thinks he has 90% of the listed possible side effects. Of every pill he takes. I suggest he ring the male CPN [Community Psychiatric Nurse] and talk it over with him. He was given his office number and his mobile number to help during this transitional period. He'll 'think about it' - he 'may ring next week'. He was given the numbers to use if he needs support. But My Man says he's "OK - not anxious - not worried enough to bother him". I say "fine, then don't bother me either". I don't know about him but I may ring the CPN myself - I could do with some support at the moment.

Meanwhile I have a friend due at Exeter airport on Friday, a car that is reluctant to pull away in first gear without shuddering, a fridge that I have to kick the door to get it to close properly and a leaking shower that started to leak last October. MyMan refused to call a workman in to repair it as it is such a 'little job', he could do it. But 12 months later I feel enough is enough. I'm now waiting for a plumber to come and re-seal the whole shower tray. I want to be able to shower and clean the shower stall out without worrying about where the leaking water is going to ....

Monday, 1 October 2007

Another Carer's Blog Found

I found this blog recently. As far as I can see no-one has left any comments before - so this lady appears to have a low profile. You may like to visit to read. She started the blog in October 2006 and latest posting was on September 16th. I've added her to the blog links column. The following link will take you to the first entries: http://dementeddaughter.blogspot.com/2006_10_01_archive.html