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melting but not down

Sunday, 31 October 2010

other stuff

Life is unsettled (1), fun (2) and satisfying (3) at the moment...
  1. Due to the current economic climate, compulsory redundancies are in the pipeline at work. Our poor line managers have to complete some kind of redundantable scoresheet on everyone in their teams to identify the unlucky few. Hopefully I'm too old and therefore too expensive to qualify! Beloved son seems ok but I wish he could get a job, the longer he's out of work, the harder it will be to find one. I try not to get on his case but I can't help thinking he's spending too much time YouTubing and not enough job hunting (yes, I know, look who's talking lol).
  2. Went to a Halloween party last night, resplendant in a slinky floor length, midnight blue velvet, halter neck number and witch's hat, prompting many an appreciative comment from folks who remembered me from last year's party as a dumpy little thing in a black trouser suit, reminiscent of Biggins in Rocky Horror. Getting excited already about next year's cruise. I have plans to learn ballroom dancing this time round!
  3. I've lost 2 stones 10 pounds (38 pounds for transatlantic readers) since starting Slimming World at the end of January and only have 4 pounds to go to my target weight of 8 stones 11 pounds, the magic 3 stones lost point! It's an expensive business though, this losing weight lark. I had to buy new bras yesterday and was shocked to find it cost me over £70 for four good quality ones! I'd better not change shape for the next few years. I'm knitting again, and making slow but steady progress with a bedspread I'm making for my daughter's 30 birthday in December 2011. Knitting is my nicotine, I'm addicted to its calming effect, it starts and ends my day and features in my lunch breaks at work. I really must find a pattern for me though, most of my knitting seems to be for other people! Lovely daughter has an equally lovely boyfriend, they both seem loved up so I'm hoping this one's a keeper. They plan to move in together into mum's bungalow after Christmas/when all the repairs and refurbishments have been completed. Hopefully the Court of Protection won't put a spanner in the works and insist on exorbitant rent which would scupper their plans.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Mum, after a year in care

This is the first time in ages I've woken up at daft o'clock and turned to tea and tinternet. Banishing elderly dog to the kitchen at night has meant no interruptions from her scratching at the bedroom door at all hours. So, to use this time constructively, a few thoughts on how things are going with mum...

I usually manage to see her once a week, mostly with lovely daughter in tow, although I'm less anxious about going on my own as mum is generally in a good mood these days. I don't know whether its the progression of the dementia, steadily erasing old anxieties and gripes, or the settling effect of being surrounded by company and care every day instead of being all alone, or a combination of the two, but mum is a different person to the unhappy, paranoid and fretful old lady she was a year ago. She may struggle to hear what people say to her, but she keeps the conversation going with her own observations on life past and present and often smiles and even laughs when she gets the joke. She may greet our arrival with "can you bring me some money for bus fare" but is easily deflected from her escape plans by a cup of tea and a change of subject. She seems to be interacting with other residents quite well, she is always in the lounge when we go and this week introduced me and LD as her daughter and granddaughter (result!) to a lady in a wheelchair with a vice-like grip.

If you didn't know she had dementia, you might think there was nothing much wrong with her when she's chatty and lucid - this week she remembered, unprompted, that my son used to think that Farmer Christmas was Santa Claus' real name, but then in the next breath she'll ask whether her father is still as grumpy as ever and say she regrets joining up again (she thinks she's back in the WAAFs). The other week we were on our way to the dining room when she decided she needed to go to the toilet - I went in with her and found that the pad she was wearing was soaked and soiled. I don't think she realised. I had to get a member of staff to help as I couldn't work out how the new style pads fitted. Its sad that I don't find such episodes as shocking as I used to.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

groundhog day

This is how it goes. I wake up before dawn, needing the loo. The trip to the bathroom wakes me up somewhat so I decide to go downstairs and check on elderly dog, now confined to the kitchen overnight, the better to deal with any 'accidents'. Kitchen floor decorated with dog pee and poo so by the time I've cleaned it all up, I'm wide awake and thirsty. Make a cup of tea and switch on computer. Play Lexulous on Facebook (a kind of online scrabble) until there are no more moves to make, play Bubble Spinner until the bubbles get the better of me. Check this blog for new posts, mooch around eBay, check e-mails, back to Facebook to see whether any of my online Lexulous partners have played their moves, notice that dawn is breaking, go back to bed (or start getting ready for work, depending on what day it is). Can't understand why I'm lacking in energy. Pfft.

Going to a work colleague's wedding blessing and reception this afternoon. I can tell that Mr Lily is nervous about not knowing anyone there and is already hankering after going to the pub before the ceremony, presumably for dutch courage. I'm hoping I can keep him under control until the reception has got under way, by which time everyone else will be getting tiddly anyway. Everyone but me that is, always the chauffeur, never the party girl. That's what you get when you're allergic to alcohol - its just not worth the full on hayfever-like attack that usually accompanies drinking.

Will be starting to get work done on mum's bungalow soon. Have obtained a quote for boarding out the loft and should have sorted out an electrician by the end of next week to do the rewiring and a few other electrical jobs. My brain tells me I'm doing the right thing but my guts are churning - making these decisions about mum's property without her knowledge (she's forgotten the bungalow existed, it would only confuse her to try to explain what's happening) feels shifty somehow, as though I'm doing something wrong. I suppose part of the discomfort is because lovely daughter will be the beneficiary of all this refurbishment, being paid for out of mum's account, when she moves into the bungalow. Although, in the end she may have to move out so I can rent/sell the bungalow if the Court of Protection doesn't approve of her living there rent free (she's on a low wage), in which case all the improvements will have added to the value of the bungalow which is a good thing, isn't it? Aaargh, too much responsibility. I recognise this feeling. I'm stressed. I want my Prozac back. I want to be comfortably numb again.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Things can only get better

Two years ago today, I was a few months into taking Prozac and still struggling with the blues and extreme weariness. Mum was difficult and demanding but still functioning fairly normally. One year ago today, I was on sick leave with stress and visiting a very confused and frail mum every day in hospital in the run up to her being assessed for residential care. Things are much better now. Visited mum yesterday and she seems really settled in the home. Now if I could just stop waking up at daft o'clock.....