Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How are you?

I get a couple of texts a week from some very dear friends who tell me how they are thinking of me and the family, and asking how I am.

I always respond either 'I'm fine,' or 'I'm okay, thanks'.

It's a bloody lie. But people don't want to hear what's really going through my head, and that I am exhausted, both physically and mentally. I don't often sleep more than 4 hours a night; and I am playing parent to my kids and parents.

The girls are going through a phase of constant arguing, to the point where they are so nasty and horrid to each other, I stand there wondering who they are - but maybe because I have become an utterly useless parent who no longer has the energy to referee their petty disagreements they insist turning into mountains, and instead of listening and mediating their dramas I just send them to their rooms.

And then both my parents seem to have devolved into young children themselves.

My father - still in hospital - feels ignored and disliked by the nurses, whilst trying to cope with his new levels of disability, and so panics at the slightest things resulting emotional dramas where he demands to know what the point of 'going on' is, and his desire for a gun so he can kill himself.

My mother - in her attempt to stay sane- sees her friends several times a week, which is a good thing I know, but it's for HOURS at a time, without any thought to the fact Christmas is in 9 days and I have 4 kids and a house to try and organize and giving up every single day to sitting with my father is becoming too much for me. She will then phone me in complete hysterics because the sun is shining in her eyes and she can't see the cursor on her laptop and she needs to send an email.

The extremes of nonsense going on around me is sending me into a black hole.

And I can't tell any of them.

With my father I have to be this endlessly understanding and optimistic person, assuring him things will get better (thank god he doesn't he doesn't ask me when, because I'm not sure I believe myself anyway).

With the kids I know I am not being fair on them, for instance S was ill at school the other day, but when the school phoned me to say she needed collecting I had to tell them 'too bad, she needs to stay at school' - because I was wheeling my father to yet another department for more tests that scared him. The school and I eventually agreed poor S would walk home by herself whilst she felt sick. Of course with S, there's always a chance she's 'faking' it as she hardly loves school, and claims to be too ill to go at the slightest thing, but even thinking that about makes me question why I don't try to resolve her issues with her, but the truth is, I don't have any more energy to give them, they are not babies any more and they just keep taking and taking and they don't care how tired I am.

And my poor mom. Well the whole thing is crappy on her, and definitely not about to improve and the hospital have said there's nothing more they can do for my father and so want rid of him in January. So home he will go, with 2 nurses coming in 4 times a day for an hour, to help care for him. And however hard I find each day, I will only be there for some 6/7 hours, she will have to cover the other 14+ hours in a day as he can never be left alone.

Life is a bloody nightmare, and I am not okay. I just want it all to stop. And then I realize what that means, and start crying because that's not what I want and I am a horrible person.

Oh shit. Sorry this was not meant to be a pity post. Anyway, typing this hasn't made me feel better (like I was hoping it might) and I don't have the time to sit here contemplating my navel.  Onward. Kick up the ass needed I guess.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014


I am writing a post as I heard from one of you last night mentioning the blog, and it turns out today is such a mess I don't know what to do with myself that.. here I am, writing to distract myself.

I can't explain it all, it's complicated and long - as so many things in life are. But I will do my best to make sense for your sake, although I am sat here writing for *my* sake.

My dad is ill. No great shocker the man is 80, and I imagine most are ill with something by that age. He's had diabetes for years, but last October he stubbed his toe and things just went from bad to worse from there - all because of the stubbed toe.

By February they wanted to take his right leg off just below the knee and at the start of March, that's what they did.

He spent several months in hospital, as 80 year old diabetics don't exactly heal fast.

That was all a nightmare. He didn't want it to happen. My mother is 76 and can barely move her neck so she wasn't thrilled either.

He started off in a private room as they do have medical insurance, not that that was ideal as my father is 6'3" and the beds are not long enough, plus he's used to super king size which of course they are not - whilst on the face of it sounds amusing, less amusing when he falls out of it, as he did a week after the op. They started putting the bed rails up all the time after that.

Anyway, after a month or so they said he was well enough to move to a recovery hospital - and although it wasn't 'private' - it did come with his own room, so not so very different.

But the medical service doesn't know it's left hand from right, so they sent him up to the 2nd hospital without any meds for the pain, and there weren't any Doctors about, so no one gave him any meds. 12 hours after arriving he was delirious with the pain; it was 2 in the morning; he was over tired; confused and unhappy. They forgot the bed rails; he forgot he didn't have a leg and tried to get out of bed. So again ends up in a heap on the floor.

He hurt himself pretty badly that time, and wasn't very nice to the nurses. But they did FINALLY call a damn Doctor. Course the Doctor wasn't thrilled at getting a middle of the night call, because of a patient who was grumpy and didn't mince his words about what he thought of the place. They gave him tramadol, and not a little.

In fact they downright turned him into a dribbling mess who no longer even cared where he was.

By the time visiting hours arrived I had a father who kept asking me to phone the Chinese Snooker Team as he need to give them some tips - that was when he could stay awake. But I suppose I should just be glad he knew who I was as he no longer recognized my children and kept asking how I had gotten to South Africa so quickly (no, we were not in Africa !)

Anyway his vitals then went nuts, so he was shipped on to ICU back at the 1st hospital. Then after a few days, back to the private ward he went - although he still didn't know where he was. Clearing the tramadol from his system took several weeks, but thankfully it did clear.

So then we were back at the Recovery Hospital. They were surprisingly more gentle the 2nd time around, maybe because we ignored the visiting hours and did what we liked - which was staying with him all day. Occasionally they hinted a reminder about visiting times, but we smiled and were super nice, and we didn't disturb others by sitting in his room - and to be honest my father can be difficult when he doesn't get his way, so they left us all alone.

He go to go home in July. Things weren't so bad, he could transfer from bed to wheelchair himself and my mother dealt with the personal side of things, I did the exercises and amusing him for hours each day - mostly consisting of taking him out to lunch in pretty locations. He's done well, and has only had a few days of depression all year.

Two weeks ago the Doctors even said his stump had finally healed enough that in another month they will start to look at getting him a prosthetic limb. Great news! Except.... when he had been in the ICU they had put a compression sock on his right foot - because he had clots years ago, and does take warferin. They didn't ask my mother if this was a good idea, they didn't consider how easily he bruises, or how calcified his veins are. The seem gave him a slight bruise, and over the months it got worse, and now his right toe is black and a mess - just like his stubbed toe was. Of course with the the hope of a prosthetic limb soon to happen they wanted to make sure he wasn't about to lose his right leg either.

They scheduled a procedure for Monday morning just gone, to color dye his arteries and maybe put stents in his right leg. The color dye stuff was a risk because of his kidneys - but they weighed up was worth it.

They took him in on Sunday so they could hydrate him before the procedure - he wasn't happy as he had to go on a general ward as the insurance won't cover vascular issues anymore, after he cost them so much in the last financial year.

But hey.... it's only ONE night we told him! And frankly it's the others on the ward who need sympathy as my father SNORES louder than a elephant could ;)

Do Monday morning came, we couldn't see him due to the visiting times, but he called right after and said it was great news - the dye had revealed the stents weren't needed. He just needed to stay in bed for the next 6 hours due to the fact they had gone in an artery (his warferin was stopped a week ago).

All good. Except it wasn't all good. The blithering effing idiots who had brought him back to the ward hadn't put up the side rails on his little bed. They hadn't left a pee bottle within his reach. And when there were no nurses about, he reached for one....

This time he really smashed himself up. Odd really as his warferin had been stopped a week - so you wouldn't think he could bleed so much, but when I showed up he was still covered in blood. He was also lying in a pool of pee - as he had wet himself as it all happened and after too.

But frankly the blood could be washed off, he would heal - what bother them more was that they had noticed he couldn't use his left arm, he can't even feel it, and his speech is slurred.

Don't worry they said, it's probably just a mild stroke and he's in the best place for this to happen, in fact they say that's probably why he fell out of bed..... so long as we get the drugs into him within 3 hours and we've scheduled a CT scan....

He had the scan at around 2 hours, and at the 3 hour mark they were giving him an ECG - whilst he still lay in the pool of pee covered in blood. I was getting rather 'anxious' by that point and sort of did get a little sarcastic with one of the nurses about this supposedly being the 'best place this could happen'.

Poor chap hurried of and a Doctor arrived, saying they weren't going to do anything as they felt the risks outweighed the benefits. Although they did change the bed and put a catheter in.

I ignored the visiting times yesterday and spent the day with him, wiping his face when he dribbled. The speech people came on up and talked him through how to swallow (he'd near choked the day before when trying to sip water and had gone onto IV only).

They also moved him to the stroke ward last night, and it looks like another long stay in hospital all over again.

He's so unhappy. He called my mother at 6 this morning begging her to come and get him.

I then got told I can't go in until 3... as that's their visiting time. Fucking hell. He doesn't like being alone. He's never alone even when he's well - me or my mother are always with him. And they are all so fucking useless, and I'm supposed to be fine about leaving his care to them.

Christ I feel so damn useless. What if this is it? What if he never gets out? What if he just has some giant stroke and that's the end? He's supposed to be on his own for that? in a place he doesn't want to be? And I'm supposed to sit here and think 'oh yes well it is a hospital, they are busy, so I'm supposed to just trust they will do best by my father' ? Like they have done already..........??!! This is not how things are supposed to be.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Party Time!

Yesterday my eldest, R, turned 19. 19!! Where have the years gone?

Somewhat amusingly I woke at 4:30, and my 1st thought was: he was being born now.

Just strikes me as funny as I'm not really one for Birthdays. Or anniversary's. Or anything really. Dates don't mean much, which I think is a good thing - at least it has served me well, if only because I only remember for a year or two on those dates I would rather forget.

But anyway back to my Birthday Boy. He was happy, he seemed to have a good day.

*I* was exhausted though, I only did a couple of hours at work, and then spent the whole day cleaning and cooking, for his party.

His favorite pressie is a wallet I got him - it has Bad Mother****** stamped on the front (he did ask for it!)

If you haven't seen Pulp Fiction you won't understand the reference, but he loves the movie, and is made up with it. So no matter how irresponsible I felt I was being, getting him a wallet with a curse on the front, he is happy, which is what matters to me.

He also surprised me. He stopped the party mid-way to say thank you, said his parents are 'awesome' - very sweet. And very like my father. So confident. And so very un-like me. But hey ho, it was nice.

And I am actually writing this post about one of his mates, young man called Harry, who came to the party.

This young man appears to have everything. The youngest of 5 children, from extremely wealthy parents - and when I say extremely, I mean... well... beyond what I can imagine, and I know a lot of wealthy people.

My boys go to his house quite a bit - in fact at least 5 days a week, as four of them meet to use his gym. It's better than the one in town, that they have to pay for.

So anyway this lovely young man Harry was at the party - or rather at our house, he didn't really stay with the party people, but instead spent half the evening in P's room with P, playing C.o.D.

But when the boys tired of that, they came out and sat by the fire pit, roasting marshmallows in the dark.

My girls were silly with it, and kept burning either the marshmallows or their mouths, but it was lots of fun and laughter, & dropped marshmallows.

Harry was laughing at them, as he tried to roast his own mallow, and then turned to me and said: I like coming here, it's like being in a family!

I answered before I thought:  But you have a family.

He must have held eye contact for at least 3 seconds before looking away and answering: Yes.

I know most people won't get it. But my heart broke for him in that moment. Because in that pause, I knew. He is living my youth. He wants for nothing, appearing to have the most idyllic life of big houses, lots of holidays, nice cars, nice clothes, not a care in the world - and yet, I feel so sorry for him.

I ask R about Harry's family today, but he didn't know much, said he'd never met any of them. His parents don't spend the summer here. But he said Harry didn't mind that, as they weren't close like our family... - that kinda shut me up, I have never thought about how close we all are, I just am very aware my children go without the things I took for granted as a child, and most of the time I feel bad about that.

But I do tell them - when my mother starts one her lectures about my parenting - she didn't raise me, the army of au-pairs did, and the boarding school I went to at 11 took over, and then I was gone at 16; my mother has no idea what raising kids involves.

And we are lucky, because money sure doesn't buy everything, and we might live in a little house now, and things are often a mess - and that's okay, because I don't have to stress about fancy carpets getting ruined by hoards of teenagers partying ;)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

An old friend..

There's a girl I went to school with, whom I guess to anyone meeting her, would be seen as a middle aged mom of three. About a decade ago, her husband left her. He was a cad about it, and it hurt her a lot. But then, when does a marriage breakdown not hurt someone?

I guess the difference about this particular breakup was, she never got over it. She stayed so angry. Bumping into her used to be a nightmare, as she never had anything nice or jolly to share, only stories of what a terrible person he was, and how he had done her wrong.

I am ashamed to admit, I started avoiding her. I stopped calling, it was all just too depressing listening to her refusing to to put this man out of her mind and move forward with her life.

I thought about her just a few weeks ago, when I wondered about my own internal struggles. I feel exhausted, but at least I don't feel her anger, mine is more of a hopelessness. But I've always believed these unhappy feelings can't be good for us, it's like poisoning ourselves from the inside. It will all add up, and finish us.

For a lot of this year, I've wanted that. Just to go to sleep and not wake up. But it doesn't work like that.

Today I bumped into my old friend. She had been such a pretty woman, but I saw her and as I smiled, could only think to myself how worn and tired she looked.

I asked if she was well. The answer was no. She has cancer. Started as breast cancer, now it's in her liver, and lymph glands.

Not really a lot you can say when someone says that. I mumbled how sorry I was to hear, which is true. In fact I am brokenhearted. She deserved better. So much better. The girl I went to school with was happy and sweet, her life should have been too. But that girl faded away so long ago.

Life fucks us all. They say 'The good die young', maybe that's because the good can't cope with the pain of living.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Grey Sunday

I can't seem to get warm, and it's driving me bats :/

What I need is a steaming hot bath.... but as it will be weeks before the bathroom is sorted, I can't. And the shower is just not the same.

I have progressed with the Christmas pressies, in fact am probably over doing it now, and I am quite pleased with how everyone will do this year.

One thing that has taken a step back is my story idea for the NaNoWriMo, I kinda let the ideas slip away as other stuff crowded my thoughts and now... it all feels rather weak..arrrrgggghhh!!! Should make notes!!

I also heard from a friend yesterday, asking how I was. I replied, maybe a little too honestly - although at least things are getting more positive. But I haven't heard a thing back from her, so am wondering if I should start fibbing again, and just answer 'fine' in future *sigh*

Also the kids are now on half term break, heaven help me as their bickering is enough to make anyone lose their mind, and it's not like I have enough sanity left to spare.

I used to think the eldest never helped, but in fact his temper is just shorter than mine and he did manage to fend off the worst before I admitted defeat and resorted to shouting at the other three. At least he'll be home next Friday :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

One day at a time...

Yesterday I slipped. And - unusually - I don't mean 'I met the floor with a thump' type of thing.

I mean I slipped mentally.Back I went into my colourless pit, as I smiled through my day pretending I was just peachy. And I woke this morning feeling like the world could go to hell, again.

But I had to go out. Meet someone. And strangely, it really helped. Not going to detail the reasons why he made the difference, and I couldn't explain how as am not even sure, but I drove home cultivating the small glimmer of strength I felt.

And now..... well, for me, this is as good as it gets ('cos let's face it, I am not about to turn into Little Miss Perky!) I feel stronger again, I like feeling that I could say 'Fuck you!' to certain people (and yes, sadly that is how I judge my degree of strength these days, although it does NOT mean I would actually say that - hey, I am still *me*).

And to end on a positive note.... I have managed to sort about 60% of my story idea for NaNoWriMo, and am hoping the rest will formulate over the weekend; ...Christmas pressies have started arriving, so I am feeling downright organised! And I was sorta kissed last night, not what you'd call 'passionately' but more of kiss than I have experienced in a few years.

At this rate, I might be a grown up within a decade or two ^^

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wishing the months away

I am still wading through bathroom sites. Still trying to think up decent Christmas pressies for the kids. And I still haven't given enough thought to what my story will be about for NaNoWriMo.

In fact starting to fret about the NaNo thing, 'cos I don't like to fail, and am kinda thinking I might not manage it this year :/  But I'll worry about that tomorrow.

Today I am not going to worry about anything, as I finally seem to have let everything go. Well.... that's not really true, I can feel the undercurrents to my thoughts, making me aware of the date, making me think about things I shouldn't.

But I am getting better at directing my thoughts - although considering how I started this post you wouldn't know that! I guess what I mean is, I won't allow myself to dwell upon certain things. Which is downright amazing really. Been trying to do this for months and had no success, but at last it seems to have come to me. Now I just need it to last forever ^^

If I can get through this week without mentally tripping, then NaNo will start, and November will be gone in a blink. Then we're into December, which I bloody hate, but that's a whole different monster and regardless of how I feel about the month, it passes quickly.

Course January and February are hateful months, even in good years, but life changes rapidly sometimes, so maybe by then I will feel more whole and therefore able to cope  :)

Maybe I'll even finish the damn decorating !