Old Person

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My Mums health seems to have not fully recovered since her spell in hospital a couple of months back.      She seems extremely lack lustre, and to be honest just not quite herself.

While she was in hospital, they did change some of her medications and she was a little confused by what they had removed and why.    I therefore took her to the GP surgery to talk to a doctor to go through what was different for her.        He was quite detailed going through the changes with her – I attend her appointments as she tends to get a little confused, and explaining to her why there had been changed.      He also suggested she had another set of blood tests to see that the infection which had caused her hospitalization was totally clear from her system.     A few days later she received a phone call to say everything was clear, but suggesting she received a Vitamin B12 injection to try to boost her.        She had this done a few days later.       The days following the injection, she said she felt really tired, totally the opposite effect that was meant to be achieved.    The strange thing is, that when I was given these injections, they just made me feel washed out, something the doctor refuted was possible!      She is due back for anther blood test next week, to see what, if anything has been achieved with the injection what it was intended for.     We will see what the doctor suggests after that.

She definitely seems down since her stint in hospital.    She is happy to sit and do nothing.    Even more than before.     She hasn’t even offered to do any ironing, something that was her job in the house – done sitting down.     She has made no notion to even mention it.      She sits hour after hour watching 30 year old games shows, and doing the puzzles in her magazine.   At least these are tasks that engage her brain, which is still fairly sharp.

Before Christmas, the social worker managed to persuade her to have a visit to the day care centre.      I have been trying for years to make her go out of the house and interact with other humans but to no avail.    I took her down for a visit and she agreed to go once a space was available.      There was then quite a wait, and we were into February before she was offered a day.    When her first day arrived, she reluctantly let me take her to the car.     It was plainly obvious that she didn’t want to go, but I was desperate for a break, so was determined she would at least give it a go.      I dropped her off, and took a huge sigh of relief!       It was very odd not having her about, but I was able to get on without constantly stopping to make her cuppas!          When I went to pick her up, we hadn’t even got to the car before she was moaning.      The people, the food – not the quality but the quantity, as they were fed most of the day!       She did however say the staff were lovely,  but she wouldn’t want to do it too often.        The following week, she had appointments that had been made before she was offered the place, so did not attend.     The next week when I said it was time to go, she looked at me blankly as if she had forgotten about it – the type of overacting the kids do when they are trying to get out of something.       She did go, but moaned the whole way!         When she came out, she said there was nothing the following week because of holidays – I thought this a bit strange but had no point of reference to refute it.       There was of course a phone call asking why she hadn’t attended and we were told she would be charged anyway!    Last week she was much more resolved in the fact she was going.       I imagine it was with the kids off she wanted some peace and quiet.     She says she isn’t really enjoying it, but then talks about the things they do in a fairly positive way.      At her age, if she out and out said she really didn’t want to do it, then I would have no choice but to contact them and say she wasn’t going anymore.  However she moans about it, but hasn’t said she doesn’t want to go, so I will keep taking her down.      I think mixing with other people has to be good for her.     It saves her from stagnating at home.    On a selfish level, a few hours each week knowing someone else is looking after her is a huge load off my plate.    I may get to the stage where I stop feeling guilty and find some me time in there!

On the whole, her eating is also getting worse.    She has never been a big eater, instead preferring to graze when she is hungry.    I respect that, but when she keeps saying she doesn’t want anything it is rather worrying.    She is no ;onger able to get around the kitchen so I have to prepare all she eats.    She argues that sitting down all day means she is loosing little energy and so she doesn’t need much.      I give her tiny potions at meal times, and she will still try to palm off half her plateful onto the boys, or wrap it in a tissue – thinking we cant see it happen, and throw it away later.      I am worried she isn’t getting enough nutrients, and so I get her enhanced cereals so at least at breakfast time she’s  getting a boost.

It is really hard to know what to do for the best for her.    She is pain with her hip, which makes walking nearly impossible.    Her shoulders have deteriorated because of the strain of using the zimmer frame to drag herself about.      I really don’t know what we will do when she can no longer lean on it.     Our house does not have space to make her a downstairs bedroom as we have open plan living and dining room.     I would hate to be thinking that at that stage we would need to be putting her into a home.     I know the boys wind her up, but am sure that they actually keep her going and to suddenly go to the loneliness of an old folks home would literally kill her.

For now we plod on.      We put up with her mood swings and her often childish behaviour.      I think if I am lucky enough to reach her age, then I want to be entitled to act child like if I want to.     I have said having her, is like having an extra child, but its more than that, as I have to remember she is my Mum and as such deserves the respect that comes with it.      It is a fine line to walk between letting her off with her behaviour because of her age, but also not letting her believe she can treat the boys based on out dated parenting ideals.      D baiting is probably one of her favourite hobbies!     While Granny baiting is one of his!

She is my Mum, and as such I love her, even if some days she makes me want to scream and yell, both at her and about her!      I worry about her, as her physical health deteriorates.       Every day adds new problems she has to face with just getting about, and as I am closest, I am the one who feels the flack from her.      There is nobody else she can take it out on.    It is not fair but I understand.

 

 

Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

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Life has been a bit of a mess recently.     That’s the polite way of saying I have been a total nightmare.

The tablets the doctor had prescribed were making me even stranger than usual – I know that seems hard to believe.       I was having some most peculiar dreams about people and places I knew, that were so vivid and real, that it took me ages every morning to distinguish the reality of the awake world.      These dreams were so eccentric that my sleep pattern was so messed up with me getting very little uninterrupted sleep.     I was therefore physically tired all of the time.     I was also mentally exhausted as my brain was not getting the down time it needed to recharge.    It wasn’t fun for me and I wasn’t fun to be about.    Hubby asked if I had read the leaflet that comes in the box with the tablets, to check the side effects.      I had to admit I had read it when I first started taking them, but that was a couple of years ago, and I was now on a much higher dosage.      I sat down with the mile long piece of paper with microscopic print on to see if my newly found strain of weirdness was related to them.     Not surprisingly, I had every side effect on the common list, most on the sometimes list and even a couple on the rare list.      I came to the conclusion the pills weren’t doing me much good or rather not the good they were aim for!     The doctor had spoken to me when she changed my dose about maybe changing medication, so I knew she would be ok with me starting to wean myself off them.    I did it by myself as I already had an appointment booked with her for a couple of weeks, and there was nothing available sooner.     I became a real snappy cow as I came off them.   It was really weird.    I could feel myself getting stressed and upset with the most minor of things, and yet there was nothing I could do to stop myself reacting badly.          By the time I saw the doctor, she agreed I had done the right thing, and we needed to try something new.       She has prescribed a different drug, and said to give it a few weeks as I would probably feel a little strange on them to start with.      Strange does not begin to describe how I am feeling!      I am sleeping less badly – I can’t say better because my sleeping is still terrible.      I have what only feels like flu like symptoms.     I ache in every joint, and feel totally exhausted.      Reading the screed, they are normal side effects.      I am just hoping the Doctor is correct, and they do settle after just a couple of weeks.      I am back to see her next week, and so it will be reviewed as to if this is the way forward, or to try something else!

The doctor also referred me to a mindfulness’ practitioner.     I have read quite a lot about Mindfulness in the past, and while the idea of it appeals to me, I think that when your head is a mess, trying to sit quietly to clear the clutter from your brain isn’t that easy.    I did however agree to meet with the lady to find out more.      I found it quite liberating to sit and talk about why my head was such a mess, and how juggling so many balls was leaving little or no time for me because of fear of letting other people down.      I will have a few more one on one sessions with her before attending the group classes.      It can’t do any harm anyway, and hopefully some good!

So things were beginning to get back on a less rocky path.      I could identify when I was acting in an odd manner, and even though I couldn’t always do anything about it, awareness is a huge leap forward.       I am hoping these pills I am now taking settle soon, as I feel so rough, but as the doctor told me getting the medication right can be trial and error as there as so many different drugs in the family of medication we are looking at.    Fingers crossed.

Then this morning, my improving mood hit rock bottom.    In the post I received a letter from the sheriffs’ court with a fine of contempt of court.     A few weeks back I had received a citation to attend court as a potential juror.     I wasn’t impressed, but it is my civil duty.    I did however miss read the date on it.  I read it as August when in fact it said April.    I should have attended the court last Monday.     I feel so stupid.     I feel guilty.     I feel I have let my family down as we now have to try to find £400 to pay the fine within the next month.     I am so upset by it.     I know it is done and nothing can change it now, but I just want to cry at how foolish I have been.      With so much going on in my world, I just didn’t read the citation properly.       I am sure in the light of a new day, I will realise being so upset by it isn’t helping, but for now I feel down.     Hubby is now going to have a low key birthday as anything that would have been spent on that will have to go towards the fine.     We will also have to tighten our belt to try and find the rest of the money.

We live and learn.

Lego Obsession.

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M is Lego mad.     He loves building with the kits.    He loves using his imagination to free build things – a true master builder.     His favourite wii-u gams are all Lego based – I must say of all the game genre the boys play, anything Lego based is far more fun to watch as a bystander.       He hates reading, but will pour over any book he comes across with a Lego theme.   The highlight of his month is when his Lego Club magazine gets delivered.      He is addicted to the stuff!

Recently he began talking about Denmark, and if it would be a good place for a holiday.     I have friends who are Danish and although I haven’t been for many years, think it is a beautiful country.      It then dawned on us, why he was suddenly so interested in going there.    He had discovered this was the home of Lego.    While he says he wouldn’t mind going to any of the other Legolands around the world, he thinks it would be best to go to the “proper one” in Denmark.     He also tells me there are some exclusive sets that you can only buy in Denmark!!     It would be an amazing experience for him to go there.

Recently he saw a competition where you had to design and build a new model for the Lego Friends range.      He was so enthralled by the idea of the prize, which was to go to Lego HQ and spend a week with their designers to turn your model into a real kit, including yourself as a Lego figure.      What an amazing opportunity for any child, and wouldn’t it be really cool to say you are a Lego figure?     Any way after much planning and fretting about what he should build, he decided on  a haunted house.    He got it about half built, and saw some pictures of models already entered, and decided his wasn’t of the same standard so gave up.     I tried all I could to encourage him to continue, even offering to help him, but he said that there was no point as the first prize was the only one worth having and he wasn’t going to get that.     His mind was made up and there was nothing I could do to change it.

We went to the cinema to see The Lego Batman movie a couple of weeks back.        He was so excited about this film coming out from the first time he heard the concept being mentioned.     The Lego movie is one of his all time favourite films.       Luckily, the reality lived up to his high expectations of it.     I really enjoyed it too, as it was very much scripted on multiple levels, with many references to the 1960’s series, which I imagine we have all loved every time it has been repeated over the years.      When M loves a movie, he becomes obsessed, and will watch a DVD back to back to back, but he has never before asked to go and see a film a second time at the cinema, as he has with this.     He is thinking him and me could have our date day with this at the weekend.

One of M’s support workers, who visits him from the academy, had suggested over a year ago that he might like to join an after school Lego club that she runs for children with additional needs.       He wasn’t interested.      It was at a time when he was in such a low dark place that there was no point forcing the issue.       The question of it came up a few more times, and while he tried to make the right noises about the idea of it, he would make excuses as to why actually attending it wasn’t for him.       He then made a friends with a boy in his class but a year below him – it is a composite class, who also has additional needs.   This other boy goes to the Lego club, and suddenly M wanted to go.     I spoke to the teacher and she was all for him going along.     The first week, he wasn’t too well, so didn’t go.    I did wonder if we were getting the excuses again for not doing any extra curricular activities, but thought I’d try again the next week.     That was when Old Person was ill, and so he was thrown off balance with her in hospital, that he wanted to be with her when she got home.     He therefore didn’t go that week either.         On Monday, when he came home for lunch, I asked him if he wanted to go to the club after school.    I was bracing myself to counter his objections, but instead he said he would.   Not a single argument.     I did think he still had a couple of hours to change his mind!      He arrived home from school and Hubby took him up to the Library where the session is held – it is quicker for him to walk home and then go out rather than try to park at the school at home time!       Hubby stayed with him as it was his first time there.     There were a couple of people M knew from SafeSpace – our local additional needs group, as well as the child from his class.       He was introduced to another boy his age who goes to the other primary school in the town, as the teacher thinks it may be good for them both to have a face they know other than those going with them when they change schools in the summer.       Hubby said that M just got in and started creating, totally oblivious to the surroundings and the people around him.        Give a child something he is confident with and he can achieve!      It was good to know what that it was a good place for him, but a pity it has taken him so long to have his head in the right place to be there.       The next day, the teacher rang me to tell me that she was so pleased to see M there.     I thought that was nice of her to do that.

In the summer, M and I are going to abandon the rest of the household and head to Glasgow for the BrickLive event.    It looks amazing with not just display models to look at, but pits full of bricks for free building.      I think it will be a day he will love as he will be surrounded by something he feels connected to – and no I don’t mean he has little dots on his head to clip things on!

Lego has been great for M as a means to express himself.    It is something he always wants me to do with him, possibly because I’m more patient than his father!!     He sees it as our thing, and that’s lovely.     It is great to have an interest to communicate with him, and I must say my love of Lego has been reignited when we sit for hours trying to find the correct piece, that of course hides when you’re looking for it.

I am looking forward to BrickLive, but think the trip to Denmark might have to be on hold for some time, while we save!