Apologies first for this VERY long read.
I’m still here, lurking in the background. Reading your posts, sometimes leaving a ❤️ or a small comment, but I do read.
This is how it is, writing only when the urge is too great to deny.
At times I wonder, if I shall be as prolific as I was, or whether I shall fade into oblivion eventually.
Pop is still with us thankfully, for a man who felt he wouldn’t see last Christmas, his resilience astounds me. His knees have pretty much locked from sitting or lying down all day. The only time he manages to stand is with the lifting machine, which moves him from his bed to his tilt chair, or to the wheelchair.
His voice can range from reasonably strong for a day or two, to barely audible the next. One of the issues of aging is incontinence, so he wears a pad (this was chosen in favour of invasive catheters). This of course brings its own issues of rashes and possibly infections. He is on antibiotic ear drops for an ear infection. I noticed today he has swelling, soreness and redness around the base of two his fingernails. Something I need to keep a check on. He sleeps or dozes on and off very easily. His comprehension has slowed, some days far worse than others, where he will take 20 or so seconds to respond. Sometimes he will come out with something, not related to the conversation. His MSA causes his eyelids to close, it also makes him shake, mainly his right arm or hand, will just start shaking or he will tap madly on the arm of his chair.
Today daughter B and son-in-law E and I went to take Mum out to the shops. This was arranged last week and advised twice yesterday. On arrival, mum didn’t want to go out. I tried to tell her it’s a beautiful day, we want to take you out in the sunshine and then to look around the shops as we planned. She said there wasn’t any need to go out, that it was too early, that she had to put her bra on! Daughter B has more patience, come on Nana, no she wouldn’t budge. How about we go across the road then with pa for a latte at the new cafe? She was still hesitant, but then agreed. Pop into the wheelchair, mum with her walker, we walked over, with mum saying how nice it was it get outside.
It’s frustrating, she complains of never going out, but when push comes to shove, she doesn’t wish to. She still mentions the ‘breeze’ and the cold draft she feels, telling me to switch it off, when it’s not on. She asks about some of her personal belongings still, most of which I store at our place, waiting to buy furniture to store them in. She asked on several occasions for her air mail letters, that she had kept when corresponding with her mum and sister in England when they were alive. Thankfully I kept them and brought them in today.
Physically her feet are puffy and both of her feet are bent inwards, though she can walk very quickly, with the staff telling her to slow down in case she falls. She has gained weight, like pop as very little movement and having breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, tea and supper, is adding calories.
Some days are better than others (like pop) some days I still get yelled at, told I’m there too often, that I’m a dictator, that “I always” think I know best, or have something thrown at me, or I’m struck at.
Other days, she’s very childlike, dancing around, flirting with the male staff.
The other day we were late going to the dining room for lunch. A new resident had taken his seat at ‘their’ table. Mum was NOT happy and pointed and spoke rather loudly that it was their table and why was he there. Realising now the facility where they are, which she hated and still does at times, has now become their home and THAT was her dining table.
I visit and stay with daughter B for two to three days each week. Sometimes 4, then go back home. I massage dads legs, feed him his meals, give them manicures and advise the staff when things are needed. They all know be my name now, (probably dreading me in a way as I let nothing slip when it comes to their care) and as I’m there so often. I even attended the resident family meeting, advising of issues that I felt neeed attention.
Me? Well I’m seeing a chiropractor as my upper back pain from last August wasn’t easing after seeing a physio. He thinks I may have had a compounded fracture in my rib at the back after the horseriding incident. I now see him regularly and do exercises at home. Services have been scant, apart from the money aspect, I’m glad in a way as I have the time to spend with my penguins.
On the upside K got a job, she hasn’t worked for 4 years. It’s office work for 3.5 days per week, but this will suit her getting back into the work force. We just have to hope her BPD doesn’t let her sabotage it. She starts on Tuesday. She also has her new b/f, they have been seeing each other 4 months now and they seem very happy.
Mr. S is fine, busy renovating the bathrooms.
I have just realised how long this is… I don’t even write this much on a FB status! I’m so sorry, guess I had a lot to tell.
Thinking of you all and hope you all are well.
I really liked this long and newsy update. You are amazing. I feel the way you give as many different personal services, continues to help your father know you are there for him. Trying to persuade a stubborn mother is very challenging but your Daughter B was helping, you came up with way to get both Penguins out in sunshine. Great news on Daughter K. Hugs to Mumma and Poppa Penguin. Hugs to sweet daughters, your family’s lives, Mr. S and you put in my prayers. ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡
Good luck on all you endure and hope your body will repair and rib heal, Jen. 🙂
❤️❤️ Thank you Robin
You have a lot on your shoulders. I am in awe of you. Don’t forget to look after yourself too, Jen. Sending you hugs. (((( ❤ )))) 🙂
Thank you ❤️❤️
I’m glad to hear you’re seeing the chiropractor. Like Tess says, take care of you. The caregivers NEED some TLC too.
❤️❤️ Thank you
I really appreciated reading this, Jen, and being brought up to date. So much care is involved when loved ones get to this stage. I have seen it in my own family. It is good that you are such a regular presence at the facility, too. Imagine those whose families are not as attentive. I wonder that they might not have the same level of care?
You must really be strong, as it seems to me with all these issues and trying to work for a living, as well as have time for your own needs, you barely have a spare minute. It does somewhat remind me of the challenges of working with little children, especially those with special needs.
Brave, caring, patient, strong. I truly admire you, Jen.
Hugs to you and to your parents.
Thank you ❤️❤️
thanks for the update, no worries about the length, you’ve got a lot to share and we’re happy to hear how it is all going. that’s a lot, some looking up, some down, but you are hanging in, and somehow you are keeping it all going. hugs to you and glad for every little thing you can do for yourself right now. beth
❤️❤️ Thank you
How you live your life now, beckons the next enlightenment. Jen your next, will be one of calm beauty and uplifting pleasure. Because you are soo earning it big time. 💕
❤️😘 Thank you Suz