Posts Tagged ‘Wednesday’

I’ve been finding things quite difficult in the last while, supporting Mum as she cared for Dad at home, and supporting hubby. It’s felt at times as if no-one has been there to support me as I continue to struggle both physically and emotionally.

As you’ll know if you read my blog post yesterday (Even The Simple Things Are Forgotten) my Dad was taken into hospital on Wednesday suffering from dehydration as he wouldn’t eat or drink anything. Having spent hours in the hospital on Wednesday with Dad waiting for him to be admitted and then transferred to a ward, I was physically exhausted and due to the stress and supporting Mum, emotionally exhausted too. Since then we’ve visited Dad each day in hospital and that in itself is tough as he is just lying in bed with his eyes shut unable or unwilling to do more than respond occasionally to things we say to him…he looks so frail and helpless.

The other week I was chatting to a friend and we were talking about all the things that are going on in my life at present, and they asked me how I able to keep going. My honest answer to that question was, “not very easily“! Yes, while I’m in public I do my best to be strong and look completely in control, but underneath I’m struggling to keep it together and be strong for everyone around me. It would be a little easier if I was at least feeling pain-free all the time, but having to deal with all the things going on with various members of my family, and support them, as well as coping with severe pain levels at times is incredibly tough.

As far as how I cope with the situation with Dad, I think my automatic coping mechanism of seeing the funny side of everything definitely kicks in. Dad’s dementia means he has often said and done things which are quite funny on one hand, but when I think about the person he used to be, are incredibly sad and heartbreaking. Whenever anyone asks about Dad I find myself almost smiling and joking about it all the time, simply because it’s how I keep myself together and don’t fall apart. So if you’ve spoken to me and thought I seemed to make light of Dad’s situation please realise it’s just the way I cope with it, as I am deeply upset and saddened by what has happened to him, and I certainly do not find it funny in any way.

So my assessment of how I’m coping with life at present is I’m Getting By.

I pray every day that God will continue to give me the strength and the words to continue to support and help Mum and hubby. It sometimes has felt as though I’m on my own in this, but my faith keep reminding me that I’m never alone, because no matter what I’m facing, God is with me, supporting me.

I pray that if you are simply “getting by” in life too, you will always remember that God is with you through it all.

In Wednesday’s paper, the Herald, there was a very poignant article by Sally Magnusson entitled Magnusson’s torment at mother’s dementia battle. It really hit home for both Mum and me, and I’m sure many other’s who have family members or friends, who are suffering from dementia.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following my blog for a while, my Dad was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago, and over the last couple of years his condition has deteriorated very rapid. My Dad is still living at home with my Mum, with my Mum caring for him 24/7.

As Sally Magnusson says in her article in the Herald this week

Caring for my mother at home, even only part-time in my case with the help of my sisters and latterly a team of wonderful carers, has been psychologically gruelling and physically draining,” she said.

“How much worse for those who are caring alone and cannot afford extra help.”

when you’re caring for someone with dementia, it’s not something which just takes up a small part of your time, it is a 24/7 job, one which is not just physically exhausting, but also emotionally draining.

Please don’t think dementia is just about forgetting a few things, it’s not, it’s a horrendous disease which sucks out the person you know from their body and leaves an empty, helpless shell. It’s a disease which not only affects the person with the disease but also those who care for them, as there’s no remission for them from looking after the sufferer.

The person I know my Dad to be isn’t here anymore, yes, when I look at him I see my Dad, but that’s about the only part of him which is still recognisable as Dad:

  • He is no longer able to dress himself – Mum has to help him do that
  • He no longer knows or understands how to wash himself – Mum does that 6 days a week with a carer coming in to give Dad a bath once a week
  • He doesn’t recognise family members…including me which was very upsetting when it first happened. Although I’m now used to him not knowing me, it still is very upsetting
  • He doesn’t recognise or know people he’s known for years, such as neighbours and friends
  • When outside the house, he doesn’t know where he is
  • He sleeps most of the time

One of the saddest things watching Dad’s condition worsen, was when he went through a stage of bursting out crying for no apparent reason, other than just simply frustration at what was happening to him. I know how upsetting it was for Mum and me to see, but imagine how my Dad must have felt!

I do my best to support my Mum as she cares for Dad 24/7, however I never feel as though I’m able to do enough because I can see how difficult it is for Mum. On the plus side, Dad’s been into a local care hom,e a couple of time in the last 4/5 months for a week’s respite care, which has allowed Mum to get a bit of a break and a rest. In the last few weeks Mum’s talked about how she’s not sure how much longer she will be able to look after Dad at home.

It’s sad it’s come to this for Dad, but for the sake of my Mum, and her health, I was pleased when Mum told me she had asked her social worker to put Dad’s name down on the waiting list for the local care home. It’s upsetting to think of Dad not being at home, but ultimately he doesn’t really know where he is or who he’s with anymore, so as long as he’s comfortable and being looked after well, that is all I can ask.

If you are a praying person, can I ask you to pray for all those suffering from dementia and also for those caring for them. Thank you.

Well that was a long week!

Maybe it was just because it was my first week at work since before Christmas, but that seemed an exceptionally long working week…and that’s with me being off on Wednesday as well!

Monday

My week didn’t start well as despite going to bed at a reasonable time on Sunday night, I got only about 2 or 3 hours sleep that night. I remember lying awake getting more and more annoyed that I couldn’t sleep, checking the clock at midnight, 1.40am, 3.20am and 4.30am…thankfully I must have finally fallen asleep as the next thing I knew was the alarm going off at 7am!

First day back at work after being off, was as always a busy day, catching up on emails, dealing with requests/emails that had come in while I was off, and just getting to grips with the current status of everything my team were working on. It was a long day and the amount of yawning going on in the afternoon increased dramatically!

Was I going to get a better sleep this night? No!

Tuesday

I sleep very badly, although I did get a little more sleep than I had on Sunday night – This time the last time I checked the clock before I fell asleep was 2.45am.

There was no way Tuesday was going to be a good day after two night’s off little sleep. However it turned out to be not too bad a day even though the afternoon was one interrupted by lots of yawning again!

Was I going to sleep well tonight? Yes!

Wednesday

After a fantastic night’s sleep it was still a disappointment when the alarm interrupted my dreams.

Both hubby and me weren’t working on Wednesday as one of hubby’s cousins died on Hogmanay and the funeral was through in Alloa on Wednesday and we were both going through to it.

I knew the cousin that had died had quite a big family but we were both still very surprised to hear at the funeral that she had 9 children, 28 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren! Wow! Given Christmas was just a few weeks ago, hubby and me got talking after the funeral about how mad Christmas and New Year must have been for his cousins with so many in the family. Imagine the number of presents that would need to be bought…mind you on the plus side, imagine how many presents they all received!

We also reckoned that it must have worked out that they would probably have been celebrating someone’s birthday just about every week of the year!

After the funeral we headed into Stirling for a wee wander round the shops as it had been a while since we’d last been there. Then after we got back home I headed over to my Mum’s and took her for her weekly shopping.

By the time I got home and sat down I was completely knackered and my ankles and knees were throbbing.

An early night was called for, so it was a great relief that I managed to get a full night’s sleep.

Thursday

Back at work again today. Several meetings but on the whole a reasonable day.

Still feeling shattered after the previous day.

Friday

Great start to the day, I had to scrape the car and it was solid ice on the windscreen grrrrrr….

It was a strange day at work full of random questions, strange coincidences and my half year appraisal!

Maybe it was a strange day because it was Friday the 13th, maybe it was just one of those days – Either way it was good day with lots of positives so all in all it was a good finish to my first working week of 2012!

So week #1 of work 2012 is complete, let’s hope the remaining weeks are positive and successful ones.