Sunday, 18 July 2010

Train wreck

When I was a kid and I went to the pictures (ok, movies or the cinema to those from a different culture or era) you knew something bad was gonna happen when the train was just chugging along smoothly ... before the bridge; before a crash, before a person strapped to the rails!

My life has been that serene train, before the huge issues: I've been chugging along, breezing over the weeds, avoiding leaves on the line, not killing\maiming\injuring the local wildlife - just chug, chug, chugging.

This last 18 months has been the finale, the wreck, the crash, the bridge explosion, the carriage upon carriage upon carriage concertina of destruction!

If I repeat the litany of events, it will seem Hollywood train crash - but here it goes, chug chug:
Madmother's decline; DH's daughter's alcoholism; Madmother's hip breaking accident; DH's daughter's pregnancy; chug chug; Madmother's increasing Alzheimers; DH's DD's attendance at intervention and AA meetings from her third trimester; Mum's slide into day care; DH's granddaughter born - Georgia (who seems AS free); DH's increasing indigestion problems, which weren't, metamorphosizing into Atrial Fibrillation, Mitral Valve prolapse and weak heart muscle issues; Madmother's increasing faecal incontinence (which she pretends doesn't exist); chug chug; brother-in-law's death from a heart attack at 61; his partner's stroke at the funeral; his partner's brother's death just 10 days later from an epileptic seizure; chug chug; DH's DD's partner has been identified as the father of a child by DNA testing, DH's DD and partner pay the CSA maintenance but ignore the paternity and the child, who apparently is "accident prone" and a regular visitor to the local A&E; chug chug; DH's meds give him dreadfully low blood pressure, affecting all manner of things from fatigue, to dizziness to more personal, body functional issues; chug chug; I have been diagnosed with late onset asthma and a stress related blood pressure issue; I have too much on plate after coping with housework, gardening and Madmother to go to knit night; chug chug; my DS is worried about how I will cope with his gorgeous beautiful twin daughters, he's hesitant about me having the girls to stay this summer ... bridge down, carriage after carriage collapse with me into the ravine ...

Dearest darling daughter is there to pour the water between my lips, to whisper words of encouragement, but I fear I am tied to the tracks and the next trainload of problems is just around the bend, chug chug, chug chug, chug chug

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Rictus - fixed grin, or grimace!

If Schadenfreude is your idea of a good time ... step right up .. this blog is for you.

In the past couple of weeks my favourite aunt of all time ever died ... I owed her a phone call; she was my link to my father\her brother who died through his own choice nearly 26 years ago. I feel I've now lost two and I don't have Jacqueline to talk to.

My mother struggles through the fog that is Alzheimers; she has good days, and bad. She sometimes is incontinent and rarely tells the truth.

My 61 year old brother-in-law has suffered a massive coronary on Monday just gone - his prognosis is appalling. His son is travelling and, as yet un-locatable. We hope he will be found before the expected unhappy ending.

Chris, the husband, is on a million medications and appeared to be doing better, but today his blood pressure has fallen too low, so may have to come off the medication meant to repair his heart damage. His dangerously irregular heart rhythm cannot be put right unless his heart walls and prolapsed valve can be strengthened. They will not be strengthened without the medication.

DH's DD has been drinking again.

I have been diagnosed with late onset, stress activated asthma - whoop!

However, my garden looks gorgeous - I love late Spring in the UK; my knitting keeps me sane, and my twins, always, are a delight. My daughter is without equal and I would hold her up as a balance to just about all the worlds ills, so blessings I will count, sunshine and flowers I shall enjoy, and love I am sending out to you ... just pass the happiness on and stow the crap. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger - allegedly :)


Friday, 26 March 2010

Nearing the end of a decade

Well, from close of play tonight I'm just 365 days away from the turn of a decade. Decade turns have always horrified me ... no longer in your teens, no longer in your twenties, then the crap starts ... no longer in your thirties ... how do you cope? (OK I know it goes on some from the count up, but I was depressed enough there!)

I thought I would say what has happened in this past week, in this past month, in this past year, and whilst I'd love to tell you of the rest of this past decade we would then be here some time!

This week, DH was released (on probation, you might say) from hospital. He didn't have severe indigestion, or IBS or excess acid, he had atrial fibrillation (a wickedly erratic heartbeat which caused the mad dash to A&E not long after my last post), caused by heart congestion, a prolapsed mitral valve and pressure on the chamber of the heart that has caused the muscle to weaken and distort. Right now he is on warfarin, to thin the blood, ACE inhibitors to help the muscle consolidate and stop it weakening further, beta blockers and digitalis to try to slow the heart rate, thiamin and strong vitamin b compound tablets to help his liver, and finally a simple ant-acid dose of Gaviscon to soothe any indigestion. When his blood is thin enough (we are attending the Warfarin clinic 3 times a week for blood work testing) he will have an angiogram to analyse the state of his arteries - some plaque is suspected - and perhaps have cardioversion - electric shock treatment to the heart - to reinstate sinus (normal) rhythm to his heart. He may need angioplasty if the arteries are clogged, he may need valve replacement, the next few weeks will tell.

So the past month has seen me as nurse, medicator, chauffeur and confidante. (Won't bother to list the details of all the other roles that get offset to women - you know anyway).

MadMother has been distressed because she knows DH is ill, but I'm shielding her from the details - she will worry with or without full disclosure, less I hope for knowing less. In this past year she has broken her hip and had her alzheimers diagnosed. I have enrolled her at 3 day care sessions, and she has found new friends, to replace those who have died or moved away into more sheltered housing, and new interests. She has forgotten old skills, and has forgotten to be safety conscious. I have been to rescue her from our local hospital so often the nurses recognise me. Still, she is no longer depressed or lonely and her mental deterioration has slowed enormously.

The past year has seen my knitting stash grow like a well cultivated crop, well that's apt then, it is a well cultivated crop. I've learned new cast ons, and I've increased my ability at ultra fine lace knitting, whilst churning out socks like I have to clad the world. For the second year running I made all my friends and family a hand knitted Christmas gift. I've joined sock clubs, a lace club and a blanket club. I've joined a new knitting group and made new friends. I've met up with old friends and gone to Harrogate for knitting meet ups, I've put friends on hold whilst my life spins and I try to control the skidding. I read other people's blogs as a life saver - to take me away from my anxiety, and I'm relying on snail mail post from a friend whom I struggle to answer.

DH's daughter has been diagnosed as an alcoholic and she has successfully been off the booze for 5 months now. Her 3 month old daughter seems ok, putting on weight and thriving; time will tell if she has dodged the foetal alcohol syndrome bullet, but my fingers are crossed and holding.

My own DS's twins are divine, I went on holiday with them in August, and they were a joy. As my problems have increased I have seen them less, but oh my god how I miss them.

On Mother's Day this year, DH was in hospital in the cardiac unit, I was exhausted and tearful at the drain and pain of the previous months, when my gorgeous, wonderful daughter turned up at early o'clock. She had driven for an hour and a quarter to get to my house in time to make me a mother's day morning cup of tea; she had brought breakfast- eggs and croissants; she had brought gorgeous little knitting gifts. But the best gift of all, apart from the whole thought and deed, was home-made chicken soup. She had stayed up til almost midnight the night before making me soup, so that I would have something nourishing and comforting when I got home from the hospital after late evening visiting. I know how lucky I am and it makes me tearful. Really, seriously, distressingly happy but tearful.

This time last year I had a lump in my breast, ultrasound and a biopsy - the lump is benign. This time last year I was packing to jump on a plane and fly around the world to see a dear sister get married to a wonderful man. I spent hours on a plane and days making a house fit for a wedding, and I am pleased I was there for her. This time last year I was thinking life would slow down - HUH!

Life has been stressful and tiring, I have had the love and support of friends, family and the most wonderful daughter. If you have read this far, then thank you for hanging in there with me. I count you as friends, when you send comfort as a post, and support as a tweet.

Happy Birthday to me, for tomorrow. Virtual cake and bubbly to you all.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

DH's drug issues!

Life has frantic of late but, whilst I have been knitting without stopping as my very sanity is dependent on the stress relief I get from it, there has been little photographic evidence that has made it from my phone or my camera to my computer.

As I felt the need to blog I thought I would share this photo with you. It is my most favourited project on Ravelry, and it is most beloved by my DD's cat Yoyo. Yoyo drags the fairy around with her and her once sleek blond hair is now well loved and dribbled upon. I like it that the cat appreciates my knitting!

Meanwhile today I drove the 16 mile round trip to my GP's practice 3 times: I took DH for his 9.10 appointment, sat in a cold car knitting for 20 mins, then DH appeared without having seen the doctor as he had been called away on an emergency. At home an hour later the surgery telephoned to say the GP was back and DH should scoot on down there - round trip no 2. The GP doubled the beta blocker dosage, doubled the PPI (protein pump inhibitor) dosage, doubled the renitidin (?) anti indigestion med, changed his soluble aspirin for a coated one, to try and reduce the adverse effect it was having on his stomach whilst maintaining the anti clot action and recommended regular paracetamol.

Four hours later DH in ever increasing pain and gets another appointment for 6pm this evening - the dreaded but wonderful emergency time. Journey to surgery and back - another 16 mile round trip. Extra drugs dispensed, to reduce bowel spasms.

Home, I'm self medicating with a glass of red and YH's Earl Grey socks for DD's partner's birthday in the lovely DIC Smooshy, blue lagoon. Missed my Knit and Natter evening, bugger.

On the bright side - MMother sounded chirpy again tonight - I love it when she's happy and hanging in there!

Sending love, please send chocolate, red wine and hugs by return please, seriously, please, now!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Not so easy jetting.

Life is sometimes a little too interesting. Lately, like this past couple of years, it's been too interesting and too complicated.

We flew to Spain for a quick respite break and, thanks to the wonderful people at Easyjet who cancelled our plane after technical difficulties, we spent 3 hours waiting for the flight, one our collecting our embarked then disembarked luggage, and 4 hours queuing to get a replacement flight. So, after around 10 hours at Alicante airport we had a flight for 2 days later, four cancelled appointments, a distressed madmother, who didn't know why I wasn't visiting or talking to her, an extra car hire bill of Euro 150 and aggravation from Easyjet customer service who appear not to want to abide by the terms of European legislation, particularly EU Regulation 261/2004 which says that Euro 400 should be payable to customers who have been denied flights. Automatic compensation - not claimed for; not argued about but payable. The "debate" rages on. But for now, my personal opinion, avoid any "service" that doesn't offer customer service.

Meanwhile DH's indigestion was getting worse, it became compounded by a gastric bug which gave him "traveller's diarheaa" Lovely! This was so bad that it affected his heart, and he now has atrial fibrillation which, coupled, with his slight heart murmur, has left him debilitated, breathless and weak. Once home the GP has popped him on beta blockers, asprin (totally aggravating the indigestion) and now PPIs to reduce the acid and hopefully diminish the acid levels in his stomach.
I've got a cold. Poor me. It's only a cold, but instead of being able to mope and keep warm I'm playing nurse to a sickly husband and minder to a mad mother.

All bad things have a silver lining and the knitting is yomping home. on 3rd pair of socks ... the latest for "son-in-law", ie partner of daughter, whose birthday is next monday. Also going well is the Aeolian shawl, Kingscot, DA's mystery blanket, and sock of the month club.

Meanwhile, as I have no knitting photos to show you, here's one of MM herself ... slightly puzzled as to why I am pointing a phone at her!!

I've met up with a lovely friend, whose Mother is waiting for the results of investigative tests, and my fingers are crossed for the results of that. She's a knitter too ... we agreed, like so many others, that knitting keeps us (almost) sane during stressful times.

So wherever you, and whatever you are knitting, or frogging, or sewing up, or contemplating, may the needles treat you kindly.

Love and hugs

Sunday, 14 February 2010

More goose, much cat sitting, most everything

So, the goose lived, despite the lack of help from RSPB and RSPCA, we shepherded him\her into the garage overnight, so s\he could recover from his head injury (which you can see if you enlarge the photo)

The next morning, goose recuperated under the bird table, and later stretched legs and wings by walking about for a while.

Then just before departure goose wandered around, still not having made any hissing or squarking, pooped a bit, then flew.

Wherever goose is we miss him.

Meanwhile, joined a new local knitting group, managed mother best I can, am babysitting kittens whilst my lovely DD is in Sweden for Valentines Day. had DH's GD for 2 hours whilst her Mum and Dad did something (not quite sure of details and no thank yous as yet forthcoming), had Mad Mother her for weekend ...

finished one pair of socks, 3 squares for blanket, started 2 new pairs of socks, knitted back and most of 2 fronts on grey Kingscot cardi for me, cooked a bit, drank a bit, and longed for sunshine a lot.

Sending hugs, valentine wishes and Gung Hay Fat Choy - Happy new year, it's a tiger!


Sunday, 31 January 2010

Seriously silly week

MMother set her alarm off twice more ... she now regularly talks to the wall - she has no idea who is asking her if she is all right, but she talks politely back. The alarm is situated next to the phone ... but even after nearly a year, she's not quite twigged it yet.

On Thursday afternoon I spent an hour and a half at the audiology clinic, to get her a new hearing aid ... which she will lose, trash, deny she ever had, or swear she doesn't need.

On Friday I telephoned to tell her I would be over first thing on Saturday morning with shopping for my sister's visit this weekend (this sister has to travel from her current role in Leeds by Network Rail, mmm, to Brandon!) and that I would also bring her hearing aid.

On Saturday I am heading to pick up sister from Brandon station and take her to MM's, along with shopping and hearing aid. Needless to say NRail delays mean sister is delayed. I try to ring MM - no answer.

Having picked sister up we are heading to MM's house when we get call from paramedics, MM on her way to hospital she's had "funny turn" After 6 hours at West Suffolk she is discharged - she had walked too far and had a panic attack. I get home at 7pm having eaten nothing all day. (West Suffolk has norovirus so I didn't want to take the risk!) Worst thing ... hadn't taken knitting as I was driving ... so nothing to do for the 6 hours!!!

Today was RSPB BigGarden Birdwatch day ... perfect I thought for chilling out - just sitting and counting feathery things for an hour, knitting my KLC Rumpled socks (first project of the sock club this year) ...

Was toying with grabbing glass of wine to go with the spanish beef casserole I was cooking, when ....

Life just gets weirder … I swear I’m living in someone’s bizarre imagination.

goose31110 001

there was a very loud bang, the windows vibrated. A goose had flown into house. Seriously! Went outside, Goose is at least 1m+ tall and staggering. I back off fast.

He (or she, who knows with geese) sits down in lavender bed and stares at me. No sign of blood or damage … Goose seems confused, but again who knows how non confused geese act? Later goose gets up, staggers across drive (bumping into DH’s large and unmissable car - obviously!) then climbs into lavender bed on other side of drive. Goose now has thing for lavender!!

I spoken to RSPB, who told me to ring RSPCA. I spoke to RSPCA who told me to leave it until morning. Goose now snuggling up to largest lavender bush.

My conspiracy theory is that the goose had come to check out humans after humans had been checking out birds all weekend! He\She is still out there … do you think it wants wine or knitting to while away the time?

Thursday, 21 January 2010

And Happy New Year, etc, etc, etc

So, my last post was in September ... what has happened since then? Well October, November and December since you ask ... also half of January.

DH's daughter went on an AA\detox course... she endured and passed. She has been sober since the beginning of September. On 1 January baby daughter Georgia was born .. who looks lovely and whom we have our fingers crossed for. Wrap is lovely soft merino wrap in Feather and Fan pattern, knitted by me, worn by Georgia.

Meanwhile, MMother has not got better, but may have become less aggressive .. which is better for me ...

My DD has been appointed the youngest ever AST - Advanced Skills Teacher - which is so deserved as she works enormously hard at giving each and every child all the opportunities she can possibly open up for them ...

I knitted more gifts this Christmas than I did last Christmas, which means if I want to say that again next year I have to start knitting soon ...

and I joined 2 sock clubs, one mystery blanket club and a lace club and I'm still here typing on t'internet so not enough knitting deadline yet!!

Love hugs and sorry ... I really have missed blogging
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