Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Loss Adjusters

We have both been down. And irritable with each other. We are trying to adjust to loss. Loss of hope. For us loss adjustment means making decisions on several outstanding issues. Issues such as the old 1995 Rover that sits in the garage 6 days out of 7. Only taken out once a week it often needs the battery charger on before it will fire into life. It takes all the garden rubbish to the dump. Several skip bags at a time. My old car. Old reliable. But I now find heavy to steer.

We only really need one car. It was very hard for MyMan to cope when he let go of his large car 3 years ago. A sign of recognition that he was no longer an executive in need of a car for travelling around the nation. Trouble shooting as he went here and there. I used to have to drive it on a round trip of 30 miles once a week just to keep it going. It was completely impractical for non motorway lifestyle.

Now it is my turn. My cars. My loss of independent independence. My Jazz although wonderful and fun to drive just can't cope with the amount of garden waste that is taken to the dump each week. A large lush garden with many evergreen trees and shrubs growing continuously throughout the year. Too much to shred. Too much to rot down in one of the 4 compost bins. It would mean several trips a week just to the dump. So the Rover and the Jazz are to go to be replaced by a different vehicle. I find the Jazz such fun to drive and dislike the thought of losing it. But if we go down to only one car we need a larger, sturdier vehicle. Something MyMan will feel safer in. More secure should another thoughtless, careless driver slam into us coming round a sharp bend while talking on their mobile phone.

MyMan was told last week that 'this is it'. We had our suspicions it was so. But now we know. It will not get any better. So were are grieving for our lost dreams. The dreams we had when we moved south from Gloucestershire. Of rambling walks throughout the east Devon countryside. Trips from north to south Devon. Short breaks away in Cornwall and Dorset. None of these will be realised. MyMan is practically housebound. His driving is very limited. Therefore we also return to the idea that we need to consider a move away from our semi- rural life. A move to town or city. But where that will be is another question.

Meanwhile I'll be going off to take some test drives: Honda CRV, Toyota Rav4, Nissan X-Trail QuashQui , and Vauxhall Zafira.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

I Could Wring His Neck ....

He feels more 'human' this weekend. He went for chiropractic treatment on Wednesday. She had to wring his neck for him; three times. At a cost of £40. I said in future I would wring his neck for free. I'll let you know if he takes me up on my offer.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

All Drained Out

I feel all drained out. MenopausalOldBag left a comment to the effect that she is "in awe of your patience and compassion". I must admit that both feel a bit low "at the moment". MyMan said a couple of hurtful remarks over the weekend. I just accepted them in the manner which they were thrown. When he's hurting he feels as if everyone and everything is against him. I'm a kind of safe outlet for some of his anger and frustration.

But Monday morning he also had another go. I felt he wasn't being 'fair'. I had neither the patience nor the fortitude to take it. Compassion didn't even raise it's head. I told him that if he didn't like what I do then he can get on and take over the task himself. Shopping is not one of my favourite chores. It does rank a little above hoovering but not much. By the time you've - trailed around the superstore chosen the items, filled the trolley, emptied the trolley, repacked it all, paid for it, driven it all home, carried it indoors and then stored it all away - I am heartily sick of dealing with it. Then every few days I have to go out to collect the 'fresh' stuff from the butcher, the baker, the greengrocer and the dairy. I would much rather sit and read a book. Well, to be honest, I don't mind the fresh food shopping as that is usually done in small shops where you get to meet and socialise with other people.

Supermarket shopping is not such fun. I only go to superstores once a month. There is always something I need that is not in stock. I find the trolley hard to manoeuvre when I'm stiff and aching. A moment of careless tiredness and I'd inadvertently picked up a pack of prunes with the stones in. He nearly lost a tooth. He suggested that I take 'more care' in future.

After a few choice words when I told him he is welcome to shop in future I left to meet a friend for coffee in town. I left home half an hour early as I had promised myself a good walk along the seafront at Sidmouth. But by the time I had parked it was raining heavily. It seemed the last straw - so I sat for 20 minutes alone in the car and wept.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Lowering Standards

My sister in law paid a flying visit to us for the weekend. She was worried about her brother and as she'd not seen him since last Christmas. She booked herself into a B & B in Sidmouth. She arrived Saturday afternoon and left Sunday afternoon.

We had the builders here from Wednesday to Friday and we were even more dusty and grubby than when I last had a visitor to the house. Other than preparing a shepherds pie for Saturday supper I did very little to make the house look clean and welcoming. In fact a couple of hours before she was due to arrive I sat down to have a liesurely cup of coffee and saw a thick pile of dust and 3 dead flies on the window ledge. I wondered about getting the duster out, thought better of it and just moved a photograph frame to hide the fly cemetery. How much lower will my standards fall? I'm definitely on the slippery slope.

Friday, 16 November 2007

The Community Psychiatric Nurse

The male Community Psychiatric Nurse - has been of some help. After MyMan finally decided that maybe this was a resource that we should use he duly made an appointment. I had to make myself available to help him travel to the local area community mental health team.

The CPN cannot understand why he does not receive the full rate of Disability Living Allowance benefit. MyMan knows he gets DLA but couldn't remember the details [full Mobility level but low for personal care]. He was told to call at the local Jobcentre Plus to acquire a DLA application form. To fill in as much as possible and take it with him when he went to see the CPN a week later. As he is unable to concentrate we have done the form together. I've written in all the details.

It has depressed him [well, ok, the two of us] even further to fill in the form. To admit on paper just what you are unable to do for yourself is profoundly depressing. This is just on the physical aspects. We haven't yet touched on the mental health side. Over the last 5 years or more we have skimmed over the worst of his problems on the grounds that we hoped it was short term problem. But how long is short term before it turns into long term - or permanent? He is unable to bring himself to admit that if I wasn't around he would not manage without a great deal of input from someone. He needs help for so many tasks. When I have taken myself for a short break away he barely manages to wash and feed himself. The effort to keep going without me exhausts him. We then take months for him to recover and return to his version of an 'even keel'. This time we are taking more time and paying attention to the detail when completing this form.

The top rate for DLA is not much. But it will help reduce the need to pay out of our hard earned 'retirement savings' for treatments which are not covered by the NHS. He has deep tissue massage every 3 weeks but ideally weekly would be more beneficial and regular treatment from a chiropractor. The over 60's free bus pass is of no use as he needs to go by car - door to door. If I'm unavailable and he doesn't feel well enough to drive himself then it needs to be a taxi.

We are collecting together all the 'evidence' from numerous medical assessments and the form should be in the post by the end of this week. It is an exercise that has taken us several hours over 2 weeks to complete. I wonder whether the civil servant who will read it really understands just how demoralising and depressing this whole exercise has been for 2 previously independent hard working people to request this assistance.

A Week Is A Long Time in ...

They say a week is a long time in politics. Well a week is a long time here at home in east Devon too. In fact I was surprised to find that I'd last posted on this blog 2 weeks ago. so much has happened. Not much of it is good.

It's not been an easy two weeks. Following the visit to the dentist MyMan was told that he needs several teeth out. They are rotten and likely to lead to an abscess in due course. They will affect his 'well being'. I didn't ask him if the dentist managed to say this expression with a straight face. The last thing we want is his 'well being' being affected to adverse effect. Perish the thought. MyMan is suspicious. He can't believe that these teeth which were deemed all right 8 months ago by a NHS dentist are now deemed rotten under a private dentist. I am trying to encourage him that if they should come out they need to come out. I'm under the impression that if there is any life left in them they are worth a gold mine to a private dentist. He could try and work on them for months to preserve them with capping, drilling and filling and a bit of this and that. But once removed they are worthless. Therefore I believe the dentist. They'll have to come out.