Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Frankincense and Myrrh

Frankincense and Myrrh - seasonal aromas and offerings . It was interesting that Chickpea recently referred to them in her comment on an earlier post. Interesting as I had the both frankincense and myrrh incense sticks here in readiness for burning on New Year's Day.

Thanks to all of you that take the time to pause here and read. And for those that leave comments, thoughts and suggestions. I appreciate them all.

Wishing you and those you care for, all best wishes for the new year.

Monday, 29 December 2008

What a Bleeding Nuisance

Yes - another nosebleed. A rather ominous large free flowing bleed from both nostrils. Difficult to stop. MyMan became anxious. His blood pressure started to rise. As it rose the blood flowed evermore freely.

This morning my car was due to go in for plastic surgery in the body shop. To repair damage caused by my meeting with White Van Man. At the last minute I had to cancel the arrangement. As I write I'm not sure if we will have to go over to A&E Dept Exeter or not.

All the relaxed feelings that I talked about in yesterday's post have dissipated. Talk about a roller coaster ride. Ah well, That's Life I suppose.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Out With The Old

Out with the Old and in with the New. Year that is. Christmas is over. We survived. We are still here. Still married. And neither of us murdered the other.

I did the right thing this year. I didn't put up decorations. I didn't party or arrange to hold a party. I didn't do anything seasonal at all. Other than buy a turkey for us to have a traditional lunch with all the trimmings. That was my only concession to the Christmas festivities. That was only because it suited me as a cook and general provider of food. Once the turkey was cooked I get a week off food preparation. No need to think "what shall we eat tonight". Don't even ask. It's going to be cold turkey for days with either bubble and squeak or salad with mashed potatoes.
MyMan was far more relaxed as there was no pressure on him to socialise. With no pressure he made more of an effort to be sociable with me. We ate when hungry. Slept when tired. Read or watched TV. We didn't go out unless we went together. That removed any anxiety he experiences when I go out and he remains at home: Alone with his own thoughts.
  1. MyMan surprised me with a Christmas gift. The first for over 7 years. He'd managed to secretly buy a large mirrored jewellry box that now sits on my dressing table. I have a wedding ring, a watch and 6 pairs of earrings in it. They look lost in the vast empty space. I'll have to get myself some more jewels now that I have a box for them.

  2. He sat and relaxed enough to watch the long tailed tits feeding in the garden. He thought they were beautiful. It's good to see him appreciate the good things in life. Taking time to sit and stare.

  3. Besides watching a few [well quite a few, several in fact] football matches he also finished reading a book. He wants to read more and is going to collect some large print books from the library to make it easier.

As I said in an earlier post - he is beginning to accept, adjust and adapt. Perhaps the new year will bring further improvements. He isn't the only one who need's to adjust. I also can see that it makes life easier for him if I also make adjustments. In the new year we'll have to work on a happy balance.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Christmas Cheer

Although I am disappointed that we haven't made much progress over this year I do have much for which to be grateful. And on reflection I feel some improvement in my general attitude compared to when I started to blog.

I am pleased that MyMan and I exchanged bedrooms. He is happier in the smaller quieter room. I have still to release my PC desk from 'captivity' in his bedroom. But hope that we'll be able to do so early in the new year. Friends have offered to lend some muscle. I love my pink room and having much greater wardrobe space and storage.

We managed to sell my lovely old [circa 1995] Rover 216 a few months ago. We are still in the process of deciding which car to buy next. After much time and effort we are down to 2 possible contenders. Citroen C4 Grand Picasso or the Nissan Cashcow (Qashqai). We both love the Honda CRV but MyMan finds it a bit too high for easy access even though I offered to buy a step stool. The Nissan drives beautifully and feels more solid than my Jazz. Even more so after my recent dust up with a white van man in Sidford. The Citroen feels spacious and comfortable but I've yet try it on a test drive.

Having attended several funerals this year I realise that although I feel sad I'm no longer gripped by feelings of intense grief. I have recovered from bereavement; of the loss of close family members such as my father, a much loved uncle and our 2 cats. Although I still occasionally feel a very deep sadness and frustration that life and 'retirement' is not going as I would wish I am coping better. I am 'down' for a shorter period. I no longer try to bottle up my feelings. I whinge, rant and gripe here on my blog. I also feel free to have a weep to let it out. Sometimes in front of MyMan. He knows his depression, angry irritability, forgetfulness and withdrawal from social situations affects me. I no longer feel I have to hide my feelings. To bottle it all up until I'm alone in a car somewhere. I still do try to keep a smiling stiff upper lip but it sometimes trembles over the loose flabby bottom lip.

Money worries are less pressing. Well, they are so long as no other British bank, building society or any other financial institution holding my pension or savings go bust.

Bridge lessons have opened up a whole new avenue for me. There are so many single people playing [widows, divorced people and married but with partners who can't stand card games] that I fit in well. Even a married couple are taking lessons but will not play with each other. The game is fun, stimulating, challenging, sociable, intellectually demanding, intriguing and absorbs a great many of my overactive brain cells. When I've played bridge my mind feels more settled and I sleep better. I don't lie awake worrying about problems so often as I used to. I love learning new skills. The more challenging the better.

I am beginning to find I am able to concentrate on reading again. I can lose myself for a short while in a good book. I do try to choose happier, heart warming and uplifting tales. I see no reason to read dreary depressing stories. I want escapism.

One main change in MyMan is he feels less resistant to using the Blue Badge for parking. It has been very useful for hospital appointments and visits to the solicitor in Exeter city centre. It has reduced the pressure on my trying to find somewhere suitable to drop him off, rushing off to find a parking space then rush back to pick him up again. He is also considering using a walking stick. Finally he is using more pain medication and intends to request a re-referral to the pain management centre. He is no longer fighting to ignore that he is unable to carry on as 'normal'. I think he continued to hope he'd improve. Now that realises he is slowly getting worse he is going to take any help that is on offer. I think finally he is accepting that 'this is it'.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Getting Up His Nose

We went to Wonford Hospital Exeter again on Tuesday. This time it was as an outpatient to the ENT department to see what could be done about his frequent nose bleeds. He was told that steroid allergy sprays are not suitable for him and to refuse any further prescriptions. They cauterised blood vessels while he was there. He may need a further treatment in 6 weeks. I'm hoping that he remains bleeding free until the next appointment.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Christmas Time - Tis the Season to be Jolly

It's reached that time of year again. When we are inclined to reflect on the last year. What we hoped to achieve. The changes we'd hoped to make. The changes we did or didn't make. The lost opportunities. And the chance to look forward to new opportunities; new beginnings, new dreams, hopes, aspirations.

I remember writing last year that Christmas was going to be a very low key affair with no socialising. But as it is the time of year when I'm affected by winter sadness I've always been inclined to make Christmas an 'event'. To raise my spirits before dreary January sets in. Decorate a sparkling clean house. Shop, bake, cook and entertain. Party time. So far I've shopped. The house is far from sparkling. The decorations are down from the loft but remain in the box.

It's MyMan's birthday on Christmas day. Traditionally I've always made the first half of the day Birthday time with gifts and cards. Then after the traditional lunch we've enjoyed afternoon tea and cake with the opening of Christmas presents. Sometimes just the two of us. Others with family or friends. Sometimes away from home. MyMan has always said he thinks 'Christmas is not worth the effort'. In the days when he used to go out and about he would buy me gifts. He would get several small presents. Some were daft, scented, funny or thoughtful. I'm like a child at Christmas. I loved opening them. And appreciated every one. He used to make an effort to enjoy the season because I did. I still try to make an event of his birthday. But we haven't exchanged Christmas gifts for years. I miss that.

Over the last few years he's continued with the view that Christmas is not worth the effort. But now he makes no effort at all. I am tired; physically and mentally. I'm still trying to make some effort but I question whether it is really worth the energy I am expending on it. It brings him no cheer. And I can't be cheerful when there is no one to share in joy or laughter. And yet if I don't make the effort then his depression has defeated the two of us.

He made a real effort last year and we did have a couple of small social events. One at home and one with local friends. But each event caused additional stress and tension. His anxiety at socialising builds so much I no longer derive pleasure from the events. It just highlights how much we have changed. I never know till we actually come to walk out the door whether or not he will come with me. I feel even more of a carer when we are out together. So it's not a relaxing way to spend an evening. I need energy to cope. There is no way I would socialise without him over the festive season. So it does look like being a very quiet 4 day weekend.

At the end of last year he said how he would 'go mad' if he didn't have a break away from home. I was hopeful that I would be able to book us into our favourite Devon hotel for a Christmas break this year. We used to enjoy the holiday season there. But it is not to be. Home is where he feels able to cope. He's not happy but he is happier at home. Preferably quietly at home. Maybe, hopefully, next Christmas we'll feel seasonally cheerful . . .

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Assisted Suicide

I was listening to the local radio phone in yesterday on the why's and wherefore's of legalising assisted suicide. I was in a cross crabby mood. 'Cobby' my grandmother would have called my mood. I've never heard the expression since she died in 1970. I assume it was an old Victorian Suffolk expression?

Anyway, I found myself thinking that it's a slippery slope to legalise assisted suicide. It would be too tempting sometimes. The mood I was in - if MyMan said he didn't think it was worth 'carrying on' or 'that life is pointless' again I might just have agreed with him and handed him the bullets.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Goodnight Sweetheart - Sweet Dreams

It's now almost 2 months since MyMan and I swapped bedrooms. When his new adjustable bed arrived. A softer bed with more give in the mattress. I'm pleased to say I was right. He finds it much more comfortable. It eases his back pain when he needs to rest in the afternoon. He is sleeping a bit better.

He has had many night mares and peculiar dreams. All connected with loss of control, accidents and sorting out other peoples problems in the work place. I'm not overly worried. I assume this is his mind sorting out worries that it's not been able to do over many sleepless years. Recently he had a more pleasant dream. This time when he dreamt he was lost someone came to help him and he 'felt less alone'.

What does worry me is that the softer mattress has highlighted just how weak his muscles have become. He can barely reach over to the bedside cabinet to turn the light or radio on/off. I'm hoping that better quality sleep will improve his general health enough so that we can look at building up his physical strength.