Friday, 1 January 2010


Long time no blog ... things got busy (as they do). Had pressies wrapped for usual visit to sister and hoped to give mum a day to remember as she has been under the weather and down, so needed a boost. Also hoped to catch up with other family as we were only the immediate family, hence might have a chance to chat more than in a room full of various people.

A day to remember it was, but NOT the way we hoped. Mum has been weak ever since she was ill in the Autumn (not surprising: it takes time when you are coming up for 90 ... ) but was getting better. Unfortunately she again developed the spasms in her neck which had plagued her last time she was ill. So she spent the day inert and non-participant (those of you who know her will realise just how far away from her usual self that was, and therefore seriously worrying). Fiona did what she could to calm her, but she spent the day frightened of the next spasm. As they come on more when she is tense, come on they did, and so she got tense ...

Several events had combined to bring this about. She is tired of feeling weak (but I know from when I was seriously ill that it does take a LONG time) and I'm sure feels she will never recover (we are assured she will but it will take time). She has full-time care at the moment: inevitably it varies somewhat in quality and compatibility with her - some people are doing a job, the best really care and are on the same wavelength; just recently we had one of the "lesser breed" who had possibly gone back to work too soon after an operation herself. Added to that everybody was, inevitably, busy (apologies to the person at her church who thought I was being critical about the lack of visits: I didn't mean it to come over that way, only to say she needed visits.) She also has an infection which is giving her a cough (fortunately not in the chest, but higher up) and got the runs through taking syrup of figs to counteract the codeine she was taking for her neck. Not surprisingly, it is ages since she had a decent night's sleep ....

What a catalogue of ills! It's not surprising she is a more than little depressed ... but she needs to eat, so she can regain strength, and she just doesn't realise how little she eats even when she is not under the weather. She most needs love and warmth and companionship to encourage her to keep going. (Unfortuanately I cannot get into her place.) There is a little light at the end of the tunnel: the osteopath says her neck is easing up, and she now has antibiotics for the cough which should start working soon.

Rang Fiona, who has borne the brunt of this, to find she is at her wits' end as our mother will not eat. She apparently feels nauseous (lack of food would be enough to cause that, ditto anxiety) and tends to the runs (possibly antibiotics, though the doctor did go for the ones that don't?) ... so she worries before she eats and after she eats ... in case she sets either off. She HAS to eat, otherwise she will die just as surely as those who starved to death under the Nazis or the Japs and she so much deserves better than that. I hate throwing up myself, so I can understand how hard it is, but her digestion will go up the creek by reason of starvation in its own right and then she will genuinely be unable to eat.

Not the best start to the New Year! Let's hope it gets better!

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