I’m becoming very aware of the person I am right now. Throughout my life, I’ve always been told that I’m my own worst enemy. This is certainly true. This morning, my hubby’s cutting words, as he left for work “Please get some help, you need it.” I know I need to get some counselling in place. My sister spent a few hours with my parents yesterday for Mum’s birthday, so I did have time to organise something. However, I seemed to do everything but make the call. I have a list of things to do each day, the list gets longer and the priorities shift. It has always been in my nature to bulldoze through a difficult time, then crash once the situation has resolved. I think I’m hoping this is the case now. Only, this situation won’t resolve itself will it?

Bugsy was supposed to have today and tomorrow off before a long 6 day stint. Unfortunately, they’re so short staffed, that he had to work today. He asked me this morning, if tomorrow could just be about us, and having a breather from all this. I would love nothing more right now, than an escape with my hubby and a long walk. I just don’t know if I can actually turn my back on my parents for the day, tomorrow.

My parents have attended ‘Mind’ meetings for years. They’ve always liked to help others who are going through similar situations that my parents have encountered in the past. They’ve always seemed to get a lot out of these meetings. Mental Health is such an important topic, so these groups are so important to communities.  Post stroke, they’ve not gone to any of the most recent ones. There is one tomorrow and a friend of theirs has kindly offered to take them. Mum is very keen to go. Whilst this would offer Bugsy and I some respite for the morning, I know my Dad is not in a fit state to go.

Mum seemed really tired last night. Normally, when I cook dinner for them, the kids know the drill; to keep my Mum out of my kitchen, to stop her interfering with my cooking. Last night, I seemed to relax about it and allowed her to hover. As I put the tray filled with oil, for the Yorkshire puddings, in the oven, Mum warned me that it was a “fire risk.” This reassured me, as I’m very conscious of their safety right now. Recently, Mum has burnt 3 saucepans due to becoming distracted by her crosswords. (Yes, I have fed this back to our Key Worker). However, Mum had appeared to have forgotten the heat of the tray when I’d brought it out of the oven to pour the batter in. She lifted it up to try and return it to the oven. I was gobsmaked. Bare hands. I told her to leave the tray. She’d clearly burnt herself, but didn’t seem to feel any pain.

Later on, Mum opened her earrings I’d bought for Dad to give her. My Dad seemed just as surprised as she was, he’d really not taken much in during our time in the jewellers that day. I have always loved celebrating my parents’ birthdays and making them feel special. This birthday felt so completely different to all the others.

Dad’s Occupational Therapist is visiting this morning, she told me that she’s bringing fire safety information. I know my parents had an officer around recently to check the smoke alarms. However, the saucepans scenario flags up a new concern. It makes me even more determined to sell their house and get them into some sort of supported living. Although, my Mum speaks of “Spring next year.” I feel it needs to be sooner than that.

Dad seemed to be less confused last night than he’d been for ages. He loved chatting to Hats and Al. Unfortunately, Lou was in London for work. When my Dad sees Bugsy, his face always lights up. He has always considered Clive more a son than a son-in-law. It’s a lovely relationship. My sister had taken them to the Donkey Sanctuary earlier that day. Dad said the donkeys were “in good form.” Bless him. Sadly, by 8pm, Dad was becoming more confused as his brain was tiring. He was looking at our clock in the dining room and he couldn’t decipher the time. I’d enjoyed him engaging a little during the evening. He really had seemed to be more compos mentis for a few hours. As I dropped them home, my Dad gave me a massive hug and told me how proud he was of me. I find these moments so special and I know they get stored in my memory bank forever. I went to cuddle my Mum, she stood, cold, to the spot. She thanked me for a lovely evening.  I wish I could remember the last time I was properly hugged by my Mum. I would have held her for longer.



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