I avoided a blog yesterday, simply because I felt really rubbish. Didn’t want people to read it thinking ‘Put a sock in it, Soph!.’ After a good cry this morning, I don’t feel any better, however, I’m determined to kick my arse today.
On Wednesday, whilst in town, we saw a couple who were regulars at the shop my parents used to own. The man was saying how he would go into their shop everyday, to have a laugh with Dad. Dad had a lot of customers like that. After 28 years of teaching, his shop was definitely an extension of his personality. He spent a fortune on poster sheets to put up his infamous billboards. I remember going to see my GP once, and he was telling me how he used to take the long way to the surgery and back, just to read my Dad’s billboards. It was 8 years of Dad being able to express himself and make people laugh. Dad was the entertainment, the shop was the business. My Dad was really pleased to see this old face on Wednesday. They chatted for a while, the man said Dad’s humour “brightened people’s days.” Sadly, my Dad replied “There hasn’t been much to laugh about lately.” … Hearing those words from the mouth of my Dad, really got to me. He has always been a person to lift people’s spirits and he’s found humour in most situations.
I’m struggling with the fact that Dad is so aware of his confusion. I wish he wasn’t. He knows that his tangled brain is giving him wrong signals. I would argue that if he was less aware, it would be easier for him and less painful for others to see. Each evening this week, he’s gone up to bed really early. Then, within 10 minutes, he’s got up and got dressed for the next day. After a 10 minute sleep, his brain then tells him that it’s a new day, and he’s got to get ready. I know this upsets my Mum, who then has to tell him it’s still the same day and he’s got a night’s rest ahead. Right now, my Mum is far more functioning than Dad. She has been our concern for a couple of years, now Dad is suddenly far more confused. My Dad is constantly asking me why his brain is playing tricks on him. I wish he was not so aware of it.
Strokes are so cruel. During that fire in the brain, important information is destroyed. It’s important to realise that everyone’s stroke is so different. When the Consultant said “Some people recover overnight, some take a year, some people never recover,” it reminded me just how each individual’s stroke is so unique. The most vital thing is that immediate action is taken. I feel confident that measures were taken straight away for Dad. He was in the hospital within the hour, having thrombolysis to improve the blood flow to his damaged brain. I’m so thankful and full of gratitude for that.
As Dad and I were sat in the surgery yesterday, awaiting his blood test, he was telling me how Mum had cut her finger badly the previous evening. He said how it had not stopped bleeding. When we got home, I saw Mum had strapped a couple of plasters, badly, to her finger. When I took the plasters off, the cut was huge, but she had cut it in two places. Questioning her about it, she told me she hadn’t realised she’d caught it with the knife until the blood started. My Mum has little sense of pain and lack of sense of smell these days. Burning saucepans and now cutting fingers with knives are a real concern. Whilst I was putting dressing on her finger, I asked her why she hadn’t phoned me… “Didn’t want to bother you, Soph, you do too much as it is.” This does not inspire confidence, I want to know that she’d ring me in any situation she was worried about. It’s so hard parenting this particular, stubborn parent!
Feeling emotionally exhausted yesterday, I kicked my arse and took my parents to Exmouth for a blowy sea walk. It did us all good. As we walked back to the red lawn mower, my Mum said “Derek, why don’t you try and drive home to see how you get on?”…. My Dad’s expression was priceless! He would never be one to use this expression, but his face said it all …’What the fuck, woman!!’
As I drove home, the beauty of Autumn was so apparent. I love the cyclical processes of the changing seasons. Whilst life can sometimes feel muddled, confused and chaotic, the seasons remind us that there is always rhythm in nature. This rhythm can be such a comfort. I think so anyway. I live for the summer, but the Autumn is such a beautiful time. My Hats comes into her own this time of year. She is all about the Autumn and Winter. I feel excited for her, as she celebrates this change of season. I defy the weather change, I hate coats and I refuse to swap ice-cream for hot crumble, just because the seasons tell me to. Hats, on the other hand, will be celebrating the change of season with winter warmers and apple pie! Love my daughter and her love of the Autumn and Winter hibernation!
Last night, whilst cooking dinner for Lou and I, I needed blaring music. I had asked my Russ, and he had said it was needed. Love him xxx When people say that music doesn’t need to be loud to be appreciated, I try and agree, but I don’t! Sometimes, music needs to be so loud that you’re able to forget your anxieties, just for that brief moment. Being an Aries, it is incredibly demanding to be a responsible adult for long periods of time. Last night, I just needed to remind myself of the stupidly eccentric and crazy person I’ve been all my life. That’s my familiar, and I’ve certainly lost sight of her lately.