I am so glad I took the advice of my two children and a lovely Doctor last year and started my blog. In moments of sadness, it helps me to organise my thoughts and anxieties. The last few days have been emotionally challenging and I’ve felt incredibly defeated by everything. My passion for writing is always prevalent during these moments, so here I am.
Last Friday evening’s journey home from work was not the usual reflection of the school day. The Admiral Nurse had phoned me during the day and had left a message on my voicemail to ring her, so I returned her call on the drive home. She was asking how Mum had been lately and she was making suggestions to increase Mum’s daily activities, in a bid to ease pressure on me. Steering the conversation towards how I was feeling, I soon realised it was a welfare call. The tears came. Asking if I’d phoned the counselling number she’d given me, my tears were probably indicative of the fact that I hadn’t. She is such a warm and genuine person, who works tirelessly for families affected by Dementia. During my conversation with her, I realised just how broken I feel right now. Promising her (and myself) that I’d make the call, I thanked her for the chat and then tried to stop the tears before I got home.
As soon as I’d hung up, our Social Worker phoned me to say that Dad had been accepted by the new home that I’d taken him to visit last week. I was given the following Wednesday (tomorrow) as the day to move him. Still wobbly from the previous call, I broke into tears again: Tears of exhaustion, tears of relief and tears of trepidation over the imminent move. I felt relief that my Dad would no longer be in limbo, as he’s aware, to a degree, that he has to move. However, I know that moving him will be so unsettling to an already unsettled brain. Again, I feel so fortunate to have this woman helping with my Dad’s situation. She’s incredibly empathetic and works so hard for our family. I just couldn’t cope with how insurmountable everything felt at that very moment. I sat there for a few minutes to try and gather myself, before going into Mum’s house to pick her up for an appointment with her GP.
Admittedly, I didn’t feel up to discussing Mum’s Dementia that night, but I had little choice. My parents’ GP is great and he was asking Mum lots of questions. He asked me how I was coping with Mum. I was honest. Sadly, Mum doesn’t take much information in these days, so my honesty was falling on deaf ears. Fortunately, the GP gave Mum lots of advice about the need to wear her Home Safety alarm. He asked me if I was getting help from relevant services and he was asking how Dad was coping in the home. Mum was distracted throughout the whole appointment.
I find it increasingly demanding to juggle their complexities. No two cases of Dementia present similarly, and my parents’ could not be any more different. Dad is totally reliant on others to help him. My Mum’s Dementia exacerbates her determination and will, making her an extremely difficult character to cope with.
Yesterday morning, my husband and daughter both knew that I was not up to work, but I have been determined to not have one day off this year. Until now, I had achieved this. I’d been off the entire Autumn term last year, and I was adamant that I would not miss any school this year. As I got to work yesterday, I felt so totally overwhelmed. Normally, I’m able to keep up a facade, but yesterday I was failing miserably. My Line Manager is amazing and incredibly empathetic. I held on to every word she said whilst she was faced with the pathetic Sophster. I feel so lucky to work with such a great team of people. We all seem to be facing challenges of different natures at the same time. Emma, our Line Manager, is amazing and such a support. I felt so guilty not being fit for purpose, but she sent me home to deal with my emotions.
I have cried so many tears over the last two days and have been hard work for my family to deal with. Hattie really astounds me with her wisdom. Twenty-three, but my daughter has such an old head on young shoulders. She’s my Earth Angel. Bugsy has had to endure his trainwreck of a wife when he walks through the door. I’m missing Louis so much, but he rings me everyday.
So, tomorrow, a new home for my Dad. He will be just down the road from my place of work. This gives me comfort. Knowing that my Dad will be in Axminster will definitely help me cope. It will allow me to go and see him after school without the pressure of taking Mum. It has a great reputation and it is a secure and locked home. I’m hoping to wake up tomorrow with renewed optimism. Maybe, on rare occasions, we just have to let the depths of darkness sweep over us, to enjoy easier days ahead and a break in the clouds?
If anyone has taken the time to read this ramble, apologies for its tone. (Man the fuck up Soph). Massive thank you to Emma, for being such a lovely Line Manager. Julie and Sue, thank you for the hugs today xxxxxxxxxx