Tuesday, 28 April 2015
Its now over a fortnight when I went to the Doctors to find out why I had hot spots on my chest and was burning up.. Shingles was the answer and he gave me an antiviral medicine, which I had to take five times a day, and at 80 mls, it was a high dose. Which did stop the blisters erupting and spilling their burning liquid all over my skin.. However the pain doesn't seem to be touched by taking painkillers on a regular basis, and it has been driving me mad** The pain is all over the right side, along my chest, under my arms and half way to the elbow, and all the time, the pain is like the deepest bruising and hurts nonstop. I am definately not a fan of pain, and seriously wish it would disappear soon.. if not immediately. I have had to cancel several engagements and arrangements that I had made and had looked forward to doing.. but better to be safe than sorry, and I certainly didn't want anyone else being affected by it, so kept a low profile at home. Despite being told to rest, I really was silly and didn't do so, instead carrying on as much as normal.. the result being, that now, each evening around 7 pm I am exhausted and just want to crawl into bed! However, I really feel too ashamed to allow myself this indulgence, and have struggled to finish the night around the normal times, but tonight I am going to retire with a good book and sink into my bed without a backward glance. It is a true fact that as mothers and wives we are so unsure of letting go and just taking time out for ourselves that we always put everyone else first, and our needs are left to be attended to when we have time.. which is never** I can remember with five children, I barely had time to breath, and the only 'Me' time I could grab, was when I managed to get the bathroom to myself and soak in a really hot bath... of course the kids soon worked out, that if they came in whilst I was in the bath, they could make me give them my entire attention, especially when they locked the bathroom door, and their siblings had to wait outside until it was their turn to have my attention.. Those days went in a hurried blur, and now all these years later, I realise that my mother was right, when she told me that the best days were the rearing of the children and how fast they go.. At the time, I thought she was talking through her hat, but of course she was right¬!!!As a parent you never stop worrying about your children, where they are, whether they are happy, if they are enjoying their job etc etc and when relationships fail after years of marriage, how you wish you had a wand to make it all better! My youngest is going to be 36 next month and I would love to see him settled down with a loving wife and starting a family... but even those who did marry and have children, have not had easy rides and divorce has loomed its head. Luckily my eldest is on his second marriage and seems very very happy with his wife and two little sons.. my daughter with her three grown up children has had to start again, and is enjoying life at the moment. My second daughter has had to deal with drug issues with her son and my second son is having marriage troubles which might end in divorce.. All these happenings are so sad, but life is rarely perfect and we just have to pick ourselves up and try again. Of course, being on a second marriage myself, I know how hard it can be to start again, especially with a family in tow. I was lucky and found someone to share my life with, but it was so very hard adapting after being married a long time the first time around. I was married 23 years the first time, and this September will celebrate my 25 years with this husband. It has not been easy especially where his children were concerned, but over time they have mellowed and been better towards me. Luckily they did get along with my own children, which was a blessing, but they found me harder to accept. Life is hard enough without trying to find more problems.. best to deal with what you have, try to sort out difficulties and if they cannot be sorted, then decide what to do. It took me a very very long time to leave my first husband, but we were harming ourselves and each other by staying in a toxic relationship. Now we are friends again, and it is good to know that the man I chose for my husband has a lot of good points alongside those that upset me. With age, we mellow and maybe stop trying to find the perfect life, becoming more settled and accepting. The one thing I cannot accept though, is the thought of having this shingles thing again, I have heard that you can get it more than once, and that I would find intolerable.. Once is quite enough to be shingled I can tell you!!!
Monday, 27 April 2015
This is now our front room with the colours included that I thought would lift the room. I am very pleased with it, and have been inspired to try and update my kitchen... we have had new counters, new tiles and new doors... all waiting to be painted and finished... so that is in progress and will come back to it later.. great to have projects to work on**
Thursday, 23 April 2015
I had had a run of the very worst luck the year between 02 and 03. In the twelve months up to my Father dying, I had lost 11 close friends and cousins as well as my own mother. In the thirteenth month, my Father went to join my mother. I was knocked out by all the funerals I had attended, and now my Dad dying seemed to finish the circle. Immediately after my mother dying, my brother took my father to stay with him at his home in Brussels, and then at the holiday home in the South of France. He cared for him for quite a few weeks, not wanting to leave him alone in the flat in Crawley Sussex, where he had lived for the last thirty years. My mother and he, had had a long marriage and it was mainly happy, very artistically motivated by their joint interest in music and helping others. She did hospital visiting right up until she died, and he would take communion to those who could not attend Mass because of their infirmity. Both of them found great solace in belonging to the Catholic church and their faith was unbelievable strong. The last weeks of my father's life were filled with workmen, bought in by my brother to overhaul the flat and bring up to date.. So, when I invited him to stay with us in our big house, over the Easter, he was very pleased to accept. However, he was hospitalised for a few days before I was going to collect him from his home as he was running a low fever and was out of sorts. I finally got the go ahead to pick him up on Good Friday, so drove to the hospital and collected him. He was very weak and in the year of losing my mother, he had become very frail and had no apetite, so had lost a lot of weight. The first evening home we sat around and chatted and I gave him some albums with loose photographs which I asked him to organise and place in the albums. He had a great evening, going over the pictures and remembering the holidays with my mother. The weather was lovely and warm and he seemed to be perking up. The next evening we had John's parents, who lived next door to us, eome over and we again chatted all eveing very happily. During that Saturday night he called me because he had severe pain and I asked whether to call the ambulance, but he refused, took another tablet and managed to get back to sleep. In the morning, being Easter Sunday, I took him to Mass where he renewed with the congregation, his baptismal vows and took Communion. It was lovely to be able to share in this, and I know he was happy inside himself. It was somehow completing a circle. Another lovely day just pottering around in and out of the garden. Then we had a power cut on electricity, so went next door to see if that had happened to them too. On our return, we heard my dad calling from the toilet, and rushed upstairs to find him in great distress because he could not move for pain in his body. John helped him downstairs and we waited for the ambulance. I went with him to the hospital where they decided that his anourism had burst, a thing that had been threatening for years, and that the only way was to give him more and more morphine for the pain. He knew he was dying, and I managed to get a Priest to come and sit with him and give him the last Rites of the Church. He was peaceful then and thanked me for being with him, and I was telling him that soon he would be with Mother, and it was all very sad indeed. I was also on the mobile to my brother in Belgium telling him moment by moment what was happening. At 2.15 the afternoon of 23rd April, he stopped breathing, and my father had left us. Even now, all these years later, I miss him so much and mother too.. but of course I was a daddy's girl and he had always been so special for me.. now I was an orphan like so many others. Being an orphan whatever your age is a very hard knock on your door of life. Having enjoyed their living so much longer than many of their peers, we had grown to know them as adults and as people we could relate to and to know them for themselves and not just as a parent. I think too, that having them with us for so long makes it so much harder when they do go, because they have always been around for the various stages in your growing up* So, today is another year that I have not seen him or heard his voice, and not felt my mother's love and affection, I was so lucky having them as parents, but I would give anything just to speak to them both again. The sun is shining and the weather is lovely,but I am sad inside, because this day will always be the day I lost my Dad.
Friday, 17 April 2015
On Monday as I got ready for bed, I noticed a huge red blip on my right chest side, and a few , lumps, looked like bites, so put some cream on and went to bed.. the next day it was still there, but now getting larger. The following day it was hurting and very very hot, so thought it must be an infection and took myself along to the doctors surgery before they closed for Lunch. Because there were no other patients waiting, after half an hour's wait I was seen by the Doctor. He took one look and said Shingles* Of course I have heard about it, knowing that it is a chicken pox related thingy, but never in a million years would think I would catch it** Because of my second son's marriage becoming precarious, and having his sad face at home over Easter, then a small panic attack, which I related to his news.. I have been told that stress levels can impact on the immune system and whoops, you have it visit you! I was thinking that my panic attack was because I had not taken the tablet for a night or two, just being too tired to remember... but when this turned up in all its glory and being told that stress would perhaps be at root, I began to realise just what at traumatic Easter weekend I had had. Like most people, especially mothers, I keep my own counsel and internalize my feelings. . It is when my body has had enough of coping that I get panic attacks etc in the first place. Their marriage was from the outside, very loving and strong, but over a decade and waiting until my son Qualified, put having babies on hold.. so now he is ready to develop his business and her clock is ticking.. Children became an important issue.. My son, retreats when he encounters arguments over and over again, until its all too much and he decides he's had enough. I do feel for her too, as her clock is ticking and she has waiting so long.. but their relationship is too rocky at the moment to think about anything but getting separated. They have tried counselling, but that has not worked over the last six months. As you know as parents we cannot take sides, and I spoke for many hours too on the phone to her, trying to help with her unhappiness, but in the end it is their road, not mine and they will have to work it out So that is why I think I have now got this awful Shingles. I have antiviral meds and also calamine lotion to sooth the skin.. it helps a little. Most of all I am told to rest, but that is impossible even though I am retired, I have lots to do each day, and the idea of just lying on the bed all day does not appeal at the moment. Maybe I would recover more quickly, I just dont know, I'd feel so guilty I'm sure!! If anyone has any ideas how long to rest, or what helps to cope with it, would welcome those comments.. meanwhile to all of you, have a super weekend.. J
Saturday, 4 April 2015
This is my dining room with the same grey walls and orange extras.. the table leads to the double white wooden doors that fold right back into the walls thus making the front room and dining room one vast open room.. This is what we do at Christmas times and when the family come. I have orange accents at the moment, but with the turquoise and green choice next room, I might well choose similar shades .. but the front room will have more turquoise in it, and the dining room the emphasis will be on the greener side.. what do you think? the Large mat on the floor is for the dogs to lie on in front of the fire.. they love it .. the window also lifts up into the eaves and makes another doorway into garden, just like the one in the front room.. This room is part of the original house, which was enlarged in the 1850's by the then Vicars wife, who was part of the Suchard Chocolate family and had the money to increase the house on both sides, creating a house with eight bedrooms and two bathrooms, and four toilets. Originally we had Johns parents living in the sectioned off three bedroom part. They sectioned it off in the 1940's for the curate who was the assistant to the vicar. Anyway this is another large room and comes into its own when it is all opened up..