Being absent in my own life

The last week has kind of passed me by. I feel like I have gone back to the first few months after my surgery. All I have wanted to do is read or sleep. I’ve been falling asleep 3 or 4 times every day. That’s not normal even for me.

I have been doing other things like a spot of gardening and a bit of avon. I have even gained a few new customers.

I have made an appointment to have a telephone call from my dr. I managed to get the earliest appointment Friday 9th April, after I was told I could ring up at 8am each morning to see if there are any available appointments that day. Whilst this is causing me a great deal of stress it isn’t urgent urgent. I have been dealing with this problem for 20 years but it is getting worse.

In the last few years prior to my surgery I was experiencing constant leakage because my bladder had deteriorated. This was very unpleasant and inconvenient but I didn’t feel unwell with it apart from the frequent kidney infections.

However my bowel problems are making me feel drained, uncomfortable and unable to do very much. Just moving around can trigger an “accident” . I have very little and sometimes no notice at all that I need to go.

Throughout the 20 years since I underwent radical radiotherapy for my stage three cervical cancer. (I know I’m lucky to be alive). I have tried to carry on with my life. This last week I feel as though I have withdrawn from my life.

Although I am my mother’s carer she is worried about me. I don’t want her to worry. Apart from not wanting her to worry I don’t think I can cope with her trying to diagnose my problems and come up with remedies.

I want to be my usual cheerful persona. I think when I see people I manage to carry that off but I spend so much time with just my mother I am sinking into myself.

Today I plan to pick up the last of my march Avon books and do a little more gardening. I hope my body allows me to do these things today.

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Square peg round hole

I know the saying that you can’t get a square peg into a round hole. I don’t think I have ever been a square peg. I think I am more of a star shaped peg. (is there another name for star shape?)

I have good days, not so good days and bad days. The last few days have been in the second category but today has been bad. I have spent most of the day either asleep or rushing to the loo. My stomach has been rumbling violently since I had my breakfast.

This evening I tried to do an econsult through my drs online site. After answering a multitude of questions it told me that I needed to either call 111 as an emergency or speak directly to my dr. I shall take the second option. My current problems are not an emergency. I have been living with this condition for 20 years it has steadily been getting worse. The last 6 months since my surgery have exacerbated my condition.

I can’t remember what I was completing an econsult for the last time but on that occasion they couldn’t help me, I was advised to speak to my dr. My health conditions don’t fit the boxes.

Crisis averted

I was in the dinning room when I heard the phone go. I couldn’t hear who it was but my mother was having trouble understanding exactly what she was being told to do. She started up her laptop. I could hear her saying that she hadn’t bought an iphone. She would have been going to bed at that time last night. No nobody has access to her laptop and she shuts it down every time.

I very quickly became suspicious. It was difficult to know exactly what was going on as I could only hear her side of the conversation. She wasn’t giving any personal information otherwise I would have stopped the call immediately. My mother was following instructions to search for this, download that etc I told her I thought this was a scam. It just didn’t sound right to me. When I found her on a screen to give remote access my head was screaming its a scam! She wouldn’t listen. Waving me away or telling me to shut up! Then she was on her Amazon account changing her password. Luckily she was having trouble getting the password right. By this time I was shaking I was so angry, with them for doing this and with her for not accepting what was happening.

She had to take a break to go to the bathroom. I took the opportunity to pick up her phone and ask this man who he is. To be fair the way he talked he did sound plausible but I still knew that if this was genuine it would be handled differently. On her return mum agreed to end the call. I contacted Amazon to check that this is not the way they would deal with this situation. It was confirmed that this was indeed a scam.

Mum is now annoyed with herself for being taken in. She is a retired solicitor and prides herself in being careful. She wonders how other people get taken in by these scams. Now she is among those that got taken in. I am so glad I was here to prevent this becoming a crisis. She has since checked her Amazon account and her bank account. All is as it should be. However she is now having trouble changing her amazon password. We will get there. I dread to think of the consequences if I hadn’t managed to stop her from being taken for a complete ride.

Amazon have sent me an email detailing what they do and don’t do and how to report scams.

Monday again

Not a lot has happened today except that we had visitors. It wasn’t family or friends. We were not having an illegal gathering. It was simply time for mother to have her eyes tested. Because she isn’t able to go to the store very easily they come to us. All kitted out with masks, gloves and plastic aprons. To go to the kitchen instead of trying to get past the two ladies I went out through the patio doors and back through the backdoor, returning the same way in reverse.

The squirrels are very conspicuous by their absence. I did see Roger for a while this afternoon though. Last week there was a tree surgeon working two doors down. I can only think it has made the usual route along the tree line a little more difficult for them. Maybe they don’t like that I have been making them work harder for the nuts. There is currently a stack of three pots with a lid placed on top. It isn’t secured just resting there. Roger didn’t even bother to investigate.

I went out straight after lunch to pick up my Avon books. That gave me a few more orders to add to my account. My little team is slowly growing. I have been trying to find some blank cards preferably with with an image of a sun. Some time ago I chose to call my Avon team my Sunshine Team. I have been thinking that it would be nice to have something with a sun on it, to send with a welcome message, when a new recruit joins my team. This afternoon I have designed my own cards which I should receive on Friday.

My first batch of seedlings are growing well. If the weather is right I shall start sewing seeds and seedlings in the garden in the next few days. Some of my polyanthas are starting to bloom. I do believe spring is upon us now.

Is resistance possible?

I am doing my best to resist. On days like this I feel my residence slipping. I took myself out into the fresh air and sunshine to do some deliveries. That helped to lift my spirits.

This morning I swear that we were having a competition to see which of us could be the grumpier.

My life seems to have been one long struggle from beginning until now. My struggles have been many and varied but through it all I have tried to stay optimistic. I try to be cheerful and bring a smile whenever I can. This is why I must resist the temptation to become a grumpy old woman.

I have always loved my mother very much, we have always been very close. Since moving in with her 3 years ago I have found that she is fast becoming a grumpy woman. I can understand that she is unhappy. Not only is she aging faster than she would like. Although it is over 30 years since she was diagnosed with MS for most of those years most people wouldn’t know she had it. In recent years her condition has deteriorated. In the last two years she has had to give up driving. She is angry that her condition has taken away her independence.

I do my best to overlook her grumpiness. Recently she said she has nothing to laugh about these days. I reminded her that I’m here and she can laugh at me.

It is a fine line knowing when to let her struggle to do things and when to take over. Most of the time I just want to say “let me do it!” I usually let her try to do whatever it is then after a while ask if she wants help. She is a very proud, stubborn woman.

Most of her grumpiness is not aimed at me but at the tv. I think this is what gets me down the most. It is just constant. What people wear, their hair, what they say. Bad grammar annoys me but it annoys her more and she is constantly saying so. The worst is adverts. It doesn’t matter how many times she says it, the advert isn’t going to change.

I try to ignore it but I’m finding its starting to make me grumpy too. I don’t like that my mum is becoming so grumpy and I don’t like that it is making me feel grumpy too.

I must do everything I can to resist becoming a grumpy old woman before my time.

Funny old day

The sun has been shining and there is a feel of spring in the air. The first of my seedlings are sprouting. The magnolia is coming out in bloom.

I didn’t get around to topping up the bird food until lunchtime. I have given the squirrels a new conundrum. This time it’s three pots one inside the next. Only one squirrel has been interested. He knocked it over and devoured the nuts from the smallest pot. That’s all he managed. Mind you he was chased away by a local cat. I’ve not seen that before.

I’ve been out with more Avon books. That’s all my regular customers now so next week I shall start canvassing for new customers.

I was feeling a bit down this afternoon. No particular reason I just didn’t feel myself. I am surprised that I was feeling this way. The sunny day combined with the obvious signs of spring would normally make me feel good.

Peach and orange tea with macarons

Today I am feeling blessed. Not only did I finally receive my flowers from #1 son I also received a package from #2 son. A box of seasonal flavoured macarons. These were from the company who had provided their unusual wedding cake. (Pyramid of macarons). Last night the gift from #4 son arrived. A set of marble plant pots.

This morning I had a video call as my grandson played in a play area on his way to nursery. Then this afternoon I had a video call with my granddaughter who now associates talking to granny with time to draw.

I finished my afternoon (prior to having a much needed nap) with a cup of peach and orange tea together with a jasmine earl grey macaron. Mother chose rose petal rhubarb. Other flavours to try are lavender petal lemon curd, chocolate caramel sea salt and gin cucumber.

Talented? who me?

I received a card today. It wasn’t a late mothers day card it was a thank you card.

My daughter in law had sent me the card to thank me for the knitwear I had sent for my granddaughter. I am happy to do it. What startled me was that she praised my talent. I’m not talented. I knit clothes for my granddaughter and her cousin who I consider to be my great niece. I do the best I can but they are not perfect. Not that the little ones would know that.

Now my daughter in law, she is a different story. She is talented. Since she has been at home with my granddaughter she has taken her hobby to a whole new level. She makes jewellery (necklaces and earings) from sea glass that she has collected from beaches in UK, France and Greece. During her maternity leave she began to turn this hobby into a business. She has begun selling her jewellery both online and through a select few small outlets and craft markets.

Her talents don’t stop there. She presents her unique pieces beautifully too. In the 16 years since I have known her I have received many bespoke gifts from her all beautifully wrapped. I would never be able to do the things she does. She has an artistic eye in everything she does including the way she decorates and organises their home.

I wouldn’t be surprised if out little ray of sunshine grows up to be artistic as both her parents are good at art and her father is also a musician.

I do what I do but I’m not talented they are.

Being in the right place

If I had been even a minute earlier or a minute later it wouldn’t have happened. I was out delivering Avon brochures to be picked up on Wednesday. It probably wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t mother’s day here.

I was just crossing the road, a black car was turning round. A quick glance at the driver, I thought she looked like a friend I hadn’t seen since before I moved away in 2012. I didn’t for more than a split second think it could be her. Once the driver waved at me I realised it really was my friend.

I’m amazed she recognised me but she did. We ended up standing at the side of the road chatting for about half an hour. I’ve given her my number and she has promised to call me when we are once again allowed to meet up. She was only in that place because she was visiting her grandchildren.

I am so glad we found eachother again. I have missed my friend and apparently she has been wondering where I disappeared to. Before I moved away to marry my second husband we were always bumping into each other. We first became friends when our boys who are now 30 were in junior school.

As I mentioned it has been mother’s day here today. Could it be a coincidence that when I was in Asda at lunchtime there were very few flowers left on display. We had a delivery of flowers this morning from my youngest brother for our mother.

All four of my sons have wished me happy mother’s day. From what I am told I have flowers and other gifts on their way. It is looking like mother’s day for me will be tomorrow. I don’t mind that. I don’t expect anything, just to be remembered is enough. I am their mother every day so to get flowers on a different day is fine by me. Who says we have to do everything the same as everyone else.

No antibiotics for me

I have just ordered my latest repeat prescription through the online site linked to my Drs surgery. At the top of the side bar on the website was a tab for antibiotics. I am glad to say that I have not had any antibiotics since my initial recovery from my surgery. During 2019 and 2020 I was on antibiotics so many times that I started a diary specifically for my antibiotic courses. This time last year I had been on 5 courses since the start of the year.

Because of the problems I was experiencing I was getting numerous kidney infections. It became a vicious circle that ultimately prevented me having my surgery in March 2020. My PRD (pelvic radiation disease) was destroying my bladder. This meant that I was prone to kidney infections. These infections affected my iron levels. The longer I waited for surgery the more infections I got, leading to lower and lower iron levels which in turn rendered me unsuitable for surgery at that time.

In order to get my iron levels to a suitable level I needed an iron infusion. (Iron tablets would take too long and not be as efficient). However Lockdown came along and prevented my infusion from going ahead. (I was already at the hospital being prepared for this treatment when it was cancelled.) I later began a course of iron tablets which over the following months did indeed increase my iron levels. (Not fully but enough).

At the time of my surgery I was again very unwell with a kidney infection. Along with the frequent infections I had over the last four or five years I had several that were so bad I was house bound for weeks/months. The first time I was ill for four months whilst I went through a variety of tests and scans to check that my cancer hadn’t returned. The second time it happened it was only six weeks before I was strong enough to leave the house. This last time it began three weeks before my surgery, I was still very weak from the infection as well as the surgery when I came home from hospital.

I am so relieved that my surgery although dreaded at the time has hopefully put an end to these kidney infections. No more antibiotics (at least not for kidney infections) is a blessing. No more having to deal with side effects like a horrid taste in my mouth for a week at a time or having to work out what I can or can’t eat when because I can’t have milk products within 2 hours either before or after taking the tablets. For now at least I am free from that life.