Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Splitting in two

After a quiet Christmas with mum, we headed back home on Monday evening.

On Tuesday morning, I couldn't get her on the phone. So I rang her neighbour, Karen.

Karen found her dazed, with an enormous, bruised lump on her forehead. She couldn't remember how she got it. Still can't. She had similar symptoms to the mini-strokes; couldn't name people she should know, couldn't speak properly.... Luvbug and I swapped a few clean things into our still unpacked bags and headed back down to Kent....

We had planned to be home for just 3 days, then head back down for New Year. We're starting to feel tired out.

I didn't call an ambulance this time. I'm not sure if that was right, but my thinking was simply that, last time, all the hospital did was keep her overnight and keep her rested- which didn't exactly work as their noise kept her awake all night. I thought that so long as we got her in to see her doctor that same day, she would be as well off at home, resting, and not worrying about being in hospital again.

We did manage to get her to the doctor, who said that we'd probably done OK by her, but that if it happened again overnight to call an ambulance.

Once at the doc's I just caught a glimpse of a bruise on her tongue.... so I got the doctor to examine this. Good job it was spotted; he thinks she has had a seizure of some kind, and that maybe this caused her to fall or bump into something, hence the bruising on her head. He has upped her anti-seizure meds but they will take a week to take effect.

Today she is back to normal- no wrong words, so slurring. VERY fed up with having to up her meds.

We went shopping and took her for a drive. She is catching my cold, which is unfortunate as it is a rotten throaty one.

Luvbug returns to work next week and needs to do some preparation for the new job before he gets there. It seems then, that he'll be headed home by Saturday and I'm here for the long haul.

We are really worried that mum can't be left on her own now. She is getting upset too.

Mentally, it is starting to drain me. It's nearly two months now. I have renewed awe and respect and sympathy for full time, long term carers everywhere. How do they keep giving? My initial adrenaline-fuelled activity and brightness is being replaced by a strange inertia, a slowing down inside, a gasping for breath.

I was pleased yesterday when my elder brother actually came to visit. He has barely called to ask after her since the first attack- same can be said for my other two siblings. But whilst here I noticed he barely spoke to her really, talking across her instead.
When he did talk to her it was to talk about all his news, which she wasn't well enough to take on board, and not to ask about her, her worries, her plans, how was her Christmas, etc., or even just to sit quietly with her. I watched and felt, oh I don't know, annoyed? No, annoyed is too energetic. I was unsurprised and barely disappointed.

I want to be enthusiastic, happy, optimistic, able to love and help mum whilst not leaving Luvbug out. Instead I have been a wee bit snappy. The wrong time of the month arrived at the worst possible time, leaving me battling cold symptoms, stomach pain, sleep deprivation, impatience and worry all at the same time.

How do people do this? What if you have a child who's ill, a job to keep going to, your own stuff to worry about? How do you keep going without splitting yourself down the middle?


Angel and Kirby said...

I am so sorry to hear this! I know how you want to be in two places at one time! Your Mothers health is troubling and is causing you a lot of stress! Your brothers actions did not help. If you noticed, your Mom probably did too! How soon will she get to move closer to you? That will help, but not resolve all the issues.

My sister takes care of my Mother ans am very thankful for her. I go as often as possible (it is a three hour trip) and let my sister go out for the day! We has the majority of the family at Mom's for Christmas. I worried it would be too much. My Sister said not to worry that she would be very tires but happy. They put My Mom in the hospital a week later with pneumonia. Then they discovered that she has has the tiniest of heart attacks. It did no damage, though. The roads have been icy and closed off and on for three days ans I have not been able to get to them.
I will keep you and your Mom in my thoughts!

Chrissy said...

I think you need to ease up on yourself, you can't fix it all girl..
At the very least allow yourself to be grumpy, you have good reason.
It is never an easy path when a loved one is sick, if you're not careful you can end up feeling guilty whatever you do and sadly it doesn't help one bit
Big Hugs ~ Chrissy

Ginger Jasper said...

If it is any help Helen, I did the same with splitting myself down the middle, a job, husband, grandkids and looking after mum. It gets easier and you will be happy that you did it. I also have two siblings that never got involved. Your mum will so appreciate the care, love and devotion you are giving to her. One day you will sit back and say I did my best and my best was good. Please try and take a little me time too.. Love Carol and GJ x

Julie said...

I am so sorry that your Mum has been unwell again. You cannot take all this onto yourself as much as you want to do everything you can for your Mum and I agree you have every right to feel angry and upset with your siblings. I'll send you an email. xx

Feronia said...

I am so sorry to hear about this, Helena. As difficult as it might be, I do think you need to carve out just a little bit of time for yourself, just to recharge a little. Even if it's just going out for a coffee for an hour. And it's completely ok to be fed-up and frustrated with people. You have a lot on your shoulders. You can't be everything to everyone all of the time. One of the best things you can do when caring for others is to care for yourself. Thinking of you xx

Poopsie aka Blue said...

Oh Helena, how I feel for you.
Don't be hard on yourself, caring is tough, stressful, draining especially when your doing it alone.
I personally want to shake your Siblings very hard!

But, you can hold your head up high, knowing you are doing your best and your Mother will love you all the more for your care.

As I sense the worries you have re the future - feel free to e-mail me anytime.
And, try to take some quiet time for yourself because you need to be well.

Love & hugs

Lorianna said...

Oh Helena! This just sucks! I am so very sorry. You are being the best daughter ever for your Mum. I know she appreciates all that you are doing and I'm sorry your brother was being so distant. It seems he doesn't cope well with this type of thing. When is your Mum moving closer to your home? That will help immensely. You do need to take care of yourself too. I'm sure your mother doesn't want you to burn yourself out. Take some time for some tea, do some crafting, snuggle with the kitties, and tell Luvbug how tired you are, but you do appreciate him. I think he knows though and understands how much stress you are feeling.
Thank you so much for the lovely card and pretty note pad. I love butterflies and fairies nearly as much as kitties. How did you know?
I am holding you and your mum in my thoughts every day. I hope the New Year brings happiness and relief for her and you. Things can only get better. (That's an old Howard Jones song. I really liked him.)
I love you Dearest Girl.
Hugs, Tea and Cake,

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Caring for a poorly parent is one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do. I've been there, it is such a responsibility and it seems to take over your whole life.
You are a very caring and sensitive daughter and i'm sure you mum is so glad that you are there, doing your best for her.
Take care of yourself and luvbug. (He's doing a grand job too!)
Love, Lynda

i beati said...

In my opinion you do split yourself somewhat and a higher power keeps you going..sk love and blessings..sandy