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...

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Changing dates...

Well, mum was due an MRI on her back last Thursday at 9am. Then, whilst trying to find a way to get us there by that time, I remembered that she also had an appointment in a few weeks' time for an MRI on her head, at an equally awkward time of 6.30pm. So I rang the hospital appointments department and put it to them that it would be better for mum AND save them money if they did the two at the same time.

After an hour they called back and said, "Oh yes! That's a good idea!" D'oh! Why didn't anyone up there spot this on mum's file? No wonder the NHS is so strapped for cash! These MRIs cost about £800 a time!

They also found a better slot- 1.45pm. So we went last Thursday and had it all done. Mum was quite low afterwards. I suppose being shoved into a noisy tunnel for half an hour does bring it home to you that you're not well...

*** *** *** *** ***

We have postponed the move for a week. Nothing has gone wrong. But this way mum will have Easter at her regular church, and I thought she'd like that. Also gives us longer to pack.... today we are packing up all her ornamental dragons!

Things are starting to fall into place. A local cat shelter is taking the stray that's been hanging around for ages on Thursday. We were worried about what would happen to him when mum isn't here to provide food, a box in the shed and a hot water bottle on cold nights.... :)

*** *** *** *** ***

As ever, thank you all for your lovely messages and emails. It really is a tonic to read them. I haven't been on here for a few days because since last Thursday I seem to have a dose of tonsillitis. Bleagh! Seems to be easing up now. But for a while I felt I had been run over by a truck! Luvbug says I'm probably just run down, ....not run over ... :)

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

NO!!! I simply won't allow it!

Mum had an appointment with at the hospital Monday, this time to do with her osteoporosis. She had an MRI in October and this was the first opportunity to review the results. We already knew there were fractures, but this was to see if surgery could help.....

Well I'm GLAD that mum is hard of hearing and forgets to switch her hearing aid to a different setting indoors. I'm GLAD that we waited over an hour and she was really tired when we got in there. And I'm GLAD that we only got 8 minutes given to us once we were in ....

WHY? Because the dumbass doctor talked about cancer, that's why. And there's no point hedging it, saying things like, "Don't lose any sleep over it." and, "My gut feeling is that it isn't, but..." because just MENTIONING the Big C to mum right now would set her into a tail spin.

What if she had gone alone? She'd have been escorted out of the room afterwards -with no counselling, no niceties, not so much as a leaflet.

So. What do we do now?

She is having anther MRI tomorrow. This one is to compare with the one she had in October. Doc wants to see if the wedge fracture has healed or "done more".

In the 6 month old scan, one vertebrae has squashed down flat, and squished out whatever it is that is normally inside. This stuff has only narrowly missed the spinal cord. 1mm over and she'd have lost the use of her legs. O M G!!!!!!!

Then, the doctor told me to make an appointment with him on the way out of the hospital for 2 weeks' time, for a follow-up consultation. I went to book it and was told he was booked up till June. Shouldn't he know this???

Hey ho. We have a moving date. April 1st! I'm not sure of the auspices of that ;) Good news, huh?!!!

So I told them about the move and they got all huffy like we were being sooooo inconvenient. After there was no chance of a follow-up appointment, the receptionist said she may as well cancel the MRI, too. OH NO I DON'T THINK SO!!! You leave that delete button alone, missy. If mum has the scan, at least all she'll be waiting for at the new place is the follow-up! I'm not letting something like an MRI get lost in the transfer!

As for the Big C...... not saying ANYTHING to mum. No, no no. NO.

I've played my best smiley, positive, optimist all week.
No need to say the rest.
Specially as I'm not even sure this guy knows what he's talking about. -When we walked in his room together, he asked which of us the appointment was for. Hmm, so you're really familiar with the file, then, doc? -Nope, not even enough to know which of us was the 68 year old underweight, unwell woman...

Luvbug rang and I poured out all.
"How are coping with it?" he asked :)
(I love Luvbug.)
"I'm not letting it in." I said, "It's in the outer level. -There's my brain in my head, and there is a waiting area outside of it." [a lot of my school maths got stuck there, never made it in.] "I'm not letting it in. It's too full in here. "

Not just my head, either. I'm simply not allowing cancer. She can't take that one. She CANNOT have it. No. She isn't strong enough. Not for that. No cancer here, move along, move along. You're not coming in. I won't let you. Sod off.

I simply will not entertain the idea, let alone the worry.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Happy Birthday, Scooter and Fluffy! -17 today!!!

Fluffy, enjoying some sunshine last week.

Scooter, adept at finding sunny spots on sofas.

On 23rd March 1993, the little black stray cat that I had been feeding in the snow -and latterly in the kitchen- woke me up meowing from the linen cupboard along the hall. I knew what was happening: a few days before, I had put out some clean blankets on the floor in there for her and showed her the space. She'd climbed in and purred and prodded gratefully. Now she had remembered it, had returned, and was having her litter there.

I telephoned Mum and told her it was D-day. She caught the next train.

Around 10.30 we tiptoed up to the cupboard with a little pen-torch. I had read that it was dangerous to disturb a new kitty-mama. A panicked queen will sometimes kill her new kits. I was nervous, therefore, as I peered round the door to check that she was OK.
I counted with the little torch the tiny bundles of fur now latched onto her tummy.... one.... two.... three... THREE! She has three! But Mama-Cat mewed at me and pushed herself up slightly with her front paws. There, under her chin, tucked warmly into her chest fur, was the tiniest, most pathetic little shrimp of a cat ever. Number 4. Well, 3 1/2. Mama had been cuddling her little one especially to keep her warm. I thought it was grey, but it was just that the fur was so fine.... it was Fluffy! Being so small, I originally called her Midge. But as the fur grew out, everyone called her Fluffy and so the name stuck.

Only her brother, Scooter, has survived this long with her. He with FiV, and she the runt of the litter. Well, who'd have thought? It just goes to show, even when the odds are stacked against you, you can get through.

The previous year, 1992, had been a bad one for me. I'd been made redundant three times, losing colleagues as well as jobs, routines and income. I had also split up with someone and was still reeling. The depression was so bad, I could barely move. Then Mama-Cat started to meow up at my window in the snow, 6am every day. I had just enough spirit left in me to get up and help her. That reaching out to help some other life was a tiny first step. Then, after the kittens were born, Mama-cat got me into her own routine around them all. It pulled me up out of the near fugue-state I'd sunk into.

Cat Flu soon broke out through the kits. I took the whole family to the PDSA. They wanted to isolate Mama and treat her in solitary confinement so as not to infect any other cats. But the kittens, they said, well it was kinder to just let them go. Anyway, they said, we don't have the nursing staff to look after them. "That's ok," I said, "I'm not working; I'll do it."
I had a quick lesson in feeding kittens with a syringe, and in wiping their bottom ends to get them to pee and poo (!). To keep them warm I filled a washing-up glove with hot water, and tucked them in, with one finger curled round each of them. As they grew I got a hot-water bottle for them to lie on. I had to feed them and wipe them every two hours, plus give them medicine and wash their eyes to prevent the conjunctivitis getting encrusted. It was hard work round the clock but I did it and the routine and mind-numbing intensity of it got me through my own crisis, too.

Eventually, Mama-Cat was well enough for me to pick up. I'll never forget how pleased she acted when I walked into that back room to get her. I had barely known her, not for very long. But she remembered me. Pathetic to non-animal lovers, I know, but being remembered by her brought a lump to my throat. It made me feel a spark inside that I hadn't felt in ages.

So you see, this is why I love them so much: I saved their lives and they saved mine. And from then on, we have just all pootled along.

When Luvbug and I first got a place together we had to rent a flat on the second floor (or third, to the US!) so we couldn't have the cats. Mum kept them. Once we had a place of our own, I said we could take them. Mum was having none of it. She would miss them too much, she said!

Soon, as mum moves into her new bungalow up the road from us, Scooter and Fluffy will again come to live with me. I hope I can do as much for them in their old age as in their infancy.

We're all getting older. And there's a sadness in that. Limitations make themselves known and endings start to try to come into focus. All we can do is try to be there for each other. All I can do is be thankful for such special experiences.....

Happy Birthday, my little cheesy-toed ones..... and thank you.....

Monday, 22 March 2010

First Easter Card

Well I had better get started, I suppose ;)

This stamp is by CC Designs and the character's name is Emma.

This particular design isn't widely available in the UK (although it's on pre-order at Dies to Die For), but The Scrap Junkie, on Ebay, sold me this one. (And, um, for less than "Dies" has it!)
She has lots of stuff like this, so check her out if you have time :)

It isn't the sort of style I go for very often, is it? But I love the thin, clear lines and I wanted something simple for Easter this year.
I've coloured her with water-colour pencils.

I used Sakura Glaze Clear pens to make the glossy bits, e.g., her shoes. You can layer this up so that it gets quite thick, but be careful to let each layer dry out completely first. Don't push down with these pens too hard: the trick is to hold them still a few seconds, with the nib just gently resting on the paper. Then, a little pool of glaze starts to gather. Once you see this, off you go, spreading it over the image. So long as you don't push down and block the flow, it will spread easily.

Right. Only a few dozen more to make now....

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Two bookmarks....

A wee bit low on cardstock, so I've been making bookmarks....The cat stamp is by Inca Stamps and I found it in Hobby Craft the other week. The doodley flowers are from a set by Sassafras. And look! I finally used the "Luvbug" stamp that Miss Peach sent me! Guess who that one's for?

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Stamped images...

Remember my request for stamped images?


It has been relaxing to colour these in in the evening. I sit and doodle while Mum catnaps on the sofa. CSI is usually on in the background!

These are from someone I "met" on Ebay. She hadn't put up anything to sell for a while, so I emailed and asked if she planned to. "No problem, I'll just send you some of my stash!" she said. LOL! :Diane (can't find link! can't find link! panic!) heard my call, too, and sent me lots of 'Bella' stamped images. They're fun!

Here are two cards I made from them:
I sent the one on the left to my Auntie Pat, whose birthday was on St Patrick's day, and the other to my friend, Jo, who has been rushed off her toes lately. The caption on the front of both says "Take time for yourself."


Friday, 19 March 2010

Mum's memory...

Mum is stronger. But still gets bad memory gaps.

We went into her neighbour's house the other day and, as we sat on the sofa waiting for tea(!) mum looked around admiringly and said, "Ooo. I don't think I've ever been in here before."

Um, but she has. Karen gave her a spare key and frequently calls mum if she is going to be late getting back, asking her to pop in her house and switch on the heating/lights/feed dog/let dog out. Oops.

Up to a point, once her memory is nudged, the original memories come flooding back. It's amazing to witness, actually. She goes from completely blank to "OHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and you can almost hear a filing cabinet opening in her head and all these old photo's come tumbling out. She smiles and her eyes get bigger and suddenly, all the information is just there.

Other things, though, haven't come back. Yet. I hope "yet". As of today, no memory of going in Karen's house before. Hey ho.

As Jane suggested, I am not pushing memories or forcing them, and I'm certainly not saying things like, "Don't you remember?" or "You know!". And I've adopted a rule of only answering what mum asks. Don't add anything. If you do, she'll think she can't remember that either, and that will add stress.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

A "Thank you"....

A "Thank you" for my friend, Beth, in Maine...
This is the stamp I used to make the flower:I layered it up:Inside, it's just stamped flat:Here's what I am thanking Beth for! She sent me this beautiful case, with lots of crafty embellishments inside, and included this lovely, glittery "mat stack" (a book of 6 x 4 sheets of patterned card):Beth said she was sending it as something I could do whilst I was at mum's! She also included chocolate but, um, it didn't seem to make it to the photo....

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

It's the little things....& little critters :)

It was Mother's Day here in the UK on Sunday. Or "Mothering Sunday", as I'm told it should be called. -My friend Jo's mother insists on this name, so poor Jo has to search out a card with this exact wording on it, and they are becoming rarer each year! I told her she'll soon have to start making them ;)

Ah well. You shouldn't think I missed out, just cos I don't have kiddywinks. No, no. Luvbug came to stay for the weekend here at mum's. Here's what greeted me when I got up on Sunday:
These wee critters, for those of you who've yet to come across them in Blogland (don't blame you, you're probably far too sane) are Bob T Bear (esq) and Dilly St George, the Croco-dragon from London Zoo. How they became our "offspring" is a long story. And not one that Bob T Bear (esq) particularly enjoys, in Dilly's case. He still says he wanted a scarf, not a sister.

The back of Dilly's envelope carried a strict instruction/warning:"If not be Dilly Mummy, leev lone!"

It had a beautiful elephant, made from a leaf, on the front:

Inside was a long message. Every "i" was dotted with a heart or a flower. Aww Dilly is such a girly-girl....

Here's Bob's:Bob wrote me a poem.
Er, or "pom":

My Mummy
is a luvly
Mummy an an
an I fink
she mite be der
bestist Mummy in
der weruld but I
havant bin abol to
chek wiv ol der uver
bears yet.

(Bob would like to point out that "poems don't have to rhyme, you know".)

Awwww :^)
Luvbug spent a long, long time "helping" them with this.

The cards are beautiful, from a church Traidcraft Sale we'd visited the day before. We had driven mum up to Colchester to refresh her memory of the bungalow again. (As soon as she was there she was OK.) Then we drove into Dedham, a lovely wee village in Suffolk. It has an enormous church, so we went in for a wander. We found the traidcraft sale inside, and also a great exhibition of quilting and embroidered art. Alas, no camera!!

Anyway, on Sunday, I had already given mum her card and presents. When I showed her that Look! I got something on Mother's Day, too! she laughed and laughed.....

-You always know how to make a difference, and always just at the right time!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Enough already. Let's have a smile.

When mum and I were waiting to leave hospital on Monday, as the hospital pharmacy inexplicably took 7 hours to dispense her medicine, we started chatting to the woman in the bed opposite, named Pamela.

When the subject moved on to pets, and specifically cats :) she told us that she had had a cat years ago who was so special, she couldn't bear the thought of taking another after she'd gone. (I *think* its name was Susie. But can't quite remember that bit properly....)

It was a British Blue.........Pamela's husband gave her Susie as a kitten, as an engagement present, and she lived with them till dying in her sleep at age 22 (awwww...)

But the best story of all is this:

For 2 decades, each Friday, when Pamela was walking home from work, Susie would meet her half way along the road, at the Newsagent's. Pam would then nip in and buy a tube of Rolos: a ration of 2 Rolos was Susie's weekly treat. She loved them.I love this story. It goes against all veterinary advice, but goes straight to the soul of a cheeky, independent wee cat who knows what she wants and how to get it. I find it so cute when animals adopt a routine!

And HURRAYYY for disobeying the rules and living beyond our expected years!

I can just picture her chewing away on them, then trotting the rest of the way home with her mum, purring, and pausing now and then for a leg rub.


*** *** *** *** ***

Hope Pamela does well. She has MS. She'd been in hospital 3 weeks and couldn't wait to escape. Thanks for helping to pass the hours, Pam, wherever you are!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Don't know what to say any more...

I showed Mum some photo's of the bungalow she' buying. She didn't remember anything about the house move, so we are planning to take her up to our place on Saturday for the day, and while there, arrange with the Estate Agent another viewing of the bungalow.

So anyway, I thought it would be best to show her some pic's of it, so that it wouldn't be a big shock on the day. I found some photo's of the place this evening and showed her them. "OH YES!!" she said, and seemed happy, as she admired the pictures of the bungalow's interior....

....and shortly after, she was a fit of worry, chewing her lip, clenching her hands.


Shouldn't have shouldn't have shouldn't have.

Didn't think.


She had got past the worry and was looking forward to it.
Now we're back at square one- rambling worries like this:
don't know what to do for the best, don't know if I should do it, how do I move? Should I? What do you think? How do I move the furniture? Do I have to take the carpets with me? How do I move all this stuff? What about all the books? What if some of the papers they need are missing? What about the stuff in that cupboard? Nothing has been signed yet has it?

I KNOW these are natural worries that ANYONE would go through with a house move, let alone someone who hasn't moved address for 27 years. But I have had to answer these queries 20 times over BEFORE this latest seizure. Now the seizure has wiped all the answers again. So I have to be patient, and humouring, and quiet and gentle. Again. Again. Again.

Not sure I am up to it. I HAVE to be, dammit. I HAVE to be.

But I am crumbling inside.

Can anyone who hasn't been here possibly understand how exhausting it is, to answer and reassure over the same thing, over and over? And knowing it will just pop up again the next day, or a few days after, and then you'll have to do it again?

I have this laptop -thanks be to Luvbug for getting the mobile access sorted out!- and I have treated myself to a few craft magazines this week. But I cannot lose myself in these things for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time because then another question pops up and I have to address it. Even if I already did. Just now, in fact.

I have emergency back-up pills for when I am getting stressed. I know when I need to take them because the extremes of the bi-polar thing start to kick in: hearing things, for example. Man, I've been thinking there were mice upstairs but last night, if that was mice, they were wearing hobnail boots...... but if I take one of the pills I'll be wooooozy. I won't be able to get up at 5 like yesterday or 6 like today..... and if I don't, and she has another seizure like last Friday morning's......

And then at the same time there is the guilt- I should be able to. When I was a child, how many times did I ask the same question?

But underneath it all, chewing away and getting bigger and bigger is the screaming fact that I have 3 siblings, and I'm doing this all without them.

NOT ONE CALL this week.

Then I find myself making excuses for one of them because he told me on Monday that he is seeing a P-doc. Ahhh poor thing, I thought. Yes, I must make allowances for that. He's in therapy.

WAIT A M....-?????????

SO AM I!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just had a phone call from Luvbug..... nice and calm now.... ish. Mum is watching tv with the sound off again. She is staring at a shark. I have just put a stew on to cook. In half an hour we'll make dumplings........sorry to go on and on..... you don't have to read it, I just need to get it out...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Mum's Home

Yesterday at 11am, Mum rang my mobile from the hospital to tell me that they were discharging her. I was already on the train, on my way to her!

Despite telling her before 11 that she was going home, the hospital pharmacy didn't deliver her going-home meds till 6pm. So we- and the woman in the bed opposite- we hanging around all afternoon.

When I arrived about midday, I asked mum if the doctor had said anything to her about why she had been admitted. He hadn't. She said that he had seemed surprised to see her still in hospital. The date on the discharge form was Saturday's, so what the other nurse had said was correct- he hadn't reviewed her case since Saturday morning, when he said that she was "fit" to go home.

So! Off Helena the Avenger goes again, straight to the nurse station on the ward. I asked if anything has been said about epilepsy -NO, had anyone spoken to her about the fit she had? -NO, were there any leaflets about epilepsy we could take home? -NO, any advice re management of the condition? -NO, were we sure now that it WAS epilepsy? -DON'T KNOW. Erm, can I speak to a doctor, please? No, they are on other wards now.
OK, erm, I am not willing to take mum home till I have spoken to a doctor.
Nurse pulls face and takes deeps breath.
"OK well, I'll go and call him then."
I wait for 15 minutes...... she returns-
"Well a house doctor can come and see you but it won't be for a least an hour. She said to call the registrar but the registrar isn't answering her buzzer. Dr DM (the most we were allowed to know of his name) is busy with sick patients now."
"MY MOTHER is a sick patient!" I repeated that I needed to see someone because we still didn't know WHY mum had had a seizure.
"Well they'll cover that in clinic. He's making an appointment for her in a few months where he can answer your questions there. In the meantime, if it happens again, you'll just have to bring her back."
"Erm, no, it has ALREADY happened 4 TIMES. I want to know why."

...... FINALLY. The mysterious "Dr DM" appeared in a hour, accompanied by a registrar, and off I went into a little room with them, followed by the nurse I'd been badgering. Obviously, witnesses were required in case I punched someone by now. Ha.

The upshot is this- he thinks it is epilepsy.
So, I ask, where did it come from? Another doctor at the hospital (it's becoming like a song, another suitcase in another hall, another doctor on a another ward...) had told me that it was very rare for anyone in later life to develop epilepsy. Dr DM disagreed. He said the other doctor was talking out of her hat. Mum, he told me, shrugging, probably had it in childhood anyway.
Er, ok then, but she has got it now.

They think that the meds she was on was ok- sodium valproate, but it failed to prevent Friday's seizure because "her infection lowered the threshold for a fit".
OK, so does she have to take a higher dose?
"Oh, yes, that's an idea. I'll think I'll raise it..." Dr DM gives a note to the registrar.
Hey, good job I suggested that, huh?

No real info re epilepsy, no notes, nothing on what type it is. But there is always the internet, I am told, which is a great source of information. Hey, you're telling me! You should see the reviews you can find on here about Medway Hospital!

So I got mum home in a taxi by 7 last night.
She slept ok.
I didn't.

Today there are still enormous gaps in her memory.
I recall having these worries back in November, and I think the memory gaps came back ok.
I hope they do this time, too.

Mum doesn't remember anything about the house being up for sale, about moving to the bungalow etc. Just as well, really, as the buyer has just this weekend announced that he wants to drop his offer by £10,000- which we simply can't afford to do. If he insists, the sale is off. We'll have to take our chances on the open market. And that means getting it decorated and ready for advertising, etc. Plus the trooping through of strangers. Mum just isn't up to that. Luvbug was on the phone talking all this through last night. I could tell he was stressed. In the end I said that maybe we just needed to sleep on it. For a few days....

*** ** *** ** *** **

Thanks again, for all your messages :) you are great, and I am so thankful for this little oasis of friendliness and support. It means so much :)

Have to go..... Mum just asked me if she has my address....

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Crisis Point

Mum had another bad episode.

On her previous three, the doctors haven't known for sure whether they were all mini-strokes or seizures, or a few of each. They have treated her for both, and adopted a 'wait and see' plan, as no one had actually witnessed the start of an attack. This changed last week.

Mum an I adopted a routine for the weeks when I am at home; as soon as she is up and about in the morning, she calls me. This is usually between 8 and 8.30am.

Well, on Friday she hadn't called by 9am, so I rang, and couldn't get an answer. I called her neighbour, Karen,- we'd left a key with her- and she went into mum's house and found her still in bed. She called me back and told me that she couldn't wake mum, and that she seemed to be twitching and jerking a little. So I rang for an ambulance. When Karen got back upstairs to her, she found her foaming at the mouth, so we're now assuming that this is a seizure.

Now here's the most upsetting part. At least, for me, it is. Mum was wet. But neither the paramedics, the ambulance crew, or the team in Accident And Emergency thought to change her. I caught a train from Colchester to the hospital, at Gillingham. I got there the earliest I could, arriving at 1.30pm. She was STILL in her wet clothes. I had to ask, beg and hound staff to get her out of her wet pyjamas. And then they said they wouldn't wash her. So I got some paper towels soaked in water and tried to do it myself. Next they said they didn't have gowns. Her top wasn't wet so I put that back on, but there was nothing else. SO I just had to wrap a blanket round her. Underneath that she had nothing.

When I got there she was curled up under a sheet on a trolley in a side room. She looked so tiny and vulnerable. Karen had stayed with her. She said they got there at 11am and she didn't leave her side. I'm so thankful she was there for her. But mum didn't regain consciousness till Saturday.

Before then, she passed in and out of a weird, dreamy state in which she seemed to revert to childhood, pushing away any hands that tried to help her, defending herself instinctively from foreign touch. I got so upset when one of the nurses said to me, "Is she always like this, aggressive?" I nearly cried with frustration at this point! She is NOT aggressive! She doesn't know what she is doing! Another thing she did was sit up and put her arms round me and try to get me to lift her and carry her up in my arms, as though she were a child. By the end of the day I was so tired and I just kept crying because I couldn't do anything for her.

Luvbug came to the hospital straight from work and I never needed a hug so much!

I knew that Mum had a urinary infection because she had been to her doctor last week and told me about it. I cannot begin to imagine how painful it was to be left in wet clothes with this. She kept crying and pulling faces and clutching her pyjamas, but couldn't ask for help. I kept explaining to the nurses that she was burning, but it was hours before she got any painkillers or anti-biotics. They seemed content to leave her lying in it every time the sheets got wet, so I kept taking them off the bed and giving them to the nurses and asking for fresh ones. At one point one of them told me "you may as well leave them because she'll just keep doing it." I wonder, would she leave HER mum like that? I also kept washing her with cool water to try to help her.

When we came away from her Friday night, she was more settled, and was lying on a large pad to help her. I queried her fluids drip- it didn't seem to be working. It turned out that it wasn't. Then after they fixed it, it again didn't seem to be working. We were told that it was, but they had slowed it right down. We had driven half way home before the thought occurred to me -with growing horror!- that they had slowed down her fluids so that they wouldn't have to change her during the night!!!!!! I felt physically sick when I realised that.

Saturday- I arrived at the earliest visiting time allowed- 3pm. Mum was dozing. I said hello and she stared at me. After a while she spoke quietly. But she thought I was her sister. She didn't know why she was there, where she was, etc. I spoke to her about it all, but little went in for very long, so I just sat with her for the hour and held her hand. She held both my hands and slept. I put my head next to hers on the pillow and we just stayed there together till the end of the visiting hour. On the way out, a nurse told me that a doctor had passed her as fit to go home! I told her, er no, I think not, she thinks I am her sister, this is not normal.... so she asked, "Oh! Is that not normal for your mother then?" -!!!!!!!!!!! Turned out she wasn't convinced by the doctor, hence her asking me about it. I told her that maybe she would be better Sunday, perhaps then. To this, she said, "Oh well the doctor won't review her tomorrow, not if he's passed her fit today."

Sunday- In the afternoon she was still confused over who I was, and Luvbug, too, whom she thought was still at school(!). But this time when I explained things to her they seemed to stay "in". But she asked where she lived, and whether she had any pets, and what job I do, or what did I used to do..... lots of memory gone.
This evening's visit was better- she remembered her address and her cats, though not their names.

This evening they had to move her to another ward. Seemed a bed was needed so the fittest patient had to transfer. This was mum. So, since Friday, she has been- A&E, Assessment Ward, Dickens [general care] Ward, and now, believe it or not, she has a bed in a cancer ward, simply because that is where the free bed was. The good part is that it is in a new block, so very comfy, tv by the bed, en suite bathroom. The bad part, of course, is that it is another team again, and this hospital seems *crap* at passing on information.

On the way out, as a sort of after-thought, I stopped the nurse and asked, "Has anyone passed on that mum can't eat lamb, as it makes her ill?" They hadn't. Another note on another file.

Luvbug has gone home now. I'm finishing up mum's laundry and tidying, remaking her bed, etc. Just in case they do discharge her tomorrow, as I think they will.

I called this post 'crisis point' as I feel it's a turning point: now we know it's seizures, how about some treatment? Therapy? A plan, someone? anyone?
So far there has been nothing said about treatment for epilepsy, or info about the condition. I did tell them that her doctor had said that an EEG should be done as near to an attack as possible, but no one is interested. All I think I can do is get her home and look after her, and get her to see her own GP as soon as possible.

I don't know how, but she has lost weight again. Maybe there is a weight below which her body just can't cope. I need to help feed her up again, though with me being here every other week, I just don't understand how she has lost it.....

I feel I am almost alone, fighting for her. I feel I am kicking water trying not to drown. I don't know what I would do without Luvbug. Oh, and the only sibling I have in this country hasn't even called to get an update. Let alone come visit. He lives half the distance away.

Oh well at least typing all this has got something out of my system..........

Please send out good vibes this way......