6 months on since I retired. I had plans, I would take a kind of ” holiday” for a few months. I did spend a few days in Paris in May, reuniting with all my Paris friend . Then maybe take a trip, a tour around the UK. All those places id never been. Oxford, north Scotland, Northumberland, …they say that coastline is beautiful. I knew the opportunity to do some kind of voluntary work would pop up, maybe with the homeless or refugees. My friend from Boston was planning to visit in October and we were going to Snowdonia. I had a long list of ” northern”. Culture to show her.
Then on 2nd July, Michael complained of a pain in his back. I was serving cream teas at the local community summer fair. He sat and chatted to my local friends while he ate his scones and home made jam.
Against his wishes I called the GP……3 months later, and 9 weeks in and out of hospitals, hes completley physically debilatated after pleurisy, pneumonia, complications from the pneumonia called empyema, major lung surgery and a resultant heart problem. All of course complicated by his underlying bone marow failure, MDS.
Amazingly, he survived…..its not his time
…… Now I know my new role is to be his carer, as he is pretty physically dependent. Consequently my world has shrunk. Although I can now go out and about locally, I don’t like to leave him for too long. No more jumping on my bike and going off for a spontaneous ride or solitary walks up the hills. No more last minute trips to see my friend in Paris or solo trips to Eastern European cities. Well not without a lot of organisation anyway.
He can only walk a few yards and most activities quickly make him exhausted. We can go out me pushing a wheelchair. But he tires easily and sleeps a lot. Hes having intensive rehabilitation but ( they tell us). It will be a long time before hes recovered, and probably not back to his old self.
To my surprise, I’ve quickly accepted this new situation…(despite my former profession I’m not a “natural” carer. Nor am I a martyr, too selfish for that!). No self pity, no resentment. Just a gratitude that hes still alive ( because there were many times I thought he’d die). And ” it is as it is”, kind of approach”.
I can only think that my daily meditation, using an app called HEADSPACE has helped bring about this acceptance and positive attitude. That and singing in a chior ( for people who can’t sing!) Two hours a week, rehearsing for our charity concerts is the best antidepressant ever. Two hours when all you think about is singing!
.A .person who believed in fate or God, would say this was why I was meant to give up my job., maybe, but I just think it’s ironic.
….and does anyone know where you get lessons to push a wheelchair,? I still can’t get up a kerb without nearly tipping him out!!
C’ est laVie!
This is your sister in law.
Denice you are an amazing women!! What you have acheived inyour life is just amazing!! Your get up and go has just been brilliant.
You have gone through your life doing wonderful things
Now you have came to this new chapter which you are dealing with in a very caring and loving way and I am shure Micheal appreciates all you do.
I truly admire you keep your chin up.
All my love Sylvia xx
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Thanks Sylvia, but your survival over all you went through, was my inspiration.
Sadly I’m not in a position to visit you at the moment. But hopefully one day…. I miss you both.
Lots of love.
Denise, I totally agree with Sylvia, you are amazing! Your acceptance of your role as Michael’s carer and ‘it is what it is’ attitude to the change in your plans have my sincere admiration. Hopefully Michael will continue to improve, slowly but surely, with your loving care.
If you are able to get out to Bolton, even for a short time, let me know and I’ll get the bus over to you. Look after yourself, as well as Michael, love to you both, Janet xx