Sunday, 28 November 2010

A wintery season.

This is our beautiful winter-flowering clematis, it looked so lovely against the very blue sky.

It has been ages since I posted, and I need to tell you why, since life as I know it has radically altered, keeping me away from many things I'd like to do. I have been completely unable to visit all of my blogging friends and I am concerned I may have missed many significant events in your lives and not responded to comments, and if so I am very sorry. The joy of having a blog for many of us is the fantastic relationships we have built up with other bloggers and I hate that I can't be involved in what is happening for you as much as I'd choose.

My 82 year old mum has been poorly for quite a while now, but her friends and I have been increasingly concerned about her behaviour over the past few weeks and I have needed to become much more involved in her life than ever before - 6 months ago she was completely independent, driving, involved in many social groups, even giving talks about her experiences as an actress. Then she developed auto-immune hepatitis, the treatment for which is strong immunosupressants to stop the body further attacking the liver. She's not been right since but very rapidly declined over the last two weeks and has been admitted to hospital, where she is being treated for an infection that is making her body shut down while it fights the infection itself, and she is very confused and hallucinating, totally changed. There is every chance she will recover from the infection in time, but due to complex circumstances I won't go into much, it will be against medical advice for her to go home - whatever happens life will be extremely difficult for a long while. She lives alone in a large, timber-framed, listed sixteenth-century cottage with some small outbuildings and ever such a lot of rooms, filled with an incredible amount of objects/furniture/paperwork/family things/junk mail/you-name-it-it's-there. To her, everything she has is needed. To gently suggest clearing anything produces great distress, it's been like this all my life, but now has reached a critical stage.
So that's about where things are, and why I haven't been here.

We know she will be cared for in hospital for a while and can plan round that for a couple of weeks but I have to say it's been chaos recently, and as soon as she is medically stable and the hospital is ready to discharge her, the real problems will begin as we try and find a workable solution to very tricky issues.

I have fantastic friends, and have been almost overwhelmed with how supportive and understanding my mum's friends have been too - they care about her a very great deal, but are also mindful of the problems we will face to get her back into a more ordered home environment.

I'm hoping over the next week or so to post about some more cheerful things that I've been waiting to share, including how great John Lewis is after the experience I shared in my last post all that time ago! And, of course, how wonderful Archie is!


  1. Oh Felted House!! I am so sorry to hear about your amazing mother - how distressing for her and for you and your family. I'm heartened to read that she has every chance of fighting this infection. I can only imagine though the effects of her current medication on her health and wellbeing. I really hope that you are all able to decide the best for her when she is ready to leave the hospital. Her beautiful home is her nesting den but of course it needs to be safe and comfortable for her. What a dilemma. I wish you all the very best as to whatever is decided and however you all proceed. I wish you all lots of love and hope and peace and calm! Please take care too - me and Charlie are sending you and adorable and darling Archie tons of support hugs and purrs!!!!!

    If you ever need to vent, we're here!!! :-)

    Your clematis is looking lovely!!!

    Take care

  2. Oh dear! Please remember to take care of yourself as well. Just a cup of coffee and a quiet moment. I had been wondering about you! I'm sending my prayers across the ocean to you and your Mom, she's blessed to have you for a daughter and so many good friends.
    And I'm ready to hear an Archie story, anytime!
    xx Trish

  3. I've been wondering too, if all was okay. ::Sigh:: I'm so sorry about your mum. Glad there's a good chance of her recovering from the infection, but....Well, my mom spent the summer dealing with these issues re: her hubby, though of course he was able to go home because (a) he has her and (b) they have respite in one morning a week now (down to one, since he's improved to the point that he can bathe himself).

    But with your mum...You mean she'll need to move to a care facility, yes? Or *should* move to one. What about in-home care options? Has anything been offered in that regard? What kind of follow-up medical treatment will she need? If she is not lucid after she recovers, that puts a whole different spin on it, of course.

    Obviously I'm not familiar with health care and its options in the UK, so all I can do is send you all (((hugs))) and Light. We're all here for you, don't worry about what you post--whether it's happy or life-messy. The older we get, the messier life seems to get too!

  4. Oh bless you - what an awful time you are having. Wipso and I have been through similar in the past and send you our thoughts and good wishes that your mum improves really quickly. Its awful to have to make huge decisions for your parent but I always think they did it for us and now its our turn. So, feel free to share with us - either here or email us. It always helps to share. x Jo

  5. Thinking of you and your family. I am sure Archie will help with a cuddle or two!

  6. Sorry to hear your mum has been so poorly, it's so difficult when a loved one is ill. Sending you lots of hugs and get well wishes for your mum.

    You sound as though you have so much to sort out and arrange, that in itself is really tough. Take care and try not to over do it.



  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your mum ... it must be so distressing! Hopefully, she will make a good recovery from the infection. Remember to take some time for yourself too, you're going to need the strength to keep going.
    Thankfully, we still have both sets of parents, now in their late seventies, but over the past few years each one of them has had some sort of health scare. I'm dreading what's ahead of us.
    Look after yourself, and keep hugging Archie!
    Lots of love Kathy xxx

  8. My heart goes out to you. Our Mum out lived Dad by 9 years and she lived with us during all bar the last 2 years so I am pretty expert on the changes that life throws at us. As Twiglet said we are more than happy to support you any time through this really difficult time. Feel free to share via email any time...a problem shared and all that.
    Sending you big hugs,
    Annie x

  9. hey there, sending lots of hugs and positive thoughts your way to share with your mum too.

    it's always hard to see a loved one poorly and really tough when you have to start making decisions on their behalf. it's good to know that you have a lot of support around you, please never feel like you have to go through this alone :)

    do you have any organisations like crossroads in your area? or anything like carers' support or carers' mentors? they might be able to offer additional practical support and put you in touch with the right people to be able to find a solution that everyone can be happy with when your mum is discharged from hospital.

    we're thinking of you :)x

  10. What a terrible distressing time you're going through. There are no easy solutions, but I hope you find a way that works for you all. Its awful to see a person who's been so independent suddenly lose all that, she must feel like her life has been turned upside down, but I'm sure she knows you are all doing your best for her. Stay strong and take care of yourself too. x

  11. I hope your mother gets better very soon, it must be so hard to have watch her get ill and not be able to help her. My Dad is a bit of a clutter king , I hope one day he will clear things a bit but then again I am similar to him so can see why he keeps things just in case the come in handy. I have to wait until I have a day where I feel ruthless and then have a big clear out whilst I am in the mood.

  12. It's so sorry to see loved ones poorly. I wish your mum recovering well and be strong. Prayers to you all. No matter what you're posting, we're at your side and supporting you. Take care.

  13. I am sorry to hear how much you have had to deal with. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be to watch a loved one lose some of their independence. I will send good thoughts and prayers your way to help you deal with these challenges. Hugs!

  14. Oh L, I've only just read this... I'm so sorry to hear your poor mom is having such problems. I really feel for you! Do remember to take care of yourself at this difficult time.
    Sending you my love & best wishes


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