Thursday, June 17, 2010

running a bit late

Current work: revisions (still, arrgh)
Listening to: Beethoven
Reading: next on TBR (lovely Sarah Morgan has sent me a carrot to finish the book so I can read her new one…)

Late posting today. Busybusy. Sports day was fun but obviously took a big chunk out, and then it was a matter of admin phone calls and… this week is just running away from me.

Dentist this morning. She thinks that as the difficult tooth has settled, it’s best to leave it well alone, and I’m perfectly happy with that. (Root canal work is avoided for a bit longer.)

And then I went to see Dad. Bit of a sad visit today. What do you buy your father for Father’s Day when his world is so fragmented? He can’t use his CD player any more, so I can’t delight him as I normally would by finding old favourites he hasn’t heard in years. (I’ve always made an effort with presents, rather than just picking the first thing I see off the shelf – what’s the point of buying someone a present if you couldn’t care less whether they like it or not?) I know he likes what I bought him, but it felt… well, unspecial and not good enough, by my normal standards. He was a bit low today and cried; and I hate the fact that I can’t fix what’s upsetting him because it doesn’t actually exist, and reassurance only goes so far. Dementia is such a cruel illness.

Still. Glass half full. The sun’s shining today so my washing is drying outside, and on the way back from the home the radio was playing Beethoven’s 9th (second movement). So there are good things. Just… a bit sad today and wishing I had a magic wand.

Edit: If you want something to make you smile, go and give Julie Cohen a hug on her keyboard problem (I'm not laughing at her keyboard problem, btw - I'm not that mean and she's a real-life friend) and then read the comments beneath her post. Do NOT read them with a cup of tea anywhere near your keyboard. ;o) (Thank you, Julie, for cheering me up on a bit of a tough day. This woman writes comedy so brilliantly - and it's comedy with depth, so go and buy her backlist.)


Anonymous said...

I am sad today too. I have aged parents --dad is 92 and mom is 84. They live far away from me. Mom is having chest pains and dad is having breathing problems. Caring for aged parents is hard.. whether you live close or far. Kate the best present you give your dad is your time. nothing beats that. I talk to my parents everyday. I understand how you feel with your dad.

Caroline said...

Hugs Kate. We all feel so helpless when our parents' get older and we can't do anything to take away their pain! It's national carer's week this week - so hats off to all those who look after sick relatives. Caroline x

Julie Cohen said...


I'm glad I could cheer up your day a little.

Kate Hardy said...

Anon - thanks, and hugs back to you. xxx

Kate Hardy said...

Caroline - thanks, and forgot it was this week. Being a full-time carer is hard (and, although it was a tough decision, the one for my dad to go to permanent residential care was the right one - my stepmum and I couldn't give him everything he needed, and at least now we know he gets the helps he needs, bless him).

Kate Hardy said...

Julie - thanks - and you always do :o)

Anonymous said...

I can’t fix what’s upsetting him because it doesn’t actually exist

I've found it helpful to assume that the feelings are real and caused by real concerns (maybe in the present, maybe from the past), even if the "facts" are a bit muddled. The real grief or fear or rage a person experiences but can't express (mustn't upset the kids, must stay strong, must be professional) might come out in disguise, as it were, when the situation allows.

(I have a private theory that this is why people often get emotional when cared for. The setting is safe, and the responsibility to others has been lifted, so a lot of stuff comes out that hasn't been dealt with before.)

That being so, all you can do is be there. Sometimes the best support is allowing a person to simply experience their feelings without trying to fix anything for them.

It's horribly tough, though - especially when the person is someone who's been a rock to oneself. Like watching the ground under one's feet just crumble away.



Lacey Devlin said...

((HUGS)) Kate! I'm glad that you've still found a way to smile :)