- Watching your parents slowly succumb to old age and Cancer
I knew you’d be on the case with that topic tjagain, it is indeed a big can of worms to open up!! Definitely one for another thread and time.
Yes, POA is being discussed currently. My sister is doing the ground work on that front as she’s a qualified accountant, she’s working my dad to get my mum on side as he is/was a chartered accountant so can help put any issues to bed correctly. We’re having to take it slowly though as my mum had a friend who used it to fleece her parents of their substantial wealth and steal it from her brother. She knows neither me or my sister would do that but it still makes her resist the idea.Posted 10 months ago
This weekend has been hell.
My mum has had to go to Dorset with my 15 year old cousin after her dad and brother beat her up last week. It’s the latest saga in a dysfunctional family that I’ve mentioned before, but this is serious. Social services and the police are involved this time and we needed to get my cousin out of town immediately. We have access to a caravan on a park in Dorset so the authorities agreed to my mum taking her there while they sort out a foster family for the end of the week if possible. Cue a late Friday night drive by me (there was no way mum could have done it and dad still can’t drive) to the Poole area. i then had to drop them off at a local hotel then drive back to South Wales for work the next day. I then had to drive my mum’s car back down there so they had transport for the week then get the train back, which was cancelled between Hereford and Abergavenny so cue a rescue drive by my sister to pick me up. I’ll have to get back down there this weekend and drive them back too. My cousin’s dad has been sending threatening texts to me, my sister and my mum saying we’ve kidnapped my cousin but the police and social services know exactly where we are and how to contact us. To make it worse he had a firearms charge court appearance on Tuesday! We don’t know what has happened with that as we’ve all blocked his phone, my mum has had to switch her phone off as she was getting threats from the rest of that branch of the family which means I have no contact with them in Dorset right now. That side of the family is a real-life Jeremy Kyle Show, they all have dysfunctional home lives, drugs, none of them work, kids by multiple fathers etc. My mum’s not very well right now as she’s changing meds but there was literally no other option at the time so the situation is what it is . My dad’s having an intensive round of radiotherapy this week so he’s at home but the cousin’s father has tried to get in his house once already. The police are aware and have made him sign a voluntary agreement to not visit again but dad’s in constant fear of him turning up so the house is fully locked up and he’s wary of going out to walk the dog or get the papers. I’m going out of my mind as I can’t phone mum and see if she needs any help tomorrow (day off tomorrow so I can go down and back easily in the day) so it’s all a bit of a mess right now. Friday is going to be awful as we may have to bring her back to my parent’s house which she is adamant she won’t do, she ran away from the police on Friday so she could do the same from my mum. The poor girl is really messed up right now, it breaks my heart.
That’s the short version.Posted 9 months ago
Jeez, you’re dealing with so much right now. Keep posting on here and engaging. No matter how much you are struggling, you are doing everything in your power to mitigate a bad situation and that’s all that can be asked of you. Keep going, good luck and try to remember to take at least some time to look after yourself.Posted 9 months ago
Small update: had to do an emergency rescue on Thursday. Mum basically collapsed due to the stress of the situation and both me and my sister had to rush down there to bring her home. It took us both nearly 10 minutes to get her in the car due to the amount of pain and discomfort she was in, she’s also picked up a nasty chest infection. The GP said she just needs rest and that the normal prescription of antibiotics can’t be given as it will react with her other medications. Took over 6 hours to get her home with all the stops for her comfort etc, it was only 110 miles. Such a stressful day it was surreal. Was up for over 24 hrs so missed work on Friday, no way was I going to be functional after all that! The good news is that my cousin looks to have a foster family lined up for the 11th November with the possibility of going sooner. Not guaranteed yet but definitely looking positive. The shock of seeing my mum in such a poor state meant we had no problems bringing her home. Social Services have moved incredibly quickly on it all, they are genuinely shocked at what has been going on behind closed doors. Even we didn’t know about a lot of it and I can’t go into details but how she’s survived it all I don’t know, it would have broken me. How someone can be so cruel to their own child is beyond my comprehension.
Hopefully in 10 days or so it’ll be back to just worrying about mum and dad. It does mean we will most likely have very little contact with my cousin from that point on as full cut-off and name changes have been discussed for her own safety.
How can the human race be so cruel to itself?Posted 9 months ago
Good luck to you all.Posted 9 months ago
My parents are both mid 80’s and live in Ireland. My mum had a brain tumour, I’m guessing around 20 years ago. It was operable but left her with impaired balance and hearing loss. The balance thing sort of stopped her going out and doing much, except eating, she does like a biscuit. Roll on a few years and her back starts to crumble with osteoporosis, so she’s in a wheel chair when she goes out, spends most of the day shuffling about between the living room, bathroom and kitchen with her walking frame and has a home help every morning to get her washed and dressed. She’s got her special chair in the living room and is now so heavy she barely has the strength to heave herself out of it.
Dad had esophageal cancer about 10 years ago. Lucky boy, he was getting a yearly camera down the throat for a hiatus hernia and it was picked up really early. He’s one of the very rare survivors. He’s also got osteoporosis of the spine and is more stooped every time I see him. They’ve both got exercises to do but neither bother. The old man would benefit greatly from doing them as he struggles with mum, more so now that that he can’t stand up properly.
Just to add to the cancer thing, little sis (3 years younger) got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 3 years ago. Caught early and not the usual type she seems to be doing well. She had what’s known as the whipple procedure and takes a cocktail of digestive enzymes before every meal. Hopefully her life expectancy will be much longer than normal 5 years. She’s now 53.
If you’ve read this, look after yourself. Weights, stretching and aerobic exercise (in that order) are the key to a healthy old age.Posted 9 months ago
That sounds properly shit piranha, worse then my situation for sure!
It’s kind of good, but also not good, to read other’s posts of going through similar situations. Makes me feel less alone for some reason. I haven’t replied to most of them as it’s hard to not just type things objectively, trying to keep emotions out of it really.
Still doesn’t make it any easier.Posted 9 months ago
Sorry to hear that you are going through such a tough time.Posted 9 months ago
If you haven’t already, check out local hospice provision and contact Macmillan Nurses. Good palliative care makes the world of difference at the end. No one should be in pain (physical or mental) at this time of their lives. Hospices and Macmillan will also offer you support.
Just got off the phone with my dad after his latest radiotherapy session.
The doctor has given him the news that they are no longer winning the fight against the spread of his lesions. It’s not bad enough that it’ll kill him in a short time but all they can do now is continue to treat him and make him as comfortable as possible. The cancer may decide to slow on its own accord or may speed up but they can’t give any timescales. He’s as comfortable as he can be and can still move around on his own given a bit of time. He won’t be rushed and driving is definitely out from now on.
Strangely it’s better knowing compared to the eternal hope they were winning the fight we’ve had for the last few months.Posted 9 months ago
We had two and 1/2 years of ver6 similar with two parents nursed with cance4 and a host of other things.it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnell.Posted 9 months ago
BUT there was , it was a very difficult time but we got through it and life is good again now.
So keep looking after your family in their time of need, and slowly things will get better
Well dad’s started to accept that his time is nearing it’s end so he’s started to sort out the dumping ground that is his garage. As in a long double garage that still has remnants of carpet and paint tins from when he bought and renovated the house in 1976!! I gave him a hand and it was ridiculously hard work as he wanted to keep almost everything ‘just in case’. Just in case it was worth something. Just in case he suddenly found he had a Fiat 127 again and it needed brake shoes and a fuel filter. You get the idea. Cue 50% of the place then being a huge pile of stuff that is only good for the tip including 5 different cat flaps, a trolley worth of that sticky draught tape (all perishing), 3 boxes of unused 5 1/4″ floppy discs and I lost count of the golf balls we unearthed when I got to 50! We also now have 5 drills (3 unopened and one with a price tag from the old hardware store that closed in 1997), two industrial heaters (both never used), 4 car battery chargers and enough special buys from the Aldi Isle Of Dreams to open our own Aldi – routing bits, gloves, heated ice scrapers, etc. It quickly dawned on me we’d need a skip or a day running back and forth to the tip, I reckon 7-8 car loads at minimum. So I left it at that and went home.
2 days later mum phoned me to say he was picking though the pile and most of it was ending back up on the now clear shelves! I wasn’t having that so I took counter-measures. I now have a small trailer I picked up from FaceBook Marketplace which I delivered to him yesterday and promptly filled it. I have to book it in with the tip so couldn’t do a run straight away so I’ve put the loaded trailer in the other garage we have down the lane they live on and it’s blocked in by my mum’s car so he can’t just wander in and pick through things. The plan is that every time I empty it I’ll then spend time with him getting the next load sorted then hide it in the bottom garage again, rinse and repeat until it’s all done. I reckon there’s a good tonne of scrap metal in there too, should be able to weigh that in and use the money to wave a carrot at him to do the rest. It doesn’t help that he’s been getting very indecisive and forgetful over the last few weeks (taking an age to decide if he wants a cup of coffee, leaving things halfway through doing them, losing track of conversations easily etc) so we’re having to go gently with him on everything. It’s incredibly painful to watch and as I’m only down once a week I’m seeing how quickly he’s degenerating, he can out on an act for a while but it doesn’t take long to fall off and the real damage become visible. I’ve got to get him a load of firewood too as his stock is running low, the trailer will be handy for that as he’s bought a delivered load the last few years and the delivery was just as much as he paid for the wood! He thinks there’s a good amount in the store but it would only last a week of cold weather at most.
I doubt anyone’s really interested in all of this but it’s therapeutic to type it out and read back.Posted 8 months ago
Keep typing RJ. Not much I can add but man hugs etc.Posted 8 months ago
Keep going RJ, a long hard journey nearly done. You are a good son.
Take an hour here and there entirely for yourself, phone off if need be. Bike, music, retail therapy, just you. You can’t keep pouring from an empty jug. Hugs.Posted 8 months ago
Keep on posting – folk may be able to offer advice and a problem shared is a problem halved and all that.Posted 8 months ago
Well that’s the first trailer load taken to the tip 🙂
Unfortunately dad’s memory is emptying too. He was incredibly forgetful not soon after I arrived, struggling with remembering what was on the TV (F1 3rd practice) and even forgetting my name for a minute! Its blatantly obvious he’s getting frustrated with all the pills he’s got to take too, it seems to be sucking the life out of him. He’s normally one of the most positive people in the family but not today, not for a while now when I think about it. I’ve got to go back there to drop off the trailer and really not looking forward to it at all.
I really,really hope today is a one-off and he’s just really low and tired.Posted 8 months ago
Take a step back and let hospital transport take them to and from appointments. Its free but you have to wait a while.I’m sorry your going through all this. I’ve had it with my Mum this year with a hip replacement. Shes 87 and I thought she was going to die on the table as she has lots of health problems. She was fine in the end, but we had loads of hospital appointments like 30 and it was horrible.I’ve no patience at the best of times.Posted 8 months ago
Stay strong,can you get social services to do an assessment for home care? Have a word with the hospital social work team and tell them you cant do everything.
Hospital transport are taking him to the chemo appointments in Cardiff as it’s an hour’s drive, due to his recent heart attack he gets an ambulance with 2 paramedics without question! We’re sharing the trips as a family for the radiotherapy at Abergavenny as it’s 10 minutes away. He’s also got a nurse from the local surgery 2 or 3 times a week (can’t remember) to do his dressings on his legions, that may well go up as the cancer has moved from Stage 2 to Stage 4.
Yesterday I took him to the local surgery for blood tests and I was shocked at how frail he’s become in the last week. He really struggled to get in and out of my car where he is usually OK but not any longer. He’s also got absolutely no energy and really struggles to keep his train of thought. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see, I struggled to keep it together in front of my mum. I had to though as we had a little issue of getting a car(it doesn’t rain, it pours*) for them to sort out. He was determined to help mum out with this as she was adamant she would only get one he could get in and out of comfortably. He managed through that ok but I had to help him deal with the insurance swap. When we got home he slumped on the sofa with the dog and confessed that he wouldn’t have coped over the last few weeks without all the help we’ve (family, friends, neighbours, medical staff) all given him. He can cope with the tiredness, the pain and the frustration of it all, it’s the feeling of helplessness he hates. It’s absolutely horrible to see him go from someone who was still working at 77, walking to the shops every day for the papers and driving to cancer-ridden, confused, no energy and virtually reliant on others in 3 years. I dread every time my phone rings now, especially in the mornings.
I hate this.
* wanted to put ‘It can’t rain all the time’ but don’t know if anyone would get the reference!Posted 8 months ago
Oh and I may not reply to the comments on this thread but I am reading them and they are a great source of helping me keep it all together. I actually read it back to my sister and mum at times too, they think it’s weird that a bunch of total strangers share stuff like this but then they think I’m mad for going riding in all weathers and enjoying it. They did like the picolax thread though!Posted 8 months ago
not trying to hijack your post in any way but having an almost identical situation with my Dad, even down to the garages!! he was self employed tradesman and vintage motorcycle enthusiast for the past 60 years and was still working every day until August, now he almost never leaves the his seat all day long. Chemo will run its course and then, well its just a matter of time.
Sadly i cant offer much in the way of support other than you and your family seem to be doing a great job in supporting your Dad and each other.
It doesnt make things better but there is support out there including financial support that can help with general costs, we were advised of this through Marie Curie who helped with the process.
To be entirely honest, im shitting myself for the day after he has gone, one of only two people in the world who I have known all of my life and the thought of him not being there when i phone them for the first time, somebody who would always give advice without there being any agenda. The situation is a massive pile of steaming shite and no mistake.
My work have been pretty good and have let me work compressed hours so I now only work four days a week and this gives me another day just to be able to spend time with my folks and im pretty sure after all things take their course Im never going back to working for “the man” five days. Thankfully I live pretty close to them and manage to pop in every day, even for half an hour or so, mainly to see them but partly because Im being selfish and not wanting to see a step change in him, though I know its happening. I never used to pay much attention to the often used phrase of life being too short, but this has given me a reawakening and kick up the arse for sure and definitely going to be taking a slightly different view on things from now on.
I dont know you but it sounds like you are doing everything you can and supporting everyone brilliantly.Posted 8 months ago
Hijack away, more than happy for people to share advice and experiences. If it can help more than one person it’s doing it’s job.
I dont know you but it sounds like you are doing everything you can and supporting everyone brilliantly.
I’m doing everything I can but I’m struggling to balance that with having time for myself. I also only work 4 days but the added costs of everything mean I’m having to pick up the odd extra shift just to ease the burden. My car’s due a service and MOT right now and if it wasn’t for those extra shifts I’d be hammering the credit card! The biggest hurdle right now is my brother-in-law who is getting grumpy about my sister doing anything, he seems to think that as I have no kids or partner right now I can drop everything all the time. They have 2 young kids but live 15 mins away, when my sister pops in with either of the kids for even 20 mins and a cuppa it makes my parent’s day. Contrast that with me having an hour’s drive or more (depending on traffic) then spending most of the day there doing jobs for them etc. His family see the kids all the time as they pretty much all live on the same estate, it upsets my mum occasionally she doesn’t see her grandkids more than once a week most of the time.
Little things can mean so much.Posted 8 months ago
Small bit of bad news today.
Dad’s had the results of last week’s blood test and they’re not happy about his liver function levels so his next round of chemo is on hold for a week. They were hoping to get the next treatment done and give him a week or so to recover so he could enjoy Christmas relatively pain-free but that doesn’t look like it will happen now. If his second blood test comes back OK next week he’ll be having chemo on the 19th with the second dose on the 23rd. If he’s anything like he has been over the last few treatments that means he won’t really be up to much for Christmas or boxing day, it’s been taking him 4-5 days to get over each treatment. This christmas was going to be a relatively sombre one anyway but it may have to be a very quiet one now.Posted 7 months ago
Top work RJ and everyone else stepping up at your parents’ time of need.
RJ i had to laugh at your description of garage tidying. My wife and i spent a whole summer fighting with my dad over a whole house full of crap as he’d agreed to move after mum died. Turned out he’d been a bit ‘Mr Trebus’ and hoarded everything, carrier bags, margarine tubs etc. amongst the detritus of many dead relatives estates.
We quickly concluded that dump was the only option. But heartbreaking as we have surely dumped family heirlooms and stuff. But the need for sanity prevails.Posted 7 months ago
Wile i know its easy to say that you have to look out for yourself the reality can sometimes be harder to see that from close up. Thankfully my sister also lives close by and between us one of us goes in every day, different lives between us mean that im there most days, even for an hour or so, but if there are days I cant get there then she will go. I can understand your thoughts on the fact that you seem to be doing more and travelling further. Easy to say but would it be possible for you, your sister and BiL to have a chat about things?
We had to recently be blunt with our Mum due to her wanting to do everything, her sister also got recently admitted to a care home due to dementia. Essentially my sister told our Mum that it was going to be bad enough loosing one parent but if she carried on the way she was going then we would likely end yup loosing both at the same time. it seemed to help, for a while but we might need to repeat the discussion. Similarly for you, if you keep on trying to do so much, then it might also not be good for your health.
Looks like the treatment my Dad has been receiving is going to come to an end this week, never a good time for things like that but bit of a kick to the nutz at this time as well. He got told the big bad news on his birthday and to have this as a Christmas gift seems a really cruel blow for him.
With regards to finances, have you explored all the options? There is funding available, from the State and some charities. Sounds like from the time you are spending there you might be eligible for carers allowance, £60 ish per week, even if it covers the fuel?
I know it can sometimes be hard, but Marie Curie and other similar charities or organisations have lots of great support available, some direct and some indirect, even getting to speak to somebody who has an understanding of what might be happening. Similarly dropping into this place from time to time might help and as has been shown on so many posts when people need a little help then its amazing the support that can be available.Posted 7 months ago
I’m sending my support too.
We are in a similar boat, my dad has terminal lung cancer and my mum’s health is awful with 4 co-morbidities (diabetes, heart failure, kidney failure and chronic pancreatitis) .
He’s just postponed his chemo for a week so he can come to ours at Christmas (to be fair the last round did nothing, and the radical surgery to give him a short while longer has probably taken more months out of him in recovery than he’ll gain at the other end).
Just make sure to take care of yourself so you have the energy to help when needed.Posted 7 months ago
Just posting to say good luck to everyone who has to look after parents/family in a similar situation to mine, this time of year should be one of joy and fun not a reminder of how fragile life is.
I have had a bit of good news though, my line boss has given me an extra day off this week as a carer day meaning I get a full day’s pay and I’m under instruction to use it to unwind by myself. My main boss doesn’t know about it so I’ll feel a bit naughty while pedalling away. That means getting paid to ride my bike! It’s the only day I’ll have really between now and New Year as Christmas stuff will fill the rest up easily. One day at a time as they say.Posted 7 months ago
That means getting paid to ride my bike!
Well deserved, go and have fun just don’t spanner yourself doing so!Posted 7 months ago
Seeing as it’s a new year thought it was time to update this a bit and round off the hell that 2019 has been.
Since my last update dad has had another round of chemo just before christmas day but they went easy on him so he could at least enjoy some of the festivities. It didn’t really work as he was rather weak up until the 29th, struggled to eat and didn’t really seem with it most of the time. He was very appreciative of all his presents though as we all went for stuff to make his days easier to get through, he seemed very awe-struck that we all have rallied round on this front. It was only stuff like a 2ltr water bottle with times on the side so he can make sure he drinks enough every day, that kind of thing. The only downside to the holidays was my uncle who was being the usual gammony, argumentative idiot he always is, sad to say I did shoot him down at one point when he was obviously upsetting my mum a bit with his views! The whole time was very subdued on the whole, no real celebrations to talk of for christmas, new year or my birthday. There just didn’t seem to be anything to celebrate.
The situation with my cousin is getting stable at least, that’s all I can say about that as there is ongoing legal stuff with regards to that side of the family right now. I can sum it up in a drug dealing court date, firearms offences, a child abuse case and a benefit fraud investigation, more to be announced too. Apart from dealing with my cousin, who is still living with my parents, I’ve washed my hands of all of that.
The bad news is that my situation at work has got a bit difficult. The issue that put me over the edge and on the happy pills last February is still unresolved. A colleague was targeting me for bullying and I was finding it very hard to avoid him or get any concrete evidence of it. After I came back to work he calmed the bullying down but moved on to another colleague who also put in official complaints. We joined forces to prove a pattern of behaviour but the company have said there’s no case to answer! The bullying colleague then went on the sick with ‘stress’ for 3 weeks during our busiest time and is now back. He’s been bad mouthing me and my colleague to customers and now thinks he’s basically untouchable. With everything else going on I went to one of my bosses and told him that I was at a worse state of mind right now than I was back in February and that if I had to I’d hand my notice in at the end of January if things didn’t improve on my end during that time. To add to this I’ve got an issue where we’ve had new equipment supplied in November and an old shoulder injury from falling off my bike means it’s very painful for me to use it. They’ve kept back one of the old ones for me temporarily and I’ll need to have an assessment as to if there’s any way I can use the new machine safely or not. If I cannot use it safely then it’s looking like I’ll be moved on. The trouble is we have an ‘Extreme Sports’ clause in our contract and that would stop me getting a redundancy payoff (we have very favourable figures in that scenario) so my options would be limited. They know the shoulder injury was due to mountain biking so there’s nowhere to hide on that front. My boss gave me today off (New Year’s Day) as we had too many people rostered in anyway and we’re going to look at the whole picture sometime next week. In all honesty I wouldn’t hand my notice in as I need the money to look after my parents, it’s just the way I feel right now and my boss knows this but it’s a sign I’m taking to say I need to sort things out before they come to a head again.
I really want 2020 to be a better year with at least some highlights, hopefully that will happen but it’s hard to look that far ahead right now. The only good bit of 2019 was my niece arriving, I want more than that for the first year of the new decade.Posted 7 months ago
I lost both my Mum & Dad, 2 weeks apart, back in Aug-Sep.
Mum had terminal cancer but mercifully her poorly heart eased her to a peaceful passing long before the cancer had a chance. We were all with her, holding her as she went.
Dad had gone into hospital back in July, a number of issues but not helped by his poor vascular system. He had a fall in hospital, which set him back. Then came sepsis. He slipped away early on a Sunday morning. His last words being that he was off to the pub.
Safe to say I don’t mourn the end of 2019. Xmas day was difficult, but a tearsoaked Facebook post captured all I wanted to say, & the mood lifted after that.
Take it one day at a time is my advice.Posted 7 months ago
Bite off small chunks & deal with it one chunk at a time.
Hey Reluctant Jumper,
How are things going? hopefully work is getting a bit better at least.Posted 6 months ago
@takisawa2 sorry to read that. Quite familiar though; Dad was in and out of hossie the last few months with terminal prostate cancer, sepsis, etc. He got home for a bit but after a couple of falls went back in just before Xmas, we arrived from Spain the 28th and he died on NYE. He hadn’t wanted anyone to visit while he was so ill but we took the grandkids up to see him a couple of days before he died and glad we did. It was devastating to see him break down when they walked in (6&7y/o) but the subsequent half hour they spent together will be treasured, especially as he only saw my son a couple of times a year.Posted 6 months ago
Trying now to process a lot of anger – prostate cancer doesn’t kill you, they said. I was shocked at how aggressive it was in the last 6 months. Going through his 2019 calendar we only found three weeks where there were no appointments, it was relentless. We came over for 3 weeks in summer and although he was really ill he did dig in and have a great time with the kids while we were all together.
Funeral on Weds, staying in his house alone isn’t much fun while we sort out the paperwork.
Not great but not bad is the answer @turin.
My cousin is now back living with her parents (her choice) and this has caused that side of the family to disassociate themselves from my mum. This has hit her very hard as she’s helped them all through some very difficult situations over the years, literally the only one from her side still talking to her is her brother. My cousin’s mum is spreading very damaging lies about her, this is getting mum down massively so we’re having to manage that right now.
Dad is settling into the routine of doctor’s appointments, blood tests, chemo sessions and rest. Reluctantly it has to be said but he is starting to adjust. Took him to one of the appointments a week ago and he was rather down so we took the scenic route home. He rather enjoyed that but you could see he was worried it was one of the last times he’d see that view, one he has seen every year of his entire life. Very sobering to see.
I’m kind of trying to make a good start to 2020, got a few miles under my belt already but I’ve picked up a bit of the flu bug that’s going round work so taking it relatively easy so as not to get the full one. I tend to shrug off bugs quite easily so hopefully it’ll just be a cold and I can get on with things. Work is a bit difficult as the bully I mentioned previously is back to his old tricks towards me, my boss is aware but as always you need lots of evidence and I can’t get anything to stick. I have a horrible feeling that this will not go away anytime soon so just trying to not let it get to me and just keep a diary of it for future reference. I’ve set myself a target for my biking and solely focusing on attaining that right now. I was hoping to buy a new hardtail frame this spring and build a new bike up specifically for this but that is on the back burner now, don’t really feel in the mood to splash out on expensive luxuries. Mentally I’m down at a low a point as I was back last February when I was signed off with stress and anxiety, the difference this time though is that I can see the path ahead so am struggling, but managing, to keep things going on the right direction. Hopefully this will continue but I have a few close friends and my sister looking out for me so that safety net is there.
One good bit of news is that the local health board have now reviewed our situation and are now going to pay for the nursing care my dad is getting 3 days a week. Me and my sister have been paying for this for the last 6 months and our savings are low enough now (ie gone) that, together with my mum’s savings all going on a replacement car after hers died just before christmas, that we now qualify for full cost cover. This is in no small part to a family friend pulling a few favours and getting out situation on front of the right people, no queue jumping just making key people aware. It’s a massive weight off our shoulders, especially mine as work is going through a massive cost saving exercise so any overtime is not available. I know it’s poor form to rely on overtime to make the household budget balance but with the extra cost of the nursing home visits and all the extra trvel to and from mum and dad I’ve been desperate for every penny, that will no longer be the case from March onwards.
So, like I said at the beginning: Not great but not bad is the answer.Posted 6 months ago
Just posting an update so that there’s no gaps for when/if I look back at this.
Dad’s had to forego a round of chemo as the doctor wasn’t happy he was well enough to take it. He didn’t take the news very well. He thought that he was doing well at losing a bit of weight, watching what he was eating etc but the doc said he was losing it due to the cancer and he needs to eat more! It’s upset dad a lot and pushed him back quite hard. He’s also struggling to hold his train of though more now. His brain is still working well but the lack of energy is causing him to stumble on longer conversations. It’s so heartbreaking to witness that I’m sorry to say that I have been avoiding going there to see them both. It also doesn’t help that mum is coping by smoking a lot more than usual and the smoke is affecting my asthma. I had a nasty cough and sore throat for a few days after my last visit which was nearly 2 weeks ago! Add this on to the work issue with my bully and it means that my anxiety is getting rather hard to control. All in all not a good time right now.
Hoping I’ll get there to see them and watch the first Wales game with them on Saturday, determined to spend decent time with dad as much as possible.Posted 6 months ago
It’s so heartbreaking to witness that I’m sorry to say that I have been avoiding going there to see them both.
This is what I meant about everyone has limits to what they can do and you have to be content with that. #Don’t beat yourself up over it. You have done what you can and have reached your limit. You are no good to them at all if you end up upset / resentful / broken. so keep within your limits when yo can do some good for themPosted 6 months ago
In support of what TJ said, be careful what you do for him/family that might **** you up.
When my dad had a stroke and they turned off his life support machine I elected t stay with him those 45 minutes or so whilst he died. How hard could it be….
Prior to flipping the switch, he was completely stationary and placid. But when the ventilator stopped he was making all sorts of noises and movements (to put it mildly). This lasted for ages and ages. It was as if he was fighting and fighting for life, just at the point where we had taken it away from him. After 2 days in a coma (or whatever it was) he was now reacting far more than he had all that time.
My sister and mum came in every now and again, but couldn’t watch. For some reason I stayed there like a **** out of some sense of duty/solidarity, and watched his body move, shake and these horrible wheezing breaths.
It really **** me over. Properly. I felt like such a basturd watching him fight to stay alive after we had betrayed him and turned him off.
I’ve already told my mum that if she goes through the same then she’s on her own. And if I have any say in it there is no way I will let my kids suffer the same.
YMMVPosted 6 months ago
What others are saying makes sense about looking after yourself is so true and its probably better to try to focus on quality time like you are doing so fingers crossed you get the victory in the rugby 🙂
Do you know if your Dad/folks are getting all the help they are able to? Going through a not too dissimilar scenario here and while I have nothing but positive things to say about the NHS we have found that the different parts dont always talk to each other and the result is that when they do more support has been available, some financial, some practical and some emotional all of which have been very gratefully received.
We have recently had the hospice option chat and while we now know what is desired, we hadnt really dared go there before, a change in attending GP has opened up some discussions and help that we werent aware of, including respite care/support for my Mum from the hospice. So if there is somewhere like that close by they might be able to help on various subjects and not just the ones you might expect. It has helped us so just thought Id mention it.Posted 6 months ago
Yeah I am aware I’m close to my limit. My anxiety has been rearing it’s ugly head again so taking that as a warning to think about me for a bit. Planned to ride both trails at Brechfa today, had to force myself out of bed and get ready. Was riding well but every time I came to a fast or exposed bit all I could think of was who would look after them if I binned it. Wasn’t enjoying it so only did the Gorlech, annoying as my favourite bits of the place are on the Raven trail! Got tomorrow off too so will get out then and see if a decent night’s sleep helps.
@thegeneralist – went through similar with my gran, she went from an active social butterfly to just lying there after a bad stroke. Went to visit her every few days with my dad and we were there when she went, absolutely horrible to see in person so you have my thoughts on dealing with that and making sure your kids don’t go through it if possible.
@turin – there’s limited help where they live as it’s reasonably rural and Powys County Council’s services are all at the other end of the county 80-odd miles away. I’m constantly looking at options available to us so we’re getting help where we can but it’s nowhere near the level I could get if dad lived with me in Cardiff. One of the downsides of living surrounded by mountains and fields I suppose. We did get a free mobility scooter from his Chartered Accountancy body Benevolent Fund which has been a godsend as it means he’s not stuck in the house if he can’t manage the walk up the hill they live at the bottom and of. If he didn’t have it I’d be buying him one.
Every little helps as they say.Posted 6 months ago
@thegeneralist i did the same with my mum, but had to give up after 2 days and go home (as she wouldn’t!). Bizarre isn’t it. Me and my sister looked at each other at one point, and a pillow nearby, and without having to speak knew that we we’re both thinking it would be more humane and dignified to finish it. I’m sure some people must.Posted 6 months ago
Time to update this, purely for my own records if nothing else.
The last week has been horrible. It truly has. Mum has been going downhill for a bit recently and it has ended up with her in hospital. She was getting a few water blisters appearing all over her which have been rupturing into small open wounds. The docs gave her a load of cream and bandages to control them but it wasn’t enough. It possibly would have been but last weekend their house was caught up in the flooding in Crickhowell. Only the kitchen, utility room and downstairs bathroom were submerged but it’s meant the house was full of fumes from the dirty water and something got into her. She is now in hospital and is really weak with the medics determined she’s not to go home until it is a clean environment for her. I haven’t been able to get to see her due to road closures and work but hopefully I can see her tomorrow, provided the ward allows visitors as they have a bout of D&V running around right now. Dad is still at home as he refuses to leave but without any central heating (there’s a wood burner in the lounge), cooking facilities or easy access to sanitary facilities he can only be struggling. I haven’t been able to get there to see him as the roads have been closed plus I’ve had to work but me and my sister are going there tomorrow and see the situation first hand. I have a feeling we’re going to have to make the difficult decision of persuading him to essentially abandon the house until it is repaired, that is going to be really hard to do. The big worry is the germs in the flooded kitchen and bathroom will spread to the rest of the house and get him too. He did mention on the phone that the insurers have mentioned alternative accommodation but he insists he can manage fine using the rest of the house. The issue is they have also said not to clean or remove any damaged property until the assessor has been. If we could just take photos of the damage and then clean it to a shell we would but I don’t think that’s an option without detrimentally affecting any claim payout. The last two years dealing with them both being ill has wiped out all of my savings, most of my sister’s and the family pot is dwindling fast so we need to make sure the insurance takes care of re-instating the house to a liveable standard.
As for me, I know I’m not coping well. I have very little reserve capacity to fall on right now but there is no way I can take more than an hour or so for myself until the fallout from the flooding is taken care of. It will most likely mean I’ll crash when it’s all over but I can deal with that when it happens, more important things to see to first.
Just got to see what tomorrow brings now.Posted 5 months ago
sounds like a tough period just now, in addition to everything else that’s happening. I feel for you with it all.
Can imagine the wrench for your Dad and why he might be focused on trying to stay where he is, hopefully the chat goes okay tomorrow. Having never had to deal with insurance companies for things like this I hope they have a human side and are able to help you out with accelerating your claim under the circumstances, if you can let them know whats going on.
Is there somebody you have that you are able to get support from, even an ear to listen to?Posted 5 months ago
Not really as all my friends are spread out around the country, the close ones are all tied up with kids seeing as it’s half term here. I’ll worry about all that after the next few days, more pressing matters to deal with first.
The assessor is due today so me and my sister will be there to help support dad. If we can I’m going to push for alternative accommodation as just not having cooking facilities and heating is too much for them to cope with right now. Hopefully that will push the insurers along with repairs so everything will be sorted faster.Posted 5 months ago
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