In New York

In New York

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Post Holiday Blues

Roch is back in the Hospice for a respite stay. He wasn't looking forward to it, but the Princess Alice is such a lovely place and they do take such good care of him. Tom and I spent the afternoon there with him yesterday to help him settle in. Kate is in Spain for a week (booked before she knew the Hospice dates).
The last few weeks, since our return from Dublin, have been up and down for me. For both of us. We've had more than a touch of the ‘home from holiday’ blues. Maybe a week's respite will help.
It's been difficult, adjusting to the home routine again.

Picture the scene: A kitchen in West London. Mid- morning in late summer…

Man in  wheelchair, looking up from his I-Pad: “What are we up to today?”

Dejected looking woman at the kitchen table, listlessly turning the pages of last Saturday’s newspaper: “Nothing planned.”

“Oh,” man in wheelchair replies, “Back to slowly dying again then.”

 “I guess so,” she replies, stares out the window for a moment, then goes back to the newspaper.

 You get the picture.

We’re managing to drag ourselves out of it, but it’s hard. A new phase is beginning for the family. Back to reality after our holiday. Kate home from university, finding her feet again, Tom preparing to leave for his time away. We have a lot to be thankful for, I do know that, but sometimes when I watch Roch struggle to eat, when I winch him up from the toilet seat or the shower chair, when I look at him in his recliner, bony ankles sticking out, breathing through the nippy machine and trying at the same time to sip from a straw in his beer can, held to his lips by one of his children, it’s hard to feel that we’re lucky.

When I got back from the Hospice yesterday I felt stressed and sad. It cheered me to read a text from a neighbour, who wondered how I was feeling, home from dropping 'hubby' off to the Hospice. I was honest and told her that I felt stressed and sad, and she sent me some good night hugs. That meant a lot. Little things really help.
So what are the plans for the week? Well, today I was working. Yes, I know but I don't have enough annual leave left to take time this week. I have managed to swap two shifts, however. So I have the rest of the week off. I am beginning to regret arranging for work to be done in the house while he and Kate are away - but it was difficult to think of a better time. It'll be worth it, even though it means it won't be too peaceful around here for a few days. Can't sleep on, but plenty of early nights on the cards. Get this, I set my alarm for six today and slept right through it! Woke up at 7.31am. That has never happened to me since I began working for Missing People. Mad dash to work but what a great sleep! Uninterrupted. I am such a light sleeper and lately I've been waking early, even on my days off, and just getting up because I can't get back to sleep. I've gone back to filling my days with chores (believe me, there are plenty). Is this because my mind at rest can't block out unwelcome thoughts? Roch is often wakeful and I drift in and out of sleep. Sometimes he needs me to help him get out of bed, but not always. I don't feel my sleep is always restful. I feel 'on alert'. 
Having said that, bedtime is quite definitely our favourite time of day. Roch says that when we go to bed, he feels 'normal'. The DVD box-set currently on the go is 'The Sopranos' and most nights I tuck us in and we watch an episode before reading for a while. 

Anyway, tomorrow I'm all set for a real treat. A pedicure. There's luxury. I am not going to fill my day with chores. I am going to treat myself. I'll let you know how I get on...

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