Saturday, July 24, 2010

My word...nine hours sleep last night and I felt marvellous upon waking up. Did I buggery! I crawled out of bed coughing and spluttering and wondering why I'd lost feeling in my left leg. An excited orange bundle of whimpering slavering hair greeted me as I stumbled downstairs to the kitchen for tea and toast. Toiletted, fed, watered and showered I was ready to face the world, as was the pooch. She gamely ignored the four swans as she paddled in the dock during fetch the stick. Mind you, I think they took one look at her display of excitable frenetic behaviour and chose to ignore her.

"Get up, get up, get up..."

I stuck to my plan of dog walking,some gentle gardening, shopping in the local market for real food grown locally and reading a good book with copious amounts of tea. Followed by a home made chicken curry this evening, what more could an honest simple soul ask for? Admittedly the vacuum cleaner emitting smoke as Mrs C. hoovered up was a minor blip in an otherwise excellent day. Especially since I now have to buy a new one but given its age and having to remove a shed load of cockerdor hair (labrador and cocker spaniel cross...double layer of waterproof hair) over the years, I guess it is time for a new model.
On the home front No.1 did not get the apprenticeship so he is now applying to other companies. We also bumped into a friend who works in the building trade and he will also ask around. However, with the stage work he did for 'The Feeling' and two days clearing the local scout park he has earned some real money. To say he is chuffed to bits would be an understatement. The stagework may lead to more of the same especially after his eighteenth birthday next March as his friend has suggested he may need him for further work (red tape "protecting children", health & safety, CRB, wonder there is no fucking chance of work for under eighteens!). As an end to a good day, a couple of beers and spotify for some good music. Nazareth, James Blunt and Ossie Osbourne I think. I can recommend his latest album 'Scream' by the way.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Where did that week go? There I was having an existential crisis and this evening I am listening to Planet Rock and sipping a pint of Old Peculiar and feeling more relaxed. Truth to tell I have had an extremely busy week at work and I have been on call for the last two nights. I was called on both nights and combined with my regular hours, I feel as though I haven't left work. An hour before I finished today we received two urgent referrals and a request for a hospital admission. My boss took one look at my red rimmed tired eyes and he decided to deal with them. Seven days on the trot and little sleep over the past two nights does not make for a happy bunny and it showed. Consequently I intend to relax, enjoy the sun and the family and forget about work.
Last weeks crisis, if such it was, has passed and I'd like to thank Scoakat and Bill for their kind words. I tend to be a phlegmatic soul and I am not given to worrying too much about those things in life one can't change. Having assessed many people over the past year suffering various stages of dementia I do believe life is for living. What's the point of having regrets especially if you are anxious and can't remember why. If working all your life, having very little fun or taking time to stop and stare;having little time for friends and family with the end result being dementia and the state robbing you blind to the detriment of your family in your final years. If this is the rationale for one's life...I can only say no thank you. Enjoy it now, make time for others and stop to smell those flowers, real or metaphorical. In my crisis work the most common problem we encounter is anxiety. One analogy I like to use is that of the dog. As long as your dog is fed, warm and shown affection, he'll happily live for the moment and enjoy the here and now. No worries or ruminating on the past or what awaits them in the future. The sun is shining, here's my ball, throw for me now!...Here's my ball, the sun is shining, throw the ball!...etc. Does the dog suffer anxiety? Yes, but only momentarily because you have stopped throwing the ball. He knows you will throw the ball again at some point and being an optimist it will be very soon. So this weekend I intend to spend time just throwing the ball.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Today is the last day of my 'vacation' and the antibiotics are working a treat. My foot is no longer red & swollen so I am ready for my return to work.Sadly my plans were kiboshed and the trips I had planned to Colchester and Whitby will have to wait until later this year. Gentle walks with the pooch and pottering in the garden in between the showers have also helped.
Mrs C. is unemployed and the promised job may be some time off as the company haven't even started work on refurbishing the shop. Mind you, she's also hobbling about with an injured tendon in her foot. Two good feet between the pair of us! No.1 son has had his apprenticeship interview and he will get the result next week once the other candidates have been interviewed. I was more nervous on the day than he appeared to be. so fingers are definitely crossed for his success.

I also admitted to Mrs C. that I am having a 'midlife crisis' especially since I have had the past week to sit and reflect upon life. She laughed when I suggested that one of my recurring fantasies was that of selling everything up and moving elsewhere. Scotland and Canada appeal to me because of the space but I reassured her that I will hold fire on any move until No.1 son is sorted out. So that's between three and five years then. I am also following a friend via his blog and facebook who retired, bought a boat and he is sailing it around Scotland. He made a plan after his own midlife crisis led to his life imploding and after a few years he has achieved what he needed as well as wanted (He's only 57). He plans to sail with his wife to the Aegean next year although he could base himself anywhere in the world.

My plans aren't so ambitious but perhaps I can use this crisis to make the changes rather than lose control and allow the changes to direct my life. With the proposed changes to the NHS and awaiting the real impact of the recession upon society, my working life could be more interesting than I anticipated. For now I guess I just have to surf the waves and aim to remain upright whilst avoiding the rocks and sharks.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I appear to have leapt into the 21st century with the arrival of our new PC today. Smaller, quieter, touchscreen enabled and with Windows 7 it is a revelation. The old PC was, by IT standards, positively ancient although I was happy with it until a few weeks ago when 'glitches' started to occur. Sadly, the glitches presaged overheating problems, the fans working more noiseley than ever and increasingly it would seize up or just stop. After seven years I decided to bite the bullet and buy a new PC. I am astonished at how quick it is and particularly by how quiet it is. It is built in to the screen and takes up very little space...just marvellous. It has kept No.1 son happy as well and distracted him from his job interview this evening. As well as the anger problem he has been suffering anxiety attacks but this major distraction has helped today. Fingers crossed for tonight but I have every hope he'll succeed.
The weather broke today and it is raining...lovely, cool rain. We all managed to sleep last night although I have fallen victim to an annual problem which kept me up until 3 a.m. I have been bitten by a mossie on my right ankle and my foot is bright red, swollen and itches like blazes despite piriton, etc...I have given it four days to get better but with no success and it doesn't look good. So I'm off to see the doctor tonight and I will again be prescribed a course of anti-biotics. My precautions amount to paranoid levels of avoiding insect bites with Deet spray, anti-mossie candles, covering up my legs, etc...I walk the dog by the river and one of the little bastards finds the one uncovered spot and bites me! I think they have a taste for real ale...the mossie campaign for real blood. It also put paid to my walking plans as I am reduced to wearing carpet slippers.
I'm going to continue playing with my new toy and discover what other novelties await me.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Update: A further tantrum, more damage, harsh words exchanged and No.1 son has now accepted help - Anger and stress management arranged. Hopefully we will get this sorted but I have to admit it has been a bad week for all of us. I now have ten days off and my original plans have been altered to take account of recent difficulties. Local walks and relaxation will be the order of the day as I reflect upon the priorities in my life. I am also completely shattered after little sleep over the past week and emotionally wrung out.
Mrs C. has been made redundant again although she has some temporary work this week. The light on the horizon for her is a potential job offer starting in several weeks time. Time to tighten the belts again and frighten the cats and dog with the skewers and the Korean cook book! My son asked me yesterday what would happen if I was made redundant? I reassured him that I can always find work as experienced nurses are generally in demand. I would also see it as an opportunity because we are in a better position compared with many people and I will always find work. It might not be my preferred work but c'est la vie. As always, I'll keep a weather eye upon the wind changes especially now the govt. is starting to set out it's agenda for the NHS: GP's running 80% of the budget which may not be a bad thing until you realise that GP's are generally private practices but are contracted to work for the NHS. Privatisation via the back door perhaps? We'll see what happens although something certainly needs to happen.
Returning to plans for my days off I am reminded that I often plan to walk in the Wolds and get some photographs of local churches. So I will do that with gentle physical exercise for me and the dog plus spiritual exercise for my soul. Fingers crossed that the good weather will last.

Friday, July 02, 2010

It has been an interesting week in that after the positives of last week No.1 sons temper caused problems this week. As per usual after an argument with his girlfriend he lost his temper but this time he trashed the place. Damage to a door, furnishings and Mrs C. and the dog left cowering in the corner, all whilst I was at work sixty miles away. He now knows where we stand and I have pointed out the YMCA as his next home if he ever does this again. I have also stopped his allowance apart from subs for scouts and I have stopped giving him lifts. He has a bicycle for transport and I have explained that jobs don't magically appear by looking at the internet. He has to get off his arse and look for work if he wants money, even a job for ten hours a week. His comment several weeks ago that only old women take on cleaning work and the Poles take all the good jobs met with a robust reply. Care homes are always looking for staff and maybe caring for people with dementia may help him comprehend some of the realities of life.
To say I am upset and furious is an understatement and I have waited a couple of days to post this. Sadly, there have been a number of these incidents over the past year and this was the worst one and the final one. Property can be repaired or replaced but the threats and intimidation of his mother is not acceptable. He has asked about anger management and that's something I am looking into. Tough love but if he doesn't behave himself he will have to accept the consequences. I would report good news and fluffy items of interest but sadly I am too tired and this incident has overshadowed the whole week.