Sunday, February 8, 2009


So busy that I can't remember half of it but I'm going to try.We had our birthday lunch for Jay on Wednesday. A nice little gathering of family who live locally. One of my nieces even escaped from her second day of school to have a very quick lunch with us. We are all delighted that she has a full time teaching contract for the next 12 months with a probable extension. Another niece nearly let the cat out of the bag by asking something about our Alaskan cruise. I brushed it aside with the comment we are dreaming and planning and having some fun on the internet. TWJ accepted it but obviously too many people know what I am up to so decided to come clean the next morning. Amazingly he did not hit the roof about not being able to afford to travel at this time, especially with the NZ dollar worth half the USD. Now he can enjoy having fun as we talk, dream, make plans and decide the best way to do this trip. He seems quite excited by the idea but we are still having to wait a couple of months before buying airline tickets etc.

That will be the last time we plan anything with Mum. She was unwell and did not enjoy the outing. All family celebrations will have to be in her home if we want to include her and outings will happen according to her good days. It's sad to see the changes but we have been blessed to have her with us so long and except for the last few years, mostly well and fitter than me.

We've had to be at Mum's early for the last few days. That has made it impossible for me to have long walks and I am building up nicely to 3 km. The pain centred between my shoulder blades continues but the physio & chiropractor say there is a lot of improvement. I have exercises but so far have been very slack about getting into a routine with them & I was right about the physio. If I follow her instructions I will be fitter and stronger than if I went to the gym, at this stage at least.

I've tried to work out how many steps my work at the Supermarket is worth on the Women's Activity Tracker, (www.womenshealth.gov ). The nearest equivalent to packing groceries that I can find would be cooking. They say cooking for an hour is worth 3660 steps, 4 hours = 14600, and 7 hours, like today is worth 25,600. If I accept that measure I have walked in excess of 12 Kilometers. I'm inclined to halve that although my body thinks it's been working pretty darned hard. I certainly would have walked a long way further than 12 km in 7 hours. Today, for the first time I felt as though I am getting on top of the pain problem. It was there but I didn't use as much pain relief, it helped to that while we were busy it was not quite so relentlessly busy as some days during the holidays.

We are in the midst of the last long holiday weekend of the summer. Friday was Waitangi Day, our national day, remembering the signing of the Waitangi Treaty, the agreement between Queen Victoria and her representatives and the Maori Nation in 1840. It has become a very special day at an official level with much TV coverage. Most NZers find it a useful day out for picnics or fishing. (Next long holiday is Easter). We are having an amazing summer. So many beautiful sunny beach days. I think I even heard some Beach Boy oldies playing in the SuperMarket.

Had an interesting 2 days regarding family relationships, specifically, different incidents with my 2 S-I-Ls. SIL 1 jumped on me for commenting on the amount of alcohol that goes through the SuperMarket. If people are silly enough to buy big cartons of beer then they can lift them into their trolly. (These heavy containers are one of the main causes of my shoulder problems). I was being judgemental. Tough! I am shocked by the high level of alcohol and consider it a sad refection on our society. I also enjoy the odd glass but it seems wrong to make alcohol the major focus of all social activity. Then she, who has never suffered illness or pain, got all self righteous and know all about the shoulder pain that has been crippling me. I wish I'd never mentioned it and was glad I had to go to work before she could do any more damage with dumb remarks. It reminded me of someone who has never had weight/eating issues knowing all the answers!!! Grrrr!!!!!!!

My brother was expected over the weekend but they had not made direct contact with us .... did Jay have to re-organise so they could stay at Mum's or what? We finally heard they would stay at their daughter's, the teacher, who has just moved into her own rented house. I knew they would be visiting Mum but no idea when so sent 2 very carefully worded texts to SIL 2 using words like 'I suggest,' and 'can you help.' We were all away at work 11.30 am - 4.30 pm today, Sat. and I needed to know for sure just in case I had to ask if I could start late so I could get Mum her lunch. The proverbial hit the fan as SIL 2 decided I was telling them when they could visit. In fact Mum is not at all well this week and has had a bucket load of visitors who are totally insensitive to her need to have frequent nanna naps and regular food & drinks. Tomorrow her brother, aged 90, is visiting and they don't get together often now so I wanted her as well as possible for his visit. SIL 2 is really in our bad books. I feel so sorry for my brother. She is a major drama queen and was so offended she still can't speak to me. All because she could not be bothered communicating their plans to us and when I asked direct and simple questions she chose to mis-interpret. I now have my brother's mobile Ph No.

Jay, TWJ & I are all becoming weary with the need to care for Mum. We love doing it, in fact wouldn't have it any other way but Mum is very selfish, expecting nothing less from us, while also being thankful we are here. We all work, fortunately irregular hours so that between us it is generally easy to mix and match, making sure that the majority of each day is covered. Mum is fine on her own for a few hours and when well, today would not have been a problem. But neither my sister nor my brother's family can see that they often add stress to our situation. I am fed up with them. There is little I can do. Everytime we have tried to bring some kind of understanding it has mis-fired and upset Mum.

I throw my hands in the air in exasperation crying, 'Families!'

On that note I must go back to bed. I've slept 2 hours and taken the edge off my extreme tiredness. In fact I feel wide awake but there is another long day ahead. Jay will get Mum's breakfast and I will go over to look after her and get lunch for for my uncle & Mum. Will be lovely to see him, and my cousins who are bringing him. They too have bought a holiday house in Whitianga and that is the purpose of their trip. TWJ works all afternoon, finishing 7 pm. Oh, and the dreaded SIL 2 might be coming out in the afternoon with her elderly mother so a decent afternoon tea will be required. At least the oldies don't eat much but I like to have something nice for them anyway. I might even need to do a little shopping for the yummies.

Right! Some sleep before tis time to get up.


Hippygal said...

It is hard with your mum, but you guys do an amazing job... Hope you had a great long weekend :-)

kate said...

wow margie anne, i know what you mean about families. its disappointing that your sil is acting that way, at the end of the day you are your mums primary care giver obviously so i dont know why the family cant work with you on visits etc? its for your mums health obviously.

glad to hear the trip didnt blow a fuse with hubby lol.