I can hardly believe it is nearly 3 weeks since I was here.
TWJ and I have finished working for wages.
My weight has stayed approximately the same.
I spent 1 week more or less on my own house sitting for my friends at Otama Beach. Fortunately their were no guests booked and looking after the dog and cats only involved feeding twice a day and a few cuddles. I was alone because TWJ was still not well and the animal fur seriously aggravates his sinus condition.
It was a peaceful week with only a couple of excursions out for groceries and to care for Mum. Just what I needed. I slept and ate as I felt like and didn't have any damaging food after the first 2 days.
I came home Sunday afternoon and have not been out again. Bliss! I'm beginning to feel as though I can get my life into some kind of "normal" pattern. Tomorrow I have an 'all day' outing. For the first time since more than 18 months I can go to River Day, our monthly ladies retreat day where there is freedom for the Holy Spirit to minister and we have loads of wonderful worship. I don't know what I have missed most, the worship or my friends. It is a long day from here, I leave at 7.30 am and it could be 7 pm or later before I get home. Depends on how much time I spend at Mum's on the way home.
Mum is losing her strength and health by degrees. It's not pleasant watching the slow deterioration and of course she finds it depressing too when combing her hair demands more energy than she can muster. Lately her legs have been swelling until the skin is stretched to bursting and her legs are blue/purple/reddish. Her medication is being altered but that just adds to the stress on her kidneys. Sometimes life is so cruel. We have watched too many family members suffer as they died from cancer now we are watching Mum die by degrees from Heart Failure. It's not pretty. We console ourselves by saying that at least she still has a strong, clear mind although her memory for old family stories is sometimes a little shaky now. She still can bathe herself most days, get herself dressed, go to the loo on her own, occasionally get her own cup of tea or light meal, enjoy visitors, read, do crosswords and watch TV and enjoy living in her own home.
It is wonderful that we have been able to keep her at home with the wonderful views she has from her bedroom and lounge chair.
It's only because our daughter, Jay, is a nurse and is very familiar with aged care. I find it too stressful and am grateful I'm not needed full time. I get very stressed and upset if Mum is unwell and needs extra nursing care. I'm admitting that I don't like nursing her and as she needs more care we are calling up the support that is available through the medical/health system here. I'm hoping that the day does not come when I am expected to give Mum her shower and other personal care. It has been an eye opener for me to discover how I feel about this. I become angry, and panic, falling into depression, unable to function normally. I don't like touching people much and the thought of having to do more for my mother freaks me out. The sadness of watching my mother's body suffer the ravages of heart failure and general break-down of various organs is also a kind of grief as we see her enjoyment of life fade. Food is often not tasty, mostly due to the mess the various medications have done to her her tastebuds, but there is also the complication of a less vigorous digestive system too and the discomfort this can bring, not to mention the frequency of gout.
I look at myself and hope and pray I do not end up with similar problems. Mum was a lot fitter than I am at the same age. She gardened vigorously until a few years ago and went for a morning swim in the sea for six months of the year. She has never been as overweight as me. It's scary. I try to hang onto the thought that while I have some of her genes and we have many things in common that I am a different person and have my own journey to travel.
My prayer is that we will find her lying quietly at peace one morning having gone home with Jesus. And may this not be too far away.
I know I will miss her terribly but the truth is our life revolves around hers as long as Mum lives. We have put so many things we want to do on hold. Mum is now 94 years and 6 months old. I know that many people live to be over 100 years old but that's not likely without a miracle of healing. We will somehow come through this time stronger people for the experience but I will be glad when it is over.