A Celtic Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be always at your back,
may the sun shine warm upon your face,
may the rains fall soft upon your fields.
Until we meet again,
may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Full circle

Just a quick update on my dad.

It is strange, but as the Alzheimer's has worked its way though my dad and his personality, he has been regressing. Mum would find the only way to deal with him was as a child - watching him all the time. Then when he went into the home, he became like a young child.

Now he has almost come full circle. Mum saw him yesterday, and he was asleep. "Sleeping like a baby" is a much used cliche, but according to my mum, that was how he was yesterday. He was deeply asleep, not twitching or restless, but just fast asleep. All his needs are the same as a baby needs - food, warmth and security. These the home are providing. His interactions with people are like a baby - touch is all that seems to get through. He sometimes seems to be close to recognizing a face, but that is all. It is as if he has gone through the storms of life, and the hurricane of Alzheimer's, and has reached calm still waters beyond.

And this is making me cry so I can't write any more

Friday, 21 November 2008

Anyone who had a heart...

...may be pleased to know that I do too. And after a visit to the one stop heart clinic, I am reasonably confident that it is in good condition.

This was a follow-up to the scare when I was in hospital last month. I had had to cancel the first appointment I received as I was on nights, so this morning I went toddling off to the hospital. The bad news is that I have put on a lot of weight since I started at the sxwitchboard (I expected to put some on, but not as much as I had!). After weighing, I was then wired up to the ECG and given the treadmill test. This involves walking on the treadmill until I reached '100%' of my heart rate (this is calculated as 220 beats per minute less 1 for each year of your age (work it out for yourselves, I can't be bothered to give you the answer)). Anyway, the treadmill starts off really slowly, which is hard to get used to. The pace increases, and it also simulates climbing a hill. This suprised me - if I climb a hill I go slower as the hill gets steeper! Oh well, what do I know?

Anyway, I reached my 100%, and then they slow down the treadmill and monitor heart and blood pressure for 6 minutes. The upshot is that there is no evidence of irregular beats or heart murmer, and no sign of heart disease. It is almost certainly gastric reflux, so I keep taking the medicine for that. As for the palpitations at night, they will have to be dealt with as I am having real problems getting to sleep. So heigh-ho, back to the doctor again!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Yes we keep waiting...

Dad is in hospital again. He was taken in on Monday, with problems swallowing. At first we thought it was an infection in his throat, which worried us as he has never had any problems there. When he got to hospital, they found he had a urinary infection (again!), probably caused by the catheter. They have treated that, and he has been able to eat something (which he had not been doing), so maybe it was just that the infection put him off his food.

Mum went to see him tonight. My sister-in-law went with her, and she was able to get some sort of a reaction. She held his hand, and he did keep touching her. It seems that touch is the only way to have any connection to him. And how can we know what he feels?

Does God understand Alzheimer's? Am I going to be the next one to catch it (after his mother and him)? It does scare me.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

All I need to know about life...

I learned from my cat.

  • Life is hard, then you nap
  • Curiousity never killed anything except maybe a few hours
  • When in doubt, cop an attitude
  • Variety is the spice of life: one day ignore people, the next day annoy them
  • Climb your way to the top - that's why the drapes are there
  • Never sleep alone when you can sleep on someone's face
  • Find your place in the nsun - especially if it happens to be on that nice pile of warm clean laundry
  • Make your mark in the world - or at least spray in each corner
  • When eating out, think nothing of sending your meal back twenty or thirty times
  • If you are not receieving enough attention, try knocking over several expensive antique lamps
  • Always give generously - a small bird or rodent left on the bed tells them "I care."

Friday, 7 November 2008


Yes - it is Friday. The end of the working week (I wish!) I am on nights, so the end of my working week would normally be 8am Monday morning. However, since I started this set of nights early i am also finishing it early, and am done at 8am Sunday. Then a nice few days off until Thursday evening at 4.

Night shift. Most people at work say they hate it. I really don't mind it that much. Yes it is inconvenient in that you lose all the day (and it is strange going to bed as it is getting light and waking up as it is getting dark), but I do like it. Maybe because I live on my own, I am used to keeping myself occupied. I can read or knit or sew - there is the radio or TV for company - and the kettle is only a few steps away. What more could you want?