Back from France

I haven't written for a long time.  There are three reasons for this long silence of mine and - highly unusually for me - they have little to do with my state of health. I am pretty chuffed about that!

  1. My first reason is that I have been away in France looking after my Dad during and after my Mum's hip replacement operation.  I haven't had any time to write anything.  I have experienced plenty though: a sense of underlying stress at the thought of looking after my father for a whole week just by myself.  My Dad has Bi-Polar Disorder I and he is eighty-four years old so things aren't always easy for him and indeed for those around him. I need not have worried. My Dad was a total treasure and we got on like a house on fire! With me around, he managed to remain reasonably calm and he even enjoyed our conversations and our little jokes.  I made sure I kept his routine going and he felt safe because of it. Of course, he worried a great deal about my Mum and I had to 'manage' his constant obsession with calling the hospital every half-hour but he coped very well.  I am very proud of him.
  2. My second reason is that I have been looking after my Mum since she was released from hospital 8 days exactly after her operation. She was not in a good state. The operation itself went very well but my Mum did not respond well to the cocktail of post-op drugs she had to take, starting with high doses of morphine.  She tolerated morphine well enough (which surprised me) but she had a terrible time when the morphine stopped. Her withdrawal symptoms were worthy of the worst drug addict going cold turkey in rehab. At her age (she is 83 years old) it was a particularly horrid experience. The anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, and pain-relieving medication created a loathsome cocktail in her system and she is still recovering from its regular ingestion. One month on, she walks better than she had done for years and all she is left to cope with is a disturbed sleep pattern and an ensuing sense of low energy. She has been very brave and I am very proud of her too.
  3. Lastly, I didn't write because I didn't know what to write. I mean by that that I had no idea how I was going to cope after my previous horrible six months and so turned my proverbial pen 10 times in my hand before daring to write anything. All I had going around my head were questions:
  • Would I be able to keep my energy sufficiently bright (rather than high which I  wanted to avoid at all costs in order to avoid a crash)?
  • Would I keep sleeping well and regularly?
  • Would I exhaust myself quickly and be a source of worry for my parents who didn't need any extra stress?
  • Would I 'pay' for my efforts when I got back to the UK?
  • If yes, what would that payment look like? A little crash (a few days) or a big crash (a few months)?

I have found the answers to my first 3 questions: I managed pretty well and kept going with a few ups and downs but nothing to worry about.

The last two questions remain unanswered.  I will have to wait a while now that I am back home to find out what is going to happen.  I am determined to take it one day at a time and that's all I can say at this point.
I have learnt something in the last two months: it's pretty wonderful for someone with a chronic illness (such a Bi-Polar Disorder II for me) to be looking after someone else who needs help. It feels good not to be the sick one who needs looking after. I am not sure how I am going to take this learning forward but I feel the need to do so.

And of course I feel immensely grateful; I thank God every day that I was well enough to step up to the plate when my parents needed me. Six months earlier it would have been an impossibility. I am grateful for this precious time I have been able to spend with my ageing parents. I am grateful for the few times I was able to spend with my brother and his family. I am grateful for all the gifts I have been showered with.

I am grateful for the Internet that has enabled me to stay in touch with my son and his family, as well as with all my friends. Not only that but Bi-Polar Girl would have felt very lonely without her wonderful Bi-Polanders on Facebook.

Last but by no means least, I am grateful to my husband who, true to his usual wonderful self, has been so gracious about living on his own without his partner in crime for two months.

Let's see what happens next ....  :D

Home again

Hi Gabrielle.

Glad to see that you are once more at home.

In fact, if only a small portion of what you say is true then you and him who matters so much to both of you, should with any  doubt be very very proud of yourself.

 

As always, with love to you both, JC

Thank you JC

What a lovely comment!  Thank you very much my dear friend :D xxxxx

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You are wonderful!

So pleased to read your update. I am sending you some calm energy from Massachusetts with a set of beliefs that small steps each day with attention to managing your energy carefully (as you have managed yourself and your parents through the last two months) will lead to a good outcome. 

Perhaps you can create a new grounding routine, to keep you balanced and connected to all the positive energy around you.

Remind yourself that there's no need to take off for the stars, because you are a star without doing anything more ... you are a shining example just the way you are.

 

Thank you Carole

Funny you should say that: I am paying very close attention to my routine, particularly the time at which I go to bed.  I am not sure about being a star but at least I do my best to shine good light onto people and things ( oh and my cat too!)  Much love to you my dear friend  :D xxxxxxxxxx

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