Monday, 18 August 2014

Black dog perching on shoulder

Monday 18 August

The days go by so quickly! Although I have intentions of blogging every day it seems not to happen in the busyness of life.

I'll start this, then most likely save it and add to it later today.

Life has continued pretty much as usual, family visits, dance classes for Brains and Locket. Pa's neighbour from Wadestown visited one day bringing a lovely cake. Yum, delicious it was! The weekend of the 9th & 10th August Locket and I helped out at a dance comp collecting music. Must have walked a fair distance up and down the changing rooms, hand in the music backstage and back again! Pa has begun the radiation treatments for the BCC on his temple. It takes a lot longer to get there and back. . .the treatment is 1-2 minutes :) There are 5 sessions over two weeks. Last Wednesday was the initial one and Friday was the second. He has the next treatment tomorrow.
On Friday night I went to a show, part of a musical written by a friend, Michael Williams. You can read a bit about him here and here Amazing talent he has. I'm looking forward to when the film of the musical comes out. I really enjoyed it. Brains went to a Ballet for Boys class with the RNZB on Saturday. That's pretty much the extra happenings over the last couple of weeks.

Which has what to do with the post title? The “black dog” often refers to depression. I've been tired lately, more tired than usual. I also noticed that I'd been wanting to hide away or just pull the covers over my head and stay there for the next few years! All feelings I had around 10 years ago when I did go through a major depression. I've been feeling all sorts of things over the last couple of months and around 10 days ago I took a bit of time and space to think things through.

I recognised the signs. If I get too tired I don't cope as well. So rest and sleep were needed. I took a “respite” day last Tuesday. I'd begun reading a book I saw recommended on another blog The Story of Beautiful Girl. I started it on Monday evening, read way later than I should have, then continued and finished it on Tuesday. I had a PJ day till just before 4pm. I used to do this every holidays when the children were old enough to entertain themselves a bit. It's a way of having a bit of time to myself, and whatever I'm reading is pure escapism.

For the last year I haven't done this. Since Pa moved in I realised. The dynamics in the household have changed and everything is altered. Pa has the beginnings of dementia, and I've noticed it is increasing or getting worse. This increases the level of care he needs. He can still wash, dress etc. I'm meaning visits to heath professionals, radiation treatment etc. I need to attend all appointments with him as he doesn't remember all the information.

I figured out that it was partly my mindset. Brains and Locket were getting older, more independent. I've been parenting for nearly 28 years. Most of the time I love it. But, let's face it, there are times when it isn't easy! And I was feeling a bit as though, “the end is in sight, light at the end of the tunnel, maybe a bit more time for me”, those sorts of feelings. And then. . .
. . .all of a sudden I'm more or less thrust into the role of a carer. Which, with a family, I've always been. However this is quite different! The majority of the time children grow up, i.e. increase in independence. Some will always need a bit more care than others. Some will need life-long care due to disabilities. 

Caring for an older person is a whole different ball game. A lot of the time they are “growing down” or reversing as it were. Their health often deteriorates, their capabilities decrease, they become forgetful and it can continue to dementia. So they can require a lot more care!
Yes, I know I should be, and am, grateful both my parents are alive. That said Ma is existing rather than living. Not fun to watch her slowly deteriorate bit by bit. She is not the vibrant person she once was. Pa is doing very well, but the decline has begun. The carers at Johnsonvale, where Ma is, have noticed Pa's changes too. Just this morning he mentioned he needed a prescription for tablets he takes, and that he needed a visit to the doctor as well. “You saw the Doctor a few weeks ago. I don't think you need to go this time.” I said. “Did I? I don't remember!” he replied. He often has a slightly puzzled or bemused look on his face. Poor man. 
So none of this is anyone's fault. . .it just is how things are. And being the very human person I am I quite liked the way things were. I needed to have a deep think and take stock. Then I needed to make some decisions.
Do I continue to have a pity party? What can I do to help myself? What helped me last time? Cos I sure as heck do NOT want to slide all the way into deep depression again! It's a horrible place to be, crippling, mind numbing, incredibly lonely. . .and can be fatal. 
What could I change? What could I do? Then it came to me. Walk. One thing that helped me was to walk. It got me out of the house. Into the sun. . .when it is shining. At least into the fresh air. I also decided not to try too much too soon. A combination of ongoing anaemia, that is slowly resolving, and being unfit. I've started walking before, gone too far too fast and bombed. So I decided to stick more closely to this plan. 10 minutes a day. I decided to walk along my street to the end and back twice. I figured it would be around 10-12 minutes. It has a very slight slope, hardly discernible except by my calf muscles! I stuck a new log up on the bedroom wall and began on Wednesday morning. I decided to go early in the day, before Pa gets up. Otherwise I don't always find the time, or make it. I also decided to keep a journal. I'd bought one to record walks I went on with the tramping club. . .but I have been only a few times, and at the moment I'm not fit enough to join even the rambles. Plus there is the time factor. 
Wednesday I was keen. The day was fine. I thought there was only the one puff of cloud.

Until I got to the end of the road and could see more!

Thursday I had to force myself to get out of bed, snuggling under the sheets was a much more favourable option! The day was fine then around 2pm we heard thunder, the temperature dropped suddenly and next there was a hail storm!

Friday I was o.k, Saturday and Sunday I walked along Oriental Parade, different bits of it on the two days. Mainly because I had time in the city as I was waiting for Brains both days.

A few photos from Sunday, a lovely clear day with lots of people walking, jogging and biking. You can just see the snow on the tops of, most likely, the Tararua Range

 I was able to crop the photo a bit closer. One day I'd love to have a camera with a telephoto lens :) 

 The black on the rocks are shellfish, mussels I think.

 This mural is painted on the wall below Carlton Gore Rd. Pretty cool I think. It makes me think of the Riviera for some reason. I had Locket and Sherlock for company on Sunday.
Whether it is the walking, the release of a few “feel good” endorphins, or just the fact that I am DOING something to make a small change I do feel a bit better. As though I have taken charge of a bit of my life.

That's enough from me for now. Time I popped to the supermarket to get a few things before I pick Pa up. Then it's the dance run.

Dance run all done, dinner eaten and time I was settling down to sleep. Whilst I was waiting for Brains at Oriental Bay the fountain started to play. Before I drove off to pick him up I took a couple of shots. It changes colour, as you can see.

It was a beautiful night in the city, the lights reflecting in the harbour. Night all :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

I enjoy hearing your thoughts on my posts. Thank you for commenting :)