Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Latest...

Mum managed a poached egg last evening and...a kind of sponge cake in cream. Plus a small portion of tomato soup, a thick milk shake, tea, a little bit of a smoothie and water. Think that's around 800 calories.

I've been sleeping less well again and upon waking my stomach is still in knots.

Sometimes pain does not necessarily mean the cancer is worse and it can be that a growth is pressing on a nerve.

The pain was better controlled yesterday(but she is on several small does of Oramorph(sp?)but the lowest dose possible.

A nurse at the home still thinks that age is taken into account and that they do give often up(That's a personal opinion of course, no proof but with what they see each day I suppose they'll have a more informed view)

Of course it may be we cannot change things and have to accept the situation but you know they said if the tumour was bleeding they would try RT again...

She does not seem confused though she sleeps a lot. But if you are in bed a lot and...being given meds I guess you would. If that happens that's when Mum is given I assume sedatives to get her through the long nights.

Someone said that Mum won't be able to stand an op for a colostomy(that may be true)its a major operation and if confused she may try to pull it off but Mum seems not to be so confused and I think that has been mainly due to either water infection or anemia when it happens. I've explained what it entails and Mum understood what it entails, that as an option and said "Yes" if its offered.

They have managed to have Mum sit up again in a chair in her room and in the lounge but not when I am there, that's usually in the mornings. The care is more or less what I was doing when Mum was at home, I think that I could again and have her in familiar surroundings for however long Mum has. I think I would be entitled to getting more care and Mum would love to come home.

Mum may eat small portions but she has not given up on nourishment. I just wish I could offer a more varied choice so she is not bored with the same things.

I assume the home is following a routine that they have been given from the hospital and not doing their own thing. It's still down as palliative care.

I'm about to get ready to visit her again and take all my little selection of food and drinks in again and hope today is another reasonable day. You don't always know until you get there.

The other day she seemed not so good but picked up within 15 minutes of my arrival.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Couldn't Sleep, Wouldn't Sleep!

I don't know, maybe I should've got up but I found myself unable to rest.

I made myself a drink(well, I had some in the flasks I was able to use)

I listened to the radio(sort of)but my mind was wandering.

Have we been given all the treatment that we should?

Is there is still a possibility that if her strength builds up she could manage a colostomy.

Why did they not do something when the radio therapy worked and the growth reduced, why not give radio therapy another shot, often RT works and is enough.

Sometimes pain does not necessarily mean the cancer is worse and it can be that a growth is pressing on a nerve.

Were we wrong when that Dr said that he wanted to take Mum into a cottage hospital(after we'd been given reasonably good news by the consultant's representative at the hospital in January)to say no, when they had said Mum could be stabilised and they didn't think it would spread and would probably stay local to the area(as best as anyone can say)

They had originally said that they would try RT again after 6 months, the end of March is approx 6 months.

Has Mum being placed in a Nursing Home meant they've basically side tracked her and the medical profession has forgotten us? And basically we are in hospice mode? Or should we be? That they've given up.

And so on...

I did not sleep until 5am(ish)and up on waking my stomach is in knots.

Oh well, I'm off to the usual...Nothing different unless Mum is when I arrive...I'll make my flasks up, take my soup, smoothies, complan, coffee, tea, rice pots and yogurts. She has fruit juice, water, custards and chocolate in her room. I'd like to be able to offer some solid food but I don't know what I could make here to take in.

Still its all calories and nourishment.

Speak Soon...(The problem regarding posting of comments seems to have righted itself)

Such Thoughts Are Natural...

I managed to fall asleep but have just woke and its suddenly hit me the situation I/we are in. In the night things seem much worse. We've never really gone on about age and have lived each day but been thankful at how fortunate we've been.

But selfishly, I realise how strange life will be totally alone and even how little time I may have ahead. Enough of feeling sorry for myself.

Mum said was her worst day for pain(I hope tomorrow is better)they popped in at teatime and decided she was too sleepy to bother but said they'd be back(They didn't)I managed to get almost 1,000 calories into Mum(2 smoothies)a rice pot, complan, coffee with sugar, whole milk and brandy. They were happy to see I'd managed to get nourishment into Mum.

Mum refused my soup and my scrambled eggs. Well, we tried. They managed to have Mum sit up again a lounge for approx an hour.

I hope that I never end up in a home or in need of care knowing my end is nigh.

When I was a child I actually went through a period of depression(being sensitive)I did not need a psychiatrist and I did come out of it stronger but I worried about dying and in particular losing my parents and yet I had my Father in my life for approx 26 years and Mum(still here)almost 55 years so I have been fortunate in reality. But you always want more. I suppose Mum could've said that with her own parents(she lost her Father aged 22)but had her Mum until she was 70! that's another 15 years to what I will have.

But I know others have their loved ones around for less time. That's life!

Mum says that she fancies tomato soup tomorrow, so we'll see. I suddenly remembered that we used to like celery soup but I can't seem to find that anywhere local.

Thanks for the continued support...I hope expressing such feelings I have not gone down in anyone's estimation...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I've Slept But It Was Restless...

I think a bottle of fruity fizzy water was left in the taxi's boot last night after my shopping trip to the supermarket but it's only one and only worth around 41p(I can live with that)

I found a few new things for Mum to try. Lots of little pots of items(really with children in mind)but high in calories and goodness. Some new mini rice pots, individual innocent smoothies but though highish in calories they are not thick like some of the larger cartons and they can stay out of the fridge for upto 12 hours.

What a night, my legs were restless and I could not keep still. But I had a tipple and that gave me a good afew hours and I'm going to start and keep some flasks full of drinks to save keep boiling a kettle up.

I have found the cheapest but best flasks are in Wilkinsons and there own brand. Beating even Thermos the well known brand.

I have a couple that say they keep liquids hot for 12 hours/cool for 24 and guess what 16 hours and they are still boiling hot!

I'm away for a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Another Day At The Home...

Mum had been in her chair in her room for a short time and they had managed to get Mum into the downstairs lounge.

But when I went in she seemed not so good, however within a few minutes of my arrival, she was brighter. She managed some cream of tomato soup, some kind of whip soaked in cream(High in calories)and I managed to get some cream of chicken and mushroom soup and coffee with whole milk, sugar and a nip of brandy.

I reckon that's approx 800 calories. But they gave Mum her tablets earlier than I do so she was virtually asleep by 8pm. At least she wasn't frightened tonight and they were happy to see that she'd eaten or at least had some nourishment.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a good day(I've just been into the supermarket to try and get Mum some things I hope will do her some good)She said she's going to try my scrambled eggs with melted cheese, whole milk and butter again. Hopefully a good sign...

My Life Will Change Forever...

It's bad enough that at some point I know I will lose Mum(probably sooner than later)but as I received my regular statement from my Housing Association showing how upto date I am paying the rent on my home(which I have been in for approx 53 years)and have had my name on the rent card for almost 30 years...

In the same envelope in big bold type was a worrying letter which basically stitches me up and means that even though neighbours and my Social Worker and other council officials told me I'd be safe and could stay put.

I doubt it. Many of us around the country will be affected so I am not alone but that doesn't make it any easier...

I quote...

Are you receiving any benefits?

Yes? Then read on...Welfare Reform May affect your household.(I'd say it will affect everyone)

The Government is planning major reforms to the welfare benefit system, including changes to housing benefit, job seekers allowance, income support, employment and support allowance, working tax credit and child tax credit over the next few years.

These changes may affect you. We outline below the changes that may affect you:(stop saying may they will!)

Who will it affect?

All housing benefit claimants will be affected where either the claimant or their partner are under state pension credit age. By 2013 the pension credit age will be 61 for both men and women, and will rise to 66 by 2020.

Are you of working age?

Working age tenanats will be charged aroiund £13 for each bedroom that is not used or needed. You wish to consider moving into a smaller property, please ring us to discuss your housing options.

There will be a new of paying you all your benefits.

From October 2013, housing benefit will be paid directly to you not your landlord. It will also be called Universal Credit and will combine other benefits such as Housing Benefit, Job Seekers Allowance, and Working Tax Credit(If you are entitled to them)This means that you will be required to pay the full amount of your rent to your landlord.

Do you have a bank account?

You will need a bank account for your Universal Credit payment. This will help with budgeting and direct debits to pay your rent.

Are you on Disability Living Allowance?

Disability Living Allowance will beeplaced with Personal Independence Payment - this will result in tighter rules and many claimants will see a drop in income.

Do you pay Council Tax?

Council Tax Benefit is to be reduced by 10%, again reducing the money in your pocket.

Do you have adults aged 18+ years living with you?

If you live with other adults who are over 18, deductions will be made from your housing benefit. The amount of this deduction will depend on the person's earnings.

Then they give two phone numbers to call(the housing association)and the welfare department of the council.

I guess my income will drop drastically whatever happens and my days in this house and location are numbered.

Heaven knows where I'll be relocated. Again, not much to look forward to. Even if I am in a bedsit/one bedroom flat my income will be so low.

Mum says I'll be ok and taken care of, she just said that out of the blue the other day but its a good job she doesn't realise how difficult life is going to be for me in the future. No, that's unfair Mum's life is difficult being seriously ill and facing death. Last night as I had to leave her in the Nursing Home she begged me to stay(I can't)and said she was frightened...how that tugged at my heartstrings.

I hope that I am strong but I am scared.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This Will Be Mainly About Food...

They brought Mum at teatime, two small sandwiches(Egg mayonnaise and sandwich spread)and a kind of mushy whip soaked in lots of milk for tea. Mum struggled with the sandwiches(leaving one totally) the other I halved and managed to get that inside of her washing it down with a beaker of tea. Mum wasn't keen on that whip either. But you know I manage to do Mum's egg at home in a mixer and it comes out more like a paste that you can spread. I may have a go at seeing if she'll eat mine. Even if its off a spoon.

However, I managed to give Mum her meds and with them and at various times throughout my visit...a complan, an Innocent Smoothie(Apple and blackcurrents)but it also had grapes and banana in it too. And some kind of dairy dessert(vanilla flavour)and cream of chicken soup.

The only thing I did not manage to get her to drink was a cup of whole milk coffee with a little brandy in it! But that's more than they managed. That's still approx 720 calories. There's always tomorrow. She also showed interest in possibly sitting in a wheelchair in the grounds of the home if its a nice day so maybe we'll try that tomorrow if Mum's up for it. I say grounds there are a couple of straggly looking trees and the whole place is just surrounded by a carpark, there isn't any grass!

The saddest part was Mum practically begging me to stay and trying to understand why I cannot stay overnight. And especially when she says "I'm frightened!" It tugs at your heartstrings...I hope Mum sleeps well...and that tomorrow is another good day.

As Anon says if this damn cancer had been diagnosed sooner in comments on the previous post about her Father(we didn't know)and but for this, Mum is pretty fit and probably could've had years ahead. I hope that there is still plenty of time as seriously ill as she is. I know that plenty of others will say this and have already. Where there is life, there is hope. Hope is all that you have in the end.

The booklets that McMillan Nurses charity promised arrived today full of great advice and in the case of diet and recipes to temp someone losing weight/loss of appetite lots of great ideas and if Mum was home I could do them but not when she is in a Nursing Home.

Am I reading too much into the situation but everyone has their name on the door of their rooms in the home...Mum's door doesn't have a name on it.

Oh well, I guess its time for bed.

I found a way to stay very warm in bed last night and avoid turning the central heating on...I slept on a duvet and covered myself in a duvet...if anything I was too warm...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Another Day...

I'm watching this carefully...last evening and tonight Mum was offered no food at teatime. Its one thing to be offered and refuse. I managed to mention it diplomatically and got an apology and they admtted that they had probably forgot! So what happens on the mealtimes I am not present?

I managed to get some tea, two complans and almost a complete milk shake into her and gave Mum her meds.(that's almost 1,000+ calories)

Mum fell away a little at the end of the night but its a long day and meds do kick in!

I also managed to nearly take my nose off with the taxi door when I opened it, never done that before.

You know there was some cold milk given at 8pm(ish)and Mum had my Complan so I took a decent swig of that.

I think it had a sleeping draught in it. I put my head on the pillow at home and approx 90 minutes later I awake and have slept oblivious to the world. How much are they giving her? No wonder she gets confused.

A Quick Update...Sorry About The Lack Of Posts...

Mum did not eat as much as I hoped(she would not touch my mashed potato and chicken)Mum did drink a small amount of tea, Vanilla custard,they brought what looked like Complan in(and Mum had some of that) but it might've been a milkshake(some Mum did not get my Complan which is very highly thought of and is high in vitamins and minerals)so I hope she'll have some today. Mum did have half a can of cream of chicken soup. Today, I am taking Cream of Tomao soup with a hint of Basil. Mum said she would try to eat that.

No one even called in around teatime yesterday to even ask if Mum wanted any food(she probably would have said "No!" but its good to be asked.

Mum had slept well.

McMillan Nurses promised me some booklets suggesting ways to give Mum food to help build her up but they still have not arrived.

Mum seemed to have a good day and she said that she felt better than the previous day. She had been in the lounge earlier but I am unsure for how long. I gave Mum her meds in the evening. I left her mp3 player on quietly. And it was a virtually pain free day...

We had another song played on the radio and listened to Mum's favourite Sunday music show together...I'd privately texted the presenter to thank him for the previous requests and explained a little of what was happening. He said a nice introduction before and after, chose a nice piece of music(I'd not heard before)by Frankie Laine, the lyrics had a lot of mentioning of caring for someone and seeing they come to no harm and after saying my dedication, he added I was wishing Mum a speedy recovery and he said that came from him too.

A young nurse who was working at the home is having a bowel operation tomorrow, she said Bowel Cancer is one of the slowest cancers but one of the worst for pain. She said that we must not give up hope and if Mum could get strong enough she says the quality of life from having a colostomy(and if we assume Mum could survive the op)and they could take away the diseased part of Mum's bowl she couldbe here for quite some time and...have quality of life. And they have not mentioned that since being in hospital so maybe they are ruling that out altogether now. Or could it be an option still. I suppose it depends on Mum's progress.

But we've got to walk before we run and that may be wishful thinking and again clutching at straws.

Mum was afraid again and wanted me to stay over, sadly I am not allowed(I suspect if Mum was seen as being close to death, that rule would be waived)Oh how I hate to write that!

I did manage almost seven hours with her and today I hope to increase that to eight hours. So I'll have to be away quite soon.

We are sad about one thing...Mum had a very unusual wooden cross that meant a lot to her(someone had brought it to church and seeked Mum out and kept it specially for her)and Mum told me to keep it as a keepsake to remember her by and between the hospital and the care home it has been lost.

We can do nothing about that.

Speak Soon...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mum Had Not Eaten Much But...

She's not in too much pain...Slept calmly and peacefully. I've been there when they give her medicines but perhaps I should ask more what she is actually being given instead of just accepting what they do giver her.

I assume* it is painkillers(as she used to at home)and a sedative which they seem to give quite early so she is sleeping from 8pm onwards. That probably suits them more than Mum. As she sleeps a lot of the time anyhow, I wonder if that's too early.

She had not eaten much today but I managed to get some Ambrosia Banana Custard, A Complan, Cream of Chicken Soup and some fruit juice into her.

Tomorrow, she has promised to have some chicken so I will mince it into mashed potato and maybe add a little gravy for flavour. They said I can take it in. I also hope to go in sooner tomorrow and listen to Mum's favourite music show with her as we always used to at home.

*Am I wrong to and be so trusting?

Have We Given In?

You do have to accept to some extent expert advice given by consultants but both times Mum has been to hospital for the check on her progress, we have never seen the actual consultant but a member(a Dr I'll grant you)who is a radio therapist and I assume part of his team but when they still say its a slow cancer and should Mum get strong again and built up(clutching at straws)she could be offered a colostomy(I doubt Mum will be here that long or survive such a major operation)but you don't know. Problem is that cancer will continue to grow and that tumour will continue to increase in size.

When they say Radio Therapy won't work again other than stop bleeding...and Mum has not been put through any more scans...have we given in too easily?

Would RT still make a difference, should we have said please give it another try?

I do wonder if the consultant might've said something different.

Mum's had more pain lately from the thrush in her mouth(well, they say that's what it is)I hope its not something else. She says if that was corrected she would eat and drink more but so far the drug given to improve it has not worked even though she's been on it 10 days but in hospital I don't think was given regularly enough or correctly.

I understand that she can have an alternative course of tablets that may be more successful(I hope)trouble is whilst we wait for that to improve, if she doesn't eat in the meantime, she'll become weaker.

Perhaps that's going to happen sooner than later anyhow and Mum's time really is limited anyhow but where's there's life, there's hope.

I received a phone call yesterday, it seems a Dr has been calling and could not understand after Mum's discharge from hospital why he was not getting an answer here. They had not been informed that Mum was in a care home.

With the latest news story about aspirin(again probably too late)stopping/slowing down certain cancer altogether or revesing cancers, you wonder if its worth giving it to Mum as the story suggests it can reverse cancer that has developed already. What has Mum to lose?

They are calling a Dr in on Monday to give Mum the once over and perhaps discuss the treatment/drugs Mum is being given.

One slightly funny story...I was told Mum had tried to eat some chocolate when no one was around and some of it had melted over her hands so when they came in to check her, she and some of her bedding was covered in it. And at first they wondered what she had been doing.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It Took Five Minutes...

I noticed Mum's fingernails were dirty(they were in hospital and in the care home...)considering how they go on about such things it seemed wrong. I remembered to take something like a nile file in and took all that away.

Actually, I couldn't find the file and used a cocktail stick! But it worked. I know there are more important things in Mum's care but how long to see Mum has clean hands? Anyhow, during today's visit I put cream on Mum's arms and face too.

Mum said if her mouth improves she would eat and drink more so that's a good sign(in the meantime I/we have to get something into whilst we try to sort that out)

Mum is in restful pain free sleep even if that's been helped with meds. In the circumstances that is all I can ask.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Was Given My Marching Orders...

When I arrived I was told that it was inappropriate to stay overnight.

There's Mum wanting me to keep her company through the night when she's at her most vulnerable, afraid...just to see someone familiar when she wakes. I'm not in the way, I'm not making any noise. I asked before I did it...and was told "No Problem!"

I don't interfere with her sleeping pattern, I think she slept better because I was there.

Tonight, I am told by Mum, she's left on her own most of the time before I came up, she not eaten or drunk much but though its bowel cancer the pain and soreness is her mouth/throat and that's stopping her eating and drinking and if that was sorted perhaps she would improve more. Whether temporary or otherwise.

I was there only a short time and I had already managed to get her to drink a complan and they were pleased.

She said tonight the place is so quiet...usually they leave her so she can only see the ceiling, I do at least prop Mum up so she can see anyone passing by the room. It was so sad her watching me leave and waving to me.

She's not as happy where she is and its not much different to the hospital when you are on your own and you are ill and know it yourself. Unfortunately, I have to abide by the rules.

I hope tomorrow is better for both of us. And they've got rid of me overnight but I'll be there by mid morning and stay as long as I can.

Did I Say?

Forgive me if I repeat myself...

When Mum arrived at the home on Monday they managed to have her eat some sandwiches and drink some tea. That was something in itself...

The following day they managed to get Mum into a wheelchair and though I don't know how long she was there, they had her in the lounge and not just laid in bed as she had been in hospital.

I have discovered that the clothes we thought were missing when Mum transferred from hospital did arrive at the home but the wardrobe containing them is in the entrance of the room as you first go in and as you walk down the side of the room to where Mum is that are is very small and it would not fit into the space.

Mum slept reasonably well through the night and they did check on her and see to her needs three or four times.

She was given liquid morphine around 3am(they give paracetamols and codeine during the day)but the dose was less than when I gave it here(and it seemed to have not as much effect)

Mum was then at peace and not restless.

I hope that I find Mum in a similar way today, considering the situation that we find ourselves, its as good as it can be.

It is awful when your Mum says when you arrive "I am dying!" "My time is limited!" and still clinging to the hope that she will see her own home.

She asked me to stay and when I suggested that I would be with her overnight you could see that it meant so much. I think night times are scary and frightening at the best of times and you feel at your most vulnerable and lonely. It doesn't happen often but I can think of nothing worse than when you hear that phone call in the middle of the night and you are woken from your sleep.

I gave my Mum her medicines last evening, I know one was a sedative(sleeping tablet)if I do it again tonight I'll give it a bit later(The first night it came around it was 10.30pm)last night it was 8pm(ish)unless she want's it that early. Given later it will take her further through the night.

There was another I know is to soften her bowls(that was given in hospital)and another was in liquid form and I suspect that could've been paracetamols dissolved. But I don't know. I also gave Mum her medicine for her sore mouth/throat if that improves perhaps she'll manage more nourishment.

The radio works fine. The plug that charges items without having to connect to a computer likewise. I probably don't need it but I'll get that lead that allows me to play the mp3 player through Mum's radio then we're all set.

I hope that Mum will eat today and not refuse food, when that happens things will be bad. And I may very well try and be there for evening meal and see if I can help as I did when she was in hospital.

The home is what it says a private Christian home and there are a few buildings close together. The one which offers nursing care, one that is more like a residential home and then a couple more buildings which may possibly be where worship or some thing else goes on. But the care does seem to be as good as you can get so I should be thankful we have managed to get it.

I guess unless things change suddenly this will be the routine for now and I will not be able to add much to the blog. No news is good news as the saying goes.

I am about to cook a chicken otherwise it will be wasted and by the time it has been it will be time to go and I will now away and buy that lead, a newspaper(I don't usually bother)and whilst I am able my computer magazine.

Take Care...

I Cannot Believe That Amongst All What Is Happening To Mum...

I can to some extent say that I have heard some of the latest news and the budget seems to have caused more problems than usual and where most people in the past have mumbled under their breaths about what is brought in each year...whether its claimed that the country is broken and drastic steps are needed from what I heard and picked up so many people are going to be hurting right from the sick through to the elderly.

I say elderly because we used to use the term OAP(Old Age Pensioner)when a woman was 60 and a man 65 but these days that is not really a fair term and in many cases life goes on for years and though medical science has increased our allotted time for various reasons often people have conditions that restrict what they can do and that is often due to the jobs they have held so they are paying for working hard.

Then as the age you are able to claim a State pension is pushed further back, you may never get it "They hope!" and you'll again still only have it for approx the same amount of time you might've originally. I see so many people saying as they always do "I'm never voting Conservative again!""I'm not voting Lib Dem again!" Well, what are going to do? What's your alternative?

The Labour party won't be able to change things. Who is left. And when the last election happened the country had the chance to vote that party in again and didn't! And so many have criticised Labour for where we are(probably it did have something to do with where this country is)but we did have a global problem and events were much, much larger than just our own country's problems. And I wonder if things would have been much different under any party.

Well, guess what...it's no better now. And we must not forget that the party in power did not have enough support so it did not really win and had to be propped up by the Lib Dems. I don't know enough about all the politics going on and policies(I suspect they just move the same money around and this time they hurt some and the next time someone else)but the last Government it was said that the pensions of many were raided and many in the population never forgot.

This Government has done something similar and whether you call it a cut or a freeze, pensioners will have to tighten their belts further, this time it isn't pensions you save into as you work for when you retire, its those who depend on a State pension. It might not be so bad if it wasn't that energy and food prices keep rising. I have no answers(I suspect those in power are struggling too)but generally you'll never see a poor politician many are millionaires.

Not knowing what my own finances will be like, I am watching the pennies and though I have had the heating on for a couple of hours at 10pm and 4am. I awoke and even with two thick blankets on I was cold and now at lunchtime my house is so cold I have put it on again and can feel no benefit. Is this what I have to look forward to in the 21st century? When Mum was here everyone said how lovely and warm this house was. How lucky we were for all those years.

Good Morning World!

I won't be doing it every night but I believe the early hours are the worst if you feel ill or afraid so I have spent just under 12 hours with Mum overnight in the home. And when I finally left Mum she was having a lovely peaceful sleep and therefore its a fair bet she was not in pain.

The staff were fine about my staying which was very kind of them and appreciated. Mum asked me to stay and I think that probably helped keep Mum calm. So I came out of the home to a cold and frosty morning and now all being well Mum will be resting soundly and I left the mp3 player quietly the music Mum loves.

And me, it's my turn to go to bed and get my sleep. It wasn't too bad, I was in a nice big armchair(but its still not the same as a bed!)

I hope today is another kind one for both of us...

See you later!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Cold Hard Facts Hit You Between The Eyes...

The Social Worker phones today and asks "Am I happy that Mum is where she is" "Was I given any choice here Mum was placed" "Could I cope if Mum came Home" "Do I want Mum home" etc...Well the home is better than the hospital...Mum is happier there than in hospital though she would love to come home and still clings to that hope.
I know I could cope and I know care would be available here so that still goes through my mind but if I did that, we lose that bed in what seems to be a home with a high reputation of care. When its gone...its gone!

And then of course the Social Worker says "Mum is not a well lady and though no time limit has been put on her, her needs are more complicated now and yes her time is limited." And there's Mum saying she hopes that she'll get better...It's heartbreaking. I guess I knew that more than ever when they offered the care for free, they don't do that lightly. So our time together looks as though its not as much as I had hoped.

At home I'd be there 24/7 I probably could do that at the home but its more likely the best I could do to be fair is 12 hours.

The home is Mum's side room.

So I'm going to stay with her as much as I can. I'll start to get ready now. And see what today brings...

Update:Running late, so much for the idea of being with Mum for no later than 2pm.

The news is that they managed to have Mum sitting in the lounge this morning. And I have been out to buy a little radio and it allows me to play the mp3 through it and I now have a charger so I can charge the mp3 player without having to depend on the computer back at home. So Mum can have her music 24/7. Its a mono DAB radio but it also has AM/FM on it.

But with this charger I can also charge up the separate stereo speakers I had at home so she she can still have stereo sound for the mp3 player.

I'm preparing a meal and some flasks to take up for Mum and/or me. I'll have something to listen to whilst there too and not sit in silence.

I've been trying to get some clothes together for Mum...

Whilst getting ready the home phone has gone twice and I've thought "Oh Dear!" and both have been trying to get me to insulate the house. I hate cold calling at the best of times but in our circumstances.

See you later...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I'm Late, I'm Late For A Very Important Date...

I was running late to get to the hospital to see Mum and cursing the fact. I was in the process of making the call to get a taxi, the home phone goes and I think "Oh no!"

I answer. The Social Worker tells me that Mum is coming over to the care home this afternoon and if I go through I may miss her. But to give the hospital a call and see what the situation is(after all I don't mind still going through)

I've been told that they are just waiting for the ambulance so its a waste of time.

I've been in touch with the home and they've taken my number and they're going to phone me when she's in her room and settled in.

So things have changed a little, I do hope for the best. But a few seconds later and I'd have been on my way...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Is This Good?

I went into see Mum today and she was much, much brighter and alert. Still in pain(Off and On)but much improved. The same lady who took me to see the Dr(and then gave the dreaded news on Friday)said they were surprised by the turnaround.

So unless things change there is talk of Mum coming back to a care home of some kind which will give 24/7 care on my town(and I'll have more time with her and being nearer I can get there quicker and easier)and roughly 4 taxi rides for what I pay one way to go to the Hospital. I'll have to rest but who knows I may find that I can walk one way if I give myself enough time, knowing that I can rest when I get there.

I don't mind being there for hours and I can leave the PC's recording things and sort the files when I come home.

I assume Mum will lose her State pension and be given pocket money but they have put some kind of document through and Mum will not pay for the care(so her meagre savings will be left alone)

I don't think there is much Mum will want so if she doesn't spend it, it will help towards my fares(or maybe we can save some of it)but it could be a short stay :-(

Of course the income coming into "Our" home will be reduced but that's not a bad option. I was paying £100+ per month for 10 hours a month here so if the care was happening here and was increased it would be expensive. And it is 24/7 care there.

I don't think its likely but they said should Mum become stronger and continue to improve(she may get home again)I think they just say that but you don't know. This is a good compromise(I know that Mum would prefer to be here but its not hospital)

I think Mum is still quite bad with the cancer but they probably need the hospital bed and she said lets see what Mum is like in a few weeks...now whether that is a way of saying she hasn't long(in code)I am unsure. However, its better than days and she did admit bowel cancer is very slow. So I have to look at the positives.

But lets walk and not run...

I'll have to see what routine the care home follows and if I can see her when we wish or whether they'll try and have Mum settled in bed at 8pm(It's one thing if Mum wants to sleep at that time but to be forced)Mum often says don't go and she's happy for me just to be there holding her hand and not talking and she will sleep more restfully knowing that I am there.

I won't want to get in the way of cleaners and other people who do jobs around the home.

I'll put a radio in her room(That should be allowed)the mp3 player too but this time look for a docking station if things look good so I don't have to keep charging the battery. Mum likes it on 24/7. I don't know what kind of meals will be offered and if they'll object to me bringing in soup, complan and other things.

The home has a better reputation than some too. I'll be learning too but it has to be better than being in hospital. Well, I hope that it is.

However, for now more positives than negatives...

Mum ate and drank more today too...but she was sleepy in the last hour so...well, she is elderly and very ill so I can allow for that. We still haven't quite controlled the pain.

I ended up eating the chicken and mushroom soup I took through as I was writing this(2 tins)I'll still watch the pennies though...

Typically, the mobile phone I have has been playing up everywhere so I buy a new one and set it up and the old seems to be working again...at least I can use either and transferring the Sim card means I am on the same network and if I take both should the battery get low I can switch to the other one. Its very basic, no camera, no radio or music and pay as you go. I only really use to get taxi's if I am out so its OK, it does what it should.

I'm waffling...I'll stop!

Anyhow, lets accept things are different to a few days ago...So I go to bed happier...

I Guess That I Have Come To A Full Stop...

and not sure what more I can write unless its...you know.

I'll start to pull myself around soon for the start of another long day but I'd do it forever and that's not a complaint. I hate her being on her own for 18 hours. What's anyone going to do if they are laid in bed and are being left alone apart from being given an odd drink or attempt to eat?(and a clean up here and there)

Does that speed things up? I don't know.

I better go...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Not One Of Our Better Days!

I discovered that Mum had only had two spoonfuls of porridge(the previous days she's eaten a lot)No Lunch and I tried her with some baby food(she hardly touched it)but I thought it wasn't bad(probably better if hot)Chicken Dinner(With parsnip, swede, chicken and more)and Banana and Cookie Crumble. She only had a few spoonfuls of each and I'm only talking about half the spoon with anything on it.

I'd tried her with some pureed stuff at evening meal, again hardly anything.She said she didn't want my cheesy scrambled eggs(which I actually purchased a special food flask to take through)she said she'd try some Chicken Soup(No joy!)and not long before I left I did get some Complan into her and started on a cup of tea but I had to leave.

So this is either a bad day, tomorrow will be better or she's starting to refuse food which the leaflet I was given about what happens when someone is dying may be happening.

She was quite bright, more colour in face, I left the MP3 player for her to listen to music(she asked me to)but the battery will run out eventually and should they take it away for safety, they won't switch it off so it will be playing to no one. She also was holding or it was close by a wooden cross, Mum has always had a strong faith. I have heard her pray for Jesus to make her better...

I think she's been painfree most of the day but was in pain as I left and was wanting a tablet.

Mum did not want me to leave and more or less begged for me to stay. I so want to but can't.

I was told by others on the ward she was asking for me through the night and this morning.

If Mum was in a side room the advantage is that I can stay as long as I wish, if/when that happens it brings the inevitable nearer...and when Mum is on a main ward there is stimulation, in a room on your own, its as if you've been forgotten about and no one wants to know. So what are going to do but sleep?

She said today she is frightened, she said she thinks she is dying and she asked the nurses if she was going to get better and they said that they were going to try to.
I dread that call in the night and that I am not there for her and miss her. Its a long break between visits!...(18 and half hours)I leave at 8pm and cannot return until 2.30pm the next day. You get 90 minutes. Then have to wait until 6.30pm for another 90 minutes. Only 3 hours in her company.

Circumstances have meant I have been at home and been with Mum and Dad. I'm not going to say I wish things had been different, I have been blessed with wonderful parents, a close family, a lovely childhood(some will never have that)but then you realise what you have lost. But then you have to say but look what I had.

Mum looked at the Mother's Card again, she ate a little bit of chocolate(those little milky way stars)I managed to put some cream on her face, arms and hands and put fresh nail varnish on her fingernails. And earlier in the day a little bit of lipstick.

The lady in the next bed lives only a few streets from us. I did not realise.
I am when I lose Mum truly alone! I looked at my mobile phone and it only has a couple of numbers of Mum's friends, some taxi numbers and there are her brothers and that's it. It will be suggested start doing voluntary work, get involved in a local group of some kind. You still come home to an empty house, bedsit or whatever.

I know I am liked and I probably touch other lives when I go out even doing say some shopping but you still come home to an empty abode.

Most who are involved in such work etc...have family they are going back to.
And as long as I am claiming help due to health problems, long as I am able/entitled to with the new benefit rules and the criteria of getting it, if you get out there and try to take a holiday or do something for the community someone will report you or the people who pay out the money will say if you can do that..."You can work!"
I know I should take things one day at a time. Things may work out not as I fear but though usually optimistic, I am finding it difficult to see the positives ahead.

If it all goes wrong at least most of the last 50+ years have been good(we've had our moments)who doesn't and as we get older it was always going to be so.
Well, I ate the scrambled eggs, I have drank the chicken soup a few minutes ago and a cup of coffee. I can see no point sitting up so I'll go to bed and listen to the radio as "We" used to on Sunday night.

If no call comes in the night I'll get up and do some housework in the morning, I've let things slide a bit the last few days...

And then start all over again. I would do it forever, Mum is not a burden to me.
I love her! I always will...Its pure unconditional love on both our parts. Nothing more. Although that's quite a lot.

Within Two Hours I Go To The Hospital...

and hope all is well.

I've been out and tried to buy a food flask to take some food in(So its not the same pureed dinner day after day)

The one I chose they found the glass liner was broken when I reached the check out and they none in the stockroom.

So I had to buy one in the supermarket(Steel)and more expensive.

I'm going to see if I can make some scrambled egg with some grated cheese melted into it. I can try.

I'm also making more Complan and I have bought some baby food with some nice flavours that can be given hot or cold...

So I'm away to clean out the flasks from yesterday and fill them up again...

Perhaps Mum Cannot Be Bothered And...

The process the leaflet I was given explaining how the body eventually gives up on food and liquids will happen but really for someone who is so poorly...whilst she can eat there isn't much choice for Mum to tempt her to eat to build her up.

The pureed food that Mum can eat is the same each day and it must be boring. I'm wondering as I write this if I can find a way of taking some scrambled egg in or something else whilst she is able to eat, even if its only a small amount. She may say no and not be interested. I'll try to get her to take some soup today(Third time lucky?)

I'll make more Complan up and see if I can get more of that into her, she did drink it yesterday and it is more nourishment than tea, water or coffee. And it seemed to be ok even though it was in a flask.

So with only approx 4 hours before the taxi arrives I better go...

Mum Is Still Here...

I mustn't write her off even though what I see with my eyes tell me otherwise and with what the medical staff say. I hate writing that and feel awful saying it, I want a miracle but that's clutching at straws and I don't want Mum to suffer.

I did get some sleep but I have had to get up. My stomach is churned up. I may feel different later but when the sad time arrives I have decided and in time things may change to generally tidy the place up, I'm not bothered as such about decorating, I can see no point changes carpets even if they are old(just in case I am forced to move)or I decide to. That's just added expense.

I'm not going to be entertaining, its just me...I am still thinking for the amount of TV I watch of just letting the TV license lapse and so there seems little if any point investing in a new TV or subscribing still to Sky.

I am also going to look into how things are regarding watching TV on the PC via the Internet as though things will change because they'll make it you need a license to watch probably in the future, I believe at present that you can view TV for free.
If the licence cannot be extended to take in TV what will probably happen in some cases is you'll pay to watch certain programmes or pay to download.

I don't really sit in the lounge so I see no point getting rid of the old sofa and chairs nor investing in a new suite. I think in some ways I'll just close up some rooms and it may seem wasteful I'll live in my bedroom where my computers and radio are, I have my bed. So the two rooms that will be used most are the kitchen and my bedroom.

I don't nor need many clothes, I wear mainly short sleeved shirts and trousers. I don't need many coats...trainers are as good as anything for me.

The airing cupboard and a wardrobe in Mum's room has her clothes, I could go through them and give the clothes to charity of get rid of them(I hate saying that)but if I do either that wardrobe is just an empty piece of furniture so it may seem morbid I may just leave all Mum's clothes in it. Its not as though I am going to keep opening the doors and feeling and looking at the clothes either.

I'll keep the furniture and ornaments and few photo's that are around(not many)I won't be buying any more, there is no point. I don't need anything that is superficial. If fortunate I may buy the odd CD(If I can afford it)otherwise all I need is warmth and food.

I don't think I need the washer/tumble dryer any more but they're not doing any harm if left there.

Hopefully I can make the cooker and microwave last years...for the amount of use they'll get from me.

One day I may crave company be it because I get involved in some kind of volunteering with a charity etc...or I find love with someone special. Otherwise, it really will a case of waiting for my turn to leave this world. Whether I can remain independent or I end up in care or in a home(heaven forbid)I have to assume that I am around for a fair time yet but none of us know.

I may feel different as time passes by but I cannot see any point rushing things.


The house is empty but I guess such times as have happened(Mum in hospital)does sort of give you an idea what its going to be like. Though not really, because the person you love is still in the world and I know(hope)I will see her again tomorrow.

We're not having long deep meaniful conversations but I hope we have said what is important and if/when we are unable to I don't feel I forgot to say something. There is lots of hand holding and telling her what she means. A little kissing but being laid down and with bars around the bed you cannot hug which might be nice. Thinking about it what I have described is meaniful and some things are known without being said.

I don't where its come from but I'm using the term Sweetheart a lot when not saying Mum.
I forgot in my earlier post Mum also said something she has said a few times "Don't leave me..."Well, I hope to be there most if not all the time but because Mum is on a main ward I do have to come home and cannot return from 8pm-14.30pm that's quite a long time...some will say "yes but its respite time"

I've years of that ahead(well, however long I have on the planet)

She hasn't her make up on but tomorrow(they may not like it)I think she may like to have a little lipstick on...

Even if she keeps dozing off its good to have company and some stimulation and that side ward may be too insular. I try to keep Mum interested without over doing it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mum Rallied A Bit...

Could be false hope, these things happen...

Mum was brighter...but did sleep too.

Mum had some porridge this morning and I later found out she had eaten some lunch and a yogurt.

I managed to get a very small amount of the evening meal into her...some kind of mashed potato and a kind of puree. I managed to get two more yogurts into Mum and a Complan, coffee, some water and a full bottle of Ribina fruit drink. Quite a lot of liquid really.

She was able to talk quite a lot of the time and told me I am "A wonderful son!" and again how much she loves me. It hurts when she asks "Will I get better?" "Why did Get this?" "I am frightened"

She has times where I think the pain is controlled but not always sadly and she says she has not known pain like it. "I did not know cancer was like this..."

I gave her a Mother's Day card which she liked. Thankfully, I was able to have her see it. And it is by her bedside.

I think they will still move Mum into a side room but for now as there are no spare ones she is still on a main ward.

She asked me why she is being put into a side room, I had to say just so she gets some peace and quiet. She seemed to accept that.

So if I hear nothing overnight I'll be there again tomorrow.

Well, Here We Are...

A new day, what will it hold, How long will I be in Mum's company? Will I be there until...

I did manage a few hours sleep I guess.

Strangely, when I was not asleep(and I know I was not)I found I was seeing images and faces(nothing I could recognise)that has never happened before. A strange sensation.

I will take my flasks of tea, coffee, yogurts and chicken soup...just in case, I hope Mum may have something but it may help me too.

Before I go if time allows I may pop into the hairdressers at the bottom of the street(I haven't much hair but its untidy)and get them to tidy me up and then get a taxi through to the hospital.

Its funny what goes through your mind, silly things like, I won't need to do as much washing any more and it will take ages to build up enough clothes for a wash so I can see me going back to doing a hand wash. Its silly having to run a washer for ages and use all that electric. Again, watching the pennies.

Well time is against me, it's almost 10.30am so I better disappear.

Thanks everyone...

Is It Still Only...

two and a half hours since I last posted? I thought it was later than this...I managed a couple of hours sleep, I may as well go back and try for more. I won't be surprised when what happens happens I take to my bed for a few days inbetween doing what has to be done...

I haven't heard the phone go...relief...

A thought passed by me, I suppose even if we had more time together I'd always want more and...if Mum could rally and surprise everyone(I know, I know)and could eat and get more strength, if they are sedating her and she's sleeping what chance has she to try and take in any nourishment orally?

The treatment being offered might actually be stopping the possibility of a comeback? Or for her to know I'm there and get any more time together. "They" say they want me to have quality time together and as much as we can.

If Mum is "out for the count!" I can hold her hand and if the bars on the bed aren't in the way perhaps I can give a kiss, stroke her head or whatever. I don't know what I'll do(It may register on a different level that I am there)but quality time? More like trying to come to terms with...

It may blow my cover and someone on the Internet may recognise me(or Mum and Dad)but I may very well post an image of us all together in happier times. There are many blogs that share much more information than I have and put their names on line. Especially those who use social sites like Face book. I can't see anything I have affecting say my prospects of work or whatever.

I've already tried to save money by cancelling my order of CD's from a well known site and though a bit cold I have kept the heating off and am using extra blankets. My income will drop drastically.

I hope that I can keep the computers and Internet going. I'm not even sure if there's any point keeping a tv license for the amount of TV I watch, Sky's a luxury, my mobile is basic and I don't phone anyone so that won't cost much and as it pay as you go at least there is no monthly fee.

Radio is going to be my constant friend and companion I suspect.

But of course if I want to stay online I'll need to rent a landline so I'll to find the cheapest package I can. And general shopping really will be basic now. This is going to sound as though its self pity(its not meant to)but you try to do the best you can you get knocked back for doing so.

There I go again, racing ahead...

If I spend most of the next few days at the hospital(depending on how long it all takes)my posts may become scarce and the next will probably the difficult one but probably the most simple.

I Really Should Go To Bed...

So why am I avoiding doing so?

I'm even tempted to phone and ask how Mum is(They said that I could at anytime)but unless she's taken a turn for the worse, what will have changed and would they tell me otherwise?

After all, if Mum is on a ward with others and a side room has not become free, they won't want me upsetting the other patients so they wouldn't want me to suddenly land on their doorstep.

If Mum really wants to give up or her body cannot go on I really should think about what is best for her.

Friday, March 16, 2012

I Am Heart Broken...

I was very upset when I lost my Father and wondered how I would get over it but of course Mum was there for me and I was there for her.

Today, when I went into the hospital Mum was very sleepy and I could not get any real response. I sat and held her hand and tried to do a few little tricks that normally would get a reaction...nothing! So I was happy to think well at least she is resting, is not in pain and not troubled.

I was told that she'd eaten a lot of porridge this morning but had refused anything else(Lunch)

Well, if she woke up I had my yogurts and flasks of tea, coffee and chicken soup!

Half an hour after arriving I was taken into a side room by a young Dr and was told...

It would be optimistic to think Mum will rally round. They seem to be only giving her until Monday at the most and should a side room become vacant they are moving Mum and allowing me to stay as long as I wish. There isn't a room free at present so I had to come home and could not stay on the ward. They will phone if Mum's condition changes whatever the time and I can phone anytime.

They say they'll try and feed her if she'll take anything by mouth, liquids especially but they are not going to feed her with one of those tubes down her throat. They are giving up on the usual tests they keep doing(Blood pressure, bloods etc...)They are putting one needle in which they can then feed drugs and medicines into and not disturb her. I guess that will be morphine and she'll sleep her time away.

They tried Mum with a yogurt tonight and she turned it down...I managed to get two small yogurts into her and she was more awake tonight and was able to talk a little...

She said how she loves me and that I have nothing to ask for forgiveness over. She still hopes to get home(that hurts when I know what I have been told)She asked if she looked alright too and even without the makeup she does...

She listened a little to her music on the mp3 player(I took it through)

I phoned all the people I know will be sorry and thought a lot about her, not many and they are so upset, even the local taxi company are down about Mum. Her brother in the states, the other one in Barnard Castle, two friends on the town...that's about all there is to tell.

Its going to be so hard but others are going through it like me...as I was phoning people another young lad was on a mobile sobbing his heart out and saying "They've found a small pulse but that's all!" I'll always wonder was it his Mother, Father, Wife, Son, daughter etc...who knows.

So I am dazed and its like living a dream.

The carer(I'm not supposed to know her number but I have it)is upset and walked through the door at the hospital and visited Mum tonight and Mum gave her a lovely smile. The carer wants to come to Mum's funeral and will be asking for time off to do so.

Mum always liked and used to sing to me Doris Day's " Que Sera Que Sera, Whatever Will Be, Will Be" and she'll always think of Mum when she hears that song and she sang it Monday and Mum was able to go the bath then.

I do wonder if I did the right thing forcing Mum to that appointment on Wednesday, if I know what I know know Mum could have passed away at home as she wished. Or if she'd become more poorly maybe I'd have still had to call the Dr and she'd have been taken into hospital still...

I'll never know...

They're not supposed to but you wonder if they are giving medication that will help her but they know it will mean she sleeps and passes away.

Again, I'll never know...

So the next post could be the hardest I will ever have to write.

Another day...

And I'm trying to be positive but my stomach is churning and all kinds of thoughts are running through my head.

The only good thing is that I phoned the hospital a few minutes ago and "they" say that she had a comfortable night. However, long Mum has that's all I'll ever want for her...to be pain free and able to rest.

I'll visit this afternoon and hope that there is an improvement(and stay for both visits)and take a few things a long that I hope she'll eat/drink)but sadly I'm not there to see what happens at meal times. I can guess.

So the soup I take in may be very welcome.

The worst part is the gap between visiting hours and filling in time. There are not many places to wait in and the restaurant closes at certain times. So you cannot spend the time drinking endless cups of tea.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'll Have To Be On My Guard...For The Both Of Us!

I'll explain that later...

I managed to get in to see Mum around 2.30pm and was there until 8pm(that took in a move to another ward)the previous one was for assessment, this a medical ward.

As always there are good nursing staff and bad nursing staff. No less compassionate/caring is a better description.

I went away to the toilet and came back to find the evening meal had been served. Last night I managed to get something into Mum but as I wasn't there and she was sleepy she had...nothing! This lady is thin for God's sake, she needs nourishment!

Just before the meal was served up some male nurse started throwing wipes at each patients shouting meals coming. I admit I'd made the error of leaving Mum's bedside so she did not get a meal(should I feel guilty?)but Mum wasn't going to wipe her hands but me being there at least I took the wipes and used them over her hands.

Sadly, she did not eat much of what I took today(hopefully, tomorrow she will)but I did get some fromage frais, chocolate, jelly and cream into her. I have new flask so I hope to take that soup tomorrow. I managed to get a little water, tea and coffe into her. I have to assume that Mum probably had no or little breakfast of lunch when I wasn't there.

She did get the blood transfusion, some pain killers, something for her mouth at last but I discovered that they are giving some kind of tablet to make her motions soft...


They usually are without any help of an opening medicine. Unless they've gone the other way because...she's not eating or getting enough liquid.

The new ward has set visiting hours so I'll have to do approx 90 minutes in the afternoon, hang around until evening and go back into the ward for the evening visit, I'm not coming home that would add extra travel but also another £30(It's costing that already return)

Don't get me wrong Mum's worth it. But its a lot to find and I bet if I studied I'm going through most of our income or will be if she stays there for a long time.

The new nurse on Mum's ward(I assume doing the evening shift)has an Irish accent a bit difficult to catch)Mum doesn't always hear. Tonight, the nurse asked if she was ok with the side bars up, Mum didn't hear, I repeated what the Nurse had said Mum answered, I looked up, the nurse had already disappeared and had not stayed long enough for an answer.

Now about being on my guard...

Mum was very, very sleepy and confused. So we get a nurse coming to the bed to discuss a discharge/care plan, she asked Mum questions Mum always says no to such as "I don't want to go into a home!" " I like being in my own home, my own surroundings and want to die there with my son etc..."

The care we receive has the option to be increased to 7 days and numerous visits daily(hell, it will cost a lot)but if it has to be done...we can and probably will now install a stair lift(rented)more expense(£350 a year)and if she survives and is up to it a wheelchair for perhaps some fresh air during Summer.

So when the Nurse mentions going into a home supposedly temporarily(alarm bells)Mum today says that sound nice...the they about using a single bed...Mum likes her double bed she can stretch out, today she said the opposite! Talk to Mum when she's more with it please!

I can talk to the care company, District Nurse and Social Worker, this one says lets get together with the District Nurse and make out a plan...they'll say its for Mum's benefit and the intentions may be good and I don't deliberately avoid help but having had run in's with the senior District Nurse I can imagine how it will go. They've been on about getting Mum into a home ever since she took ill and was ok. I need to stand my ground. They claim its to help me...phooey!

I am not stressed but if I was I'll ask for help. If she is put into care, her meagre savings go west and it may sound heartless anything that might help me when Mum goes is lost too.

I am not being deliberately awkward, honestly I'm not.

And the future as I say doesn't look too promising with(political rant coming)the change in the benefit system, I may have my name on the rent card and have been here 50+ years but they'll move and if the money stops who knows what will happen.

I was talking to someone in the supermarket tonight, buying that new flask, she lives with her partner and they moved them into a bedsit barely large enough for the bed...You watch they'll probably try that with me.

And it could be a bad part of town...perhaps another town...who knows!

I hope that there's room for my pc's, CD's, books, washer, tumble dryer, fridge/freezer and bed.

But hey I have to think of Mum. And take each day.

Mum gets a bit restless but as the taxi driver said "When I am really ill and out of it, I have to sleep and my wife tells me that I thrash about and talk all kinds of rubbish!" and he's not suffering with dementia...but when someone is ill you look for all kinds of problems. We'll just have to see how things pan out.

I can see another fight looming on the horizon.

It's not their fault but every nurse mentions or asks about some of the marks on Mum's face "Have you had a fall?" etc...no, they are slow cancer growths that will not and never would have killed her and I have to keep explaining what they are over and over again!

You know sometimes I feel I am talked at not to, That I am not treated as a "Man" but as a child. Perhaps I look young ;-) but if they know Mum's age they must have an idea of my age.

Oh well...tomorrow's another day...

Think I'll have a meal and turn in...

If I cannot visit Mum until tomorrow afternoon, I'll do some housework in the morning...

Update:So much for the meal I had planned lamb mince, gravy and a dumpling...as I had it in the freezer, I have to let it defrost in fridge so I have had a wholemeal bun filled with a tomato and a bottle of lemon and lime water...

and so to bed...

I'm Running Late...

Mum will be wondering where I am but I had things to do...

I hoped to take a flask of chicken soup in for her this afternoon but I can't find the stopper but I have a selection of fruit, bottled water(plain/flavoured)yogurts etc...

I'm going to try and make a couple of quick sandwiches for myself as I will probably be there until 8pm...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mum's Been Admitted To Hospital...

How I got Mum down the stairs I'll never know.

She had to come down on her bottom.

Next door my neighbour was about and he picked her up like a rag doll and got her into the taxi.

When she got to the hospital it took best part of half an hour to manage to get a wheelchair just to get her into the hospital. So she was sat on a public seat getting cold. Reception kept phoning(no joy)eventually some nurses managed to step in and find one.

She was wrapped in a blanket and we were given two mugs of tea and kind lunch packet of sandwiches and a yogurt.
It turned out that yes, she is anaemic so they transfered Mum to another hospital for that but around thirty minutes earlier of me writing this post, we were still waiting to be seen by a Dr to find out what is going on and for me to tell him things that he probably should know.

She was in pain and waiting for pain relief.

Also, it took 4 hours+ to get an ambulance to transfer to the other hospital and Mum was so uncomfortable they brought a bed down off the wards to the outpatients for Mum to rest on.

They are now talking that Radio Therapy may not make much difference to the tumour sadly(They still haven't put a time limit on Mum)The bad news(though Mum's brother in the States thinks it might be easier)they think they may have to consider Mum having a colostomy!

She had enough mental capacity to understand this and says she's willing to go through with it but its a hard decision.

So I don't know much until I go and see Mum again tomorrow. I was told to discuss this with the Dr's where she is now.

Even if Mum needs more care we both hope she'll get back home and into familiar surroundings and the last blood transfusion did make such a difference to her so I hope this the case this time...She's also still waiting for the transfusion. I suppose they'll do that tomorrow now.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mum Had A Fall Through The Night...

I knew she wasn't hurt as such but the position she was in made it difficult to lift her.  Eventually, I did manage to get Mum into a position where I could lift her quite easily. The problem is that Mum tends to do the opposite of what you want. Not deliberate it just happens.

Last night I wanted to roll her over and she kept putting her hand against the wall or if I managed to free that hand she'd bring her leg into a similar position. So I could not roll her over.

Once I managed to stop that happening, I had her sorted in minutes and lifted her onto the bed.

She's slept like a top since.

A District Nurse called today and said she is still in good condition skin wise. She looked over various marks the fall had caused and said just keep an eye on them.

She thought Mum possibly was pale but as she had not seen Mum before suggested that we press for blood tests tomorrow at the hospital in case she is anaemic again. And she was using the report the carer had written.
The tumour is intact. The surrounding skin is fine. I'm no medical expert but even I think that myself.
Mum has had a sore mouth, the Nurse looked and said that she might have thrush(Is this too much information? Am I betraying Mum's privacy?)she has ordered a prescription that hopefully will help and  give a reason why maybe Mum has been off her food or had difficulty eating and if we can solve that perhaps we can get the weight on again? Mum will has to swill it around her mouth as long as possible and then swallow it. It will work anywhere else in her body that's affected by the same condition.
Of course I still wonder how tomorrow will go at the hospital with the consultant and whether he has any nasty surprises and/or whether he'll offer further Radio Therapy.

Its still palliative care unfortunately. If younger and stronger I have a feeling they'd have killed it with a combination of chemo and Radio Therapy. Even an operation. But you can only take the treatment offered.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I Want To Die...

Its heartbreaking to hear those words but perhaps when your time arrives you do come to terms with the thought that your time is up and you want peace and no suffering. And then are we as relatives selfish because we don't want them to leave or can we let go and think it's what they want? Then again Mum was having a really restless night and just could not settle.

Other days she says she wants to live and will beat it.

Maybe, the restlessness could be associated with dementia or perhaps its because she's in pain and if that could be taken away, she'd improve. Pain debilitates. We'll discuss this with the Consultant on Wednesday.

As I have said before "They" say the cancer will probably remain localised and can be stabilised and she'll go of something else.

The dementia has not been called Alzheimer's(so unless somethings changed...)and our carer sees people worse than Mum and they are still in their own homes. People in pain are given Morphine tablets morning/night and are pain free for the day.

A mechanic who used to repair our car has Prostate Cancer but its being controlled.
It may be that Mum needs a blood transfusion(She did when first diagnosed in October)Carer thought Mum looked pale. A water infection can cause confusion so perhaps she needs anti-biotics. All this ties in.
Perhaps Mum needs a different pain killer or the dosage increasing...
We'll just have to see how the next few days go...Mum has improved/picked up since the carer went away.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

You Can Live For Another 20 Years!

In the news it appears scientists believe they have found a gene which if it can be switched on would allow people another 20 years of life.

Would we want to?

I suspect it depends if you have lots of friends and family around you but more importantly whether you have and will continue to have good health. Would another twenty years of possible suffering with chronic conditions be what you want? Or is all life precious and sacred?

Then again, if you live another twenty years, I suspect the Government would be looking at ways to avoid having you have a long retirement(they hate paying out all the state pension that they have to)so they could very well put back the age you retire again.

Another problem is I understand this extra twenty years would probably switched on with a pill. How long do you have to take it? When do you start? Assuming none of us know how long we will live in the first place and all the variables that can affect the outcome how will you know the extra twenty years were added to your original total?

One aspect that is a bit difficult is many of us would say we wish not to mess about with nature and yet scientific research has already allowed many of us to survive and live longer than we would've and thinking of Mum, there I am trying to do all I can to make her comfortable, well and in reality live as long as possible which kind of contradicts the original question I pose. Also some reasons for having a shorter life can be self inflicted so how would that be affected?

Mum has always eaten well, rarely drank alcohol and never smoked(and still has become seriously ill)My Father's early death(I assume)came about because he was a smoker.
I'm sure that there are many more concerns and questions to be asked of this announcement that even I have yet to think up.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Always Looking For Things To...

Give Mum choice in what she eats and just hoping they'll help add weight and make her feel better.
I went out with only three or four items in my mind on a shopping list but I came back with four or five carrier bags.

New deserts and yogurts, double cream, whole milk.

Some originally intended for children and some in smaller portions. I don't know if I can get through everything by the time the dates on them are up but I'm going to try. Even if I have to eat them myself. Some of the yogurts I found are made with whole milk. I bought our first fromage frais too. I don't even know if that's the correct spelling.

So many flavours...apple and blackberry, strawberry and banana, custard and rhubarb and more.

I still managed to come home without a couple of things, tomatoes for my salad(Luckily, I have five in the fridge)and a Birthday card to send on behalf of Mum to a friend so I guess I'll have to go out again on Monday. And I thought I could avoid having to...

Now that I look after Mum's financial affairs with the Government I tried to take out the money from my bank account and found that there is a limit on how much I could withdraw in one transaction so I'll have to have another go at that by which time more will have been added. But I won't exceed the limit.

Exciting isn't it?

Music, Music, Music...

Funny how a blog can take different directions...Mine has been so serious and will be again, no doubt.

However, I mentioned music and I walked into my bedroom to catch the tail end of a radio interview, I had no idea who with but the guest starting saying how he likes the smooth easy sounds of singers like Ella Fitzgerald. Then mentioned that he had an album coming out where he would not be doing vocal gymnastics and would be singing older songs as this seems very popular at present.

I do know that many so called "Pop" stars when they appear on programmes where they choose their favourite music, they mention growing up with a wide range of music in their homes and through out their childhood and we are talking of anything from classical music to bands like Glen Miller/Tommy Dorsey, jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and singers like Sinatra, Bennett, Fitzgerald etc...

In recent years we've had singers like Rod Stewart having great success with a series of albums of "Standards" and last month we had Paul McCartney. My mind has gone blank but there has definitely been a series of artists bringing out their versions of music written decades ago.

Now, this is either because the music written in the 40's and 50's really was class or is it simply because its seen as a way of cashing in on a trend. The fact that music is still selling and is still popular even though it is the same songs just being covered over and over again, it seems difficult to do any harm to these old songs.

So who is the artist who has a CD coming out on Monday? Jason Donovan. Better known for the disco type material in the 80's and for acting in the Australian soap Neighbours.

What is he singing on the new CD?

1. I Won't Dance

2. Make Love

3. Every Time We Say Goodbye

4. Bewitched

5. Sign Of Your Love

6. What A Difference A Day Made

7. Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart

8. I Only Have Eyes For You

9. Creative

10. They Can't Take That Away From Me

11. With You

I have no idea if they have been rearranged to sound modern or are similar to their original style nor whether he has anyone guesting on some tracks. Four of the songs I do not recognise so they could be new songs in a similar style. I wonder how well it will do. Will it be judged as a stand alone CD and that these are new versions of songs many of us are familiar with or will listeners be comparing his attempts with those we artists we know so well.
I suspect these kind of songs are easier to sing and gentle to the voice and that has a lot to do with why many of the older singers had careers that lasted years. Also if this is a success there is a wealth of material that can be dipped into for many years...

Update:Surprisingly, Jason Donovan's Bewitched is not the one we usually think of "Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered" but the theme to the 60's US Comedy Sitcom about A witch trying to live a normal life and not use her magic powers. I have only ever know this as an instrumental but the credits to that series always mention that it has lyrics and Jason proves that it does!

Michael Bolton is the latest artist to issue a kind of duets CD called Gems but its been coupled with a "Very Best Of CD" so that's two CD's for the price of one...so if you are a new fan you get a chance to catch up on previous material too, a total of  29 tracks!

Perhaps the most interesting track is his duet with Eva Cassidy(Wonder what she'd have thought of it?)

Also, they've reissued the Tony Bennett Duets I and Duets II as a package now and reduced the price. Again, a bargain for anyone who missed either first time around.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Watching The Pennies...

know when I am alone money will be tight. Wages paid for any job I could find myself doing will be low, I would not expect nor want to work more than part time. Should I continue to fit the criteria where I receive help because of health conditions, I will have to be thrifty and many things seen as usual items in the supermarket trolley will not be purchased.

For someone who loves music it is so difficult to have to give up purchasing the odd CD here and there. If I am lucky and because I tend to look at the back catalogues of artists, I am fortunate that some titles come onto the market offering perhaps three CD's for £3-£5 or mp3's for download and big companies have the clout to offer some real bargains. Today I found 114 songs of Doris Day's 1950's output for £4.99. With what I already have, I have a fair representation of her work so don't need to buy any more.

In reality the price of CD's(£8-£9)is quite low for new titles(and I remember some vinyl titles)costing £5-£10 decades ago.

However, I have ordered a 90 track Box CD set of all of Bobby Vee's singles output including some rarities(and alternative Stereo versions of some songs)Frank Sinatra's only album produced and recorded in the UK of British songs(Including some written by Noel Coward and Ivor Novello)and a reissue of a 1957 album of Louis Armstrong with pianist Oscar Peterson(which has 6 bonus tracks)So that's 119 tracks for approx £20.

A few weeks ago I treated myself to Lionel Richie's new CD where he rerecorded some of his old songs with "New" Country singers and a collection Gilbert O'Sullivan's Greatest Hits.

As an aside, years ago a song where an artist on a rival label was difficult to arrange because of a alack of cooperation between them has virtually stopped being a problem(probably because most of the labels are owned by only one or two big companies)but it does make you wonder how they arrive at their choice of performers to appear the artist whose name is selling an album. How much free choice exists.

I expect on Richie's album Tuskagee the two tracks that will get most radio airplay/publicity will be Lady with Kenny Rodgers and Endless Love with Shania Twain. Having said the album has many "New" country acts, the two I have mentioned feature two established Country stars that could be called "Older" acts and certainly that is true of Willie Nelson who is on another song. Nelson in recent years has done a fair bit of dueting...Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Iglesias and Frank Sinatra.

Interesting that Richie decided that Shania Twain was the right one to do Endless Love with second time around.

I have such wide appreciation of music, it can make it difficult to decide what to buy. Does my choice of music add to your perception of me?

Over the years I have mentioned some of the music I have purchased or enjoy and I think its been quite varied.

The problem is just as I decide to buy something, a site like Amazon bring to my attention something else that I'd love to buy. But of course that's what they hope will happen but they do have a wider choice than local shops and the nearest "Real" record shop is 7 miles away.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Virgin Mobile...

I still prefer landlines to mobile phones but my mobile is handy in some instances such as phoning Mum's brother in the States to tell him how she is...Today is not good and I thought I might have to give bad news or prepare him for some...

I know things go wrong and I try to be understanding but I have tried for three hours to top up my account with a credit card and it takes me through the whole process before telling me the transaction has failed and there are technical problems.

When I talked to a real person they could not take payments and said try again...tomorrow!

Great service...not!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I Couldn't Resist...

I'm sorry we have loads of mugs and...I have also broken plenty too. But there it was...It only cost £1. One saying in pastel colours and in a kind crayon writing..."I Love My Mummy" Mum would've been better  but...

Anyhow, Mum's using it already and calling her mug...

Good day, she's sleepy but rested(I wondered if needs another blood transfusion)She's with it, she's listening to her music...the selection is on the player but it seems to playing a different order of tunes that have surprised me.

Almost forgot Desmond Carrington starts his new series on BBC Radio 2 tonight about Icons of the 1950's and his guest co-host is Sir Jimmy Young and the first main guest on the first show is The Beverly Sisters so we'll settle down and listen to that soon.

Mum's reached 2,000 calories with little effort so we may get over that target yet! I'm about to cook some soup.

Also, no major problems looking after Mum today either...a good day! We got tired of wiating for the carer today so I bathed Mum and then just let the carer check her over afterwards and put all the creams on. We'll pay for her visit but who cares!

I found the misplaced letter with the date and time of Mum's appointment with her consultant next Wednesday. It was a bit early 9.50am. Called his secretary and she's slipped us in for the same session but for 11.50am.

Whatever we're told that is better for us, more time to get Mum ready and she may be more awake by then. 


I don't know how I feel. I suppose I have taken an interest over the years and virtually always done my duty and voted as elections come around. But I have not been obsessed with it.

As you get older and your circumstances change you cannot say that your life is untouched by decisions politicians make.

However, I am now affected as it can make a difference to the care Mum receives and my own life after I lose her as my health may suffer and though it seeems ages away, I will be getting closer to being retired or called a pensioner. This is assuming I'm around for a long time to come. None of us know.

I don't like what I see. I find myself questioning how democratic our political system really is and perhaps the best I can say is that no system is great but its the best of a bad bunch. Or am I being unfair, it probably depends who is in power and how they use the constitution and all the procedures that can be called upon in Parliament to get policies through by hook or by crook.

We keep hearing that MP's want to reform the House Of Lords but in recent weeks even when the Lords have tried to change and alter what the Government wants to bring into law regarding the NHS and Welfare, the Government has still got its own way, so why they are they bothered about the second house? Really, this has shown that the Lords has less importance than perhaps we are led to believe. At best it delays the inevitable or just maybe makes some MP's think again about what they are doing. It would appear to have no effect on what the House of Commons does...

I once again direct you via this post to another powerful piece of writing at a site that has been looking out for the disadvantaged in the UK(It is mainly about those with disabilities)but many more will be affected.

Ability Disabled

I take one example...The new PIP can be refused if you say that if you soil yourself, you can clean yourself up. It doesn't take into account that it might take ages to do or might be a struggle. You cannot always expect a carer or someone to come in and see to you. They cannot be with you 24/7 and if you soil yourself, are you expected to sit in your filth until someone calls at an agreed time?

Now, if on the other hand you decide to give in and say "I'll move into care" how much more will that cost taxpayers? How many places are available? Some people can manage with a little help or with some difficulty but you may need some aid(That might be one of those chairs that lowers you into a bath)and it may be a struggle but at least if you have some independence, you are trying to have a life of your own and you are saving the country money.

Another interesting article...

Beat The Cheat

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

I Cannot Lie...

today is a nightmare...Mum is sleeping most of the time(but considering how restless her night was)I'm not surprised. Its good for both of us. Too much information? I've had two major situations of needing to really clean up after her. I'll say no more. And yet as said in an earlier comment between both incidents, the District Nurse called(not seen this one before)and she commented how "With it!" Mum is and how good condition her skin is and yes, considering she has a tumour, how well that is going on. And how well I am caring for her.

Most of the day Mum has been pain pain free(That's good)

However, whether its because Mum is so sleepy(or its the dementia)she's been calling out for her Mum, her sister and keeps saying she wants to go home. I'm keeping an eye on her to see if it could be a water infection as that can give similar symptoms. It is heartbreaking.

Then again, with a decent sleep perhaps the rest will improve matters.

I did get a yogurt into her(255 calories)I am about to try and get another Complan into her(400 calories)and we've still the rest of the day head of us.

I guess hiccups like this will happen. I hope its a hiccup...

I hope that she's well enough for me to get her downstairs and out the door for her hospital appointment next Tuesday.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Later In The Day...

Mum is not in pain. It was a bit of work but "We" managed to get Mum into the bath(It was quicker than usual)but she still had one. She has been dried and creamed. Dressed. Now she's having a nap! And is rested. She's had a Complan and a bowl of porridge...Oh and two mugs of water.

I'm going to try and be a bit more gentle when moving Mum around, its easy to forget that even what I think of as being not "Rough" might be to her. And today, now that the carer has been "We" can relax!

And apart from the District Nurse possibly calling tomorrow unless something unexpected happens we have 48 hours to live our lives calmly and not be chewed on.

So far, today is a better day...

Liquid Morphine...

Tried it out in the middle of the night with the dosage(10mg)suggested by the Dr who prescribed it. It had no affect. It did not stop the pain nor did it help Mum sleep any better. It had a burning effect when she took it in her mouth.

So that's put her off and the thought that perhaps she needs a stronger dose doesn't help. I hope she can do without any increase or change in drugs to help stop pain but perhaps a tablet would work better. I'll suggest that maybe in the next day or two to those who decide on Mum's care.

I assume they start you off on the lowest dose possible and change things accordingly.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Not A Good Day...

I wonder where we are going(Hopefully not hospital)but we'll have to see...

Sometime between Thursday and today Mum is complaining that it hurts to move but I cannot establish exactly where and why...

The carer and myself thought the pain was in her lower back/leg so we were keeping an eye on it. Last night though not ideal Mum said no when she moves the pain is in her bottom where the tumour is. Today, we've moved to another possibility.

Then again...even if I/We wanted to do something weekends are said not to be the ideal time to go to hospital as usually there are no specialists on duty and at best often they put you into a bed. And the real work begins on Monday.

Also the worry is that even if the cancer has not spread, if she goes into hospital and is kept in, she once again misses her next appointment with the Oncologist. That happens in approx 10 days.

Mum is reasonably alert and with it but should she require an operation, the lack of weight and the fact they say she's weak, they may decide an operation is out of the question because she might not survive it(that was why chemo was ruled out regarding her treatment for cancer)

Then it is said that general anaesthetic on an older person is traumatic enough but if there is some dementia, it can speed up the effects of it so there is quite a lot against us.

If we can survive today perhaps we'll be better able to decide how we should proceed.

It's a pity because considering the situation we find ourselves we have been doing reasonably well. Even, though I know the likely scenario and it is only being delayed.

Perhaps a change in pain management may be all that is needed and if the pain is removed Mum will be ok again...we have some liquid morphine which Mum is reluctant to take but that may make all the difference. If we go down that route I want to see if it speeds up the dementia or any effect is temporary(as the District Nurse suggested)

The carer has clients who take morphine and are pain free(Day and night)and being so makes them more restful and when they sleep its restful sleep but Mum may dislike the feeling it gives her and I'll have to watch to see what effects it has on her and whether I think its a good idea to use it regularly.

At least Mum is drinking and I think I will still get some food into her as the day goes on. Being Sunday I hope that we will once again enjoy our radio programmes and manage to have a restful Sunday. All time together is precious.

Update:Mum is sleeping peacefully but said that she is feeling a little better(and not in pain)so I'll record the radio show and play it back to her later(I'm not going to disturb her)I've just been painting Mum's toenails(and she slept through the ordeal)I'm doing things I never thought I would and learning skills too.

Wish we had access to some smilies in our posts.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

I've Been Trying Those...

Muller Fruit Corner Yogurts but they are so runny I am pouring the contents into a glass and having Mum drink it. Always looking for something new...

Once again our local supermarket seems to have had another reorganisation of its range of soups and we've lost more of our favourites and some really expensive varieties have been added(some costing approx £2)on the other hand the supermarkets own brand is a good 20p-40p less expensive and they seem quite good value on price and quality.

We never ate a lot of meat but I can remember Sunday lunch. The first piece of beef was the favourite of everyone.

A local butcher used to come around in a little van. Its been years since I ate any beef and it about the only one "We" seemed to stop eating when the health scare started about "Mad Cow's Disease!"(Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease)

We used to enjoy corned beef too and that was another we let go, I am now trying to decide whether I should give in and at least go back to eating that. I have purchased 4 slices of the fresher kind rather than in a can. But just when I almost think that I will try it again, I seem to have doubts again.

So in the next day or two I'll have to decide whether to eat it or throw it away. A bit of corned beef or mixed in with mashed potato and onion(a kind of hash)was always nice.

I thought that Mum might enjoy the corned beef to be honest and it would give protein, taste and be easy to eat but even she a few minutes ago with all her health problems said she wasn't going to eat it and to...throw it away.

Friday, March 02, 2012

I Think I Can Just About...

Get away with some of the new light bulbs that have been forced upon us. The problem is that many do not fit existing lamps and light fittings well. I still prefer the old and they still do not work in many places around the home. That aside...I have found the problem is because most are manufactured in what is called "Soft" white, they are too dim(Regular readers will know I have returned to this topic a few times.

On our landing however I am using one classed as 23watt, that is said to be around the equivalent of a 120watt traditional light bulb.

So I guess the trick is to go for the brightest bulb you can find. This also helps avoid the waiting time for the bulb to reach optimum brightness.

It has lasted quite a long time but I suspect it might've lasted longer. As I replaced it earlier tonight I couldn't remember if I had switched it off at the wall but I knew it was not lit.

I did not touch any metal thus endangering myself but when I caught the glass tubes it did light up again. Closer inspection showed that some of the tubes had come away from the body of the bulb but the body of the bulb had gone brown(suggesting heat damage)

No leakage of what is inside of the tubing so no worries about anything toxic being released. I do know that they want you to dispose of these bulbs at special collection points(I don't know of any really close to where I live)and I don't want to make a journey that probably costs quite a lot nor do I want to store loads of used bulbs in my home.

Surely there should be some kind of provision for these to be collected even it was in some kind of tiny box or a plastic sack(again, it doesn't have to be large)and if it was put out with recycled items there could be part of the truck that these could be put into.

How many people are just going to say "Sod It!" and put them out with the rubbish and they will go into landfill? I can understand why they would. Even a collection point at a supermarket would help.

We had another wheelie bin delivered this week to put recycled items in so that means each home now has three(the other two being for household and garden rubbish)and finally the main household collection is now fortnightly not weekly. I Can fill a bin quite easily in one week now because of Mum being ill and I am still wondering how I will be affected if its a fortnightly collection, will I ever get on top of our waste?

I don't buy much stuff that needs recycling or because what we eat lasts a fair while that bin will not be used much. I don't buy newspapers and I usually reuse shopping/carrier bags. Oh we also have to use a little crate to put glass in...so putting out rubbish is quite an operation now.