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This has to be goodbye, for a while.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

This is a really hard blog to write, unbelieveably hard, and one which is going to require a large box of tissues to write.

For the past months my health has not been good - no one major thing, but just one health problem after another. These past weeks I have been having trouble with being able to eat anything and keep it down. No trouble eating, just that it wouldn't stay where it was meant to. Constant visits to my doctor who did all manner of tests and found nothing there to explain the reason helped relieve my worries, but still it continued, and along came the migraines, then the complete lack of energy, then my arthritis flared up to be as bad as it ever was at its worst. The list goes on...

As most of you will know, Dad is in our local nursing home, and each day a little more of him slips away. My family have chosen to believe that I brought him here to live with me solely to exploit him, thanks to my sister's conversations and phone calls. No one, other than two of my daughters, have been near him now the end is drawing closer, and even phone calls to family members were never returned, no one even called the nursing home for an update on Dad's condition. I am there with him each day, even though he most times doesn't know me, tells me to go away, but then at other times he lies or sits there holding my hand for hours. I will continue to be there for him, just as he was always there for me whenever I needed him - never ever had to ask, he just knew when he was needed.

After being hospitalized for several hours again yesterday, my doctor has laid it on the line for me - I either remove all commitments from my life, focus solely on my own health, or I will be faced with more than the prospect of having to postpone the rest of my Aged Care course, I will be unable to work at any time in the future. He has agreed I can still go spend time with Dad each day, knows that to be forced to give that up will just make things much much worse, but that's it. Everything else has had to be dropped, and done so immediately.

I know I need to do this, I know I need time to myself, I know I am falling apart physically as well as emotionally, but it really hurts to have to leave Spark People behind till I am better. I have to realize I don't have the ability to bounce back from things as I did when I was in my teens and 20s. As he said yesterday, I will be 60 in 2 1/2 years from now, and if I'm not going to start acting like a responsible adult, when do I plan to start?

So,,, I won't be round for some months, but you will all be in my thoughts and prayers each and every day, and when I am better and am able to, I will be back to catch up on all the wonderful things in your lives I have missed out on hearing about.

In the meantime though, I have had to leave Lexie as the sole leader of 'Finding and Loving Your Inner Tigger' team, and have just had to notify Thiagram, who herself was taking a break from leading 'Sparkling Knitters' that I had to go as of now. Please, if you can help lead these teams, contact the leaders on the team page. Don't just expect them to carry on without help - specially Thiagram, cos she asked me to take over from her. Please, if a few of you get together, you would only have to do a little each to help keep the teams up and running.

Think about it at least.

I am so sorry to have to go with no notice whatsoever, but if not this, then I am facing extended hospitalization, and need to be here for Dad, my dogs and my cats, and my daughters of course. Please understand and forgive me for having to leave in this way. This is definitely something I want to do, or ever thought I'd have to.

Love and good luck to you all. Thank you for all the love and friendship and for all the laughs and information we have shared in the past. Hopefully it won't be too long before we can again, God willing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 5/11/2011 12:05PM

    I had to put off commenting when I first read this, too emotional and at work, etc. Then I kept putting off writing...maybe some childlike part of my brain figured if I didn't say goodbye then you weren't really leaving. But I am not a child, actually glad I'm not a child, even if I still think I need to be taken care of sometimes. I'm not going to say goodbye. You will get better, you will heal, you will be back. I must believe. Don't make me come to Australia...I'd love to come see you. I wonder how many mileage points I need on USAIRWAYS. I really miss you. I really, really miss you. I'm sending love, light, and healing.
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LYNNE311 4/25/2011 4:20PM

    Hi Chris,
I know what you're going through with your Dad. I lost mine about a year ago - Lewy Body Dementia. It is heartbreaking and I really feel for you. He had good days, not so good days, and downright bad days. And you never know what it'll be till you arrive each day. Treasure the fleeting moments of clarity, they peek through the clouds every now and then and remind us that their essence is still in there. Speak to him as much as you can. I found that my Father was listening even when he was unable to respond, on other days he let me know in subtle ways that he had heard me. Tell him you love him as much as possible, I found that it always registers on some level. Best of luck to you. And feel free if you need a shoulder to cry on or just a good listener, you can always sparkmail me and we can share our stories. I will send many healing vibes your way, take care of yourself first, everyone else later. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/25/2011 4:21:36 PM

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CALIKIKI 4/25/2011 3:10PM

    My thoughts are with you on this journey. Please take care of yourself.

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BEANYGIRL 4/25/2011 1:57PM

  I am so glad you are putting yourself first Chris...and you'll not regret the time with your Dad, I know...take care of yourself sweetie and know that you're in my prayers...Peace&Hugs, Beany

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BKNITNWW 4/25/2011 10:57AM

    Please take care of yourself. Put yourself first. You will be missed!!


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SIRIRADHA 4/25/2011 10:35AM

    Please take good, good care of yourself; you're such a special person. Know that wherever you are and whatever you're doing you will be held in my heart. I will miss you something fierce!


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FREES1 4/25/2011 10:12AM

    take care of yourself and your dad... you'll be missed.. heal!

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1BEACHWALKER 4/25/2011 9:20AM

    Sorry to hear of your health problems. Yes, that is the best thing for you to take care of yourself and we will be here when you return. Will miss you! Get Well Soon! Connie emoticon

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KINSBAILE 4/25/2011 8:48AM

    Well I hope you can come back at some time. I feel your health is the most important, so please take good care of yourself!

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SHAPNUP 4/25/2011 8:01AM

    Please take good care of you. My prayers are with you and your family.

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PATRISNA 4/25/2011 7:27AM

    Take care of yourself Chris. We will miss you and be waiting for your return.


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ALIONHEART 4/25/2011 6:14AM

    Thinking of you Chris and so glad that you are listening to your wise doctor.

Just because your sister needs to mature doesn't mean you have to internalise her negative, erroneous view. She is likely justifying her own guilt.

Believe in yourself and trust that you will return to good health, and when you are you will be able to find a way of dealing with your sister which will restore harmony xxxxx.

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LEXIE63 4/25/2011 5:06AM

    I've Spark-mailed you my friend with my proper email addy in case you are able to keep in touch that way. :-) You are in my thoughts and prayers every day.
I am so sorry things have deteriorated so badly for you. Don't worry about the Tigger Team. We'll keep bouncing just for you! :-)
Praying that it won't be long before you are back here, and able to continue with the other things you love.
Gentle Hugs
Lex xxx
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ANIMALMAGIC 4/25/2011 4:25AM

  I will especially miss your messages on the Happy Hippies huddle wall.
Take care of yourself hun, and hope you return to us soon

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LOOSEIT57 4/25/2011 4:19AM

    Take Care of yourself. You will be missed. emoticon

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CAROLYN1ALASKA 4/25/2011 3:20AM

    All of us will miss you so much, but your health must come first.
All the best, get well, and be healthy. emoticonCarolyn

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NEW-CAZ 4/25/2011 2:56AM

    Chris hun, ou really must take care of you.
You have so much on your plate right now and must get your priorities right and that means taking time to regroup get better and take care of your family
We will all be waiting patiently for your return and hearing from you once more
Luv and hugs
Caz emoticon emoticon

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1GR8FULGAL 4/25/2011 2:16AM

    You must put yourself first, for if not, then how on earth can you be there for anyone else?! Do what is best for you; that's what is most important; all the best to you and your family.

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KNITTABLES 4/25/2011 1:51AM

    Take care and best wishes, Put yourself first now and I hope things gets better for you. Come back when you are healthy enough and in a good place. I will miss your friendship but I certainly understand. Hugs.

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1COUNTRY_GAL 4/25/2011 1:12AM

    emoticon emoticonTaking care of YOUrself is # 1 priority end of story! We will still be here when you are ready to come back.Take care and prayers of good health and healing. emoticonDiana:)

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DEE107 4/25/2011 12:14AM

    your health comes first my friend

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TOTHEFUTURE1 4/24/2011 11:55PM

    Sending you vibes ) ) ) ) ))))
Hope to hear from with good news soon

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THIAGRAM 4/24/2011 11:41PM

  My dear friend, I am very much saddened by this. I hope and pray for you, that you will have peace and recovery. Taking care of yourself is the most important thing. Don't worry about the team, I'll pick up and do what I can. When I asked for someone to take over, I was thinking I would be not Sparking anymore, but I didn't ever really leave. So we will be fine. I will miss you and your love and wonderful comments tremendously!

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Comment edited on: 4/24/2011 11:41:49 PM

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KLASSIE 4/24/2011 10:09PM

    If you come back one more time and read this blog, then I will encourage you to seek help from a therapist. He/she might be able to help you. I have not read your past blogs so I may be off line, but just from this one, the possibility of Somatoform disorder comes to mind. This is what Wikepedia has to say about it, and if I'm wrong, I apologize. "A Somatoform disorder, is a mental disorder characterized by physical symptoms that suggest physical illness or injury - symptoms that cannot be explained fully by a general medical condition, direct effect of a substance, or attributable to another mental disorder (i.e. panic disorder).[1] The symptoms that result from a somatoform disorder are due to mental factors. In people who have a somatoform disorder, medical test results are either normal or do not explain the person's symptoms. Patients with this disorder often become worried about their health because the doctors are unable to find a cause for their health problems. Symptoms are sometimes similar to those of other illnesses and may last for several years."

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JSPEED4 4/24/2011 8:43PM

    Read my emails. And I have been doing almost double fitness munutes, so I probably can fill-in for you the rest of this month. Thanks for this challenge that got me going!

Get some supplemental hydrocholoric acid. Without enough B6, people don't make enough digestive acid and food will not digest--so it comes back up.

In a week, get some general digestive enzymes and eat raw food for a couple of weeks: plenty of parsely and a few radishes, blended in a smoothie with a peeled or whole organic apple, is a great start.

Comment edited on: 4/24/2011 8:46:15 PM

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ELSEEBEE 4/24/2011 8:34PM

    Chris, sending you much love and hoping you will find your path ahead will bring peace and healing. You are an inspiration to all of us because of your positive attitude and loving heart. Take good care of yourself, find comfort in the time you share with your dad, and know that we are all sending you loving wishes every day!

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SUSIEPH1 4/24/2011 8:14PM

    Take care and concentrate on you !!!.
Because it is only you that can do this for yourself....
Get better and fitter .. Take care of your dad .. don't worry about the rest of the family that are shunning You and your Dad ....
They will have to live with what they are doing for the rest of their lives ...
Love and Hugs
Susie emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANGORA4 4/24/2011 6:16PM

    Take care of yourself, that is upmost. Do what you need to do. We'll be looking forward to hearing from you, and send you our prayers and best wishes in the meantime.

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ACROSONIC 4/24/2011 6:06PM

    Looking forward to hearing from you down the road when things are better.

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REVJVH 4/24/2011 6:06PM


Take care of yourself. If I can be of any help, please let me know. I've sent my email address to your SparkMail. Meantime, keep your spark alive! I know you can do it.


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JSTRIK 4/24/2011 5:54PM

  That is so sad. I wish you the best. You do need to focus on yourself so you can help you Dad. I have you in my prayers.

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JANENE413 4/24/2011 5:48PM


I have been out of the loop lately myself, but I am truly so grateful for your love and leadership. Now it's time for you to give yourself the same wonderful attention that you have given to others as you were able. No apologies necessary. Taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do. This is how we are able to help others. You must find your own wellness to be able to give care to others.

So take care of yourself with love, patience and kindness--like you would a dear friend--the best of friends.

Love and blessings to you, Chris.


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ALICIA214 4/24/2011 5:42PM

We have never been in contact before , but I feel I must say how sorry I am that you
are having such a hard time with your health and your Dear Dad slipping away,I will keep you in my prayers if that is alright with you,and remember
God Holds you in the palm of his hand.Keep the faith, and get well.

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Of sunshine, walking, Easter and an influx of tourists...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I just want to thank those wonderful fellow Sparkers, friends and team mates who read and gave their opinion on the question I asked in yesterday's blog. Read them a short while ago, had tears in my eyes while doing so, but they were tears of gratitude for having people such as you in my life, telling me what I need to hear, giving their honest opinion when asked. You are all such a blessing in my life.

I finally got some exercise yesterday - walked to the main street for a little shopping, from there to see Dad, and then a few hours later continued on through the park around the lake opposite the nursing home, watched the ducks, past the barbecue and playground areas, and through the open space on the other side where the carnival people are getting ready for tomorrow evening's carnival opening.

This week is the first of two weeks' school holidays, and tourists and regular visitors to our town are starting to arrive. The playground was filled with children having a wonderful time in the lovely sunshine, making new friends, renewing old ones. Our quiet country town really comes alive each Easter, people from all over the world arrive here annually, accommodation is usually booked a year ahead - this is the home of the Stawell Easter Gift, one of the world's most prestigious foot races, which will be held on Tuesday this year.

I walked the rest of the way home, glad I was in the sunshine, getting a little gentle exercise, and feeling again that thrill of excitement at the prospect of our town and the surrounding area really pulling out all the stops to offer entertainment of as wide a variety as possible in order to help persuade those here for the Gift to stay a little longer, help boost our local economy. Last year a few friends and I went to the carnival on the Thursday night - it only runs till the Gift final is run, and the locals generally go on the first night where we don't have to queue for rides, etc. We aren't used to having to line up and wait here in our town, not very often anyway - one of the benefits of living here. Hoping maybe we can take another trip back to our childhood again tomorrow night...

Today I will take that same walk again, and check out the progress that's been made with the carnival preparations, see if any carnival rides have been set up since yesterday. For anyone interested in learning a little more about what brings our town to life each year, or anyone interested in footraces, here is the link to some info on the Stawell Easter Gift -

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGORA4 4/20/2011 3:49PM

    Thanks for sending the link, what a fascinating event. So glad you were able to get out and about and walk for a bit, good for you for taking time to take care of yourself as well. Enjoy!

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SILLYHP1953 4/20/2011 2:48PM

    Sounds like a major event taking place in your hometown! We're on vacation and may not get home until Easter day, depends on the weather as we're on bikes, and that means motorcycles. We don't go anywhere on bicycles, tho we probably should! Normally all the kids come over and we have an easter egg hunt and eat...I will miss that. Enjoy your festivities.

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ACROSONIC 4/19/2011 9:32PM

    Glad to hear you're doing well!

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DEE107 4/19/2011 9:29PM

    sounhds like a good day and Happy Easter to you hugs

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LEXIE63 4/19/2011 6:18PM

    Hope you get the chance of a ride or two tomorrow. :-) Sounds like a lot of fun.
Lex xxx
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My exercise yesterday? A giant leap of faith!

Monday, April 18, 2011

What follows below is something I just posted on the Caregivers' team daily chat board. I am still so uncertain as to whether I did the right or wrong thing, keep telling myself I need this, I need time out for myself if I'm to be able to be there for Dad as I need to be. I would appreciate your thoughts on whether or not I have done the right thing...

..Yesterday I took a giant leap of faith, as a result of the constant reminders from my friends of my promise, and at the suggestion of my doctor - I agreed to take 5 days away in early June to fly with two friends (one the niece of the other) to the Gold Coast and have a complete break, go do the theme parks, hopefully catch up with my daughter, grandson and granddaughter one day, and just relax and be 'me' again for a while. This trip originally was scheduled for my birthday October 2009, but Mum was admitted to hospital as her health failed (cancer) so the others took my 'birthday trip', brought back photos and gifts for me. Last year we planned it again, were about to book, and Dad became unwell in the nursing home, and my friends' father was hospitalized with complications from his cancer treatment.
Yesterday, after speaking with nursing home staff, we did it - we booked our trip. Sure, Dad is slowly deteriorating and my friends' father/grandfather is too, but we all NEED to take a break and just relax for a while.
Hoping and praying everything is going to be ok, but I am prepared to fly home at a moment's notice, as are my friends, should something happen. As nursing staff said yesterday, Dad could still be hanging on to life as he is now in 6, 9, 12 months from now. They encouraged me to go while I am able, rather than waiting longer and having more chance of his health deteriorating.
Still trying to convince myself I am doing the right thing - know it mentally, just doubtful emotionally.

...Please, be honest. Am I doing the right thing?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANESMILES 4/27/2011 11:23PM

    HI hon,,,we've talked on and off through this time. I want you to please step back for a moment. I want to please imagine to ask urself this question "If Dad were in a place where he could really tell me what he'd want me to do, what would HE want me to do?" and you KNOW the answer,,,,he'd WANT you to ENJOY yourelf. NO Loving parent wants their child to go through this stress day after day after day. If you hadn't b4 this asked ur Dad about this, I have. My Dad and I are very, very close and he has lovelingly told me this. So please hon,,,since you can come back in moments notice, GO and LAUGH and ENJOY !!!!! There's been enough saddness already and more to come.

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NOLAZYBUTT110 4/27/2011 7:48PM

    Every body needs rest for themselves. You should not feel guilty for taking a time out! Your Father, he's being looked after in the Nursing home so you have nothing to worry about. G*D knows you need a break. Take it while you can. DONT ever feel guilty for taking care of yourself even if it is going some distance away to do that. YOU deserve to take care of yourself first, and then you will be able to better take care of whoever needs you! But your health and happiness should come first (not being selfish ) but when you alway put someone else before your own health and happiness makes oen weak and regretful. YOU need to think about your own well being. All caretakers need a break! Becasue ti can stress you out. YOU need to get your own strength back! So go and enjoy yourself and have fun! LIFE must go on!Susan

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SILLYHP1953 4/20/2011 2:55PM

    Being a caregiver (part-time, full-time, paid, family, whatever) has got to be one of the most draining of all jobs. I've come to know you a little through sp, thank goodness, and there's no doubt in my mind how much you love your dad and how much you've been there for him. But without taking care of yourself you won't be any good to anyone else. ENJOY YOUR TRIP!!!

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ALIONHEART 4/19/2011 12:04PM

    I think you are being very wise.

It is very easy to push ourselves over our limits in these very emotionally charged situations, been there, got the t-shirt, and it isn't pretty.

It's so much better if you can pace yourself and recognise your needs as well as those of everyone else that you love. From an outsiders point of view you are being very hard on yourself, why? Nobody could be caring for your dad in a more devoted way than you are xxxxx.

It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.

Lena Horne

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KNITTABLES 4/18/2011 11:25PM

    I agree take the break and go, relax and have fun. emoticon

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DEE107 4/18/2011 11:10PM

    you are doing what I would do the best you can do hugs

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ELSEEBEE 4/18/2011 6:09PM

    Let me share my personal experience with you. I had to travel 600 miles from my home when it was time for my mother to decide to stop medical treatment (dialysis) and go into a hospice facility. I spent two weeks with her, but my room at a friend's house had to be given up for another member of my friend's family. I told my husband to drive back to pick me up because the hospice staff thought mother's death would come at any moment. Well, she lasted 3 days beyond the time I left. Saying good-by to her was the hardest thing I ever did. But by that time she was comatose and I can only hope she understood what I said and how much I loved her. My sister lived in the same town, but when mother's time came, sis was at work. The same thing happened 5 months later with my dad. I visited with him (not knowing his time was so close) and 3 days later he had a massive coronary in the hospital. My sister had just left his room to go pick up my nephew at school. But, oh, the gift of all the beautiful memories I got!

So, my advice is GO! Enjoy your trip! There is no guarantee, even if you stayed with your dad 24/7, that you wouldn't be in the restroom or getting something to eat when the angels come for him. Let him know how much you love him, go on your trip to rejuvenate yourself, and just know you are doing the right thing. You will have so many beautiful memories of the time you DO spend with him!

Sending you many emoticon!

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ACROSONIC 4/18/2011 5:44PM

    You need to go. You've given up a lot these last years, so it's time for you! Don't feel guilty! The vacation will do you a world of good!

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SWELL10 4/18/2011 5:16PM

    Absolutely!!! You need to have time for yourself and you need to take time to enjoy life. You are a blessing to sacrifice your freedom to care for your parent, but you must also take care of yourself and that means having down time. Go on the trip and enjoy yourself! emoticon

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LEXIE63 4/18/2011 5:11PM

    Honey, you really need a break! You have been your Dad's sole caregiver (nursing staff notwithstanding) for a long time, and you have dropped everything for him every time he has needed you. But we all have a limit to our coping ability, which is best replenished through acquiring a little 'me time'. You deserve proper 'me time' and the best way to get it is to put some distance between you and your responsibilities for a few days.

I say Go For It! It will do you the world of good.
Lex xxx
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Well, I 'think' life is back to normal...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

These past weeks seem to have been filled with one thing after another going wrong, but, as the old song says,' there is a season, turn, turn, turn...'

Dad is holding his own, still just a matter of time, but the immediate danger has passed and although there is less of the Dad of old there than before, we are still blessed with being able to visit with him, and I go feed him his meals each day, sit holding his hand, and at least now he isn't in any pain, nor is he worrying about everyone and everything as he was.

The old house is over and done with, and I managed to fit in times between Dad's being awake to get the last of the heavy cleaning done, the yard cleaned, the outside looking as I wanted it to. Received a visit and a phone call from the agent handling the property to tell me he and the owner were grateful that I had left it in a far better condition, and with new drapes and blinds, light fittings, etc. than when I took over the lease. I loved the house, leaving those things was my parting gift to it, but it now feels like that chapter of my life is closed, and a new one is opened, filled with possibilities.

Computer problems appeared overnight, first one thing, then another. At first I couldn't get any response when I turned it on, and it just sat there ignoring me, sleeping while I tried all I could. Got an IT tech, luckily the son of a good friend, to check it out, and the problem was resolved reasonably quickly, but he did warn me there was a chance of further problems occurring because the 'something' - can't remember what he called it, may have been damaged.

Yes, he was right, and so it led to me being computerless for some days, and what should have been a fairly hefty repair bill. Luckily, he has the same attitude to life as I do, that we share what we no longer need with those who don't have so much, and he only charged me the cost price for parts, no labor, saying I'd given them enough furniture, tools, etc. that I no longer needed, when they were doing it hard, so this was by way of thanking me. Can't tell you how wonderful it is to be surrounded by friends and neighbours who feel that way.

I was coping ok with Dad's deteriorating condition emotionally, because we had had many discussions about what Dad wanted as regards being allowed to die with dignity compared with being kept alive with no quality of life. I still have my Dad, not quite the same Dad as he was, but the fact that he is still here is because he held on to life, not that I made the decision for him. He is calm, not worrying, and just sits there in his chair quietly, no signs of stress. Once the immediate danger was over, maybe 4 or 5 days ago (I too seem to have completely lost any sense of time just now), I suddenly became ill. Everything was ok, but couldn't keep any food or drinks down. My doctor tells me it's my body's reaction to all that has been happening, that where for some people these things effect them emotionally, for me it was this. Getting over it slowly, meds to help settle my stomach, and it will disappear just as it has at other stressful times.

A friend has moved into my old house, and he loves it. He has always been there to help anyone who needed anything, and this is the beginning of a whole new chapter of his life too. He is leaving all the memories of his health problems, being defrauded out of what money he had saved, the feeling of hopelessness, and is finding the same joy in that house as I did. To see the happiness on his face, the sparkle in his eyes that has been missing for so many years, really makes me believe that house has some elusive, almost magical, restorative property about it.

I have just weighed myself, and since my last weigh in, maybe 4 weeks ago (guessing, as I said, the days seem to have run into each other of late) I have gained 5 pounds. No exercise, eating things my wonderful caring friends prepared for me, my own choices of drive-thru fast food for dinner at ungodly hours of the night when I was too exhausted to cook, all these things helped add those pounds. Small price to pay for what has happened in my life during that time, and I know I will get rid of them little by little, thanks to Spark People, my Spark Teams, my Spark friends... just a need to return to a healthier, more energetic lifestyle, watch what I eat a little more closely. No biggie.

I just want to let you all know, all you wonderfully caring, supportive fellow team mates and Sparkers, that I am so very grateful for all your support and for the love you have shown through this time. I have had some really great, caring friends around me, feeding me, helping me in any way I needed dhelp, and just being there for me. It is wonderful to be so blessed as to have that support here on Spark People as well.

This is definitely 'my' song of late. Hope you take the time to listen to the lyrics, enjoy a trip back in time for those old enough to remember when it was first released... Enjoy - the song, and every moment of your days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAINBOWCHOC 4/18/2011 3:27PM

    thinking of you at this time of changes
best wishes, Sandra

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DEE107 4/18/2011 12:55PM

    glad you finish your cleaning and Dad is doing better and sorry about the computer hugs

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MEDDYPEDDY 4/18/2011 12:28AM

    A big congratulations for being done with the house, really great achievement!: And I also think it is wonderful that the agent compliments you, it is so often the other way around so itīs great to get positive feedback. Well, you are so worth it and I hope things setlles down now!

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KNITTABLES 4/17/2011 11:24PM

    Awesome song and thanks for the updates of everything, I do hope you feel better soon and I hope this week goes well for you and your dad. Hugs

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ANGORA4 4/17/2011 11:02PM

    So eloquently written. What an amazing job you have done, and what a blessing to see so quickly the good results. How wonderful that you and your father have worked this out so well, and that you have been blessed with additional time together. Woo hoo! I am so sorry that you are going through all this right now, hang in there.

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ACROSONIC 4/17/2011 8:32PM

    Hope the week goes well for you and no major problems crop up!

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SILLYHP1953 4/17/2011 8:27PM

    A normal life is just what we need sometimes...enjoy it while it lasts. I've never had to go through what you and your dad are dealing with, so it's hard to know how to help, what to say...just know that I am here and thinking of you all. Stress is very hard on the body, and it sure took it's toll on you.

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LEXIE63 4/17/2011 6:40PM

    I absolutely love that song, and am not at all surprised that it is singing in your head just now. :-) Sorry you had the computer hassles just to add to your fun, and I really hope that is the last of things for you for a while. It sounds like your Dad is much more peaceful, and your old home has a new companion who will also love it. :-)

I'm also sorry that you have been ill. I have a similar problem. I cope through a crisis well enough, but once it is over and I can relax I get ill. It happened after the wedding, when I could at last relax because I didn't have any more travelling to do (I'm a travel-phobe). Boy was I ill! It is no fun, but it is our body's way of coping I guess. :-)

Hope you will have time to pop by the Tiggers now that the pressure is off you a little. We've been missing you! :-)

Lex xxx
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I'm back, briefly...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Firstly, sorry about my complete disappearance from Spark People for a few days, but Dad needed me by his side constantly, and I also had to finish the floor to ceiling clean of the old house, which I fitted in when Dad was a little better and was sleeping while one of the wonderful nursing staff sat with him. Deal was that if he woke, they would call immediately and I'd drop what I was doing and return. As for sleep, I've managed to get a few hours each day, so doing ok.

As things stand, he is still hanging in there, his breathing is a little easier, the oxygen is now only being used when he is having difficulties, and the constant fluid build up in his system is being taken care of with increased diuretics. As for his heart, it's just a matter of time, he knows what's happening, wants me to be with him all the time. He panics when he wakes and I'm not there holding his hand, but staff cal me immediately and I go back, spend time with him till its safe to disappear for an hour or two.

I called my sister, left a message on her machine explaining what the situation was with Dad, but it produced no result. She has totally ignored the fact that Dad wanted to see her, didn't even call the nursing home to check on him, won't return my calls, so I have given up. My eldest daughter's reaction was also disappointing, just said to let her know what happened, say hi to him, she had to go do the housework, cut the call.

Positives? Yes, there are some, definitely.

Dad knows he is not long for this world, has told me he is looking forward to being with Mum again, to seeing her free of pain. Says its been tearing him apart since she passed away to think of her and have the mind picture of her as she was in her final hours. He wants to be with her again and see her free of pain, and with that smile on her face she constantly used to have. He is actually looking forward to the end.

But... I called Julie, who was set to jump on the next plane, was going to do whatever it took to get her to be with her Pop, till I persuaded her to wait, to see what happens. Dad doesn't want her to come down, says he would just be causing her added stress, so please wait till he's better, if that happens, then come to see him under better circumstances, or to come say bye to him at the funeral. She will do as he asked. I told her its her decision, but no, she will do as her Pop asks, same as always.

Fiona, although she was meant to be spending at least another few days in bed, got in the car and drove straight up to be with her Pop and I, only stopping to print up some photos of the wedding and put them in an album for Dad to see, to honour her promise to him that she would do so next time she saw him. The look on his face when he saw her walking down the corridor towards his room was one of absolute happiness. He was so vague, so confused, but he grinned and said 'Fiona's come!'. I left them together for a while, they both had things they needed and wanted to say to each other, and when I returned they were both smiling and holding hands.

After Dad being given a mild sedative,, fell asleep for a while, and Fiona and I went over to the house, worked like crazy for 3 hours, then moved the last of the stuff over here. She was determined she was going to help me with it, no way would she take no for an answer. We had a really good talk about Dad, about his wishes, about what we would both like to include in his final farewell. Fiona left late that afternoon, refused the offer of a friend of mine driving her home, as independent as her grandfather, lol. She is coping with the effects of the stress of Dad's illness on her fibromyalgia and emotions by making up a video of Dad's favourite music, photos and wording, from as far back as we have the photos till the current time. This will be a part of his funeral service. He loved the one she did for Mum and Dad's 59th wedding anniversary, said then he'd love one for his funeral... she is making sure she does all she can to grant his wish.

My friends and neighbours have been a tower of strength, have fed and walked the dogs, fussed over the cats, helped me with the house, mown my lawns, etc. One friend has helped me each time I went to clean the house, and brought freshly cooked meals with her. Definitely not meals which will help my weight remain at goal, but at this point in time, I don't really care. The love that has gone into each and every meal has been far more important.

To the teams I haven't had time to post to, sorry, hopefully I will be back in the next day or so. Dad is ok at the moment, but I will stay beside him as long as he feels the need to have me by his side. He worries about me getting 'the call', wants me to be there with him so I know he is at peace, rather than feeling guilty because I wasn't beside him. He has to be my first priority, just as I have been his during most of my life as a single parent.

Please understand that I am with you all in spirit, even though not on the team message boards, not posting. I am, however, sending love and support to each and every one of you, and a promise I will be back to normal just as soon as I can be. Sorry I have just had to abandon the teams temporarily. I'll be back to normal within the next few days, as Dad comes to terms with the fact that there is every chance he will be here for a while yet. It's just the uncertainty and disbelief of that fact that means he needs me so much just now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 4/15/2011 9:13PM

    Please know that my thoughts and peaceful energies are with you. I wish there was something I could do to help, something concrete, but I do what I can.
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STEPHIEKNITS 4/13/2011 9:54PM

    Praying for you and your dad. My thoughts are with you! emoticon

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THIAGRAM 4/13/2011 7:21PM

  You are where you need to be and doing what you need to do at this time of your life and the life of your father. I'm sure that a few days of not Sparking or eating all the "right foods" will not be a problem. It's so wonderful that you have good neighbors to help you out at this time of need! What a blessing that is. He will certainly be pleased to see his loved one without all the pain. That will be a great blessing! May God bless you and your family as you must deal with his suffering and probable passing.

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Comment edited on: 4/13/2011 7:21:25 PM

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LEXIE63 4/13/2011 2:52PM

    Hi Honey,

Don't you worry about the Tigger Team. We will be fine while you take the time you need, whatever the outcome may be. Thinking of and praying for your dad, and you, and Fiona and Julie. Sorry the rest of the family are still causing you problems.

Take all the time you need. Just know that we are with you in spirit through this. And I am very glad indeed that you have friends there to support and feed you, even if the recipes aren't very Sparky. LOL Right now, it is more important to keep your strength up, so a friend bearing meals is a wonderful thing. Makes me smile to think you are being so well taken care of Sweetie.

Loads of hugs to you all, and that includes the wonderful staff at the nursing home. :-)
Lex xxx
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RAINBOWCHOC 4/13/2011 2:01PM

    Try and rest when you can, eat when you can and just spend 2 minutes for yourself (on the loo if need be) and know in your heart you are upheld by the love and support of your Spark family.
I am glad you have support from the nurses for your dad and that is important too
best wishes, Sandra

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ANGORA4 4/13/2011 11:33AM

    Never apologize for having your priorities straight, but thanks for giving us an update. Such a beautiful post, sending hugs for you and dad.

(Emoticons not working today ((((HUGS))))

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SIRIRADHA 4/13/2011 11:30AM

    It's so good to hear what's going on; you've been on my mind a lot lately. Thank you for taking the time when you've got so much going on already. I'm so glad Fiona's made you and your dad happy for a while; it brings a smile to my face just reading about her!

Hugs, hugs, hugs from me to you!

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ACROSONIC 4/13/2011 9:56AM

    Been thinking of you.

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DIANESMILES 4/13/2011 2:24AM

    Hon,,,dont ya worry about "the team" this ME time right now, and you and ur Dad NEED the time to spend exactly as you are ! So please continue to do as you are. If you gain a little, so what? You are a very determined gal,,,,and you will later on lose it,,I KNOW you will. Its WONDERFUL of the neighbors to help you out. I am SO SORRY some of ur family arent being supportive,,,in the end its THEM who loses out, or maybe hon,,,they just can't cope with the past and therefore the prosent is to painful you know? In that case, forgiveness of a LARGE heart is needed cos you need ALL of your energy for ur Dad and NOT for negative feelings. TAKE CARE !!!!!! The Team WILL WAIT ! WOOOF !

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SWELL10 4/13/2011 12:01AM

    Take care of yourself. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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LYNNOTT 4/12/2011 10:49PM

    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Take all the time you need. Take care!

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DEE107 4/12/2011 9:52PM

    praying for you and your dad

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ELSEEBEE 4/12/2011 9:09PM

    Having been through this process with my mother a couple of years ago, let me assure you that you are in the right place at the right time. What a gift you are receiving to share in your father's final journey. Every little memory will come back to you in the future and will bring you comfort. Don't worry about the Spark teams or what you are doing or not doing in your Spark journey right now. Sometimes you have to take a little detour on a journey and this is your time now. But you will eventually find your way back to your Spark path. For now, know that all of us are sending you loving thoughts and wishing your father as peaceful a way as possible into his future. emoticon

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FATROCKSTAR 4/12/2011 8:59PM

    We are with you in spirit also, dear friend! Take care, and remember that you have more friends than stars in the sky! Normandy

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MARYANNGI 4/12/2011 7:41PM

    Taking care of your family and yourself is more important than anything else. Don't worry about anything else. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


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KNITTABLES 4/12/2011 7:18PM

    Thanks for the update, Just take care and do what you have to do, being with your dad is more important than us right now. The teams can wait and we do understand. You haven't abandon us at all. Sending you hugs and prayers for you and you dad. emoticon

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