Friday, 25 April 2014

What do you remember?


Long time no blog.

To bring you all up to date, mum is now in a nursing home after a stay in hospital. I have had a bit of a breakdown and am receiving counselling and drugs for depression. I think "recovering from caring" will be my next blog. Details to follow.

Here is something my sister wrote ages ago, I have been meaning to share it for so so long but every time I read it I cry. It is quite possibly one of the loveliest things I have ever read.

What do you remember?

I had a dream last night. Me and mum were whizzing about in the car. We picnicked in a field. I could smell the grass and the sunshine and the summer. My old dog was there. He’s been dead for a while. Mum and me chatted laughed and joked. Mum’s not been  able to chat or laugh or joke for a while. It was a one of the loveliest dreams I've ever had but when I tell people I cry.
I've been thinking about dreams and memories. Before mum went into hospital we would have an adventure every Tuesday. We re-discovered the freedom that swimming brings. We delighted in tea-rooms and magical walled gardens in stately homes. We sat at a favourite spot and marvelled at how high hills were, how slow cows were, how green and wonderful was the view. We were silly, we sang and danced and filled our hearts with music.

I thought I was making memories for mum. Everyone tells you to keep memories alive, to help the dementia sufferer to find their happy place. Now I know I was making memories for me too. These are the times I will remember. I will remember the disease as it is now, but I will remember my mum as she was then.

Sunday, 17 November 2013



Whats that all about then I hear you cry. Have a look at my page here to find out more. Then sponsor me.

Ta. x

Liberal England: GUEST POST The perfect Christmas gift for a carer

I have written a guest blog on the rather good Liberal England run by Jonathan Calder or @lordbonkers as he is known on Twitter. its about the ideal gift idea for a carer. Please pop over and have a read.

Thursday, 24 October 2013


Mrs Pollard has left the building.

We tried. We really tried. We tried everything we could.

The live in carer idea seemed amazing on paper but was just not meant to be. Mums dementia has progressed too far to control with the normal diversionary tactics that have been so successful over the years. The violent outbursts have become too common and the mood swings too unpredictable. After a huge amount of soul searching Mum has been admitted to hospital for assessment to try to work out if  meds can stabilise the condition, without removing too much of the Mum we all remember.

The plan is that Mum will then go from the hospital straight to a care home. We know this is the best, the only answer but it was such an unbelievably difficult decision to make.

Mum has left the house she loved so much, never to return

When you have spent your whole life in the company of someone so strong, intelligent and able to rise above whatever life threw in their direction it is so hard to become the person to decide their future.

To see Mum today, asleep, drugged, half on half off a hospital bed in a such a stark, bare room very nearly broke me in two. 

This lady who has been a tower of strength and wisdom for so many years.
This lady who sat quietly in the wings ready to offer the most amazing help and counsel, but only when needed.
This lady who was  the most amazing, intelligent, caring, wise, loving lady you could ever hope to meet.

To see her, so helpless made me realise the roles have been reversed. We are now the ones who need to be strong, wise and caring. This is Mums Hour of need. 

Over to us.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Hello again

If you are a new reader to this blog may I suggest you read this and maybe one or two of the earlier ones to get a rough idea of how this all started.

Who Cares?

Following much family deliberation we have decided to take on full time carers for mum. Many factors have played a part in this decision, but principally Mums needs are becoming more and more demanding and I am finding it harder and harder to cope with the levels of care needed.

After several years where the main focus of a huge amount of my time, feelings and emotions has been focused on the well being of another, I finally realised that I have neglected caring for myself.

At first, when discussing care, the only thoughts going through my head were things like
"I've failed my Mum"
"No one will care for Mum like I can"

I now realise how wrong these two statements are. I haven't failed at all, I did a bloody good job for a long time, but now I need to let someone else take over, someone emotionally unattached, someone who can focus on care.

I also realise that I need to let go. I am all cared out. This doesn't mean I don't "care" what happens to Mum, just that I can no longer "care" for her as well as I would like, or provide the level of "care" that she needs. 

So it is with great trepidation that we allow carers amongst us. Will Mum like them? Will they like Mum? Will they like me and Sarah? Will we like them? Will they keep my spices in alphabetical order? 

The answers to these and many other questions will be answered over the next few weeks.

Gis a Job.

So...It is with great trepidation I re-enter the jobs market.

I havent had a real full time job for several years. At the same time I am very excited and also terrified at the prospect of rejoining the 9-5. Countless people tell me that I have been doing an amazingly worthwhile and rewarding job for so many years but I doubt many prospective employers will see it this way. 

So....If you know anyone looking for a caring hippy who loves some or all of the following please let me know.

  • Driving
  • Putting things in alphabetical order and straight lines
  • Talking to people
  • Listening to people
  • Umm...some other stuff.

The important stuff.

There are two other things I need to share with you. 
You will have to wait for the next blog for them.
Its well worth waiting though, damn exciting.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013



Many many months since my last post. I seemed to hit a wall, a wall that told me to stop writing all this shit for strangers and try to do something in the real world. More of that later.

I think I have realised most of this wasn't written for strangers at all, it was written for me. It  is a very useful release for what I may be feeling at the time. I am not a great one for  talking about problems to real people so typing about it and publishing it here does actually help.
I think it may be time to try again

New reader? Here's a very quick outline.

I am a very nearly 50 year old failed hippy. I care for my mum who has vascular dementia. We used to have a dog on wheels and a strange assortment of vehicles. There is a lovely old Gentleman, more of him later. I met the incredibly understanding and patient Sarah on the internet and I`m not letting her escape now.

If you have a few minutes to spare please have a read of some of the older posts.

First things first then. Where are we up to?

Mum is still gradually sliding away from reality
We have a new dog, Tess, who is mental.
Sarah is still lovely, as is the Lovely Gentleman
I am hugely overweight and have sprouted some interesting facial hair.
I am in the process of trying to engineer myself some kind of "online presence" (More of that later)

Here we go.

Last week I was visited by the rather nasty "norovirus" Three or four days of ingesting liquids just to have them exit superheated and slightly discoloured. With Sarahs help we got through the week, and even managed to sneak a night out on Saturday whilst the Lovely Gentleman Mummysat.

Unfortunately said virus is hugely contagious.
Both Sarah and Mum have been struck down.

Spent the night in the spare room to give Sarah "a little space" as her virus developed. Woke up to a very very distressed Mum, and something I have been preparing myself for but never really expected to happen.

Mum has the norovirus.

Pyjamas full of excrement.

There is nothing on earth that can prepare you for the first time you have to strip your mother and shower her. Neither of you want it to happen but both understand it is necessary.

Anyway, managed to get us both cleaned up and Mum back in to bed, which is where the word barrier comes into play once again. Mum trying to ask questions about why she feels like this and me trying to explain. Not easy.

Why should she drink fluids? surely they will make her worse?

This seems to be the general feeling at the moment.

Managed  to get her to take some Coconut Water, as suggested by @novembervivi over on the twitter so hopefully things will be a little better tomorrow.

Thats enough for one night. If you are new to this welcome to my world.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Our Hols, Part two.

Hello Again.

Following on from yesterdays blog, as the week progressed mum was very up and down. Out and about in the day was generally better than the evenings. She is seeming to need distractions of some kind all the time, whether it be a walk in the woods, food, music or TV. Becoming more and more like what I would imagine its like to have a small child. 

Sarahs Mum and her Partner and her 99 year old Nan visited for the day midweek. Great meal in Holt which mum really enjoyed. Nan can't half put some food away too! Back to the caravan and again the disorientation and confusion..

The low spot of the whole week was when I came to dismantle the awning. Mum was in tears, almost a full on tantrum, crying and shouting unintelligibly. Just couldn't get to the bottom of it. Sarah had to sit in the caravan and try to calm her while I managed to pack it away. Seriously considered travelling home a day early but I really don't think I was fit to drive. Eventually managed to get mum off to sleep so we could both calm ourselves down too.

Need to seriously think about the holiday situation. Whether the stressed out times are outweighing the benefits of the break for mum. Fabia is taking mum for a weekend in the peaks in December, staying in a Hotel so it will be interesting to see the difference that makes. 

Thats pretty much up to date with the holiday, so more tomorrow about rooms and words. Till then here's Mum talking to her new friend Billy.