Saturday, November 22, 2014

Why Always Me?...

Have to say my hanging basket (on the zimmer frame) is working really well.  As it hangs from a small hook it tends to stay in the right position even when the frame is tilted.  Am so pleased I thought of this way of coping.

Thanks to all those who mentioned the wheels/tray with handles.  Problem with theses (as with the zimmer frame) is lifting up at the edge of rugs etc, and the basket/tray is fixed so food might get spilled.  I do have one of those frames on wheels that have a basket and a seat, meant to take in the car and have not yet used it.
The benefits people (seen yesterday) mentioned a 'walking trolley', but again fixed trays, and the chance of spilling, my zimmer adaptation seems to work so well that I'm sticking with that at the moment.

Have had a couple of good night's sleep for the first time in nearly a month, this due to the scent of lavender.  I found a bottle of lavender oil (very concentrated), so put a few drops on my night clothes so that I could smell it when I lay down at night.  It was so strong think it worked like an anaesthetic! I fell asleep almost at once and slept for hours.
Last night I added a few drops of lavender essence to the last bit of 'sleeptherapy' liquid (Avon) that I had, adding some water as well, then sprayed this on my pillows.  Again slept well.  So that's the obvious answer.  If you can't sleep, the scent of lavender works miracles.

Felt fine yesterday until ready to go out and meet the people to arrange an Attendance Allowance. Then got all stressed again, so felt wobbly.  Took the zimmer frame in the car (minus basket), and that gave me some support. 
When we got to the offices, the person we had to see was on the second floor.  But there was a lift!!!
A really nice lift, very modern, easy to work.  Until we arrived at the second floor and the door wouldn't open.  I have claustrophobia, so ended up leaning over the zimmer frame trying not to panic, while we pressed the panic button, banged on the door etc.

Eventually someone came and managed to unscrew something from the outside and get the door open, said they would mend it while we had our meeting (relief - I couldn't manage the stairs even though they went down, not up).
Outcome of the meeting was that lots was written down that we had to post off to the right department, and (hopefully) we would hear something in a few weeks.  Whether I get an allowance remains to be seen, but we can appeal if not.   Just have to wait and seen.

The lift worked perfectly, and the man who repaired it went down with us just in case it didn't. And of course it didn't.  Again the doors wouldn't open.  With three people stuck in a tiny lift I was again having a panic attack (although trying to hide it) and at one point it seemed the key that would open the door from the outside was being carried by the man on the inside.  But he (thankfully) had left it on his desk, so someone else let us out. 

A real feeling of deja vu with that lift.  Reminded me of the time (mentioned on my blog) when I got stuck in the lift at BBC publications, and I've also been stuck in a very small lift at two different hotels in Morecambe.  Lifts don't like me, much like the electronic blood pressure-taking machines that refuse to work when used on me (but work for everyone else).  Why always me???

All I wanted then to do was to return home.  Gave up the idea of buying new shoes (I'd found an old but respectable pair at the back of the wardrobe, so they will keep me going for a while), just stopped off at the chemist to take in my repeat prescription which I needed even though it was to be updated shortly.  The Allowance people needed to see the prescription so I had to keep it (should have been taken to the chemist three days previously).    Anyway, the chemist will deliver the pills to me so don't have to arrange about fetching them. 

Daughter called in at the local bakery after asking me if there was anything I fancied, and there was. "A chocolate ├ęclair please", was my request.  Of course they didn't have any. They didn't have a cream slice either.  No cream cakes at all.  By then I was getting the  'this is how it's going to be for the rest of my life' feeling. 
Felt better after a mug of coffee and a cheese bap that my daughter made for me.

For supper I made myself a pan of Beanfeast Mexican chilli, adding an onion, a can of chopped tomatoes, more water, and a can of (cheap) red beans.  It made enough for three meals (working out at about 50p each), and one portion was more than satisfactory.   Seem to have lost my appetite, and small helpings are as much as I can manage.

Still haven't sorted out the freezers, and although I have enough food to last for several weeks/months, I really do need to top-up with milk/eggs.    Have a lot of vouchers from Tesco that - including money-points - mean it would be worth stocking up with non-foods as well as the longer-lasting winter veg, I might just send in one order to be delivered next week, then freeze away most of the milk so that it keeps for longer, using dried milk or UHT between times.  Also eggs will keep for quite some weeks in the fridge (normally I keep them at cool room temp).

At the end of next week will have four days of people visiting, so that's something to look forward to, and so until then will take things fairly easy, just pottering around.  Although it is lovely now not to have piles of rubbish to keep clearing up (B used to throw all his papers, wrappers, empty bottles etc on the floor or on the table where he used to sit), once cleared up it now stays clear.  And how I wish things were back to how they used to be. 

Another thing I'm having to get used to is being called a widow.  Sends a shudder down my spine when it is said (or written), and - above all - what really has stunned me is that (as regular readers know) I've always, through life, prepared for contingencies.  B used to say "never worry about things for they probably won't ever happen", and they rarely did, but I felt I needed to be prepared - it gave me a feeling of security.   So I prepared for everything.  Except this.

Both B and I, because of B's (seemingly) excellent health record and recently my poor one, always accepted that it would be me that went first.   B took plenty of exercise, I didn't.  Very recently it seemed I was about to pop my clogs, and I was beginning to sort out my own affairs and work out what was best for B (he wanted to move anyway - somewhere without a garden).  then suddenly Fate made a mistake, for to me it seems 'those above' got the wrong message and took the wrong person.  It should have been me.   But that's life - if you can call it that.  Just have to accept that's my lot and make the best of it.  Which I intend to do.  Even if only finding ways to cope that might sound unusual but seem to work. 

Have to take each day as it comes.  Normally could probably have coped much better, but now I can't even stand on a stool to reach a high cupboard, and changing a light-bulb (in the ceiling) is beyond me.  I can see a time when one after the other, all the lights will fail and I'll be left with one.  And then that goes.  Silly things like that are beginning to haunt me.

Yes, I know I can always ask a neighbour to assist, but you know me - Mrs Independent.  To ask for help in not in my genes.   Paying for help is also not an option, I will need every incoming penny to keep the home running as before.  Thankfully, some bills will reduce, but it will take some months before I can sort out exactly how much 'disposable income' I will have (if any).  I  know I will have enough to pay household bills (which is all that matters) but food isn't included.

As you can see, it IS going to be a challenge, but isn't that what I enjoy?  Already I'm finding new things to write about, almost every day now, so each day begins with 'what else will happen today? Maybe some of it will be good. 

For goodness sake, I'm not the only widow-woman in the nation/world.  Everyone else copes, so why should I find it difficult?  It's just new to me.  Once I've got my teeth into it, taking control, who knows what will happen.   You'll just have to watch this blog to find out. 

Will probably pop in for a quick chat tomorrow (Gill has taken herself off for a few days holiday again so won't be phoning), but definitely be back next week.   Before I go must reply to a few of the many comments sent.

Those M & S reductions sound wonderful jane, well worth 'mobile' people popping in to that store to have a look, then take advantage.

Am going to get the doctor to arrange a visit from the Occupational Therapist (mentioned by Ali), as there are quite a few things I need to help (perching stool, grab handles etc).

Pension credit and benefits we are trying to sort out (mentioned by Sairy and Ann).  Thankfully I have such a small social life (if at all) and used to being on my own, indoors most of the time, I will not feel I'm missing out on what others might normally have done (theatre, meals out, cinema, holidays, social pub nights out etc).  As long as I can afford taxis to get me to the hospital in Lancaster (if needs be), then will probably be able to get free transport from voluntary drivers).

Must re-read Nella Last's books again Kate.  I used to have those three-pans-on-one-hob, and can buy dividers that are similar but fit into one large saucepan (used to use those that were in the pressure cooker for the same purpose). Tend to cook meals in one pan anyway (now as bulk meals, one to eat, 2 to freeze), so that saves fuel.

Have mentioned my basket hanging from my zimmer Jane.  Lined with a towel it can catch any drips if liquid spills, but will now be filling a thermos with hot drinks, putting this into the basket to take into the living room, with an empty mug, then can refill at the table when I need another coffee/hot chocolate.   There are always ways round any problem.

I don't want to get too lazy (even though I enjoy sitting down more than walking around), as I need the exercise.  So filling my basket with food and drink might feel like having a picnic ready and waiting at my side all day, think this is not the right road to travel.   At least have not got to the point when I wake in the morning and feel I want to stay in bed all day.  I'll keep that for when I feel really ill (like with flu, but have had a flu jab, so hopefully not).

That's it for today, hope you all have a good weekend. Keep those comments coming.  Love to all. xx