My mother has taken a turn for the worse and her current cocktail of Cancer & Dementia is getting the better of her so my week has been spent mainly in the car, at her bedside or, for the rest of the time, trying to fulfil all my other duties as a wife, Mum, partner in CountryWives etc. As I discovered today, when I met with the doctor again, the medical profession know less about death than they do about birth and a lot of it is a guessing game. However he was pleased to declare that her sense of humour had returned as when he came into her room she announced , “I’m not dead yet!”
Joking apart it has been very stressful and I have been running on adrenalin (and Banana & Cinnamon loaf) plus the support of family and friends. I take each day as it comes. If I look at my diary too much in advance, I wonder how I am ever going to manage it all, but somehow I do, even if corners are cut. Yesterday I awoke knowing it wasn’t going to be a good day as my mother’s parish priest was coming to give her the last rites – not now called that but I can’t remember the more PC name. It was his choice to come as I was loathe to ask in case my mother freaked out seeing a priest saying prayers over her, even though she is very religious. I needn’t have been concerned as she took on a new persona when he arrived and was awake, alert, remembered him and joined in, word-perfect, with all the prayers. I am not a deeply religious person but his visit definitely gave her something extra because, since then, she has been much more engaged, pain-free, and peaceful. I cannot say the same for myself as I had a bit of a melt-down when he asked me if I was ok and was I getting lots of support? This particular Roman Catholic priest is quite unusual as he was an Anglican Bishop but converted to Catholicism and his wife is Jewish! It makes him very approachable, realistic and streetwise, quite unlike what I was used to when I was growing up. I always wondered why, when you are going to get married, you have to have lessons with a Catholic priest which seemed to me like suggesting baby birds took flying lessons from penguins!
Anyway Father Andrew was just the right amount of solemn with a teaspoon of humour! When someone is dying it is a guessing game trying to find what would make the patient the most comfortable; so it is such a relief to know you have made the right choice.
I felt emotionally drained as I drove away from my mother’s nursing home. However immediately after the priest’s visit I was having a reflexology appointment with a therapist that had been introduced to us at CountryWives through the Association of Reflexologists (AOR). I have had reflexology in the past but since moving to the country I have not heard of a good therapist locally, one that comes recommended. However the AOR website has a search tool so that you can locate your nearest registered and properly trained therapist and luckily I found Jessica, who was only a few miles away in Hare Hatch. It was the best hour I have had in a long time and I drifted off into a carefree space whilst Jessica worked on balancing my body – it was total bliss. Today I sent her a text saying I feel so much stronger and more in control of my emotions and I am booking to go again. To read the full review click here.
I now have an evening all to myself as my OH is away and our youngest son has gone to London to find some excitement – rural living is too quiet for him! So I get to eat what and when I like, watch all those backdated episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (though with no McDreamy it is not such an indulgence) and not have an early morning alarm call as no station run to be done by me!! More bliss…