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Sunday, 22 November 2020

A new me

 Husband's foot is getting better, the swelling is going down in his toes and ankle and he's stopped taking painkillers.  I know it's not so painful because he's not complaining about it all the time.  So I'm hopeful that when he goes back to hospital for x-ray and another chat with the consultant in 3 weeks time, she'll say it's healed so well he can start driving again and walking normally.  Fingers crossed she does, I don't think I can take many more weeks of this enforced personal lockdown and life being put on hold.  It feels like we've been doing it forever.  He's asleep on the sofa as usual, with the tv playing away to itself...at least it's a David Attenborough nature show with nice relaxing music, and not some noisy boring car doer-upper show, which he watches endless repeats of.

Had a nice squelch, erm walk with betty this afternoon in the field...it hasn't rained for a couple of days so the field is slightly less boggy than usual, I even let her off the lead for a good run around.  It would take a month of no rain to dry the field out though, and that's not going to happen.  Hope my wellies last out!

For reasons that I'm not going into, my life since the age of 13 has consisted of taking care of family members, doing housework, shopping and cooking, being mum to my younger siblings, being a carer, helping husband with stuff he couldn't do himself, providing emotional and physical support to family, whilst holding down a full time job.  Doing what others wanted and needed...willingly, I might add.  Over the years I've kind of lost myself and felt that I'd become invisible and taken for granted, and lockdown has made things worse.

Having had so much time to think lately whilst I've been cooped up or walking the dog, I've decided that at the grand old age of 61, I'm going to start living my life, doing what I want for a change, rather than just what others want or expect of me.  I'll still take care of husband, home and dog, but will be doing things for myself as well.  I will also practise saying No!  Nothing much can or will change this side of Christmas, but come January it will be new year, new me.   I have lots of plans for the new me.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Doing a lot of deep thinking

 Woken up by the wind howling outside and rattling the windows (they're double glazed but old and poorly fitted - the curtains even move!).  No chance of getting back to sleep with that going on, so I've been downstairs reading since about 4 am.  Not looking forward to taking Betty out.

Sue, you asked why I never learnt to drive....I did actually have lessons, twice (2 separate periods of time that is, not 2 lessons) - the first time in my early 20s, and then again in my 30s.  It didn't work out either time - around both times we had a car accident...not whilst I was driving, I hasten to add, husband was.  It wasn't his fault on either occasion, both times I suffered whiplash and was in a collar and having physio for several weeks.  And then my cousin, a front seat passenger, was killed in another car crash.  It all left me too nervous to drive after that, so that was the end of my attempts to learn.

My brother and I were discussing covid conspiracy theories the other day.....beats me how people can say it doesn't exist, it's all an attempt to control us - what do they think 50,000 people have died of then?  Presumably, the theorists don't know anyone who's had it (lucky them!).  Personally, we have several relatives who've actually had covid - 2 of my nephews and my cousin's husband all had it (and recovered, thankfully) early on in the pandemic.  Recently, 2 of husband's siblings, their spouses and their adult children have had/still have it, one is seriously ill in hospital.  And several friends of my sister have it too, one hospitalised.  We've not come into contact with any of them, none of them live near us and we haven't seen any of them since mum's funeral back in January, so no danger of us becoming infected.  All those infected seem to have caught it in places where there were lots of others around - work, for several of them, and with several of husband's relatives, from a holiday camp (!! Why anyone would want to go stay in a holiday camp during a pandemic is beyond me - I certainly wouldn't.  But each to their own, I suppose).

Well, I certainly don't think it's a conspiracy, I do my best to stay safe, and I've just signed up to go on a list of volunteers for covid vaccine testing.  That's another thing I don't understand...the anti-vax brigade.  Why would anyone not want a vaccine to protect oneself against a deadly disease?  Well, again, each to their own I guess.

I've just weighed myself, for the first time in weeks....my diet has completely gone out of the window, can't be bothered with it at the moment, so was expecting to have gained a few pounds.  Well, to my amazement, I've lost more....in fact I've now lost the 10% of my body weight that my consultant recommended (ironically, since my op has been postponed for 6 months!).  As a matter of fact, I've actually lost a pound more than the 10%.  Must be all the dog walks.

Betty's just got up, asked to go out and did a big wee in the garden....good, so no rush for me to take her out now, we can wait till the wind dies down a bit.

I've been doing a lot of deep thinking lately whilst I've been dog walking, or marooned at home.  Things are going to change in the new year.


Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Sigh

 So husband had his stitches out yesterday, new thickly padded dressing on and new boot thing.  Told again to stay off foot for at least another week, has to go back to hospital in another 4 weeks, at which time he'll be x-rayed and told what the next steps are in terms of possible physio and whether/when he can start driving again.  So essentially no change for the next 4 weeks for either of us.  Brilliant.  As if I wasn't depressed enough already.

The consultant did apologise for not giving him crutches, said it was an oversight on their part - well yes!!  Now, if I'd been there with him - which I wasn't as he had to go alone because of covid restrictions - I would have asked for him to be shown how to use the crutches.  He didn't think to ask though, he never does think of relevant questions, it's always me who does that.

Can't sleep again, hip is agony after a particularly horrible dog walk in the rain yesterday, so am sitting downstairs making lists of things I need to do.....sort out and rearrange stuff in big freezer, defrost small freezer, make 2 lots of dog food, prep and freeze a load more of our home grown apples.  All exciting stuff!! 😒

Betty's just come and sat beside me for a cuddle.  I do envy dogs their ability to sleep anywhere, anytime.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

It's like this...

 Thank you all for comments, they are helpful.  

It's not that I don't have enough to do, or a routine - I do have a routine, I'm very organised (years of being a personal secretary make sure of that).  I have too much to do though, with husband being unable to do a lot of things it means I have to do the jobs that he normally does but presently can't, as well as the housework, cooking, washing, shopping ordering, banking etc that I always do.  And then of course having to walk Betty twice a day - which I would enjoy if it wasn't winter and my hip wasn't so painful.  

As for not feeling safe to go out because of the fear of catching covid - actually, I don't worry about that much at all...for the simple reason that I don't have close contact with anybody.  If I see any neighbours when out with Betty (rare), I only converse with them from a distance.  When I have to get one of them to give me a lift anywhere, I wear a mask in their car, as do they.  I've not been inside anyone else's house, nor anybody in ours, since March, other than a couple of times with best friend when we weren't in lockdown.  I keep as safe as I possibly can, so no I'm not overly concerned about catching the virus.  I'm just so fed up with not being able to go anywhere or see family and friends, with husband being unable to drive for weeks and me being a non driver, I just feel so isolated and cooped up.  

Finding some gripping tv series to watch....if only!  As husband is more or less immobile, he's watching the bloody thing all day every day - he's had car racing on for almost the entire day today, I had to go upstairs to escape it.  By preference I'd have the radio on, on a music channel like Heart, Gold or Smooth Radio, which I do in the kitchen or upstairs.

He's going to hospital tomorrow, to have his stitches out, a new dressing put on and instructions as to what happens next.  He still won't be allowed to drive for a while, but I'm hoping he'll be given a date when he can.

Locked down forever

 It's been 2 weeks since husband's operation.  What with the first lockdown, then husband (and thus me also) having to self isolate for a fortnight prior to his op, then unable to put weight on the foot for another fortnight, nor drive for weeks, plus the current lockdown....I feel like a prisoner who's been locked up for a year.  Ok so I take the dog out....but we don't see anyone.

I'm just going stir crazy.  Finding it all very difficult at mo.

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Oh bugger it

 Horrible weather here, strong winds and rain, although strangely warm - had to get dressed up for winter weather to take the dog out, but was sweating like a pig (do pigs actually sweat?) by the time I got home.  I went out earlier than usual, at 06.30, as it was only spitting then, the heavier rain forecast to start a bit later.  We walked along the lanes instead of in the field....the field is too treacherous right now, it's so waterlogged and thick with mud, which makes it even more difficult to walk through as I can't see trip hazards like ridges and humps when they're under water or thick mud.  I don't like walking the lanes though as they're so narrow, meaning it's difficult to get out of the way of passing traffic, particularly tractors or horse boxes....fortunately only 2 vehicles this morning.  It was dark still, making it even more hazardous (no streetlights here), so we didn't stay out long.  If only husband's op had been in summer!  I really loathe walking in bad weather, don't think Betty likes it much either, but needs must.

I booked my hip x-ray yesterday, a fortnight's time at the local hospital.  I could have got in earlier at one of the more distant hospitals, but didn't feel able to do that as obviously I've got to ask someone to take me.  Whilst most of the neighbours have already been very helpful and keep saying just ask, it's difficult really, I don't like having to keep asking them to take me anywhere....although I don't have any option, I simply can't get anywhere under my own steam.  I just feel bad about having to ask, I feel like a nuisance.  It's become apparent that a couple of people, despite saying cheerfully 'give us a shout if you need anything', only really mean 'I'll give you a hand at such and such a time when I'm not doing anything else'.  Now, I don't expect people to drop everything just to help me out when I need it - certainly not!  But don't offer to help if you don't actually mean it!

Had some unwelcome news yesterday about my bladder op, which I should have had at the beginning of November but had to put off, as I needed to look after husband and dog...I postponed it until mid December.  Had a letter from my consultant saying that because of covid, the op is being postponed for 6 months, so that makes it May next year (unless he means 6 months from the postponement date of December!  Oh I hope not).  Which means I have to put up with the problems for even longer, as if it isn't already difficult enough.

This isn't my favourite time of year under normal circumstances....right now, with everything that's happening, covid and lockdown, it's even worse.  I wish I could hibernate and wake up in Spring next year.  I expect we all do.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

New shopping and veg growing plans

Betty's face is healing nicely, the sore isn't red and weeping anymore and is getting smaller already, and the puncture wounds are almost healed.  She's back to her usual playful self so obviously feels better.  

It's a nice sunny day, following strong winds and heavy rain during the night...consequently, the field this morning was like a quagmire, up to our ankles in muddy water.  I had wellies on, Betty doesn't seem to mind the water and mud, it's just a bit of a pain (quite literally seeing as it hurts my back to bend over) cleaning her up when we get indoors.

I've been thinking about our growing of veg, and the shopping, and have decided to change things.  For a start, husband grows far too much veg for our needs, he does it every year despite me saying please grow less....he sows twice as many seeds as we need, just in case they don't all take!  And then invariably they do (mostly) all germinate, and then he can't bear to throw any away so grows all of them.  Which then means he has far too much to look after and doesn't have the time anyway, and I end up with trugs and boxes full of veg that I have trouble processing, cooking and storing!  Well not anymore, I'm putting my foot down and insisting he only grows half as much.  And I'll give him a small list of just the things I want him to grow, and he will have to stick to that.  Or else!  I simply don't have the time or the storage space for vast amounts of veg and fruit (nor the desire to deal with it all, frankly).  And he's physically no longer as capable of maintaining a large veg and fruit garden, so we're doing it my way from now on.

I've discovered, quite by chance, that a local organic veg farm does box deliveries....you don't have to commit to having one every week, you can have one as often (or not) as you want.  Whilst you can't choose the contents of the boxes (it's whatever they have in season and ready for harvesting that week), you do have the option to ask for 1 or 2 things to be substituted if you don't like or want them.  So I'm going to have one of their boxes every couple of weeks or so, the first one is coming in 2 weeks' time.  The butchers in the village also does a meat box, the contents change every week - there's always a small joint or a whole chicken, 500g steak mince, their own sausages and bacon, plus either steak, chops, gammon steaks or chicken breasts, sometimes 6 free range local eggs as well, £30 a box.  We've had it a couple of times and like it, it's all from local farms, the contents last us for about 3 weeks or so.  
I have a shopping delivery booked for next week (already had one this week).  From the week after, I'm going to have a veg box delivery probably every fortnight, a meat box every 3 weeks, and will go and do a store cupboard/dairy supermarket shop every couple of weeks.  I might investigate having a fresh fish delivery sometimes too, we used to have one years ago.  It will cut down the amount of times I have to go shopping (I really don't like doing it online), and we'll be supporting 2 local businesses.  Betty's food I sometimes get delivered, or else we go and do a bulk shop once a month for her food.

I've had a lot of time to think the past few weeks, and things are going to change...I have a few other plans in the pipeline too.