59to60

My journey from 59 to ………

Archive for the tag “rescue”

5 months on ……

….. since I last posted. And how life has changed, yet again!

The beginning of this year was extremely difficult. I was finding my role as a carer very hard and could feel myself slipping into depression.

I did change my behaviour and, instead of bottling it all up and pretending that as superwoman I can deal with everything, my usual tactic, I asked for help. I asked the GP and agreed that I now wanted counselling, not tablets, as I needed to be able to talk through all my feelings after 28 years of caring. She gave me a number to call to refer myself which I did.

I then had a telephone assessment where I made it clear that I needed 1:1 support as in a group I’d just try to solve everybody else’s problems and not address my own. The assessor agreed and said she’d refer me for 1:1 but recommended that, whilst I was waiting I should go to the 6 week CBT group sessions.

I did this, starting on the 11th February. I’ve always thought of myself as a positive person and this course showed me I was right!

I am extremely good at looking for the positives in any situation (let’s face it, I’ve had to be!!!) and this course did not help me in any way, although I know plenty of people that it would!

It is now June and I am still waiting to hear about any 1:1 help. :-/

Ray’s been very depressed, his diabetes was out of control (I now know that his glucose meter can say Hi & Lo not just numbers!) The nurse at the surgery was great and referred Ray to the specialist diabetes nurse, the falls clinic, the service that provides aids and told me to contact Social Services.

The specialist nurse was fantastic. She could  see I was struggling (I did have a bit of a melt down in her office0  and so was Ray. She wanted to get his blood levels measured throughout the day for a week and FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME IN 28 YEARS did not just assume that I would stay indoors to do lunch time readings every day, she arranged for the district nurses to come in to do them.

I cannot begin to explain how much that meant to me. Finally somebody was giving me some practical support and encouraging me to have my own life, not just to be an unpaid carer. We got Ray to admit to being depressed and he agreed a course of anti depressants may help, she said she would contact our GP. His insulin doses were adjusted a bit which helped the diabetes but his moods remained the same and life was very difficult.

Somebody came from the falls clinic, took lots of notes and tried to get Ray to do a few exercises to help strengthen his muscles and improve his walking. Ray found it difficult to understand what was wanted and some of the exercises were completely beyond his ability. When I told the man that I did not think Ray would do the seated exercises regularly on his own he said he was going to discharge him, well that was a lot of help! He also said something about referring him for a support shoe but, to be honest, by this point I was so pissed off again I honestly don’t know if he was going to do it or if I was supposed to. Still, we haven’t heard any more about that either! No practical help was offered on how to stop the falls or how I should get him up!!!

We never heard anything from the aids people and, although Social Services said I would get a Carer’s Assessment nothing has happened.

Eventually I blew!

I had had enough. I’d been warning Ray for some time that I could not take this any more, that I had done my bit and that I was sick of it. I even told him to decide which of his two sisters or his mother he wanted to go and live with!

Eventually I blew, I told him that this was MY home, that I had paid for everything in it and provided everything for him and I needed to do stuff for me. He had an ultimatum, either:

  1. We got a dog, or
  2. He went in a home and I got a dog

Guess what?????

On the very first day of looking I found Donut, an RSPCA staffy cross, and three days later he arrived, complete with the cone of shame!

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This dog has changed our lives. Ray was adamantly against having a dog, and now he adores him! His depression has lifted, he’s started laughing again and his health and mobility have improved. He finally has an interest in something!

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And me? Wow, what a difference! I don’t even mind being at home now!

Well that covers the most important aspects of the last five months but there are other things too 🙂

Looking back at the targets I set myself, there will be no problem covering 2016 km in 2016 although training has suffered and I’m nowhere near 3 sessions a week but that’s for positive reasons 🙂 I aimed to be leaner and I have lost a stone, feel better for it and plan to continue!

I qualified as a Lowland Search and Rescue technician and I’ve been out on a number of searches. As our first aid requirement is the same as for First Responders I decided I might as well do that too so now if you put in a 999 call in Wickford there is a possibility you may get me as well as an ambulance etc!

Voluntary work can be so much fun!!!!!!

 

This girl can …… And does!!!

I’ve just changed my profile picture on Facebook to this: 
I made this up a little while ago and it was used by This Girl Can, build displayed in shopping centres!
Now, though, it’s been more relevant to me as I’ve bent, I’ve certainly bent, but I have NOT broken!
It’s been a strange couple of months. I think the kidney stone episode affected me more than I realised.
My way of being positive is to drive forward through all obstacles blasting them out of the way to create a path.
Unfortunately when the path of any vehicle is muddy, with water filled pits and mounds of loose debris the strain put on the engine can cause it to start to struggle. If it is not given the right treatment it can overheat, burn out and stop working.
This happened to me at the end of 1992 or early 1993, I don’t know the exact date.
Ray had his stroke on 30/11/88, my mum died in August 1992, I kept pushing forward until one day I pulled the quilt over my head and didn’t want to come out.
So I know what depression is! I was diagnosed with ‘reactive’ depression, took some wonderful tablets that anaesthetised me until I worked out the problem (I’d lost ‘me’) and the remedy (find somewhere I could go on my own and not have any demands made on me, for me this was going back to doing my family tree).
Why am I talking about this? Because I was driving along recently, found my eyes had started to leak (crying is active, this was passive) and realised that I was on the verge of slipping into depression again.
People say that you cannot cure depression by telling somebody to pull themselves together.
BUT ……. you can tell yourself that! And, for me that is the only thing that works!
I had lost my way. It’s been a long haul with problems with my knee followed by the kidney stone to say nothing about the issues surrounding being a carer!
Ray had been hiding all the medical appointments from me. Once I found out we ended up with loads of appointments that I had to take him to and support him through. He hates things like that so it was not easy! It also meant I had to spend a lot more time at home :-/
My nutrition’s been rubbish, I’ve hardly trained, my emotions have been all over the place and I’ve been kidding myself about all sorts of things.
BUT …….. that doesn’t mean I have to stay there!
Reaching that moment was good for me! Time to tackle everything, I’m not good at doing a bit at a time!
Because I feel sorry for Ray, and for some totally ridiculous, inexplicable reason I feel guilty about his stroke (!?!) I tend to let him get away with stuff. There is a feeling (that I’m sure we both have) that we are stuck in this situation. Well we are if we want to keep living here but we do not have to and there could be alternatives! After I spelled that out very clearly there has been some improvement. Ray has even made me a few cups of coffee! Things are far from perfect but I gave toughened up and I’m not being quite such a doormat!
I talked the issues through with Darryl, personal trainers really go through it!, and we came up with a plan. He decided to give me a new program (if I’d tried to continue with my last one I’d have been fed up because I wouldn’t have been as good) but that it would only contain things that I liked!!!
This has really worked!
I never write my program in the blog but I’m going to just this once!
Dynamic warm up

4×8 bench press

4 mins rowing, 10 fast then 10 recovery strokes

4×12 walking lunges holding a ViPR overhead

3×20 kettlebell snatches

4×8 seated cable row

4 mins boxing ‘beat up the bag’

4×8 leg press

3×20 rope slams
I love it! Most are now being done with heavier weights / more reps or sets. Only shall problem has been the lunges, my knees are not very keen and I need them for my walking so we will be talking about this!
I’m alternating the program with walking. I used to walk a lot, but that stopped when the knee was bad. I’m now getting back into it though, but not in trainers, in substantial walking boots!
Why?
Well, as you know I’ve been acting as a ‘misper’ for the search dogs for about a year but I now want to take that a stage further and I’ve joined Essex Search and Rescue. Look them up on Facebook!


Everybody’s heard of Mountain Rescue, but people aren’t so aware of Lowland Rescue who operate over much of the country. Everybody is a volunteer but they undergo thorough training and have to pass an annual fitness test …… now do the boots make sense?

Don’t tell them but the fitness won’t be a problem, the first aid should be fine, but the navigation may be a bit of a challenge! Although I’ve always managed to achieve anything I’ve really wanted to do so it should be fine!

So, I’m tackling the issues, regaining control, the engine us purring nicely and I’m moving forward nicely 🙂
What?

Pardon?

Oh. The nutrition. Hmm.

Well, it’s improving ….. maybe I can do things a bit at a time after all 😃

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