A little update from me, for those curious what's been happening (1 Viewer)

Cluck

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Today is a good day \o/

Just got the planning permission approved from the council, so we can finally get to work on building the annexe for the parents. To say that this is a massive weight off our shoulders is an understatement :smug:

In the meantime, my old house has gone up for sale, so I'm now waiting for the right person to come along and "make me an offer I can't refuse".

Other than that, life is ticking along nicely. I'm almost settled in at the new home and finding my way around the area. Once my house is sold and the parents are in the annexe, life can really start to return to something approaching "normal".

That's it for now :)
 

Ricardo

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Today is a good day \o/

Just got the planning permission approved from the council, so we can finally get to work on building the annexe for the parents. To say that this is a massive weight off our shoulders is an understatement :smug:

In the meantime, my old house has gone up for sale, so I'm now waiting for the right person to come along and "make me an offer I can't refuse".

Other than that, life is ticking along nicely. I'm almost settled in at the new home and finding my way around the area. Once my house is sold and the parents are in the annexe, life can really start to return to something approaching "normal".

That's it for now :)
Great news mate
Glad to hear that everything is moving forward
 

Michael

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"make me an offer I can't refuse".
I sincerely hope this does not include something with the head of a dead horse...
 

Cluck

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Can it really be 6 months since I sold my business and retired? It most certainly can.

The annexe work started at the beginning of August. Out went the garage, the vegetable patches, the greenhouses and the sheds. Out went tonnes of soil. Out went a large chunk of my father's beloved garden. In went a load of concrete. Up went some bricks. Then, just 2 weeks ago, the frame of the annexe started to go up. By the end of tomorrow, the roof will be ready to tile and once the windows and doors arrive, it will be airtight and the interior work can begin. We're behind schedule (when do buildings ever go to plan?) but we should be done by the beginning of November. I might finally be able to then get my own PC set up again!

My house still hasn't sold. As seems to be the way with our family, I am trying to sell it at exactly the wrong moment. 3 years ago, it would have sold in a heartbeat, and for considerably more than it's struggling to even get interest for right now. The only bright side is that I don't exactly have any urgency to sell but I still want it gone.

As for everything else, well, life has not been easy. A friend of my parents asked me, just last week:

"If you knew, back in March, how hard this was going to be, how much it was going to take out of you, would you still have agreed to do it?"

Cluck said:
Yes and without any hesitation

Apparently, I looked like absolute shit last week, hence the question being asked. It had been a particularly rough few days, with regards my mother's mood and attitude, but I had no idea it was written all over my face and body. Funny how you can look in the mirror and see a totally different person to the one others around you see.

It might sound all negative, doomy and gloomy, but there are lots of good days here and lots of good, positive times. It won't be much longer before things will improve further still. Until then, this is Cluck, last surviving member of The Coop, signing out.
 

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@Cluck Big thumbs up for sharing this "adventure". Enduring this one is I think one of the most difficult things to master. Knowing there's not mutch you can change about her health besides being there, give support and comfort. Hang in there and also don't forget to take good care of yourself mate
 

Cluck

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A very small update and one that is positive for once :D

On Friday I accepted an offer on my house. The background checks have now been completed so I'm in the hands of the solicitors. Provided the house survey doesn't throw anything nasty up (I can't imagine what it could, it's not that old a house) then we should be done and dusted in about 30 days.

With that out of the way, as soon as our annexe build here is completed I can start to properly "settle down" to this new life.

There is other positive news but it's not really for sharing here in public. Suffice to say, it's a big step forward for my mother which, in turn, will have a positive effect on everyone around her :)

Stay tuned.
 

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Cluck

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It's taken quite a bit longer than I was expecting but at 9am tomorrow morning I will no longer be a homeowner. Yup, the house is sold :pompous:
 

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Jonno

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Your a free range chicken now dude lol...

Nice one for selling must of been a god send signing over.. All the best in your future endevers man...
 

Cluck

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Cheers Jonno :) . Yeah, the last 4 and a bit months have been very stressful, with this acting a little like an albatross around my neck. Time to move on and finally settle down here :)
 

Cluck

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As I wave goodbye to 2019, a year of HUGE change, I look ahead to 2020 and both the challenges and joy that await.

A couple of days after Christmas, we received an e-mail from Jaguar to say that production on our 2020 F-Type would be commencing early in January, with delivery scheduled for early March. The builders had finished the base coat of paint for the walls of the annexe and had finished the ceilings in each room. The moisture from the floor and plaster was slowly getting extracted out and the top coats of paint started to go on the walls. We finish 2019 with an annexe that has a kitchen and a bathroom, heating and lighting throughout. It's taken a long time to get this far but the end is finally in sight. My gaming PC is alive again, albeit with a primary purpose of copying some old comedy show DVDs I purchased so that my mother can watch them easily.

I won't dwell too much on the past year, a lot of it is documented in this very thread. Suffice to say, it is not a year I think I will ever want to look back on with too much of a smile. So, to 2020....

A new car will arrive in March
The annexe will be complete by the end of January
I can finally "settle in" at last
I get some much needed time off at a little-known race track in Germany ;)
My father and myself can start to plan the road ahead, without the added distractions of the last 7 months

So, fuck you 2019 and hello 2020, I greet you with a warm embrace. Take care all and I'll see some of you see you in May, if not beforehand!

Your loyal chicken moderator, Cluck
 

Jonno

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that's great news that its all going to be complete by end of Jan..i'm really happy for you cluck mate..
all the best for 2020 to you and your family....
 

Cluck

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What a difference 4 weeks makes.

Yesterday, my mother was admitted to hospital. She has had a suspected infection, for which she was taking antibiotics for, but during the course of that she got confused one night and went to bed early and fell asleep on the wrong side. During the night she rolled over and instead of finding more comfortable mattress, she found thin air. Then she found the floor a second or so later. We took her in to A&E and an x-ray showed a hairline fracture in the upper area of her arm - the fracture was so thin that I couldn't see it, even having it pointed out to me. The prognosis was that it would heal itself in no time.

Cut to yesterday and mother was refusing to eat or drink anything - if I managed to get some water on her lips then she would lick it, clearly thirsty, but would never open her mouth to drink from a glass or straw. She also decided to get out of bed and lay on the floor, stubbornly refusing to get up. 6 hours later we ran out of options and called an ambulance. A little over an hour after arriving, the two amazing paramedics (they really were superb) elected to take my mother to A&E and get her thoroughly checked over.

So we're now waiting for news of the blood tests and swabs to see what's caused the sudden decline. Her lifelong friend, who visited on Sunday, could barely believe the change in my mother since she saw her mid-December. I'm not surprised, I barely recognised my mother myself and I live here! The important thing is that she's in the right place at the moment, getting all the right treatment and, most importantly, getting pumped full of fluids and minerals.

We are insisting that the hospital keep her in until we have made the annexe "ready", which it almost is. Father and I need to accelerate our plans for getting the furnishings in, so that's actually our main priority now (given that mother is safe). Then we can get some home help in, to look after mother and hopefully she will at least let them feed her and give her drinks.

The feeling of helplessness is quite incredible. You have somebody in desperate need of help but they won't let you help them because you are you. If somebody else had offered her a glass of water, she would have drunk it in an instant. Alzheimer's and dementia truly are cruel diseases and more needs to be done to find either a cure or at least earlier diagnosis to help prevent it developing. It's not the patient that suffers 99% of the time, it's everybody around them that cares for them and love them so very much.

Yesterday was the tipping point. Today is a new dawn of sorts, the day when we start actually planning for the future instead of "trying to cope"


EDIT: Forgot to add, the paramedics and all the team at the local hospital have been nothing short of fucking amazing. Caring, compassionate, patient, you name a superlative, they are it. To everybody at Taunton Musgrove, thank you from the bottom of my heart :joyful:
 

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Damn @Cluck

What an heard braking and difficult journey this must be for you and your loved ones. Although I can related to dealing with a parent who's Ill and beyond recovery It's hard to even comprehend what It is like to have someone close to you physically there but mentally slowly torn away form everything she and you all know. Undoubtedly there will also be moments of intense love and family connection and I hope that they will stay, although perhaps sparingly, until this journey ends.

Tnx for the update. You openness and the way you describe the efforts others bring to help say's something about you as a person mate. Big compliment.
 

Cluck

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Watching your mother turn from who she is to an empty shell of a human being is, put simply, soul destroying. It is part of what makes Alzheimers and other forms of dementia such cruel diseases. It robs you of who you are, your memories, your life, your friendships, your loves, your laughs and most of all it robs you of your dignity. You leave behind somebody that everybody can recognise by sight, somebody that looks mostly normal from the outside but is mostly cold and empty on the inside. Then, every so often, a fleeting memory will return to you to stick the knife in to those closest to you, giving them that little ray of hope that you're still there.

But you aren't.

You are long gone.
 

Cluck

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Some slightly positive news!

Father and myself went to the hospital this morning and had a very long chat with the occupational therapist looking after mother. It seems highly likely that our thoughts were correct, the combo of the infection and the fall out of bed sent her into a tailspin. Her condition now is that she is focused entirely on the pain in her arm, such that her brain is entirely incapable of focusing on anything else when it knows her arm hurts. Her refusal to walk, eat, drink or do anything all stems from that. Once she's been dosed with some morphine she calms down and is able to walk, eat, chat etc. . That really helps father and myself understand what was happening at home, where it would take her an hour to get upstairs.

The situation now is that she has to stay in hospital for a bit to reduce the delirium she is suffering from and then, provided we have got the annex ready to move into, she is safe to come home to that. Stairs are a complete no-no as she is not just a danger to herself, her strength is a danger to myself and/or father.

This whole episode does carry a hit, as her brain function will have reduced and that is something that cannot be recovered. So if she was, say, at 80%, she might be at 70% after all of this is over. She should at least be able to carry on a near to normal enough life again, as will we.

For now, father and myself (father needs it more than me) we are getting a bit of respite ourselves. Father has had 2 almost solid nights sleep, for the first time in nearly 3 weeks, and a few more nights will make an enormous difference to his wellbeing.

Mother isn't out of the woods yet, far from it, but it's not so "doomy and gloomy" as it was on Monday.
 

Cluck

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After a rather difficult visit yesterday (mother lashed out at father as soon as we arrived), today was almost the polar opposite. As soon as we arrived her eyes lit up and she started weeping with joy. She gave my brother a massive hug, then my father, then me. It was the first sign of affection towards either myself or father in more than 3 weeks and it caught us both off-guard. That continued for the whole hour and a half we were there. Mother could barely bear to let go of father, constantly holding his hand, kissing his hand and arm and smelling him like she hadn't seen him for months. I suppose in her mind she hadn't.

Mood swing aside, mother was also a lot more coherent in general, no longer slurring her speech and generally quite lucid. She was far more like the mother I know and we all love. But we have to temper this with the knowledge that tomorrow could be the polar opposite again. To be honest, we may have seen a different side if we'd stayed another hour, such is the nature of delirium :(

We'll be back tomorrow, let's see what that brings.

I tell you what, though, father came away from hospital a far more relaxed man than he's been for a while. The relief written across his face was palpable. Long may it continue.
 

Born2BSlow

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One day at a time...it’s the only way forward. All the best Cluck... :chicken:
 

Cluck

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Life has come pretty much to a stop at the moment, but mother was much improved when we visited yesterday. Still quite confused (not surprising at all) and had a small fall in the night - again, as a result of the confusion - but looking far healthier in body.

Physically, they have no reason to keep her in but she doesn't have a safe environment here to come home to - we have managed to survive the last 8 months in semi-chaos (having taken down the garage, the greenhouses and sheds to build the annex, all those things that were in them have had to go somewhere, combined with all my crap!) but that is not safe surroundings for mother to come back to. Then there's the small matter of having no bed downstairs and since the annex is so close to being ready to move into, we'd rather she come home and move straight into there, as her new permanent home. The fall in hospital has made the nurses and doctors slightly more reluctant to 'kick her out', so although we'd obviously prefer to have her home, it isn't safe.

We're off again in just a few minutes to see how she is today. Hopefully, she'll be the same as the last two days and happy to see us. Fingers crossed!

EDIT: Incredibly, neither the nurses nor my father and myself were "the enemy" today. That's the first time that's happened, so that's even more positive progress :)
 
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