Staff - Stroke Support
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About HostSue

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    Blog Moderator
  • Birthday 06/04/1947

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  1. Definitely not looking forward to winter. We go off daylight saving next weekend and I know suddenly it will be dark at 5.30pm again. As I am a six hour sleeper that means a lot of long dark nights alone. I just love daylight saving as it means long days when I can be busy and still have time to sit on the verandah and read until the sun goes down, have a late evening meal, and go to bed just before midnight feeling that I have done something worthwhile with my time. I have a lot of hand work to do. I am working on items called twiddle muffs, 40 stitches wide 23 inches long sewn up the sides and doubled over, decorated with all manner of things, in my case large buttons, bows, lace roses ( which I make myself) and similar things. The muffs are given to dementia patients so they can have it on one arm for warmth. They can feel the different textures and enjoy the bright colours. It is decorated inside and out so if they become bored with one side it is reversible. The days have been easy to fill since the rain ended and we have been back to sunny days. There is plenty to do in the house and much to do in the garden and so the days have been used up in general tidying up and ticking things off the "to do" list. I also have had a handyman in doing some of the small jobs, like changing power points. He is a friend so only charges for parts. He can't do a lot but I am happy to cross some things off my list at last. I have bought a new laundry tub to install and when he fixes one of my down pipes near the back door that will make a real difference when it rains. He is looking to see what other small jobs he can do before I pay for tradesmen to come in. He does remind me of Ray but has firmly stated he is not looking for a girlfriend right now so my hopes are I have also been busy with the church, unfortunately not in fun happenings but attending more funerals. We seem to have had a viral chest infection in our nursing homes that has been affecting those I visit and I have lost three of them this year already, it is always sad to bid farewell to people I have been ministering to for years. On Saturday I did our Market Day and when I got home around 2pm was called to a nursing home at the request of the family to do prayers for a lady who was dying. I find that really hard to do but know that I've had the training and need to put it to use. The family were just grateful that someone from "the church" had turned up was how they expressed it. She died Saturday night and I am now awaiting funeral arrangements. I always think of the funerals as my last visit. It is hard to say "goodbye" when I have been visiting them for years. i usually say some of the prayers and do a reading if the family wants me to. I am trying to get away for a few days but it is difficult to do when there is a lot to do here. Shirley is insisting I go there for a few days as I have not been up since January and Trevor wants me to go to Broken Hill which I will probably leave until May. I love my kids and grandchildren but find it hard when I am the one doing all the travelling. I should do as much travelling as I can particularly while I am able to, I know that, and my friends keep reminding me to do what I can while I have good health and the energy. But I still hate travelling alone. I know I have to get past that and have some things planned that I would enjoy. I can't turn back the clock and as usual it is ticking away. I read a lot of information about what widows should do to recover their own lives and some of it makes sense and I know I should follow some of the advice as it is what I need to do to move on but putting it into practice is somewhat more difficult. The season is changing, you can feel the temperature dropping as soon as the sun goes down now. Unhappily we are still having quite humid days. The spiders have been busy during the long rainy days and definitely the long handled web broom will be put to good use tomorrow. I would like to do as much outdoors work as I can while it is fine. The bromeliads need repotting and so so some of the other plants. The brush turkey has been in my yard again and knocked over the plant troughs on the wall near the car port so I lost the new parsley plants and a trough full of spring onions that I was using as chives. I love our wildlife but not when they destroy my garden. Between the brush turkeys and the possums I lose a lot of parsley so I just have to keep replanting it. I keep as much seed as I can as that saves me buying more packet seed which is quite expensive. Is life good? Yes it is. I have decided that I do now take life more as it comes. I have those moments when everything seems out of my control, I am sure we all do. I find enough work to do, enough people to talk to, enough to keep me interested at present but know that winter brings a different set of challenges. In the past I have planned a mid winter break but don't think I will do so this year. I have a few lady friends who have told me that if I want a travelling companion they are willing to go with me but when I ask them about a particular trip they always have other plans it seems. It is one of the problems widows face, the choice of staying at home or travelling alone. At the chance of looking a scaredy cat I can say that I do make plans but they rarely come to fruition. The trip to Hawaii was the exception as I did it for Sarah's sake. I so wanted to keep my promise of "one day in Hawaii" and we did it. Sometimes I want to start a wish list or bucket list of all the things I would like to do but know if I did so it would just turn into another list of things I HAD to do. I want to do things for pleasure not because someone says they are what I should do. I don't want to do something because it is the recommended thing to do for the over 60s but because I want to do them more than I want to stay in the safety of my home. I am still looking for that man with a camper van but that might never happen either so I have to settle for things I am able to afford and able to do alone. Life is never going to go back to what it was and may move forward contrary to the way I would like it to be. I know that because I am a practical thinker. Always have been. But I was also a team player, part of that couple called Ray'n'Sue. And maybe in a way I will always be that too. Moving on is a lot harder than you think and there is still some sense of loss that will always be a part of my life as it goes forward. Just hope somehow I can get past that way of thinking.
  2. Asha, yo always have a way of looking at the world that makes me feel better on the day I read your blog. Thank you.
  3. I know a few young adults who live in a nursing home. Some because of pain meds that can only be authorised there, some because of mobility issues, some because basically there is no-one who will take the responsibility of looking after them as much as they need. I wonder if you can work on some therapy you can do with just the minimum equipment. I am thinking of a bar to hold onto while you do some knee bends we used to use the verandah rail while I spotted for Ray. A rolled up towel is not a foam roll but better than nothing. Think about sitting in a chair and rolling a ball backwards and forwards with your foot to strengthen your ankle too. I know Ray got very frustrated with his lack of progress he last few years he was home with me. It was our plan to do a lot of things in our retirement that never happened because of his condition. He did have a year in a nursing home at the end of his life when he got beyond my ability to look after him. I will always have some regrets about that. But I did go every day to make sure he got the best treatment possible.
  4. Pam,you do your best with what you've got. I have been around nursing homes for a long time and I can tell you some are good and do the best they can for their residents, some just like to make a profit. You are smart to simply take advantage of what there is. I wish things were different for you but know you will make the most of everything that comes your way and I admire you for that.
  5. I'm glad there are things that make you happy Pam. Sometimes it is hard to count your blessings but it helps to pick up your mood. The shamrock socks sound lovely and the green nail polish. Doesn't take much to help others, a cheery smile and a wave will do it some days.
  6. It's raining. It has been raining for about ten days now. I know this has to happen if we are to live in a beautiful green world but day after day of rain makes me blue. It isn't cold rain, as we are on the end of what has been a hot summer we still have a lot of humidity so it is gray, rainy and warm and humid at the same time so I don't have a lot of energy for clearing up the inside of the house and am short on time when it is not raining to do the garden tidy up I need to do. There are so many wet,decaying leaves lying on the driveways and footpaths that taking a walk is a bit of a hazard too so I am spending far too much time inside. I have already cleaned out some of my messier drawers so I guess doing a general tidy up inside is what I need to do. I find that boring when I look out and would much rather be outside in the garden. Rain blights my social life too, on Tuesday I went to a morning tea and for the first hour was the only person there as it is outside in a nice spot but not a lot of protection from the weather. Normally at this time of the year we would be basking in the last of the warm days and enjoying the autumn tones. I depend on my groups that I belong to for my social life now. My kids keep in contact but not as often as I would like them to and I dropped out of a lot of couples' worlds when I became a widow, that just seems to be the way life works. I could join a lot more organisations and do more charity work but I am trying to balance life out more. I love what I do in the church and my Lions Club but I know I spend too much time with the sick and old in our community and I really need some activities that are positive and make me feel good now. Because of the rain I have not seen my usual "widow buddies" at the shops as they are not coming out because of the rain so that is isolating too. I know when winter comes I will spend more time alone. I managed okay last winter as we had a lot of dry and sunny days and I was going out with my man friend once a week, since that ended I have felt lonelier I suppose and as usual my peer group are packing their caravans and RVs and travelling north following the sun. I do have a lot of people I can sit with and chat and have coffee with when I see them but they are not the kind of people who are going to phone me or drop by and stay for a while so I have to go out to see them. We live in a place where that is the lifestyle. So a day at home means I see no-one. It might soon be time for me to find a retirement community I think I would be comfortable in, so I have people around me again. I miss Ray, I miss the life we had before and after the first stroke. I don't miss what happened in the last couple of years of his life, those were the hard years for both of us. Now I have freedom but it comes with loneliness and a kind of disconnect that was quite unexpected. I need to go out and get a pile of books and a basket full of old movies so I can relax and enjoy what is ahead for me. Not that any of us know what is ahead, who would have thought I would go to Hawaii for instance? My phone and computer had problems from January on but now I have a new provider and a quicker service and hopefully things will be easier. I will be on the board more again and once I have a handle on this new system should be back as Blog Moderator etc. How about updating your blog for me so I have something to comment on? I managed to update my own computer system with the help of a Support Person so am proud of myself for doing that. When I had sons close by they would have done it for me but now they are all too far away to help me out. I know I have to be independent but it is a struggle sometimes as it is for all of us who live alone whatever the circumstances. It is hard to be alone in so many ways. I still find it hard to watch couples walking hand in hand and someone at my table asking their spouse would they like coffee and going off and getting it for them. My old house needs a lot of maintenance to keep it going and I have found another handyman who will do some of the smaller jobs for me, replacing light switches,rehanging cupboard doors that need adjusting that kind of thing, then I need a tradesman to do the bigger jobs. I know it is likely the person who buys this house when I sell will have it bulldozed as the land, one street over from the beach and protected by the shape of the hill behind from the worst of the winds is valuable in itself so the house will either be renovated or removed and a new house built. I have been happy to stay on here but it needs a lot of repairing and updating and do I want to do that or move? I just don't know. The handyman did say it is a sixties house which it is, maybe I am still a sixties person at heart? All the time I feel comfortable here I will stay here. I know people must be sick of me saying I need to make some changes and then doing nothing about it. The truth is since Ray died I have never really known what I want my life to be like. I wanted to be one of those old ladies who shared her life with her old husband till they were both in their eighties or nineties, I never envisioned myself as a widow. I do speak to other widows about this and they tell me what they are doing. Some are spending their lives travelling or cruising or catching up with overseas friends, well I at least did that didn't I? Now I don't know what to do next. Going with the flow and seeing what life brings works for me in a way but it is too much like the decisions I don't make could be the ones I should make. I'm wondering if I should get some more counselling to crystallize some sort of vision for the future now.
  7. Fred we all hate changes and find them difficult to cope with, me along with everyone else, so it will take a time before people get used to the board the way it is. Keep patient my friend and I am sure the people you have got to know will get back on the board again. I'll post a blog about my life and struggles but as it has rained the last couple of weeks there are only low lights not Sue.
  8. Not looking forward to going off Daylight Saving in a few weeks time as then I know winter is straight on ahead All the time the sun is shining I am fine but short dull grey skied days do not make living alone any better. It accentuates the fact that I am on my own. Give me summer heat and those loooong days anytime..
  9. Pam, we all get left out from time to time, I do too, I am not disabled but I am a widow. One of my sons avoids me in case I need "help". But I know I can be self-sufficient (at some cost) and you are in a different situation. You are in my prayers my friend. Sue.
  10. I'm happy with my old signature, it doesn't date...well i don't either..sigh.
  11. We all wear many different hats for sure. You wrote with a good deal of sense in this blog. Well done. I hope some of the hats you wear give you happy thoughts as you do the things you have to do as a caregiver, wife etc.
  12. Hi folks I am back fully online again, it has been almost four months since I have had a full connection so it has been harder to spend time on here. From now on the Blog Report will be every two weeks unless it suddenly needs to be more frequently. I love all your blogs and look forward to the updates you post. Thank you to all who read, post and comment... you are a vital means of support to a lot of people and will never know how much you are appreciated. 😍 Sue.
  13. You are both phenomenal women. You achieved separation without a blowup and as you say can look forward to meeting now just to spend time together without stress. Congratulations on launching your daughter into her own space.
  14. Sarah and I met in Hawaii and she commented that but for the fact that our husbands had strokes and we both found Strokenet that we would never have met. It does make you think doesn't it? I am so glad we met via the Blog Community Asha and have shared a part of our journey too.
  15. Nice to have you update again Lin and give us your news. Yes, houses can sell fast here sometimes, both ready to move in ones and fixer-uppers. Only a limited number of empty lots so older houses like mine are often demolished so someone can build what they want on the land. I'll move one day and the bulldozer will come in the next Definitely no going back. Enjoy your Spring.