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Countdown To Christmas!



Staff - Stroke Support
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About HostSue
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    Blog Moderator
  • Birthday 06/04/1947
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  1. HostSue

    It is as usual accepting what is and making contingency plans. Two pads, one on, one in your bag. I had to do that with my pregnancies, you get used to it . Sorry you are going through this at 46. Being away from home and not in your comfort zone can make the problem worse, I know from my experiences travelling with Ray. But if you enjoy yourself it is worth it.!
  2. HostSue

    Pam I am so sorry, this is just one more burden to bear. I would ask what the prognosis is, what rate of spread etc then make the decision. It is the way I work through things. But I do not have your pain so there is no comparison. You need compassion as well as information, I hope you get that.
  3. HostSue

    Noises outside

    On the whole I think I cope with being a widow pretty well. But as soon as the warmer nights start we have noises outside. As a widow and even before when Ray was living here still but was unable to get quickly out of bed I am the one who goes off to investigate. It may be possums on the roof, dogs overturning the bins out on the road or a group of noisy teens coming home from a party, rarely is it something life threatening. Sometimes I just don't see the cause and I might go back to bed and worry for a while but usually I am satisfied. Tonight there is a wind so all kinds of rattles and bangs but all ones I know the origins of so I am okay. I always say we all plan for retirement but not for old age and I think that aplies to me now. I have got a lot slower since the last operation and I know that while I can still manage housework, shopping and the ordinary tasks of life I cannot do maintenance so in the New Year need to find a way to do the jobs I can't accomplish and that means find some tradesmen to do them. This is going to be a considerable expense but as I don't go on holidays much now I can use that money. We also don't plan for widowhood so I am now putting some thought into my future again. There are two main choices, staying in my own home or some sort of retirement complex. I think I will maybe consider downsizing to a smaller place too. It seems unlikely now that's one of my children will move closer so I am probably not going to have help in this. It is not that they don't love me but it doesn't occur to them that I need help. And I do find things more difficult now since the leg operation. Every job that involves bending and lifting takes a bit longer than it used to. And we don't take our future needs into consideration. I am thinking of our need for help and support. Through pastoral care work I deal with the elderly a lot and I can often now see my own needs in the ones I am helping. The need for companionship is high on the agenda for widows. It is easier during the day as public transport, taxis and lifts from friends help if you no longer drive but at night and at weekends that is not as available so there is a difficulty in meeting up with friends. Technically speaking the family should fill the gaps but in fact few have family living close by. I hear that from the little lady I pick up for church and others in my craft group so I am aware of how it will be for me if I can no longer drive. I wondered if I should express these thoughts here or if I should write them in my widow blog but I think a lot of people on here also struggle with living alone as I do or wonder how they will cope if it ever becomes their life. For those of you who have someone living with you, cherish that situation. Alone means some extra freedom but too much time alone is stressful, particularly on those nights when the wind is up and I become super aware of noises outside. The good news is that I do have people who love me. They might not be right here but they exist. An old friend in her 90s rang me early this morning to tell me she does. She had received a Christmas card from me and rather than try to write a letter had rung me instead. I know there are people who love me, family and good friends, I am not discounting that. But it isn't always in the forefront of my mind. To my mind I am very much alone. My girlfriend who died recently was one of the people who I could ring on a night like this and it is one of the reasons I will miss her. I miss a lot of people who have been good friends in my past years. It is not the same without them. Sometimes I think the Christmas season is hard on us as people who have cared for others. I know I never really thought about the impact before I was a widow. As a caregiver I was simply too busy. Now I am on my own I have too much time to think. There is a car alarm going off somewhere in the neighborhood, another party up the road, the sound of music somewhere further away. Somehow that accentuates the aloneness I feel. I probably need to put on some music of my own and block out the noises outside.
  4. HostSue

    Good looking
  5. HostSue

    Tracy, I find at this stage of my life I am grateful for so many things. Circumstances are not always perfect but I believe in hope, and hope makes life doable. I was glad to find out from your blog that many people are helping you through the lean times you have been through. (((hugs))).
  6. HostSue

    ASHA, I love the story of your travels. Your hubby has a wonderful sense of humour and he does take good care of you. I am so glad you got to see so many family members on both sides. Good you were not the one to fall this time. Enjoy your reorientation, you might discover a whole new aspect of your home.
  7. HostSue

    Another milestone in WAGS

    Last weekend was the Women's weekend of the Stroke Support group WAGS, I think my 10th full weekend although I have sometimes just gone to the Friday or Saturday night, depending on the circumstances. I remember one year I got my older son to look after Ray so just went from lunchtime Saturday until after the dinner. Of course the past six years I have gone as a widow. I shared with another younger widow this year as I did last year. She is only mid-fifties and still has children in her care as her husband died young. She enjoys the weekend as a break from her usual routine. One of our members has compiled books of photos from each year back to 2005 the year before I joined. I really enjoyed looking through them and recognising some of the faces as old friends who can for various reasons no longer come. As usual it was a sad/happy time as we remembered those who are no longer with us, acknowledging also those who were foundation members. In every organization there are those who put in a lot of hard work to make events go well and WAGS is no exception. We are all grateful to the handful of organisers who make the weekend possible. I enjoyed the company, the food, the entertainment, but as usual especially the dancing. Of course I would love to be able to dance the way I used to but found it impossible to be as balanced with the left leg musculature being so different now from the right. But I managed to dance for most of three hours so I was very proud of that achievement. And it was wonderful meeting up again with such wonderful, brave indomitable spirits, both caregivers and survivors. They are an inspiration to me. Coming home is always a let down and I have been feeling that this week. I am busy enough, on the Lions Christmas raffle two mornings already but my trip to visit my daughter and family mid-week and go out to a Salvation Army lunch today was cancelled due to her schedule. It is a thank you to the officer's parents, and thank yous are rare. And then news of another death in the distant family added to my sadness. It does seem as if there has been a lot of deaths within my circle lately and I think that dims my usual brightness for a while. It is a reminder of our built in use by date when those younger than ourselves die. Really now I have no-one to turn to when I am sad, I miss my good friend Lyn for that reason, we always included in our chats news about family members, happy and sad and I have no-one to do that with now. I think it is not likely that I will make another good friend like him. I really miss my girlfriend Jean, who died six weeks ago too. It was such a shock when she died. And without those friends from our formative years to share our memories with we are so much the poorer. I am really feeling that now. But as we know life has to go on, Christmas get togethers are starting, bring a plate to this one, book in for that one. It is not only the busy season it is also the expensive season. I have the trip to Broken Hill to look forward to and other upcoming events but Christmas this year will be with just Shirley and family as Trevor and Steven and their families have other plans. Inevitably that will happen some years. But that is when I really miss Ray and that focussed family life we used to live.
  8. HostSue

    Jay, you have come a long way since then. Good to have you as part of our Community.
  9. HostSue

    Sounds like a nightmare for you. BUT you have the implant so life should get better. I think it is so much harder without someone to advocate for you as I did for Ray. I wish there was someone who could make!e all of this easier for you. (((hugs)))
  10. HostSue

    Pam, some of what you are going through I understand, some is your personal life story. I hate that you have so little control over what happens to you. I hate that the nurses make no effort to understand what you are going through. I hope the procedure helps, does what it is supposed to do. (((hugs)))
  11. HostSue

    I've just joined the National Trust so I am looking forward to seeing some older homes set up as museums, probably in Sydney, and exploring some of the domestic history of the last century. It is good to recognize the difference between the life back then and the life we have now. Thanks Tracy for that reminder.
  12. A year later and looking forward to this coming weekend when we women gather again for the WAGS Women's weekend. Thanks be for surviving another year.
  13. HostSue

    Wonderful news, great family event. Congratulations all round. Love your adventurous spirit Kelli and your forgiving nature.
  14. HostSue

    There are friends that can turn into enemies, I have had a similar experience, but yours is most difficult being your room mate. Just go on as best you can. Love the blind man as a friend, a fellow sufferer and someone who loves you. Love is important in our lives whoever and wherever we are.
  15. HostSue

    So sorry Pam, all of this would not happen in a perfect world. (((hugs)))