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About swilkinson

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    Blog Moderator
  • Birthday 06/04/1947

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  • Stroke Anniversary (first stroke)
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    Hobbies,reading and friends.
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    New South Wales
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  1. swilkinson

    Sarah, it is really hard when you want to do something but can't because you are a caregiver. I have been in those circumstances too. Just keep in touch and support them both as much as you can from a distance.
  2. swilkinson

    Prayers coming your way.
  3. swilkinson

    Nice to see you are still active in the kitchen. As we get older we can get less active so keep up as much activity as you can despite the back pain. The blog community is a great place to get support and share ideas.
  4. swilkinson

    Sarah, as you and I know we cannot always be there to help our kids. The priority is different when you are a caregiver. You want to be the one they can rely on but your circumstances make it impossible. I hope you can come to terms with that. You are a good wife and mother and a good friend to many. (((hugs))).
  5. swilkinson

    Nancy, our lives fall into patterns, I am never sure what is worthwhile and what is workable but it all blends in somehow. I had that kind of life with Ray in the nursing home though taking him outside somewhere we could walk with me pushing him in the wheelchair was the go not bringing him home. I missed that when he died. Now my pattern is driven by my various ailments. But on the way we influence other lives and for me that is where the life well lived comes from. (((hugs)))
  6. swilkinson

    Looks like my operation date might be mid-July. About five weeks after the Pre-admission Clinic. Fingers toes and eyes crossed...lol.
  7. swilkinson

    Holding patterns

    If no news was good news life would be so wonderful. I have paperwork in for both operations in two different Sydney hospitals now with a pre-admission interview on the 11th for the aneurysm clipping operation. I know you all know the importance of this operation as it will save me having a stroke, at least that is the way I am choosing to look at it. With a good surgeon and a lot of prayers it should be fine. I am not looking forward to it but I am no longer afraid of it. We have just had the first really cold days for the start of winter, record snowfalls for May in some of our little towns near the Southern Alps. It is time to turn out the cupboards and find the winter woollies. I might need to get out scarves and gloves too if yesterday was anything to go by. I will probably need to look out bedsocks and shawls to wear during my convalescence. Not counting on anything at the moment as I will find out more details at the next couple of meetings. Anyway no harm in getting ready for whatever the future holds. I am not as active since my last hospitalisation for the infection in my affected leg, it seems like my lymphoedema increased in my affected leg so that seems more log-like than before. I am also conscious that I walk differently now swinging my left leg more slowly than my right and I am doing shorter distances too. It is nuisance more than anything but does affect my confidence. I find stairs are a challenge too and I am mostly walking down them sideways with my back to the rails. A bit awkward but hey! I am still on my feet and that is the main thing. Apart from that there is still a lot to enjoy in my life, morning tea or lunch out with various members of my widow friends groups, church meetings, craft, Lions and other activities. I like a variety of things to do and mostly enjoy some activity each day. I am more tired than I used to be, after 2.30pm I find myself wanting to head for home or find somewhere to sit with my legs propped up. This has been coming on slowly but I certainly know the difference that losing the lymph nodes made to my overall health and wellbeing. I have finally got rid of the chest infection, had it for almost four weeks. I am sleeping better now. The short days means I try to fit gardening in after lunch. There is not a lot to do except keeping things tidy but with no rain for four weeks I have been watering a couple of hours each week. I had three different chrysanthemums flower just before Mother's Day which was a surprise. Shirley and family came down for Mother's Day lunch and and brought me another chrysanthemum which can be potted up once the flowering is over. I also have five different bromiliads in bloom so that was a beautiful surprise too. I have always enjoyed pottering in the garden. The herbs are finished though, I will renew them in Spring. I am not sure how the next few months will go, Trev would love me to go out to Broken Hill to stay with him for a week as I usually do at this time, last year I was there for my birthday, but I can't go anywhere right now. I am glad Ray can't see me like this. I still "see" him here in my mind's eye. Funny how that happens for a long time after they have gone. Those 44 years were the major part of my life. Despite my efforts to live a full and satisfying life the loneliness is still a major factor. No way to overcome that. So that is my whinge for today. Not exactly a pity party, just a blog about the uncertainty of my present life.
  8. swilkinson

    Sarah, you are a champion caregiver. Maybe a special brunch out at a casino? Whatever you feel is a way of marking this milestone. Ray and I did 13 years from the stroke that forced our retirement, me to look after him but his first stroke was in 1990 so 22 years prior to his passing. I have happy and sad memories of those years. But is is half of our married life so worthy of remembrance.
  9. swilkinson

    Nancy, once you get over the embarrassment of seeing and hearing your person in a demented state, and being expected to take responsibility for that everything else becomes easier. I especially learned that with Mum and her weird behaviour. So hold your head up high, plaster a smile on your face and visit as often as you can. Really Dan is their problem now. It is all care, no responsibility. Here we call the situation you are in and I was in "separated due to ill health" and that is exactly what it. is, without the dementia you would be living a different life. So smile girlfriend, you got this.
  10. swilkinson

    May be having the brain operation soon. I am scared stiff but it has to happen. Just hope I become through it okay. Can I do this? I've been through a lot in my life and somehow have managed to come through okay.
  11. swilkinson

    Home is where the heart is

    I had five days in hospital and got home late Friday afternoon. It was so good to be home. I went to hospital because I got cellulitis in my melanoma affected leg. It was my own fault, I scratched an insect bite and set up a bacterial reaction. Without the protection of lymph nodes to fight off the infection spread and on Monday I realised I was in trouble. I consulted my doctor and then rang the Melanoma clinic and following their advice finished up in the local hospital. Needless to say that was the right solution as I needed intravenous antibiotics urgently. Being in hospital again reminded me how fragile life is. I was in a four bed room and each lady had a story to tell, some sad, some of hard times, all linked to a series of health problems. With daily turnover I probably spoke to ten women in all. I am always astounded that we assume we are all so different from others until we are sick and then suddenly find we have much in common. I hate hospital, with its bad food, almost impossible sleeping conditions and insufficient staff but that was the place I needed to be to get well. I am so happy to be home though and it is great to sleep in my own bed again. It was Mother's Day today. I did the usual picking up an older lady for church, then after I had dropped her off I came straight home. I am still not at full strength so didn't want to risk shopping today. About 1 pm Shirley and family arrived bringing chicken and salads for lunch. It was so good to be together again. They only stayed a few hours but it was great to catch upon the grandkids news and what Craig is doing in his job. Shirley visited me in hospital last Tuesday so I knew what she is doing. I loved having them but was tired when they left to go home. A week spent mostly in bed has zapped my strength so now I need to build myself a routine with more walking and spend some time doing exercises on the Wii. Not allowed to do anything strenuous until all is back to normal, or what passes for normal these days. I am feeling my age now, sort of lost my bounce. I am not complaining, I am as well as I can be but I have to make an effort to get stronger before I have the next operation. And that is going to take an effort on my part. The garden looks well after the rain and I need to trim a few of the smaller shrubs. It is good to be able to get out into the sun for a while now it is cooler. I really miss the long days of daylight saving, it seems that it is almost dark by 5pm now. The garden looks good as my lawn mowing man was here last week. It is just as well I have someone reliable to do it. It is better to think about the cost as just a normal budget item. And appreciate a job well done. Apart from that we are in the middle of the lead up to our Federal elections, polling next weekend so all politics on TV and social media. I think I will read and watch old movies for the week. I can always find something to do. As soon as I feel strong enough I will return to my usual routine, weather permitting of course. Looking forward to that.
  12. swilkinson

    Ray used to do the same, just lose control of his body. Often in the bathroom but sometimes on the way which was a much bigger cleanup. I cleaned him up first and got him back to bed before I had my cry, more out of exhaustion than sadness. Once we had the twin beds it made life so much easier when an "accident"happened as I could roll him onto mine while I fixed up his. Well done in picking him up while retaining his dignity.
  13. swilkinson

    Your son sounds like he will grow up to be a fine man. Maybe his wife should be the one to get him organized in the future. Getting little jobs done around the house by one of my sons always makes me a happy mother too. Happy Mother's Day.
  14. swilkinson

    Pam, whatever it takes to get you better. Sleep apnea is so common in folks with breathing problems so I hope your new routine helps. You certainly went through a lot in April! I know you must feel terribly alone sometimes. But although I am over the other side of the world I want you to remember I am thinking of you, and hoping things will get better for you.
  15. swilkinson

    Pam, I just had five days in hospital with cellulitis, got it in my melanoma affected leg. It was very painful. I hate being in hospital but in order to get the right antibiotics I had to stay there. I hope things work out better for you soon. I wish you pain free days.