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bronchitis blues



“Nothing can be done”…. not the words a caregiver wants to hear but that is what the neurologist said as he looked at Ray's MRI and the bone scan results yesterday. He also said that although Ray has not had more strokes the area of damage is enlarging so he has more deficits. I asked why and he said: “We don’t know.” I asked why he has had a bleed as well as the blockages; again he admitted he didn’t know.


He doesn't seem to think it is the falls causing the pains so much as changes to his posture, movement etc. He is passing on a list of possible painkillers to the GP so that he can try them one at a time on Ray. The neurologist doesn’t say much in front of Ray, he doesn’t want to discourage him. I will get a lot more from having our doctor read the neurologist’s letter out loud which he usually does. Ray usually stares around the room at the posters on the wall of the doctor’s rooms so I don’t know whether he takes it all in or not.


Ray was walking so badly yesterday I wheelchaired him into the neurologist’s office, usually he is able to walk in. But just sitting in the car was painful for him yesterday. I would be more successful at finding a solution for the pain if it was with him all the time but like so many things the pain seems to come and go which makes me think it may be linked to the dementia…but no-one sees to have an answer to that either.


I went to the doctor myself yesterday morning as I have bronchitis again and am in some pain. I had viral pneumonia in 1991 and get a bad case of bronchitis every couple of years. I am run-down due to lack of sleep. The doctor had a bit of a joke. He said: "Sit there while I read your file." He then turned over a piece of blank paper and said: "Ah yes." I was last there as a patient in July 2008, same reason. Of course I also see the doctor with Ray about once a fortnight so he knows what is happening to us both.


When the three hour respite carer came this morning I didn't go out, I sat in the sun with a blanket over my knees and napped. This afternoon I feel a bit better, probably the antibiotics kicking in so have done some small jobs around the house. I will take it easy tomorrow and hope that the bronchitis gradually goes. As usual as a caregiver when something goes wrong I just have to carry on as best I can. No one is here to look after me so I best get on with it.


I think I am mourning the past again as last night I had a nightmare where someone was holding me down and I was trying to get away saying: “I have to go, my daughter is waiting for me at Cairns Airport.” I know my daughter now lives in Shell Harbour and there are no more lovely winter holidays at Cairns – I just have to tell my subconscious! I love my family and I wish we saw more of them. It would be nice to sit down with for a meal and have a chat over coffee. Why are all our families too busy to visit? Maybe it is “out of sight, out of mind”.


Our two man handyman team came by yesterday to look at the small job of replacing some boards around the side of the house. It is time consuming and we don’t yet know what the cost will be but I’m trusting that it will not be more than we can afford. I have a list of little jobs that need doing to keep the place in a saleable condition so these will be two off my list. They came back today and started the job so maybe by Wednesday next week we will have the boards replaced on the end of the house and the verandah ceiling and railing repainted.


I am hoping to start putting up the surrounds for the vegetable garden soon. I have the materials, all but the posts so have to find somewhere that stocks small posts. I don’t get around to hardware stores much, I guess it is more of a man thing so I will force myself to get the measurements and go out and find what I need. It would be nice to have a veggie patch again. I used to grow vegetables when I was a young woman so do know the basics. And we all know how good something that goes from the garden to the plate is. I will still have the herbs and all my flowering pots to look after of course.


Only about six more weeks of cold weather to go, we are promised another fine day tomorrow so will spend some more time out in the sun and hope that drives the bronchitis germs out of my system. It seems so hard to keep alert when I am on antibiotics; I have a really foggy feeling. Luckily I am only on them for five days so hopefully that is enough to chase the bronchitis away and for me to be healthy again.


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Sue, Do take care of yourself and get to feeling better quickly. Illnesses are our bodies way of forcing us to slow down even if we don't want to.


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Sue: I am so sorry about Ray's prognosis, but you will have the knowledge you need to care for him and make the best decisions you can. One quick possibility: if the pain is related to his diabetes, it will come and go. Hopefully the docs will be able to target a med that will work for him, so he can rest and then so can you. Lots of fluids with those antibiotics please. Your six weeks to spring is my six weeks to autumn. I love that time of year here, lots of yard work but autumn in New England is breathtaking. Please try to rest when Ray does. Some things can be put off for a day or so, give the medicine a chance to work. Please take care, Debbie

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You wrote:


No one is here to look after me so I best get on with it.


No, we are not there. But many here on strokenet look after you

the best we can -- with supportive messages to you.



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I hope that you are better. I hate to hear Ray's prognosis. Yes, we caretakers need to carry on sick or not.

I wish that we were closer. I could give you some respite.



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I wish you the best. I know that I haven't known you long but I wish you and Ray the best. I too am trying to grow some veggies...maybe we can share some tips sometime.



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