Friday, September 16, 2016

Greek Helen and her son Mungo and I went to the hospital together yesterday, and had a good visit. I’ll go alone today, and tomorrow not at all, as I am going to North Berwick with a friend. I’ve been past it often, and once went there to buy petrol on a journey south. But I’ve never been to North Berwick, per se. It’s a long way north of Berwick.

I think my four children and my sister feel that care of my husband at home is going to be more than I can cope with, even given maximum care. Helen and I are going on Monday to see the care home which a friend and I sussed out over a year ago – the one with the cat on the staff, although he no longer seems to be there. He was old. And on Tuesday we’re going to talk to the consultant in charge of the ward where my husband is.

I am much torn. He would be devastated. What about the marriage vows?

Knitting

A bit more ribbing-of-the-second-sock while we were at the hospital, and a successful day with the Uncia. I have done row 214 of Chart C, out of 228. I got rid of the six stitches I had mistakenly added, and I think you’d have to stop the bloody horse and get off before you could spot the place. There are people on Ravelry who seem to be able to sit all afternoon knitting Uncia while the Olympics roar in the background. Not me.



I think the travelling stitches and cables of Chart C are more or less discernible at the top of that image.

It occurred to me as I was toiling on yesterday, what an expenditure of time this must have involved for Lucy Hague. Not just designing it, and knitting the prototype, although that is no small thing, but devising the charts – there are 34 different symbols on page 86, where I am at the moment. I couldn’t say, and won’t attempt to, whether there are more and others, on other pages. But I can say that the charts are brilliantly done, and reliable.

She lives somewhere around here, and often helps out in Kathy’s Knits where I was yesterday buying a cable needle to help with all this.

Non-knit

Perdita doesn’t seem to be eating. But we all know that a cat rivals an IRA terrorist when it comes to starving oneself to death to make a point. Does anyone remember an otherwise utterly unremarkable movie with Donald Sutherland or Elliot Gould, which has a wonderful 90-second sequence in which the hero finds himself out of cat food, and goes to the all night grocery but they don’t have the right brand, so he goes home, and pushes the cat out of the kitchen, and decants the wrong cat food into an empty tin of the right brand and then invites the cat back in for feeding?

I don’t remember that we are shown the cat’s disdainful response.

25 comments:

  1. I can understand your dilemma, but "in sickness and in health" applies to you both, and that would imply that your health has to be factored into the equation as well. I know how much input is still required at home even with the care package you mentioned.

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  2. I remember that cat incident! So normal for a cat.
    I feel for you in your care dilemma. Keep in mind how much more devastated he would be if looking after him caused you to crumble. It happened in my family.

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  3. I'm thinking of you Jean in your present dilemma. I agree that the solution has to be the one which is right for both of you.

    I was thinking of you too yesterday when I went to the Propagansey Exhibition at Robin Hood's Bay and was able to see the Frangipani Herring Girl's Pink at first hand as well as scores of ganseys including some wonderful old ones and repaired ones, some with patches and some with reknitted sleeves and ribs. It was just wonderful.

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  4. It is the transfer and lifting that is impossible to do on your own or without proper kit, which often just does not fit into our current houses. Yes you do need to look after yourself. I would agree with your children, sadly we may all have to make such decisions at some time in our lives. Having seen my mother and her problems I have told my children not to worry but to do what they feel is best for them and me should that time come.

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  5. Thinking of you at this important juncture of decision. You will have to do what is best for the health of your husband. But also for your health. It's never easy.

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  6. I think that finding the right care for your husband, which includes safe care for him, comes under the banner of keeping your marriage vows.

    You are willing and trying to continue to care for him, but physically it is not safe or advisable to do so, for either of you. This is not sidestepping your vows, it is recognising the limitations, while still honouring the vow of caring by making sure he is as safe as possible from further falls etc.

    Would he be just as devastated if him coming home caused you further harm, or didnt work out and he ended up in a care home anyway, with you also in need of care?

    These are only my thoughts, you know the ins and outs of this.

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  7. PS There seem to be two identical blog posts today, both with different comments.

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  8. Echoing Ms. Metcalf's thoughts. My heard goes out to you and yours.

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  9. You are thinking of The Long Goodbye. You can watch the segment on You Tube at:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u0uo0TxS-I

    Hope that brings a smile during a challenging time.

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    1. I knew one of the smart commentors here would know which movie! Thanks for saving me from wracking my brain.

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  10. Anonymous1:36 PM

    I'm with the others - your husband has a duty to care for you, too, even if that means he has to live apart to do so. Think of all those people who work far from home in order to provide for their families. Have they broken their marriage vows?

    If you really, truly believe you cannot live apart, I think there are only 2 alternatives. 1) You move to the care home also. I'm sure it will take some effort to find such a place, but I am pretty sure they exist in the US, so maybe they do there as well. 2) You have at least one round-the-clock carer. This could be a live-in or 3 shifts. It could, hypothetically, be one of the kids or grandkids. I think you will also need a second carer mornings and evenings for transfers, bathing, etc.

    This latter is essentially the solution my husband's family used for my dear MIL. FIL, though well-advanced with Alzheimer's, was physically strong and capable until the last days. He was also a gentle, compliant person even in his dementia. They got along with carers coming in a couple times a day and the kids coming by every day to fill-in.

    I'm so sorry you are having to deal with all this. I know you will find a solution that works for your family, but it is so hard.

    Beverly in NJ

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    1. Anonymous1:37 PM

      Oh gosh, that's long! Sorry!

      B in NJ

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  11. Anonymous2:39 PM

    Actually, both my parents did much better when my father went into a care home and my mother stayed in the family house. They stopped worrying about each other so much! Best wishes for the entire family.

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  12. I'm glad you have an outing tomorrow to look forward to. The next few weeks are going to be difficult as you make tough decisions, and help your husband adjust to a new living situation. A day away from all the worry will hopefully lift your spirits a bit.

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  13. The first thing you're taught as a First Aider is not to become a casualty yourself. You have to be realistic about your capabilities and limitations. My father went into a nursing home for the last 2 years once my mother could no longer cope at home. She still spent most of her time with him, but it was as a companion not a nurse/carer, and was a welcome return to their relationship in earlier years.

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    1. I think this really hits the nail on the head: not being the care-giver lets you be the wife.

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  14. This will sound uncaring but...
    Your husband has a bad temper and doesn't seem happy anywhere. Do your best to make your own life doable. Don't let yourself go down the rabbit hole with him.

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  15. Sorry if we're piling on here, but it's because we care. The wedding vows go two ways, and he has a duty of care for you. Your life has been lived in his country and in many ways to his plan for a long time. Scotland is lovely and the rewards have been many, but a sacrifice on his part now seems timely.

    But also consider what a care home will mean to your life: You will still be expected to visit, likely most days, and that will be quite an investment of precious time and energy. The cost/benefit analysis cannot be easy, I'm afraid.

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  16. I don't think "Till death do us part" means you dropping dead of exhaustion while your husband rages away at you because he's angry at everything. And then where would he be? You'll last longer if other people are doing the round the clock caring and so will he. There's fewer chances for accidents in care homes because they have more staff and equipment available.

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  17. Marriage vows are sacred to you but just because he receives care somewhere else doesn't mean you've abandoned him. You have his best interests at heart and THAT is the foundation of the vows. What a heart wrenching decision. I think of you daily and hope once the decision is made (either way) and plans are made that you can rest easier knowing you did all you could.

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  18. Anonymous11:22 AM

    So glad to see your family stepping in and relieving you of this burden. We spend our lives cherishing and living up to our principles and then life comes along and turns them all sideways. As everyone says you are still keeping your vows - just in a different way than you expected. God, I believe, is kinder to us than we are to ourselves. Chloe

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  19. Here in the US we have facilities where retirees can live in any types of facilities including apartments or even detached homes and care, to whatever extent is needed, is available right on the premises. That can mean continuing to live together or having your husband in a dedicated facility with you literally only minutes away. This would mean no more long, inconvenient travel but it would involve breaking up your current household. It would also mean not having to navigate icy steps in the winter to put out the garbage.

    For most all of us, one partner eventually becomes the "last man or woman standing," the one on whom the tough decisions fall. The best we can do in whatever circumstances we find ourselves when that time comes, is the best we can do. Our best then not only fulfills the marriage vows but also is a proof of love grown over many years. We can only hope that if it is we on whom that burden falls, our partners will understand that love is what helps us choose for their sakes and for ours.

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  20. Wow. What they all said! Prayers for you and your family. Wish I could give you a big hug, have a cup of tea and knit with you.

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  21. I have nothing to add to these wise and loving comments but that a stranger in the US who came to your blog through knitting and remains a reader because of your engaging voice and the window into life in another country is thinking of you and wishing your burdens and decisions to be eased.

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  22. We are just starting to deal with these issues ourselves, two parents and a sibling. So hard. A long term solution must take everyone into account, or you will be back at it farther down the road, maybe with both of you down.

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