Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself


Sunday, November 15, 2009

between fight and flight is the blind man's sight

Herewith a brief update on the Life of Lil.

My grandmother is home from hospital, and much better. The infection has cleared up, and with its passing has come the welcome passing of the dementia (apart from her normal 91- year-old befuddledness). The Aged Care Assessment Team have recommended, though, that she be placed in permanent care now her health is deteriorating, unless one of us can be home with her at all times. That's just not financially possible as we aren't entitled to any carer's allowances from the government, and both my parents are still working. Usually Nanna is only home one or two days a week on her own, but that's too much now. So we've started the process of finding a decent nursing home for her. She's quite happy about the idea, as she gets lonely here on her own and while she was in hospital she told us she enjoyed having other people around all the time. There are a few places locally, and we'll try to get her in to somewhere nicer and newer with a good reputation. Aged care seems to be one of those areas that there is a major difference between the top and bottom "levels" even though it's supposed to be regulated and checked by the government.

In the midst of all this, Michelle and I finally heard on Friday that we got our house! We're signing the lease on Monday, and I have started the daunting task of packing. So far, there are 11 boxes OF BOOKS ALONE! We have a study nook/office area at the new place which Michelle has suggested I set up as a reading room - which is a great idea and such a relief as I wouldn't know where to put all the darn books otherwise. I can't part with them, though, they have been my best friends through the years. What is weird, given my bizarre childhood and tenuous relations with family, is that it seems strange and scary to be moving away from my mom. We've only become close in the last few years, partly through living together and sharing the care of nanna. Especially in the last 12 months, during my breakdown, we've actually connected on an adult and non-angry level. I hope that doesn't change once I'm gone from here. She's been supportive and positive about the move, which is awesome. For the first time in 12 years I'm going to be living solo, albeit with a roomie!

Mostly, I am thrilled about the opportunity to form my own independent life again and to live with Michelle will be a lot of fun. We have a lot in common and are more like sisters (she's 13 years younger than me). I can't wait to be closer to the city, and to my workplace, and to be released from the watching nanna, cooking, cleaning regime. Obviously my own place will need cleaning, and my own meals need cooking, but not in the same institutional way! I bought a new washing machine and a vacuum cleaner as well as some of the boring domestic supplies. The big moving day is Saturday 21st November. Wish me luck!!

Health-wise, I am still thriving on the current med combination and am managing to sleep well. I have my neurologist appointment tomorrow to find out more about the Borderline Chiari Malformation that showed up on my MRI. The headaches are still there, but I'm dealing with them, so if nothing comes from the specialist then it's no big deal. I'd rather avoid the "removing part of my skull" operation if at all possible LOL.


Wandering Coyote said...

My GOD, you are moving in a week! Wow! I'm so glad you're taking this step, Lil. It's going to be great. Nanna seems OK with going to a nursing home, which is much easier than dragging someone kicking & screaming there. I hope you can find her a nice place. Even here these types of care facilities are regulated but there always seems to somehow be a two-tiered system.

Elizabeth A. said...

Here in the States, we have the same nursing home issue. My grandfather was lucky enough for many reasons to stay in the nice/privately owned facility but my step grandmother ended up in the state nursing home because it was the only place in the area that was up to code to handle severe Alzheimer's. It was sad, it was one of those places where the patients were just sitting outside their rooms in their wheelchairs. It was so sad, and this sounds bad but we knew she really didn't know any better because she didn't know much day to day. Grandaddy signed over all his assets to my mother which means he was under the poverty line and he was a veteran, and with social security so that's how we managed his private care, I don't know if that helps transcontinentally.

This is such an awesome time for you. YAY!! But I think this is a time you need to stay very close to your medication management. When good and exciting things happened to me is when I always managed to decompensate. But YAY!!! your own place. That is so exciting.

tricia said...

Woohoo! Congrats on getting the house. It seems there is usually a silver lining and I would say your grandmother moving to a care home is one for her. From what you say it seems she will be happy. I'm glad you're doing well Lil.

Polar Bear said...

Sounds exciting to be getting your own place (even with a roommate). I hope everything goes well on moving day!!

Jena said...

Lil! That is so awesome, you are going to have a new space, a new roomie, a new start... I always loved moving and getting new roommates. I did it a lot actually, never for bad reasons. People moving on, or whatever. But it was always fun :) It's so great to hear you'll have that extra independence. You needed that! And you don't have much time at all, do you?! That's next Saturday! Wow!

I'm glad to hear you're doing well with your medications and everything. You sound so happy with how things are going. I am so happy for you! *HUGS!*