What A Week!

What a couple of weeks, I should say. I’m sorry for my prolonged silence. There’s been a lot happening, and most of it hasn’t been fantastic. Unfortunately, I can’t share much of it. This isn’t the place to share family dramas, or tell stories that aren’t mine to tell.

It feels like everyone has been under the knife lately, and when all things hit you at once, you have to just stop, and let the storm pass.

Mum has been struggling with a slight infection in the PEG site, which makes her stomach quite sore. The PEG has to be rotated daily, but the infection makes that very painful, so naturally we’re all a bit worried about her. We have been dealing with this quietly, and she’s been given some antibiotic cream, so hopefully everything will be better soon.

My mum’s fiancée had an operation on Monday, and he’s still recovering. That’s proved more of a challenge than we expected. My sister has taken a few days unpaid leave from work to care for my mum, to make sure she wasn’t alone while he was in hospital. Although Mum is fine to be left alone, we worry about her becoming emotional, or choking, or simply being lonely.

Her fiancée can’t do any heavy lifting for two weeks, which means Mum will end up spending more time in the house than she would otherwise life. Her stomach is very painful at times, although she’s doing well at walking around and spending less time in the chair. If he can’t push her, though, especially up the hill they live on, then she will sadly have to wait for him to heal.

Oh, that hill! With everything that’s been going on this week, I completely forgot that I was sent to the doctors myself by the HR department at work. Last Sunday, Hannah, Mum and I went to the park with our pug, Oscar. We spent a few hours walking around, had some ice cream and went to the aviary.

As I was walking back up the hill, I could feel a pain in my wrist, but with the handbrakes on Mum’s wheelchair broken (again), I couldn’t really stop. The hill is very steep. It might seem like a funny scene in a cartoon, but Mum wheeling backwards, gaining speed, is not so amusing when you think it could actually happen!

I didn’t think anything of the twinges in my wrist until I got to work on Monday. I’m a publicist, so I spend most of my day firing off emails – all that typing aggravated my sprained wrist. Yesterday was my first pain-free day all week.

Then we have our little man, Oscar. He’s really my mum’s therapy dog. He came into our lives nine years ago, when Mum was perhaps at her lowest, struggling with depression following a break down. Oscar was the start of her recovery. He’s her best friend, and the two of them are as thick as thieves – hence why my sister and I took them to Pugfest last month.

Oscar has an infected abscess on his side. Hannah noticed a huge lump of Wednesday. Tim, in agony from his own operation, took Oscar to the vets. He was running a temperature and was immediately put on a drip. He had his first operation to drain the pus (gross) and now he’s recovering, with a bald patch and a disgusting wound.

As you can imagine, all of this, but especially Oscar being ill, has been incredibly stressful. Mum has been a bit upset about it all, but I think the fact she has shed relatively few tears that I know about is an encouraging sign with regards to her emotional lability.

The photo accompanying this post is perhaps one of the most touching ones I’ve ever seen of my mum. Oscar was very drowsy yesterday. He didn’t want to eat or drink. Hannah put him in the pram (yes, he has his own pram) so that Mum and Tim could look after him without having to bend down and cause pain in the sites of their own respective operations.

The pram was parked next to Mum on the sofa, where she stroked her little boy. She left the room, and when she came back, Oscar tried to climb out of the pram for Mummy cuddles. Hannah took that photo as Oscar yearned to curl up on Mum’s lap.

We think it’s safest to keep them separate. Oscar still has an infection and was bleeding yesterday, so we need to keep him away from the PEG. But look at that picture. The bond between them is incredible.

So, yeah, that’s been my week. Sprained wrists, operations, losing money and – trust me – lots of other problems which it wouldn’t be appropriate to discuss here. What everyone needs is a restful weekend.

Shame I’m moving house…

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