Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Ties That Bind...

Are stretched taut, almost to breaking point.

We walked in to the hospital Saturday afternoon, my two boys, my husband and I, for my frail mother to promptly burst into tears and exclaim "I wish I was dead!" Now, do not think I do not have compassion for my mother in this horribly painful predicament but she is an adult. Yes, an elderly, fragile, ill adult, but an adult all the same. I kicked the rest of my family into the common room and sat down for some tough love. I told her I could not be there if she continued in that frame of mind, I just do not have the strength.

The thing is, we go through this with EVERY fracture in recent years. I was wrong, I thought this was number four, when it is actually number five since 1991. But the last three have followed a nearly identical pattern, as has her behaviour. I know she is scared, I know she is in incredible pain, I know she is frustrated and angry. I do not care if she vents such issues to myself - BUT NOT IN FRONT OF THE KIDS! God, I know I am frustrated and angry and scared.

Because in this situation at this point in time we have a new issue. We have a little boy of eleven years threatening to kill himself. We have a child in such a dark place that all surrounding him are truly concerned about his actions, and what may happen. We have terrifyingly violent outbursts, and serious personal safety issues, so serious that I sat here shaking at the thought of him going to school yesterday. Wondering if my child would be in one piece to pick up. And so I did not send him... I rang our psychologist instead. I cannot go into this in any further detail right now. I just can't.

Many have asked for an update on WW and her treatment, and I am sorry but have just not had the emotional energy or the time to answer. To be honest I am not sure what will happen. At her age it is so simple for it to become life threatening. And the hospital does not seem to either understand or care. I cannot write in detail, but here in point form are recent events:
* WW is legally blind. Normally has some vision but the pain medication makes her drowsy and lowers her vision. They are dumping her meals and running. She cannot see them, she cannot lean forward due to pain, and so doesn't eat. I am trying to be there twice a day for lunch and dinner but it is 1 hours drive each way TWICE daily and my kids need me too. Am so torn and the guilt is killing me.
* Staff come in do obs. To do so they move her walker out of the way. Do not put it back. She cannot move without it. She is going to fall if they do not stop this.
* Getting in and out of bed is excrutiating for her BUT she is better doing it herself. Last night they ignored her pleas to let her get herself comfortable, rolled her, slid her, and changed the bed around on her. She was in agony, and today was far worse than the day we brought her in to hospital. She had been slightly improved but now can barely move and screams in pain when she does. Oh, and they turned the bathroom light off, closed her door, left her alone, unable to move in the dark. Scared. Helpless. 

And they now wonder why when I rang this afternoon (was there until 1pm but had to bring Boy 2 home after appointment) I told them in no uncertain terms that I am her advocate and as such if they fuck up again I will bring our legal team into it, as I did with the last hospital. Don't mess with me, I am tired, stressed and fucking angry that you are such arrogant idiots - have you forgotten the part of the hypocratic oath that states: DO NO HARM! She is my mother and by God she is neither stupid nor suffering dementia... listen to her.

There is more, but I cannot go into it I am so very tired and so truly guilty that I am not with her this afternoon. I wish I was twins. I wish my sister was alive. I wish I could be there for her all the time. I wish this had never happened again.

Memoir Monday - The Boy Sure Can Dance

Click on the link above and jump on over to Trav's blog.

I am in desperate need of some light relief (and sleep) so am going to jump in with a memory Big Boy and a lovely friend dragged up from the memory banks during a chat last night.

In my late teenage years I had a friend, a rock boy, cool dude, every girl wants to vertical tango with sorta friend. Well every girl bar me 'cause I never was one to run with the crowd. Let's call him Brad. Now Brad could dance, and at every gig I went to he'd be at the front near the stage boogying like an epileptic mid seizure. People cleared the area around him... one, because they didn't want to slip on the combination of his dripping sweat and the dribbling drool from the group of chicks standing as close as they could without two, being ko'd from his swinging arms, gyrating torso or other bits of random bodyish bits a bobbing... You get the picture.

This was the 80's. The time of simple drugs and lots of alcohol. The days before random breath testing when partying meant you hit it hard. And Brad did. And danced.

Soooooooo, this one Friday night we are at the local little club. It overlooks the riverbank and has a balcony along the length of one side. Floor to ceiling plate glass windows separate dance floor from verandah. The lights are flashing in that wierd psychadelic manner they called lighting the band in those days. Music is pumping, Brad is going for it. We are sitting at our usual table looking unimpressed. It was important to look disinterested in those days.
A massive crash and the sound of glass shattering draws our jaded gazes back to the stage and dance floor. Have you worked it out? Yep. Brad had boogied his way straight through one of the massive windows. And is still gyrating that taut arse, swinging his arms, kicking his legs in THE EXACT SAME MANNER out on the deck. Not a pause in his rhythm, totally uninjured.

The club manager was unimpressed. Which of course was tres cool back in those days.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I Am...

tired. So very tired. We have fought the battle, and lost. Not the war, by hell not the war, but yes. The battle. Today I took my mother to hospital. The pain was just too much and I could not find a solution. She reacts to nearly everything, becomes physically ill from most pain medications. And being ill is the worst thing you can do with a fracture. Hospitals scare me for her. They look at her on paper and tend to go *meh*... she's old. They do not see the vital person she is/was until 3 weeks ago. I tell them, make sure they know this 90 year old Wise Woman was doing her Excel spreadsheets, getting her complicated tax return ready for the financial year. I let them know she is the only surviving grandparent my kids have, inform them of the bond she and Boy 1 have. Give them the person not the number.
But still I worry. We have gone to the good hospital, the one an hour's drive, further away than the others. I just hope they get it. I love her so much.

Have I failed her?

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Reminder of What True Friendship Is All About...

Some time ago (in January), I posted about the very special friendship my oldest shares with his best mate of nearly a decade. It was in response to a writers' workshop challenge, and the brief was as follows:

(yes, this is a link to the post)

This weekend has once again reminded me of how truly blessed we are to be witnesses to this amazing relationship.

It was Boy 2's eleventh birthday last Friday. In keeping with our usual standards it was bigger than Ben Hur. Well, actually it was smaller than other years, and I had requested it to be lower key but somewhere my interpretation and Boy 2's became very different. Roll around last Friday afternoon, six extra boys invade arrive at our home for Nerf Wars. You may well ask, "What, pray tell, are Nerf Wars?" Nerf Wars are the result of my Machiavellian younger child devising a strategy game with two opposing teams, red and blue, four boys on each. A nerf gun is presented as their party gift on arrival (love toy sales - these cost less than the usual offering of lollies, stickers and novelties), as is a t-shirt in the team colour. Two massive timber bases have been constructed on our almost 3 acres of heaven, masses of foam bullets bought, turret and large guns in place at each base, Boy 2 designed logo with team name installed on each courtesy of laminated print outs (gotta love publisher); rules outlined, all systems go, go, go!

At least that was the theory until the rain Gods decided Friday was to be cold, damp and dangerously slippery...

This meant we had seven boys running screaming, yelling and shooting INSIDE, and one boy having trouble with sensory overload. Boy 1 pushed himself well outside his comfort zone, joining in the last minute training and target practice set up by Big Boy, but struggled to keep his demons under control in the bedlam. His best mate stayed by his side, running interference when necessary, helping Boy 1 to enjoy the games instead of merely coping with the games. It was a sleep over, and with the promise of a clear Saturday all were happy in the knowledge that morning would bring the true game. However, chaos ruled the night.

Boy 1's mate C is a popular kid. All others wanted to be near him, clamoured for him to join them in their late night mayhem. But C is a child of loyalty and strength. He does not bow to peer pressure or demands. He knows his friend well, and realised Boy 1 needed quiet time. So whilst six boys sat in one room loudly interacting whilst watching Clash of the Titans, C and his friend sat in the other, watching The Spiderwick Chronicles. When six manic boys bunked down in the spare room, C and his best mate withdrew to Boy 1's bedroom to read, talk and get some sleep. C politely declined the loud catcalls for him, he rebuffed the physical attempts to drag him into the other area, and told them in no uncertain terms he was staying put. With his mate.

Thanks to his actions, it was a very relaxed Boy 1 joining in the revelry the next morning. Eight boys running, shooting foam bullets, yelling, weaving, ducking, screaming. You would have been hard pressed to pick the one with autism. But you wouldn't have had trouble picking the two best mates. They stood, back to back defeating all unrelenting attacks. Just as they always have.

Nerf Wars rule!

Writer's Brick Wall.

I can use all the excuses in the world: no emotional reserves, I'm worn out, I've too many committments to find the words... But I have to get past this and push through the wall. Any ideas?

Of course it would help if I had a work space or writing place like this:


Instead of this:

attempting to write her way out of the box:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

M. I. A.

First day of writing course yesterday. Massive amounts of information crammed into 6 & 1/2 hours. Lots of work to do, on-line group to participate in, novel to finish in five months. In other words:

See ya!

For a bit anyway. Until I find my rhythm and the Gods of life allow other parts of my life to come back into alignment. Oh, and it is a confirmed fracture of the C5 for Wise Woman, so am running madly to keep her at home.

And they wonder why my username is...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Letter to My Mother,

My Darling Mum,
You know I adore you and you are my best friend in the whole world but sometimes you drive me crazy. I love the fact you are fiercely proud of your independence, but as it looks like we are rapidly heading into another spontaneous fracture situation please, please listen to me. Do not bend to pick ANYTHING up, do not twist, lift or even stand too long.

You are an incredibly strong-willed woman but as the daughter who loves you and who has now witnessed four of these fractures, I am very aware just how much the agony and pain cost you. You turn 91 in 2 months time,  have lost 8 inches in height in the last decade and now weigh only 43 kilos. You are human and as such are fragile at this time in your life. And your bones are letting you down. I realise how frustrating this whole situation is, especially for a woman as intelligent and self-reliant as you are. And you constantly worry about putting pressure on or being a burden to me.

Let me tell you this: you could never be an encumberance, for you are the reason I can put one foot in front of the other and remember to breathe when things are bad. You are my strength, my calm, the one person who loves me exactly as I am, even though you quietly yearn to wash out my mouth when I swear, without you to guide me I flounder.

I love you Mum, and cannot bear to think of life without you, so please, I beg you, listen to me because I selfishly want you around enjoying life for a lot longer.

Your adoring daughter

Not a Good Day.

At the moment my health sucks. Seriously. Am having tests for all sorts of stuff, but I do suspect the dreaded big M is lurking behind all of the things going on. Yes, that we shall not speak of, *menopause*.

Even more concerning is Wise Woman's health. She is having major back pain, and is unstable on her feet. She has been bending too much and has pushed her physical boundaries. The worry is that last time this happened she suffered another spontaneous fracture of her vertebrae. I do not think at nearly 91 she could tolerate the intense pain this brings. The last one nearly took her life and it was two years ago. Makes my issues seem trivial.

And our employee has rung in sick... So the meeting at the school we had organised for Boy 1, and the fact that I was meant to work today are all out the window.

Not a good start so far...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Memoir Monday - Back to the 80's!

Trav went missing in action again last week, so I'm gonna do my blog hop McLinky thingo again. Just in case he ain't up to a Memoir Monday this week either. You know, as a mate and all.
Drivel from the Trav:
Hey y'all. This little thing is called Memoir Monday, and I'd be thrilled if you gave it a shot. Just jot down a story about yourself, grab my code down there, and I'll link you up to be read by all my wonderful blog buddies. The only rule? It has to be true. I am personally doing what I can to help cure your case of the Mondays. Thanks for playing along!

Mine is short and sweet this week, as I'm *ahem* meant to be working on the great Aussie Novel for Saturday. Yes THIS Saturday. Five sleeps. Off to change undies now...
Back. Okay my post for today is:
How Little Things Change - A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words!
1980's party

A Madmother has no need to grow up, merely out...

Come and join the fun - add your entry to the link!

Friday, August 6, 2010

*#!@%*# - Damn, damn, damn.

Sitting here trying to stay calm,
 *cool blue water*cool blue water*
waiting for 3.30pm to click around. After nearly thirteen years of fighting it, it looks like today may be D-day. My GP has had me monitoring my blood pressure. I skipped a few days due to boys both sick at home (have been going in to my local pharmacy to have it checked), but today made it in at lunch time.

158/100...then 149/103. As I had to fast for blood tests this morning I decided (yes, against advice) to come home, eat, drink, rest and see what happened before calling doctor.

159/95...then 163/97. Pulse rate is elevated too. Damn, crap, poo, bum, damn. Yes, I repeated myself.

GP appointment 3.30pm and as I always have white collar hypertension it will probably break their stoopid machine.

Posting here as do not want to tell people irl, nor facebook - which is irl. Not enough people here to cross over, and if you are and you tell anyone you will be personally responsible for another BP hike  - so DON'T!

Friggin old bloody age *mutter mutter*.

I was told this would happen in my first pregnancy. The BP issues were mine, not pre-eclampsia, and it was a foregone conclusion it would hit. Mind you, the BP specialist called it for earlier, so I should be grateful I guess.

At least I should be rid of the headache and dizziness of the last few days.

Flog Yo Blog Friday - *Meh*


The New Rules from the Desk of Our New Mis-truss...

Follow her blog. Yeah, already do, ya know.
* Grab B's bubbly button and post it on your sidebar. B is Brenda, the former Mis-stressed.
* Link your First Name and/or Blog Name and URL of your linked post (not your homepage) below.
* Add a short description (max of 125 chars). It could be a description of yourself, your blog or a teaser to your latest post.
* Follow at least 1 linkyer/blogger (Be nice and spread the love). Bit hard for me as I already follow a lot of them.

The list will be open for linkyers on Fridays (and for the foreigners Friday as well).

A new and fresh link list will open every Friday. And you will have to link up AGAIN. The previous link list does not carry over to the following week.
And lastly, have lotsa fun.

So, according to the rules I have to have fun here. Yet from the tone of our illustrious hostess with the mostess even she is struggling to raise a smile.

The Mad household is overrun with infectious disease. I have had sick kids all week, both are off school. As the Madmother I do not sleep, I am on cough/vomit/breathing patrol with one eye open at ALL times. I am


So, yee-ha...whoopee... yahoozies... Okay. That's the level of my funbusters today.

Even my funbags are drooping with fatigue. Yay.

Oh, and PSSST - Lori - there is no code for us to post on our blogs to keep the circle evolving. Just thought you should know.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Things that make you go: Hmmmm...

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
You just can't see it sometimes.

A sharp tongue can cut your own throat. Take the time to think before you speak, for words cannot be taken back once said.

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important. Not clothes, nor makeup or jewellery. A smile will set you apart and give you a unique beauty others will envy.

The best vitamin for
making friends: B1.
All it takes is a simple
"hello, how's your day?"

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge... Do you really want to?

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word. Your word is your reputation - once broken it is difficult to repair.

You lie the loudest when you lie to yourself.

If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished.

Your mind is like a parachute...it functions only when open.

It is never too late to become what you might have been.
Life is too short to wake up with regrets...
 Love the people who treat you right.
Forget about the ones who don't.
Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it.

Nobody said life would be easy,
they just promised it would be worth it.

Friends are like balloons. Once you let them go, you might not get them back.
Sometimes we get so busy with our own lives and problems that we may not even notice that we've let them fly away. Sometimes we are so caught up in who is right and who's wrong that we forget what is right and wrong... Sometimes we just don't realize what real friendship means until it is too late. Be a true friend, and others will to you. The ones who don't are not worth a second thought or a single tear. All they deserve is pity.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Memoir Monday - Roo Bouncing.

An Aussie list on a couple of other blogs has stirred the dusty old memory banks once more. Item number whatever... Have you ever hit a roo?

I have. Two of them in fact. But this Memoir on Monday is about the first. So buckle up that seatbelt and hang on tight. Grip the old JC bar if it helps.

A Roolly You Beaut True Blue Roo Rant.
I'm taking you back... Back into the dim dark days of my once wild youth. Back to a time when fun was easy, all you needed was a mate by your side and the hot blood of invincible teenage years. Oh, and a car with a bit of grunt.

Nooooo - not that one ->

<- This one!

It is early evening. Me, aged seventeen, and my BFF are meant to be studying for an HSC exam. No idea now which one it was. We had done some study, honest. But the brains were feeling foggy so we decided to go for a quick burn in my little blue Mazda. Now my BFF lived on a farm in the boondocks. Lots of deserted roads to take for a short drive and some fun. We head onto the beach road. No lights, dark starless night, thick bush either side of bichumen, no other traffic.

Smart arse BFF dares me to see how my little car flies. The hoon in me happily accepts the challenge. Please note: I am only a P plater.

Foot hits the floor, car easily glides up to 100 k's, then 120. We fly along through the black night, over hills, around curves. Common sense kicks back in, I slow down. Sitting at around a safe 70 k's on a straight stretch, BFF grins over at me in the dim interior and says: "Jeez, we would have been mincemeat if you had hit a roo!"

Next instant  -


You guessed it. Out of the bush a lone roo with suicidal tendencies leaps in front of the car. Slam brakes on, roo bounds away seemingly unharmed. BFF looks at me, we both crack up. Still laughing, we get out of car to survey what we think will be minimal damage from the light impact. We stop laughing. It was not minimal. It really was not minimal. We were both very quiet on the return trip. And I had to think up an excuse for being in the middle of nowhere when I should have been studying.

Bloody roos. Well, maybe it was just a big wallaby. But it was large enough to cause some mighty expensive extensive damage.  *mutter*mutter*curse*curse*