Monday, July 18, 2011

Where we are now

(after nine months since previous post) —

We’ve been in our new home 18 months now, and we love it. It’s convenient to the blood test lab, the x-ray place, the doctor, the hospital, and even the vet. Our writers’ group is only half an hour’s drive away, and most of our friends are even closer than they were. We like the quiet of our leafy cul-de-sac and we like the views of the mountains.

I have household help from Home Care: one and a half hours once a fortnight. Doesn’t sound like much but it’s actually a big help — frees me up to look after the Dear Husband, which can be time-consuming.


He’s on insulin now, after a recent hospital stay for high blood sugar. I give him a daily injection and take his blood sugar twice a day. The idea of all those needles freaked me out, but the diabetic nurse trained me while he was still in hospital and the hospital nurses supervised me for a couple of days before he came home. The equipment is efficient and easy to use, and there’s nothing yucky about any of it after all. He’s a lot better since he’s been on the insulin; his blood sugar’s more stable and he doesn’t go into such wild mental confusion.

He does still have problems with short term memory, and with practical tasks such as computer operations he once knew well. Doesn’t matter how many times I show him, he can’t retain it, and so I just do it for him.

His legs hurt like hell most of the time. He has arthritis and also peripheral neuropathy (painful nerve endings), a side effect of the diabetes. He mostly uses a wheely walker when we’re out, and even sometimes around the house. He can’t do much any more in the way of housework, and odd jobs or gardening are out of the question. Most things fall to me; for some I buy help. We have a brilliant and affordable handyman.

He gets very tired very often and needs a lot more rest.

The doctor monitors him closely. And we’re working with Genome Healing which our friend and teacher, Carol, went to Russia to learn. We did her first course and attend practice sessions most weekends. It’s not an instant cure; you have to persist with it. I find it powerful; Andrew feels the effects too, but for him they don’t last long — yet.

Becoming homebodies

I leave him alone less and less. It depends how he is whether I go out at all. If he’s in bed and I have to duck out to the shops for a quick errand, I set him up with the phone handy and leave my mobile switched on. Longer errands I arrange to do in conjunction with taking him to the doctor or for his regular blood tests. 

We’re waiting on an appointment with the geriatric specialist, the first step in assessing him to see whether we’re eligible for occasional respite care. (The care for him, the respite for me.) Meanwhile, there are friends and neighbours who will come and sit with him if need be.

We don’t go out to the movies any more; much easer to see them at home. How glad I am we lashed out and bought that nice big flat screen digital TV when it was on sale! (Well, big enough for our space.) Yes, we are panting to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter movies — but don’t anyone make with the spoilers, please, as we’ll be waiting until they’re on DVD.

We signed up to Austar pay TV. They had a good deal going, and I thought it would be great for those moments when he’s bored and there’s nothing decent on free-to-air telly. It’s been a bit of a disappointment so far. I guess we’re just fussy viewers. But we’re novices yet, and are starting to find interesting programs.

Problems of my own

I had pneumonia while he was in hospital; got over it quick because I was able to focus on me. Put myself to bed, did lots of Reiki, and sent other friends to visit him for a few days until I was better. 

Now it appears I have a hernia: part of the abdomen pushing up into the left lung, causing breathlessness after only mild exertion. I may need an operation, but so far it seems to be responding well to other options. 

All this made me find out what to do about Dear Husband if I should have to go into hospital or something. Probably his daughter could come from interstate to stay awhile, and she would if possible. Otherwise, respite care would be available. 

Summing up

So we’ve had our dramas, but many things have stabilised. There are everyday trials, worries and irritations, but overall we’ve adjusted and learned to cope.


  1. Rosemary, I am sorry to hear about your pneumonia, get well soon!

    Although you both sound very happy in your new home, and I am glad your husband is doing better...

  2. Thank you my dear. The pneumonia was fairly mild and over quickly. Hopefully the hernia will be easy to treat too.


Comments are moderated and will be visible after approval from blog owner.