Monday, 24 March 2008

Right, it's time to let rip...

[When you read ’10 days’, make it ‘17’, and when you see ‘weekends’ add on ‘even Good Friday – sacrilege!’ Thank you. Due to Tom, Blogger and Easter blogging was delayed!]


Was that loud enough? A piercing, desperate scream in the afternoon? No.

A bang of my own then on a hollow cupboard door? No.

A grenade through their window perhaps? Oh, now you’re talking. That might put a stop to it..

Ho ho, how we fantasise when the wrongs are being wrought on our beings. The fiction we conjure up in our impatience for Divine retribution, not often seen in this world. Reminding ourselves, just in time, two wrongs don’t make a right.

So that impotent we stay with un-spent anger turning to depression and forming sickness inside us. Depression. Dis-ease. The big D’s of an MSers life.

And which we try so hard to avoid.

You will see it as irony (it is ironic). After all my stresses and miseries over the new Social Landlord and the “improvements” to come, the neighbours upstairs – directly above me – have had builders in for the past 10 days. This is day number 10. Of sledge-hammers and drills just feet away from our heads. Mine and Lucy’s. Together, suffering and starting, as one, with the sudden loud noises. Nervy – worse even than an MSer on a bad day has a right to be – and reaching first for the ear-plugs (me – poor Lucy, I just hope her floppy ears help!) and now (again in my case), for the oxygen can and mask. I bought them after yet more nights of breathless “panic”. Oh dear. What’s happening? I am so upset.

But most of all (nearly!) for Lucy. She didn’t have to be here. And she keeps looking at me like a child who’s just realised her mum can’t put everythng right. And it’s as if she’s saying, “But mum, you don’t like noise, why don’t you stop it?” And I feel guilty and rotten and insignificant. And she keeps running off to hide in the other room.

At first, they [the neighbours] ignored Tom’s inquiries at the door (he goes more “nuts” than me when he’s here) but after a few days he bumped into a labourer in the midst of the rubble outside our window. And was told it was a private job, they were putting in a new bathroom (ah, but it’s sounded more than that now). So the plot thickened. Why not wait for the “Dusty Bird” (DB) [as I now call the Landlord – those involved will get it]?

And to cut it all short – I wish! - oh brilliant, this family has bought “upstairs” – leasehold - from said D.B. - profits, eventually, all round then! And, presumably, can and will do what they like, when they like and as much as they like, with not even a polite warning to us [I could have gone into Respite].

The Housing Officer, Anti-Social officer (goes on late into the evenings and at weekends) and the Leasehold department have all been notified and may or may not contact them. But really, I can see a few people are thinkng it’s me who shouldn’t be here – as if being this disabled I no longer belong with the general population (I won’t rant about euthanasia this time! But it’s wrong by the way.) The Social Worker keeps on bringing up options.

And the MS Nurse - who came again because she knew that at the last place the Medical Officer had advised I be moved before “regeneration” began - suddenly remembered a Care Home she thought might suit me. In a lovely part of Kent. Wait for it: where they accept small pets!

Well, I’ll be looking at the brochures they’re sending. And actually I checked everything - even read the local ‘paper - on Google one noisy night when Tom had gone out!

But... well, we’ll see.

So, I’m sorry Steve (The Power Guides and Lucy’s Comments), I’m not sure I can stay here after all. This is nasty. A whole new ball-game (as my American friends would say!) now.

P.S. Oh and, by the way (talking of American friends – all friends), if I’ve seemed irritable on anybody’s Forum/blog in the past couple of weeks then I apologise, I’m sorry. Hopefully, having read this, you’ll understand. [You know how it is: MS is bad enough.]


And at this point I say “Basta cosi!” Enough things, in Italian. Because I’ve had enough of these tales of woe and want to get back to where I was. What I should be.

And I’ve got a more fun piece I’ve been working on...

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Easter 08

"... take up [your] cross daily and follow me." (Lk 9:23)

Thinking of you all at Easter.

Love, Virginia

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Still a quandary...

My allocated-at-the-moment social worker came to do a new asessment recently - and went away with completely the wrong end of the stick. She judged me, and the situation, on my “performance” that afternoon; that hour.

Ha ha! Derision and laughter from MSers everywhere. As if we don’t make an effort. Perk up with the unusual interest in our sorry state. Enjoy the attention. (Well, acually, of course, I don’t, I can’t bear people coming, it hurts and tires too much. Plus they nearly always have a “perfume” to make things harder. I’m just polite and that’s my downfall – it gives the impression I’m better than I am.)

Anyway so H. (that is her initial) decides I’m “managing” physically (not seeing the pain or understanding I’m pushing myself way past managing just because I prefer to be alone than with someone who: a) doesn’t care, and b) I’m allergic to). So that, we should forget about spasms and falls; sons leaving and builders arriving; spiders in the middle of the night. Forget about how much I don’t want to be separated from Lucy (surprised me to learn that one!) and put aside the idea of live-in care...


Ah, the place toughie oldies live at. Independent living but with 24-hour care when needed. Available on the premises (usually a block of flats [in USA, apartment block]). You get a flat to yourself, surrounded by like-minded, like-aged others, plus nurses/assistants at the touch of a button. Meals are provided [in a communal dining-room] and washing done, but your flat is self-contained: you can keep yourself to yourself. In other words these facilities are for anti-social (maybe they smoke), unloved and unwanted people, who have learnt to appreciate their own company and are, possibly, a little cantankerous!

And I’m not being fair (that was just me I was describing!). Probably most of these folk are widows and widowers who do want their own space but need the occasional help. Good people - trying not to be a burden. And I guess I should be flattered that H. thinks it would suit me – no one else being a nuisance. But I’m not...

I’m not as “senior” as the criteria call for (only in degenerative physiology!) and require more practical help than the average resident. As much as we keep trying (MS Nurse, me, etc.) Social Services still do not comprehend primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). And – muttering something about possibly moving to a Care Home later (again with a move?!) - H. went away to see if I could live “Very Sheltered”, and take Lucy with me.

A week later she rang to say I couldn’t.

So: no builders and no spiders, that’s good; but, also, no Tom and no Lucy – bad!. “No. No. No!” to Sheltered Housing then.

And next thing from H.? She’s gone on a week’s leave!

Oh great. Tom has taken half his boxes now and assures me he will “vacate” on 1st April.

Ah! I was very tearful last week...

However, then along came a helpful Comment from Steve of The Power Guides (see Lucy’s post – he wrote it to her!), just as I was [almost] reaching the same conclusion: i.e. I’m stuck, may as well try to ride it out, keep writing and hope for better/miracles.

And I felt better. Thank you Steve, and all you blog friends. You are what will keep me going.