Coping with the heat and life in general.

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There is no doubt that this on-going heatwave is extremely debilitating. I find myself rushing to the coolest room in the house, which is our North facing living room and only emerging to prepare and cook meals then rushing back to my fan and an element of coolness but also an element of boredom. A trip in the car to the bottle bank is a joy because of the air conditioning which unfortunately our house doesn’t have. In fact the solid eighteen inch thick Victorian walls act as a giant storage heater.

It is also sad to see so many of the garden plants dying off whilst the weeds inevitably continue to flourish but the tomatoes in the greenhouse are looking good as are the chillies. But we really are suffering from the stifling temperatures. The two Jack Russells with their thick coats just lie around listlessly and a walk can only take place in the early morning. Not particularly good for them nor for us.

The LSO potters around but comes in looking exhausted. At least sitting in the relative comfort indoors I can plan my menus and check the balance of the carbs, protein and fat I am consuming. I am still loving the RMR way of eating and my weight is slowly going down even though it is not a given at this stage of the process, so a bonus. It is such a pleasure to find my love of cooking returning and to feel generally so much better. Unfortunately my blood pressure is needing a little more encouragement and the drug dosage has been doubled as it had only dropped to 148/80 after a month of medication. Still, it is going down and I cannot expect an instant recovery after four years of being in a permanent state of flight or fight mode, pumping massive amounts of cortisol and adrenaline into my system which in turn has caused a myriad of problems. Now at least everything is finally heading in the right direction both physically and emotionally.

The AP is being kept firmly in her place these days and we are quick to deflect her unreasonable requests and her difficult behaviour before they become a problem for us. Astonishingly she still keeps trying to push us but now has nowhere to go.  The LSO and I have become a lot more relaxed and detached generally; we have become better at handling the situations that arise when she tries to bully and dominate us. How I wish we had understood all this four years ago. The LSO said today that the AP has wrecked  the quality of our lives over the last four years; we can never have that time back. He’s right of course but it makes it even more important that we stay on top of our health and wellbeing in order to enjoy the years left to us.

The AP heads North to Scotland in less that eight weeks and we have a whole month of freedom to do what we like and to have spontaneity back in our lives again. We will also have our personal space back be it only for a month with no bat hanging in the shadows.

The cracks are appearing.

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……and that’s not just in the ground either. We are certainly baking in a heatwave and I really do find it too hot both during the day and then also during the night. This has meant restless sleep and long days feeling tired and definitely under the weather in every sense of the word.

I haven’t written a blog for a while, not because things are any better here but because I have been experimenting with a different diet. Much as I loved the 5:2 diet it didn’t love me and after the three vertigo attacks, the continual headaches, the high BP reading and the general feeling of being unwell, I decided to take my daughter’s advice and have a proper look at the Real Meal Revolution or Banting as it is often known. That was two weeks ago and I have managed to lose a magnificent seven pounds despite one of those weeks being an observation one. It took the whole of that week for me to understand the principle of the RMR and I still have much to learn. It is a high fat/low carb/moderate protein regime and the wide range of recipes and weekly meal plans available online as well as in the books make it a pleasure to follow. Yes, I have had carb withdrawal symptoms and because I have to also cater for the LSO and the AP I cannot clear all my cupboards of the carbs I can’t eat as recommended by the RMR. Today for instance I made a quiche for the AP for lunch and the smell of the pastry cooking was almost too much to resist but resist I did and I enjoyed my salmon and cucumber roll wrapped in lettuce with a charred pepper salad.

Needless to say the AP has no idea I am doing all this and will probably only notice when I have lost a lot more weight. She would be a pain if she did know anyway because she would be constantly asking how I am doing and wanting to eat the same meals which in truth she would dislike. Her ARMD works at least in my favour for this!

I do feel much better, my BP is slowly reducing with help from one very low dosage pill a day, my glucose readings are at an acceptable level although I am still Type 2 Diabetic but at least they are stable. It certainly all bodes well for the future when hopefully I can come off all medication. Today has been the first day for many weeks when I haven’t had a headache, well, so far anyway and I feel all in all, that my health is improving.

It was the LSO’s birthday recently and the family all came to stay for a night at the weekend causing a flurry of activity at this end. It was a lovely weekend but the AP didn’t enjoy it as much as we did because on this occasion she was not the centre of attention.

She continues to try to control us and we are continuing to keep her firmly in her place but it is exhausting and both the LSO and myself are weary to the bones of having to deal with her petulance, rudeness and ‘know it all’ attitude (and that comes from a point of really knowing nothing). She is constantly making up stories, getting most things utterly wrong these days when talking to others and comes over to visitors as being a dear, sweet old lady but the AP can manage that only in the short term.  There is no pretence with us. We see just a conniving, bullying and at times thoroughly unpleasant old lady. A fine example of her pretending to be so understanding and caring was when I inadvertently overheard her talking on the phone about how it is difficult for the LSO and I to get any proper holiday because of having the dogs and looking after her and also how much we do need a break. The dogs are the least of our problems! The AP was repeating my words said to her one evening when she was resisting having to go away and I pointed out to her that the LSO and I need some personal space and time together. She was almost word perfect on the telephone and yet cannot remember who was playing in the tennis an hour ago.  In some ways it makes the whole situation worse. We have always rather hoped her strange and often nasty ways are a result of her extreme age and perhaps a touch of senility. But I now realise how utterly cunning and conniving she has become. Thank goodness she will be heading up to Scotland towards the end of September for a month and the break cannot come soon enough for us. It could be a long eleven weeks!