The shadow is back.

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I haven’t written a blog for some time mainly because life has either been good or at least acceptable but not anymore. The AP is back and with her comes continual stress.

It is astonishing how one little old lady can cast such a long shadow over our lives. Having had almost six gloriously stress-free weeks the AP has been back less than two weeks and I have rapidly rising blood pressure and a sense of utter frustration that we took on this ungrateful, selfish, arrogant and now, ultimately stupid old woman.

It is absolutely horrendous how quickly she has destroyed the equilibrium that existed in our home and in our lives. We try so hard to help, to aid, to put simply, look after this person but it is a thankless task and we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Nothing we do seems to help or be truly appreciated and I am now back to being on edge and stressed. She seems to resent the fact that we deserve a life and is jealous if we go off on our own. Despite medication my blood pressure is hovering around hypertension stage two and I am fighting to remain calm and have some self control but she seems to delight in making our lives and mine in particular, an utter misery. Who is this woman? Certainly not my mother or the person I thought of as my mother

I really cannot allow this to happen and I must find some ways to counteract her nasty, selfish ways. But how?

Up until now I really have been doing well. Since starting the diet I have lost 26lbs and have gone from being Type 2 Diabetic to non-Diabetic. As the practice nurse put it, I am normal and I must keep on with what I am doing, it’s working! I was utterly thrilled to get the news and now need to get the BP down to a healthy level. Whilst the AP was away it had stabilised around 130/70 but since the return of the shadow, the bat hanging in the rafters, it has risen at an alarming and dangerous rate. The AP has no knowledge of any of this and even if she did I doubt it would dent the ego. She is incapable of accepting any responsibility for her actions and always blames others when things go wrong

It really would be ironic that if anything happened to me the first thing the LSO would do is sell up and put the AP into a Care Home. That is obviously something that hasn’t occurred to the AP.

A shadow has lifted.

 

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I have always been aware of how the AP’s presence casts a shadow but I actually hadn’t realised how much of one. We are half way through our month of freedom which is why I haven’t written a blog for a while. When the AP departed for Scotland a great weight seemed to lift off the LSO and myself and the lack of pressure due to the lack of the AP is just wonderful and invigorating.

We have done so much in this time so far, loving every minute of our freedom and are determined to make the most of the rest of the time we have left. Just being able to visit a friend when the LSO goes fishing is a joy in itself. Those lucky people who have no restrictions on their activities may find this all a little sad but for us it is as if a ray of sunshine permanently shines in our home. I only wish I could find a way of preserving this feeling when the AP returns at the end of the month. Sadly we know from experience that it will all vanish once the shadow comes back and again we will return to having a bat hanging in the rafters.

But we still have twenty one days left and although six of those are taken up having our two grandsons here it will still be great to be free. With them we can just head off for the day, not worrying about anything and eat out if we want to since we do not have to rush back to cater for the AP. The two terriers can come with us if it is a long day out and just planning what we can do is liberating in itself.

Weight-wise things are progressing, 23lbs lost so far at a steady 1lb or so a week. I struggle a little with cravings every now and then but really nothing that bothers me too much. I am by no means sylph-like and still have a way to go but I feel so much more positive about it all and to have finally found a regime that really works is a miracle in itself.

So all in all, life is good for the time being.

 

A realisation of the inevitable.

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It is sad to say that our first four days without the AP have been good. We have finally relaxed and begun to enjoy our own company and our space without the ever present shadow looming over us.

We have come to the conclusion that although we at times over react to some situations it is simply that we can never relax and just be ourselves when the AP is here. Even when up in her room we are aware of her and when she does come down we wait for what has become the inevitable dig, at mostly me but occasionally the LSO. We have also become acutely aware of her innate snobbery, her vanity, her need to be centre stage and her criticism of others which is so unnecessary and quite cruel. We all, I am sure have some of these qualities but I would like to think, no, hope that we let our better sides rule and treat others with respect and love.

There were, in the beginning some fun times with the AP; lots of laughter and trips out but about two years ago it all changed. We have pinpointed it to her sudden decision that she was gaining weight (her vanity again) and insisted on eating only tiny meals. It came out of the blue and was nonsense but nothing we said made any difference, her mind was made up. Her stupidly small meals did result in weight loss but she made herself ill in the process and seemed to mentally change. It was only the nurse at the health centre who said her dieting was unacceptable and unnecessary as she was not overweight. But I do think it was too late to reverse the damage she had done to her mental capacity never mind the inevitable loss of muscle.

Is this what happens when we grow so old? The AP was never, as far as I know so stubborn, unpleasant or so unforgiving about others. The LSO and I have wondered about this and we have come to the conclusion that her daft eating regime did contribute to a sudden personality change and a physical deterioration but also as we age the brain struggles to cope with everything, causing confusion and fear.  Because of this it uses shortcuts for expression; hence the lack of grace, the sharp voiced demand for things to be done and the centralisation of emotions. We are aware that she has hated growing older and the loss of her sight is particularly distressing and it is a sad fact that this whole situation can only get worse.

Thankfully we have some time away on the North Norfolk coast courtesy of a special friend and the dogs are coming with us. It does mean an overloaded car for a short trip which is a bit different from our bi-annual trips to Spain which involve far more pre-preparation but a lot less luggage. It will be a joy to just chill out and do a bit of revisiting of places and the discovering of new ones too. It will also be good to have a change of venue, to be away from the shadows in our own home and hopefully they will have cleared by our return.