Friday, September 30, 2005

I surrender ...

… to ape something I said yesterday. I’ve always had a morbid fascination with those surrendered wives (well, I say always but they’ve only been around for about 10 years and only exist at all because of women’s lib). Of course, I could never be one, my mouth is too fond of being left to its own devices and beside, The Artist, would not, I think, have ever wanted that kind of responsibility.
Ours is a modern marriage, a blended family. We try to be a team and most of the time it works – The Artist has what he wants: to work as an artist and I have what I want: a third child after years of being denied (by virtue of divorce) and denying myself (that part of my life is passed – at twenty-four!!). We have no money to speak of, our car’s a c**t and we are trapped in the heart chavland. Apart from these minor problems we are for the most part happy.
Now, though, we are apart. I’m on the verge of tears often – last night at the school awards do I had to ask people not to be nice to me. Of course, they still were. I’m very afraid. Afraid of the immediate future: the possibility of being re-housed and the idea that that may well mean we are out of the frying pan and into the fire; afraid of not being re-housed and the idea of The Artist being in rehab for even longer than necessary. I’m afraid that every time this happens a little bit of what The Artist is to me is lost.
The thing I’m most afraid of is that this will happen again. I’m not afraid of having to care for The Artist but I’m so afraid of losing him.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

And in other news ...

The visit to the hospital yesterday went quite well after a shaky start. When I got there (outside of visiting hours) I was ushered away from the ward by a woman of unknown job description before I could even see The Artist. I was taken to sit in the day room to wait for the Consultant's ward round to finish. The Two Year Old Genius sat doing his jigsaws, eyeing up the TV which wasn't on and the collection of videos none of which were really his cup of tea (Bridge on the River Kwai et al).

Two agency health care assistants came in and started moaning about their pay, places they'd worked and one kept saying crap in front of the TYOG. I know, I know it was just the word crap but they shouldn't have been talking like that in front of a patient or carer (as I'm now officially known). Oh, and she was American - so it doesn't even mean the same there or atleast is more inoffensive. Really I was just sitting there feeling very vulnerable and consequently touchy. I began to think that I wasn't even going to be able to see The Artist and would have to hand his things to the ward clerk. I felt like crying and in the nick of time the smiling, northern, male staff nurse came into the room, apologised for the length of time we'd had to wait and asked if we would like to go and sit with The Artist instead.

When the consultant's (Dr N) ward round finished he came down to get me, introduced himself by his first name to the TYOG whose unusual name tends to disarm people.

The Artist said he didn't want to come, so I went with the boy genius. He confirmed they haven't been able to pinpoint the exact cause but apparently this is not unusual. We talked about the problems as I saw them and as they saw them - he was very reassuring, kind and helpful and not in the least patronising.

The bombshell was that the Artist's stay is likely to be at least 3-4 months, more if he does not begin engaging in the whole process. His age is on his side and if he suddenly becomes inspired he could be out in two.

That said they have offered to provide any support they can. They use a real multi-agency approach there and believe that support for the family is an integral part of the therapy package.

We agreed it might help The Artist if I were to visit less often, thus making him reliant on ward staff and himself for things instead of waiting for me to come in and sort things out. This has the added benfit of saving our dwindling funds and my slightly frazzled being.

God bless the NHS. Graeme, over at Incorrect use of the soap, I concur.



And in my spare time ...


When I'm not running around looking slightly more haggard by the moment, I'm just whipping up cocktail dresses for Arty Daughter's prom. She chose the dress and the fabric and of course is completely unsure about it now. I would be adding a picture of it at this point just so you could all see what a domestic goddess I am but blogger has other ideas again.

We (Arty Daughter, Surrealo Sone and Two Year Old Genius) are all going to the awards dinner and then AD is staying on for the bop, as us naval types used to call them. She's not going in a limo - just on the bus. A certain retro chic, n'est-ce pas?

Cheryl is right, most blogs seem to lurch from one crisis to another - this one certainly does. Or maybe it's not just the blog but my life that does the lurching.

What I really want is this life:


Maybe I'll become surrendered.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Early one morning ...

It's not unusual (to coin a phrase) for me to be on the computer at this time of the day but today we have an appointment at the rehab centre with the Artist's consultant.

I've been quite concerned about the apparent lack of information and arranged this on Monday. However after visiting with the Artist yesterday - the consultant spoke with him yesterday morning and it appears that they have not found the cause of the stroke - none of the tests have apparently been able to locate the new injury.

So it seems that I am going to have a wasted journey if that is all the consultant can tell me/us. Of course there are lots of questions that this apparent lack of diagnosis brings up in itself: how do we stop it happening again; is it a stroke or something else with stroke symptoms et cetera, et cetera. I feel like I'm in an episode of House. Any second now everything will start whooshing and the Artist will break out in horrible giant hives or start shaking uncontrollably.

So me and the two year old genius have to get ready and get out for the trek to the hopsital [sic] even earlier. My entire life consists of getting on and off buses at the moment.

Thanks for your comment, Vickie. Emotional lability is one of the most profound symptoms remaining from the Artist's last stroke in February. Nobody really tells you that even though your loved one is physically 99% recovered that the person you used to know may actually be changed forever. Some of the survivor stories over at Different Strokes (a support group for younger stroke survivors) indicate that this has led to marriage break-ups etc.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Monday, Monday

Well, this is as frustrating as everything else. I'm trying to insert a picture here but as usual blogger has its own ideas. It keeps telling me it's done it but voila - no picture.

Well the Artist has been moved to the local specialist stroke unit for rehabilitation. He's feeling extremely sorry for himself and his movement is limited although he can now sit and stand - a big improvement on this time last week. I've contacted just about every government and local government agency in the last week and filled in over 100 pages of forms - we need to get out of this place before the Artist can come home, basically. At least that's the way it's looking. So I'm working on that basis.

The car is sitting out the front like a huge white elephant - MOT just expired, tax just about to go, no way or where for me to move it. A known fault that we haven't been able to fix and a duff headlight. I can't even sell the bloody thing. I've applied for a garage but of course there is a waiting list - you have to wait until somebody gets sent down for fencing stuff out of theirs before they become free. I'm sure that's not actually true.

Anyway, paradise has never looked rosier - a shame it's so far away. Poesy for all of you interested is permanently on hold - was going to relaunch in October but will wait for things to settle down.

Friday, September 16, 2005

No news ...

... is not always necessarily good news. Been feeling rotten all summer, compounded by the holidays, tiny shitty little flat and no money. This week started off all vim and vigour: Surrealo Son went back to school last week, Arty Daughter due to start college on 13th. Trying to address my problems and get my head straight.

What could possibly go wrong? Well probably everything if I'm involved.

We (me and the Artist for newbies or those who need to dust my abandoned blog down)spent a very pleasant evening post Ashes (sorry Antipodes) and a lovely dinner enjoying each other's company and generally being rather silly.

We decided to go to bed to watch the very silly film (Soldier Blue) we were sitting up watching at about half past midnight. At around ten to one the Artist started rolling and lolling over the side of the bed (a sneaky tactic to avoid my advances I thought). When this had happened three times (the Artist thought it was really funny) I noticed in the glint of the TV that the residual effects from the February stroke looked much worse on the left side of his face. By this time instead of trying to sit on the bed he had slid to the floor.

I said I thought he'd had another stroke. He couldn't grip my hand. He couldn't sit up straight. He said he was fine. I called the ambulance who were there within 6 minutes.

We are still waiting for a diagnosis - the CT scan only showed the old brain injury; nothing new. His MRI results are being disappointingly elusive. Hopefully he'll have had them now.

Just waiting for Tescos to deliver the shopping and then I'll be off with the Two year old genius to the hospital.

Sorry to everyone who has contacted me over the summer - just not been able to get this or anything else into gear. Have to now though.

Love to you all. Will keep this posted.

The picture is not of me by the way - to see my naked bum you'll have to visit John's online gallery at Reclining nude with red hair is me, not the stick insect above.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Perplex City - Original Cards for sale

Not been too well - back soon, hopefully, and Poesy too.