It’s early on Sunday morning and there is a bit of snow falling outside. I love a bit of snow I do.
I’ve put a joint of beef in the slow cooker ready for dinner this evening and I am chuffed with myself cos I washed and ironed all the girls’ school clothes for tomorrow, yesterday. So today will be spent mostly swanning around!
I am going to try and write about what is going on inside Ady’s brain. It is quite a muddle in there so this little blog might be a muddle too while I try and unravel everything.
Ady and the girls are all sleeping at the mo. I doubt any of them will get up until about lunchtime! But that is nice cos it gives me lots of peace and quiet and thinking time.
Right, back to Ady....
His mind is in a bloody mess, frankly. We have laughed and joked our way along our journey, taking the piss wherever we go. He has been very upfront and honest about all aspects of his symptoms and side effects, sometimes to the point of too much information for some people! Especially when he does things like telling friends he is just off to the loo to straighten his piss pad up. But, it has made him and me, much more approachable, and these days, people don’t hesitate to ask how he is, which is nice.
The thing that Ady doesn’t discuss so openly with others is the amount of woe and angst he is going through. He talks to me all the time about it when we are on our own. He has spoken to our GP about it, who has offered him counselling, but Ady isn’t that keen. He worries that they might say something that conflicts with what I have said and leave him in more turmoil than before. I completely understand that although I have suggested to him that he keeps it in mind and someone different to talk to might help one day.
In a way, the cancer has been a walk in the park compared to his arthritic pain. Apart from the operations, the cancer has never been painful, but now he is in constant pain and it is getting him down, a lot. Poor Ady is losing his spark.
Last year, when he was declared cancer free and his arthritis flared, he really struggled with that. He felt OK telling people he had cancer, they understood why he wasn’t working, and Ady was fairly OK with not being able to work, but now, he has ‘just arthritis’. He feels like a fraud and that he should work through the pain and get back to work.
He is absolutely riddled with guilt about the amount of time he sleeps (which is a couple of hours in the morning and the same in the afternoon) and tortures himself with constantly thinking he is being lazy and giving up.
He watches the news about shirkers, and thinks he is one of them and used to often say, “I must get on, and get back to work”
This whole government and media attack on ‘workers’ and ‘shirkers’ is doing the likes of Ady no good at all. I totally understand that the welfare system needs a shake up. I agree in principle with what they are doing but the way they are going about it is very worrying indeed.
Ady is constantly worried that he will have to go for an ATOS medical and they will tell him he is fit for work and although he goes on about getting back to work, he knows really, that there is no way he can. Just pottering around the house playing with his chickens and sorting out the firewood leaves him reaching for the morphine bottle!
One morning, I was up very early and was going off to the Saturday market to get meat and veg, then coming home, put that away, pop round to get Brian up and then going on a 20 minute drive to get betty in the bath before coming back to get Steph up to take her to drama, picking her up again and round to Brian’s to do his lunch visit.
Ady had got up for one of his many wees and had come downstairs to have a drink with me.
He said that he feels terribly guilty that I am going off to work when it should be him. The poor bloke could hardly keep his eyes open and just had to go back to bed. He said he lays there worrying that I am holding the fort and then he worries that I will get fed up with it and leave and then he worries that I might have a accident and then what would he do, how would he manage on his own?
He thinks this every time I go out of the door. Christ, how bloody tiring!
He constantly worried that people are judging him about his arthritis and that perhaps they think he is milking it, just to stay off work. Of course, those that know him well know that it is far from the truth. He worries that on a good day, he walks to the shops to get hay for his chickens and people will be watching him and gossiping that there is nothing wrong with him, and then get reported for being a shirker.
He worries about how much morphine he is taking and he worries about all the other medication he is on. He worries that he is letting everyone down. He mainly worries that he is being a lazy git.
His worries are eating away at him.
What he forgets, is that he has been through two cancers and at the end of the month, he will probably be diagnosed with a third (although not as serious but it is still another bloody cancer). He has had two major surgeries 12 months apart. He also has his underactive thyroid, high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety and OCD mixed in with crippling psoriatic arthritis. His ankle joints are just rubbing bone on bone with lots of heat and inflammation all over his feet which has now spread to both of his heels and radiating up the backs of his legs. Oh, and on top of that, he pisses himself and is still suffering from the side effects of his radiotherapy.
Every morning, I have to bandage his feet. Without them, when he walks, they just collapse and the pain is crippling. I haven’t even mentioned about the pain in his lower back and the top of his shoulders and his left wrist...and the silly bugger is worrying about what other people think and getting back to work *rolls eyes*
I have noticed that Ady is losing his spark. The pain is very draining. When he is in pain, it makes him that bit more depressed and anxious and when he takes the morphine on top of his other pain medications, it makes him feel bad that he is becoming too reliant on them. What do you do ??
Although we have always joked our way through the day, I now follow Ady’s lead and only take the piss when he does. Sometimes, he just isn’t in the mood.
We do a lot of talking and I do a lot of listening and give lots of reassurance. I dont know what else there is I can do to make things better for him. I really really wish that there was something, but I spose I just need to ‘be there’.