The difference a year makes

This time last year things between us were not good. We had been married for a whole 6 months. When we married I felt happier than I ever remember being in my life. Three months into our marriage we had our wonderful honeymoon in California. But within days of returning home things began to go wrong. My husband was not himself, he was showing signs of dementia or so I thought. However it turned out to be a mixture of anxiety attacks, and an over indulgence in secret vodka drinking.

The anxiety attacks were dealt with by the taking of anti depressants. The alcohol abuse is an ongoing situation, but at least I now know what I am dealing with. At the time I was extremely angry, I felt that I could not trust my husband. I felt betrayed.  More than anything I was angry with myself for not realising what had been going on.

Owl still drinks but, we never go out to the pub anymore. Back in March Owl had a fall in the road  due to his legs giving way. His alcohol level had dropped. I took him to hospital with a cut head and broken hand. There he was given some medication to replace the alcohol he hadn’t had. He was promised help by the hospital clinic. This didn’t materialise other than one appointment where he was told that he is a binge drinker and should cut down for a week then stop. Ha ha what planet did that advice come from.

Anyway, for a time Owl was not able to do much at all. Gradually though he has become stronger and fitter. He has been very busy working in our garden doing all the things he should have done last year but wasn’t in the right place to do anything much except sleep.

The shed that I bought for him last year was finally erected. Owl began by making it stronger in places by making wooden braces. He painted the shed forest green.shed 1  shed 3 before adding fixtures for everything to go inside, there is a purpose build space for everything that goes in there.IMG_1944 then he painted the old shed green to match the new one. IMG_1947 the back gate was also painted green to match. This also involved taking off the ironmongery to be painted black.back gate When he had done that he reorganised the space near to the back gate which meant adding a hanging basket bracket to the wall as a hose tidy.under magnolia tree Once all this had been done he turned his attention to the hedges that he had hired someone to cut a few weeks prior. He was not happy with the way they were looking. He spent the next couple of weeks cutting the hedges by hand. hedge 1 now he is simultaneously working on the five bar gate and taking up the decking at the front of the house.hedge 3 Oh and I nearly forgot he has painted all the fences under the hedges and along the outside of the house.

None of these things would have been possible a year or even 6 months ago. I am so pleased with the progress he is making. I am also pleased that he has even begun to apply for work outside the home. Ok so I have been applying for jobs on his behalf but he has sent his CV to some places too. Step by step we are getting back to where we should be.

Cakes and dementia

I went to see mother today, following the sad news of Friday. As I said before I really should see more of her than I have done since moving away last summer. I took with me a card from myself, Owl and Skater, a bunch of pink tulips and a box of pecan and maple pastries (box = 2). Owl came with me for the drive but didn’t come to mother’s he went into town to watch the rugby 6 nations match so that mother and I could reminisce without worrying that Owl would not know who or what we were talking about.

When we reached town I parked up at the Tesco car park (I hadn’t yet bought the flowers or cakes). At the store entrance Owl and I went in our separate directions, he in search of beer and rugby, me in search of cake…….it seems ages since I bought cake, they don’t feature in my diet these days.

It didn’t take me long to collect my basket of goodies. When I paid for these the young lad at the check out asked me if I had a car in the car park downstairs. (This is one of the new modern versions of Tesco where the shop is built above the car park). Admittedly I have not used this store many times but I have never been asked this before. He handed me a voucher with a code number on it to punch into a machine at the car park entrance. They are trying to encourage non Tesco shoppers not to park in their car park. (It is close to the town and free).

I joined the short queue, but when it was my turn that’s when the trouble began. First I had to key in the last three letters of the car registration. I do know the registration number honest I do but could I remember which way round it was? Damn stupid thing I tried putting in the 3 digits but it didn’t like that so it asked me to put in the whole number. So I put in three letters followed by three numbers but it just didn’t look right. Then it occurred to me that I was using the letters from my poor departed Toyota that gave up the ghost in a cloud of smoke somewhere near Guildford whilst being driven by Prodigal last autumn(fall to you lot on the other side of the pond). I cancelled all together and took my purchases back to the car, checked the number plate realised where I had gone wrong and returned to the machine to try again. This Time I put in the T for the year followed by three numbers (I had got one of the three wrong first time around) followed by three letters …..almost the same as my original attempt but not quite, this time the machine showed me a photo of our chevrolet. Now I could enter the code on the ticket which now told me the time I arrived and the current time. I was now free to drive away. But where was the barrier that would have prevented me leaving?

Minutes later I arrived at mother’s with my gifts. Cakes and white tea consumed we chatted and chatted as we have a habit of doing when we are together. Obviously we chatted about James, but we also chatted about other family topics. Interspersed by various telephone calls. The last of which was from this lady, a relative of my late father. Having told Jill about my impending marriage, mother passed the phone to me. After discussing my good news we then moved on to the topic of Jill’s blog. As you will discover if you read her blog, her father has dementia. Jill is currently living with and caring for her father, her blog tells tales of the problems she has encountered and how she has overcome these problems. Her aim is to pass on her new found knowledge regarding information that carers of dementia patients need to know. Please take the time to visit this very worthwhile blog. Jill needs to increase her reader numbers before the newspaper which is sponsoring her decides to close her column.

Whilst chatting to Jill I heard the quacking of my mobile (I like to have a ring tone that I will instantly know as mine) to alert me that Owl was ready to be picked up and taken home.