Thursday, August 26

Hung up

A bit of a doom and gloom post, so if you don't want to read it, no problem. I just need to get it off my chest.

I'm so tired of trying to do my best, keep everyone happy and ending up being wrong yet again. 

I moved away from my home town.. 3 hours drive away... 21 years ago. My mum and one of my brother's lives in my home town still. My other brother lives 5 hours away from me, 2 hours away from our home town. We've moved on, got families and are living our lives. We make trips back home as and when time and money allows it. We all try to get together at least once a year at Mum's house, twice if we can co-ordinate it, but we always meet up a couple of weeks before Christmas to swap presents and see each other. There's always an argument from mum about us being with her at Christmas, but with young kids (Isabelle is 5) it's so difficult to do, and also spoils the magic of Christmas for her. Anyway, I digress.

A couple of months ago, Mark booked the last week in August off work for his holiday. We compromised on the holiday and split his time off into two sections. One for Isabelle and my benefit of days out staying in a hotel and the second part of the week for Mark to go off on his motorbike with a one man tent so he can do his hunter-gatherer thing and walk up mountains. Everyone is happy. Then I got an unexpected phone call on the Friday evening from my mum saying she was going into hospital on the following Monday night for a knee replacement operation. She'd be in hospital for 4 days, coming home on the Friday, the day before we went on our holiday. I tried to work out a way to go and see her. Because of the timing of everything, it would have to be the Sunday (this Sunday coming) for the following reasons.

Mark will be away Thursday to Saturday. My 20 yr old son will be away Thursday to Monday at the Leeds festival. I had a Drs appointment this morning, and a hospital appointment tomorrow morning (Friday). 

I phoned Mum twice a day while she was in hospital, and then twice a day when she was home, despite us being on holiday. I sent a text when we got home late on Tuesday night to say we were home safe and had had a good time.

When I got up the next morning there was a text sent at 12.45am from Mum saying she was struggling and could I go over for a few days. I didn't notice I'd got the text until later and was out at the time so couldn't phone her, so I sent a text back, explaining the above, plus there would be no one to feed the cat and rabbit until Saturday night at least. I can't leave them for 3-4 days without them being fed, and my neighbour who would normally do it is also away. Mum didn't reply to my text. I had told her I would phone later that night, but let her know that I had an evening photoshoot and might not be back till late evening. When I got back, Isabelle had got upset over something and wouldn't calm down. It took me ages to settle her and by this time it was 10pm. I text mum to see if she was still awake, no reply. So I phoned this morning to receive a telling off. I'm 42 but felt like a 4 year old who'd been a naughty girl.

Despite me phoning twice a day for the past week and a bit, she told me I never phone her (past history - and had been discussed) unless I needed councelling. She told me next time I need to complain, phone a councellor and not her. She then complained that she'd asked for Isabelle and I to go on holiday with her for a few days, but didn't happen. I told her at the time that I couldn't drive the 3 or 4 hours necessary on my own. I have huge anxiety and panic attacks when I have to drive any distance and especially somewhere I don't know. I've also had a meltdown and had to go on anti-depressants to calm me down a bit so I can deal with sorting myself out. She dismissed all that.  She then told me that she'd not received a get well card from me. I told her it's in the car ready to be posted, but we've been on holiday.. she told me not to bother posting it, she didn't want it. And she told me not to come on Sunday because she doesn't want to see me and hung up the phone.

To her, I suppose they look like excuses, but they are all genuine reasons. I didn't mean to upset or hurt her. I've supported her in the best way I can, but it's not good enough. Apparently instead of just telling her I couldn't come over and giving reasons, I should have asked if there is anything I could do. I should have asked if I could call the Dr or something. Should I? It never crossed my mind to be honest. My sister-in-law visits in the morning, my brother in the evening and my aunt who lives two minutes from my mum around the corner drops in at various times and is on call if necessary. She also has paid home help twice a week. If she needed the Dr, surely she would have asked one of them to call or she could have called herself. She's only 63 and is no way senile. So I'm still trying to understand why I was expected to ask if there was anything I could do when I live a 3 hour drive away.

I must be missing the point somewhere. Was I expected to cancel our holiday and drop everything to go and stay with Mum? I thought there were enough people around her to care for her and help with anything she might need. It was all so last minute too. I didn't know about the op until the Friday night, she wouldn't be out of hospital until the following Friday - the day before our booked and paid for holiday. 

I'm very upset and hurt by what she said on the phone to me this morning. It's not true I only phone for councelling. I'm stuck in the middle when trying to plan visits. My mum and my hubby don't get on and hubby doesn't want to visit, he only goes because he knows I can't do the drive on the motorways. I also have fits and although I'm ok to drive because I've not had one in over a year, they come on for no reason. What if I'm on the motorway when I have one with just me and Isabelle in the car? Mum just thinks it's an excuse, but it's not, it's a real anxiety and sends me into such a state, I can't function. So visits to mum's are a bit limited, but a three hour each way drive makes for a long day with a couple of hours visit in the middle of the drive, or an over-night stay. Add the cost of the petrol and an extremely grumpy hubby doesn't make things easy.

The more I sit here thinking about it all, the angrier I'm getting at the things said to me. I've never been good enough.. should have done better, should have done more. Any success seems to have been met negativity, it wasn't good enough or my decisions questioned. Even aged 42 I'm still being told that my decisions are wrong, I should have done differently, or I should be doing things that I haven't thought of. I was sure that I'm a caring and considerate person, sometimes been called for being too considerate and thinking of others before myself and my own welfare and always putting myself last. So to be called for doing something to the best of my ability given the circumstances really hurts, especially when it comes from my own mother.

So I'm sitting here sad and feeling lonely, with only Isabelle for company until Saturday. Mark won't phone while he's on his hunter-gatherer holiday as he doesn't have a mobile phone, and he's highly unlikely to use a phone box. So I'll sit and fester away on the words that made me sad until I can put it out of my mind and get over it.

Where do I go from here with my mum? I'm too emotional to phone her to try and discuss things rationally, and she's not generally a rational person anyway. I can't email, it's too impersonal, so my only option is to write her a letter. But i feel that if I'm writing to her, I'll be justifying myself to her for my life and my actions and decisions. Am I wrong? I'm not sure what I need to apologise for except for not being there in person although circumstantially, it wasn't possible.

I don't know :(

Wednesday, August 11

You're grumpy!

Picture the scene in our house last night

6 o'clock, hubby is due home, although it can be anywhere between 5.30 and 6.30 so timing dinner is always difficult. Guaranteed if I cook it for 5.45 he'll be home at 6.30. If I plan to cook it for 6.30, guaranteed he'll be home at 5.30 and starving.

So last night I started cooking a grill up (same as a fry up but everything is grilled) at 6pm. 6.10pm hubby walks in, shouts hello and goes and sits at his computer. I find this really annoying and Isabelle goes nuts saying Daddy, Daddy, Daddy over and over again because hubby being the stereotypical male can't do more than one thing at once. He can't read and listen at the same time. He's been selling stuff on ebay and has spent hours and hours and hours sat at the computer every single night for 2 weeks! I shout dinner is ready. son, hubby and Isabelle sit to eat their dinner. I start to cook more bacon for myself as there wasn't enough room to cook bacon for everyone and fry my egg. Just as I dish mine up, hubby is finished and heads out to the garage to wrap up whatever needs posting from his ebay sales. I eat my dinner and then go and wash the dishes. I bath Isabelle and get her ready for bed. Hubby is still in the garage, so I take Isabelle to bed, read her story and settle her down. I come downstairs and tidy up, then sit on the sofa with a coffee. Hubby walks into the house, picks up his iPod and sits on the opposite sofa playing with said iPod and then says... "you're grumpy". I look blankly back at him. How the hell does he know what I am? We've not even spent two minutes in the same room since he got home from work. I say, I'm not grumpy, I'm fine. He says "what"? He can't play with iPod and listen at the same time. I repeat, I'm not grumpy, I'm fine. He says "sorry, what did you say". I say, yes I'm bloody grumpy I'm sick of being ignored and then told that I'm grumpy for no reason. Now I have a reason to be grumpy, deal with it. 

Monday, August 9


As a kid my dad used to take our family to Airshows as we lived fairly close to RAF Dinninton (I think), but the last one I can recall, I was about 7 years old. On Saturday I was told that there was going to be an airshow over a beach local to us, about 20 minutes drive away, and it was free!

Cue charging camera batteries. So off we went.

The first display was the Red Arrows! Wow! if you've never seen them live before, you really do need to. Their display and skill was stunning! Even my hard to impress hubby was impressed.

The wing walkers must be completely bonkers! Isabelle's favourite bit was the RAF parachute team. 10 guys all jumped out of the plane at the same time and chuted down in a tower like line. Great day, but very few photographs.. planes are a bit faster than motorbikes that I usually photograph lol

Here's a few from the day, and one of Isabelle doing her newly found most favourite thing.. bungee trampolining

Phew, what a relief!

Hubby has a week off at the end of the month and wanted to go away. Me, being bank manager and financial consultant had to make plans and save whatever money we will need, and put it away for 3 weeks so we don't spend it. There's never enough month left at the end of the money, so this had to be done as we don't have a financial backup. No credit card, no overdraft.. nothing. If we don't have the cash, we have to go without. We've always been this way and although it's a pain in the rear sometimes, especially if something goes wrong or needs fixing, it works for us.

So hubby set off about what he wanted to do for his holiday week. A week mountaineering and kyaking... erm, if that's what you want, you'll have to go alone! Various options were discussed and the outcome was that he wanted to go to Cornwall camping. Now hubby has no idea about logistics for this to happen. He thinks that we can just drive on down there and camp where we like without booking anywhere, and doesn't like to be tied to having to be in a certain place if he doesn't like it. So to camp in Cornwall at the busiest peak week of the summer without booking just isn't going to happen. 

So me in my over-anxious state at the moment was getting really and I mean REALLY worked up about it already. I'd have to pack everything for the three of us for a week, work money out etc etc, because hubby thinks that as soon as he's on holiday from work.. he's on holiday.. aka.. do bugger all. 

Due to my current physical state I was beginning to get really worried about how my muscles and joints would cope with camping in such a cold and damp environment. Lets face it, summer is crap again and it gets so cold at night, and this set my anxiety off to another level. And to be honest, I just couldn't stretch the money far enough. Once I'd worked out how much petrol money, camp site fees and food for the week, there was barely anything left for spending and doing things. Hubby is a very materialistic person and wouldn't spend a week chilling out at a campsite. He has to be doing things and going places all the time.. this all equals money.

The other problem I had is that our camera club is having an outdoor portrait shoot evening in a ruined abbey. I really really wanted to go to this but it's on the Wednesday night, smack bang in the middle of hubby's week off.

So I told hubby I had a proposal about the holiday. How about we spend Sunday, Monday and Tuesday on days out, sleeping over at a Travel Inn (or similar), I could go to the photoshoot on the Wednesday, then he could perhaps take his one man tent and motorbike and go do his mountaineering and camping. He mentioned us all camping, but I said, I don't think my body can cope with the cold and damp. So we discussed the days out (I'd already been on google) and suggested that we go to Blists Hill Victorian Village, where everyone is dressed in Victorian Costume. This is a place hubby mentioned visiting a while ago. Then we can go to Drayton Manor Park and visit Thomas Land (Isabelle will love that) and then the next day go to the Cadbury's Chocolate World. He agreed! Yay!! So finances are worked out, and it's doable, including giving hubby some bribe money for his solo excursion, which he has done before and enjoyed. 

I feel so relieved. We get some time as a family, we get to go away and sleep in a warm bed and hubby gets to do his thing, and Isabelle will be very entertained with her days out.

Happy people all round

Wednesday, August 4

Here we go again...

Good morning, do you have any appointments left for Dr Davis this morning? Yes? 10 past 11? yes that's fine thank you very much.

I've only been trying to get to see my Dr for 2 weeks! It's a stupid system. You have to phone on in the morning for an appointment but by the time they take the phone off the hook, the appointments have usually gone to the people who can get down to the surgery for 8.30 and queue to get an appointment. So, 11.10 it is then. 

I go into instant anxiety attack and panic mode. Oh no. Isabelle will be at the playscheme. I have to pick her up at 11.45. What if the Dr is running late. What if I don't get out in time to go and get her? I work myself up into a stupid frenzy over something that might not, and in fact, probably will not happen. Of course I'll be there in time. I keep telling myself this, but it doesn't stop the overriding anxiety and panic.

I drop Isabelle off at 10am and go home to wait for it to get to 11 o'clock, time for me to drive to the surgery. My head is convincing me I don't need to actually go and see the Dr now, especially as it's cutting it so fine (in my mind) for picking Isabelle up again. Call and cancel. You don't need to go. But I know I do. I've been here before several times. I've put it off for six months and I know I can't ignore it any longer. I have to deal with it and sort myself out. It's taking over my life and spoiling it.

I get to the surgery and the Dr is running about 10 minutes late. There's only 1 person in front of me, providing she's quick I should be ok. I'm sat there working myself up into a frenzy by this point. Trying to remember everything I need to say to the Dr and am overanxious about getting to pick Isabelle up in time. My heart is beating so fast I can hear it pounding in my head. I'm even sat there trembling. How stupid is this? Get a grip for heavens sake!!

My name is called. My lovely, smiley, friendly Dr says "what can I do for you today?" I can't cope anymore! and the floodgates open. Tears are now rolling down my face. Oh for heavens sake I tell him, I wasn't going to do this. We chat, I calm down, he's rational and makes sense, and I tell him I realise and understand how stupid what I'm saying must sound to him, I know it's stupid to feel this way and to react to things the way I do, I just can't help it no matter how I pysch myself to think differently. He tells me it's ok. It's understandable to feel the way I do, it's quite common. I'm not a freak. I tell him, I've even been shouting at my 5 year old, who is generally a good kid. I never shout at her, I'll tell her off, but never shout. That's how bad things have got. I've always been such a patient person, but my patience has run out. 

It's ok says my lovely, friendly Dr, I'll help fix you. I love my Dr for wanting to help me, and for actually listening to me. I know he's paid to do it, but some Drs listen more than others. He is one of them.

He tells me he's going to change my painkillers to something stronger. He looks back over my records to see what we've tried in the past. A very looooong list. We talked about Fibromyalgia. I normally try not to mention it.. daft I know, but he said it must be very hard to live with and asked when I was actually diagnosed with it. 13 years ago! Oh, he says. If it had been 2 or 3 years, there was a good chance it would go into remission.. but after 13 years, chances are it's not going anywhere. Hmmmm, no blood tests since 2007, lets have a batch of bloods done shall we? Yes Dr, ok.. we'll try that route again.

So out I go with a prescription for some kick ass painkillers, anti-depressants (I've been on them before and am not ashamed to say I need them again.. I've been on and off them over the past 25 years!) and a poly bag to take with me to visit dracula for a shed load of blood tests. 

And yes, I was out in plenty of time to go and get Isabelle. 

Is the anxiety and panic over for today? No. Do I tell my hubby when he gets home. He's not a sympathetic person or understanding at all. He can't understand anyone who has any mental health or depression problems. He's a 'what the hell have you got to be depressed or stressed about' person. Snap out of it, will be his reaction. Get a job. Find something to do to amuse yourself. Which doesn't help a bit. Get a job? and add to my already huge workload ( he goes to work and (in his opinion) therefore doesn't have to do any housework, financing, bills... etc etc.. that is all left to me), so great idea ... not.. to add extra to someone who is not coping very well to start with. The fact that I can't talk to him about it doesn't help. How do I get him to understand what's going on inside me when I can't explain it to myself. He doesn't even understand (or try to for that matter) fibromyalgia.  I might as well go and talk to the wall. I'd get the same amount of understanding. 

So, I'll go and collect my new medication ready to start it tonight, and move forward.

oh, and on a side note.. the sun is actually shining at the moment. This is the first time I've seen the sun out over our side of the country in about 3 weeks!! So it's not all doom and gloom.

Sunday, August 1


Imagine, just for one minute...
  • waking up in the morning and feeling like you've not slept for a week.
  • having to sit on the edge of the bed for at least 5 minutes for the blood to start circulating before you can go to the bathroom.
  • trying to move your arms and shoulders with a 5lb weight strapped to each arm just to be able to make your morning coffee.
  • having to lean on every available wall/piece of furniture to be able to move around.
  • taking 10 minutes to be able to get back up to standing from a sitting position.
  • having to tell your young child, no I don't think we can go to the park/swimming/on a bike ride because you just don't have the energy.
  • hobbling around like a 90 year old woman because your hips and legs just don't want to work.
  • moving around at a snail pace because that's as fast as you can go
  • taking 40 minutes to write a small blog post like this because you just can't hold your arms out in a position to type for more than two minutes at a time.
  • the mental fustration, hurt, disappointment, loss of pride and overall bloody total annoyance that your mind is willing but your body just won't co-operate

I've been like this for 2 weeks now, and today is the worst day so far. I need a break from this fibromyalgia flare. All my positive thoughs have gone today. I'm so tired of it, my positivity has vanished. As much as I try to carry on as normal, today it has got the better of me and I've had to admit defeat to my hubby. He wanted to go to the Sunday market. Normally I would have gone along and trudged round slowly. Today, I said I don't think I can manage walking around the market. It hurts me to admit it's got the better of me, but today I have no choice. Hubby went to the market alone :(