Saturday, 22 December 2007

Swirling Mists

Last night was the shortest of the year; at 5:00 it was as dark as if it was the middle of the night, there was a beautiful moon glowing, and mist was swirling all around.

The mist is appropriate at the moment. I have been thinking long and hard about posting this, but, I feel I want to share, perhaps need to, even, and you are all so kind and generous I feel comfortable sharing.

On Thursday, my Dad was admitted to the psychiatric ward of our local hospital. Happily he went voluntarily, but it was a choice of go or be made to go. Horrible words. But he needed to go, he is just too ill to be at home any more, and it has been taking such a toll on my poor Mum. You see he has always had his issues, but since a few weeks after the wedding he has been depressed. He has long periods where he is completely non-responsive to the world around him; he stands and stares into space because he cannot remember what else he should do. Then come times when he is gripped with an obsession, and cannot be reasoned with. He thinks he has an infection and everything he touches he will contaminate. He thinks he must sell the house to settle debts that do not exist.

I went to visit him yesterday, on my own. My dear Carl would come with me, but by the time he is home, visiting hours are after. Mum cannot visit for a day or two in case it makes him want to come home. So, it was me that went. My older brother has washed his hands of us as it is too hard for him to deal with. I am glad that I rang before I went, for although I knew he was bad, I had not realised how bad. I asked what he would like me to bring, and it was too much for him to cope with. After five minutes of other chat, he said he would like a comb, so I took him one. He ignored everything else I took, but held the comb and would not let it go.

It was hard to know what to talk about with him. I had to lead him by the hand to get him to a chair. It is a locked ward. I spoke to the most lovely nurse before I went, John, and he was very kind and reassuring. He said that for now they are just observing and monitoring, becasue although they believe what we have told them, they need to see it for themselves to know how to treat it.

I feel so powerless at the moment. We are pulling together though, and when Carl held me in his arms as I cried into the soup I was making, I did feel that yes, we can pull through this. But for now, this is why there are cards, addressed but not sent. Parcels wrapped, but not addressed. Things left unbought. Planning for a Christmas that will be unfamiliar, that we are stumbling through together, feeling for the way forward.

Now I promise to come back soon, and post on happier things, to give you a list of scrumptious music to listen to, to tell you about my handmade gifts, and to offer you a recipe or two. But for now, I will say Merry, Merry Christmas to you all. The moon shines through the mist, and one day soon, all will be well.


fairycakegirl said...

Mimi, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You have to keep reminding yourself your dad will be well again. He is in the best place right now with excellent doctors and nurses to give him all the treatment and help he needs. Keep stong.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my dear Mimi, I am so sorry for the difficult time you and your family are going through. We went through this with my grandmother, and it is so terribly frustrating to want to help but have absolutely no clue what to do. Sometimes just being there, our physical presence, is the most we can offer. I am sure you are a great comfort to your mother. I'm glad you have a nice husband to look after you. Take care of yourself, be kind to yourself.
Lots of love and prayers from across the big pond -
Nita in South Carolina

Anita said...

I am so sorry you and your family are going through this... I will keep you in my prayers, if that is all right...

tash said...

I'm so sorry to hear you're going through this, but you've got to remember you're doing the right thing. If he was going to get better of his own accord he would've done, but the help they can give him when he's there all the time will get him better.

I can only imagine the toll it's taking on your family's life, but I have every faith that they'll diagnose whatever's wrong and make it right.

Firstly though, remember yourself and your Mum. Your dad is getting exemplary care, now do the same for yourselves. You deserve a little looking after, too. You've got a lovely hubby in Carl who I know will look after you. Keep your chin up, you have my email address (I tried emailing you at work but it said you were on leave, now you have the 'net at home, do you have a new email address?!) and are welcome to email it anytime. You also have my phone # and you can ring any time too.

I'm thinking of all of you and sending hugs through the screen. Look after yourself, ducky :)

a pink-bee said...

Oh Mimi,prayers for your Dad, to be better soon. How hard this must be for all of you.
Also sending Wishes for a Very Merry Christmas and much happiness in the New Year.
crystal :)

Anonymous said...

i have never read your blog before today...but i want you to know that you and your family...especially your daddy...are in my heart and prayers...i am sure that he was blessed to have his daughter come to be with him...may you have a good Christmas...and next year may you have a happy one...blessings laney

Anonymous said...

I want to wish you the best of Christmases during this trying time. I too have a family history of this type of illness and you would be amazed at the things drugs and monitoring can do to help you and your family. Hard as it is, please remember that you are not alone. Bye
Teresa, Sacramento, California