To avoid any confusion when I refer to Grandma, I do mean my M-i-L. It's what her son-in-laws and I call her (and her grandchildren of course). She's of the generation and upbringing whereby you wouldn't call her by her forename - and to be honest I wouldn't want to anyway My uncles, aunts and godmother are still 'uncle' and 'auntie' to me, and always will be; it was how I was brought up. So Grandma was 'invented' by the husband of the younger of her two daughters, after they'd had their first daughter, and it's stuck ever since - in fact quite often her children call her than too.
Unfortunately the start of her visit did not go according to plan. The day after she arrived safely, J took her with him when he went shopping, as she said she'd like to see my parents. An hour or so later my mother rings me to say that J had taken Grandma to the local cottage hospital casualty department, as she'd slammed the car door on her finger - the heavy Volvo car door!
A while later the Volvo avec J and Grandma turn up, but only to pick up a book and tell me that they had to go to Aberdeen as the local hospital thought her thumb might be dislocated as she couldn't move it and thus it needed to be x-rayed, and they only x-ray in the morning! Argh. It all turned out okay, it wasn't broken, it was just her arthritis that prevented her from moving it and fortunately it was her right hand rather than left (she's left handed).
I knew what had happened, J would have told her to leave the door him to shut or at the very least to be careful, but Grandma 'not wanting to be any trouble', would have ignored him, shut it herself without paying attention - she'd have been looking around the area in which my parents live and commenting on it. And this is pretty much what happened - she told me! I love my M-i-L, she's a marvel for her age (91 not 92), she really is; she's still very fit, etc. etc. BUT she (again her admittance) doesn't think of herself as 91, and thus she doesn't concentrate and doesn't make allowances for the fact that she can only see out of one eye, is slightly shaky, and generally can't do what she did ten years ago. She tries to do things that she shouldn't do because she 'doesn't want to cause trouble' and ends up causing far more. And she knows this. But I guess that at 91, she isn't going to change.
J had planned to spend Thursday sorting out my seat in the new 'van', because sadly (as a couple of you know) our first trip out was a disaster - I haven't been in such pain (and I'm in constant pain) since we made the trip up to Scotland at the beginning of last year. Basically because the seat is so much harder than the Volvo seat (and than the one we tried), I did need something soft to sit on and lean back on and this necessitated removing the blocks they had put in to raise the seat. In theory it should have been a relatively simple job, in practice it wasn't! Four bolts went back in quite easily, the fifth was a minuscule amount out, but enough whereby J couldn't get it to bite. Finally, after trying everywhere to get a tapered bolt, he managed by virtue of filing the bolt tip a little and really kneeling on it to get it in. But in all the whole job took the best part of two days.
So with his extra 60 mile round trip on Thursday, which followed from his c. 150 round trip the day before, on Friday he wasn't really up to doing anything (as most of you know, J suffers from ME, so life isn't easy for him either). Fortunately (I knew there was a good reason for them moving up here *g*) my mother offered to take Grandma out for the day, so they went to a couple of Garden Centres and then returned to my parents' flat for tea. J had a rest during the morning and attacked the 'van' in the afternoon.
On Saturday we ventured out to Cullen and I am pleased to report that the once more lowered seat, covered all over with a sheepskin and then a pillow on which I sat, I was far more comfortable than when we went out two weeks earlier. Still not as comfortable as the Volvo (but I always knew it wouldn't be). It was hot (for this part of Scotland) on Saturday, but being by the coast, we really didn't feel it that much, in fact it just felt really lovely (and you all know how much I hate the heat and summer).
Monday we went out again, but this was even hotter and very oppressive, and as we weren't going to the coast this time - we went and bought some raspberries and strawberries from a farm that had been recommended to us, the former so that we had some to eat now and also to freeze, the latter just to eat now (I love raspberries). And in the evening we met up with my parents and went out for an early supper. Despite the fact that we took the Volvo that time, we should both have known that going out during the day and then going out in the evening as well is a big mistake for me. I really paid for it.
But still the really important thing is that Grandma enjoyed herself. Her thumb fortunately wasn't painful once it was dressed, and although we had to do small things for her, tie her shoes, put her necklace on (when we went out) and J had to cut any food up that couldn't be done one-handedly, she managed really well. And it had the added bonus that as she wasn't allowed to get it wet (plastic bag and elastic band during her morning shower), at least it gave us a genuine reason not to let her wash up or really do anything.
One of the hardest things is getting her to understand that actually the best thing she can do to help us is to walk Tansy, something she and Tansy both love, and that we'd rather just be left to do things our way, that we have a routine and a way of managing. One that we've got used to over the years. We understand that she wants to help, but having to re-do things or finding that things aren't in the right place are irksome at the best of times, but when you have someone disabled in the house, it's more than irksome. Plus, and I'm than willing to admit this, she and I are at the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to being organised, etc. I'm one of these people who like to have things planned out and use particular glasses, etc. for particular things, Grandma is completely the opposite. So under normal circumstances we'd have problem, but it's even more difficult with things being as they are.
We manage, but I know that sometimes I do come across as very 'Schoolmarmish' and ultra-picky, and I'm sure that if things were different, something be put back in the wrong place or a cup being put on the floor rather than the coffee table wouldn't bother me. We've told her time and time again, every time she comes, and before she comes, etc. that the best thing she can do to help is to walk Tansy and let us do things as we are used to doing them.
I know it's difficult for her, I know she sees me on crutches in a wheelchair, in constant pain and wants to help, I do know that and of course I really appreciate it, but sometimes I just want to scream at her :-( And of course he being deaf, and again that's awful, I know it is, but part of it is that again she doesn't concentrate on what people are saying, and when she went to be tested for her hearing aid and they did the 'tell us what you can hear' tests, she told them what she thought they wanted to hear! If she wasn't certain whether she heard a sound, rather than ask for it to be replayed, she said she could hear it. Thus, her hearing aid almost certainly isn't adapted to her, which doesn't help.
So we are gradually getting back to 'normal'. At first I didn't think I was that tired, but as I've said so many times, whilst you're having to cope, you do; it's only when you stop that things really hit you. So it's safe to say that I am really drained, in a lot more pain, and generally not on par. Thus, although I'll be around more, it's going to take me at least until the beginning of next week to get back on track properly and caught up.
I know I owe people comments and emails, and zelenkashines I owe you several emails in response to your comments on my stories - thank you very much for them; I will catch up with you soon. And I have two July challenge stories to finish and other bits and pieces.
Please again bear with me.
I have been trying to keep up with LJ on a daily basis as much as I can, but I know I've missed things. aingeal8c did I dream it, or have I missed reading/commenting on a least one of your stories? If so, please point me towards it. In fact if there's anyone else (sharpiesgal?) whose stories I have missed, please point me towards them.
On the subject of stories I was trying to finish a story (*that* one causticquery) yesterday (the one you were so patient about helping me with, maubast), and was amazed to see that a scene I could have sworn I'd written wasn't there. As you know I don't plan my stories as such, but quite often I do play out a scene or two in my mind. I must have done this with the scene I really thought I'd written, as it was so 'real' to me, but it wasn't in the story - in any of the three copies I have. And as I'm somewhat anal about saving as I go, and hadn't had any crashes, and the date I last worked on it tallied, I couldn't have written it ::sigh:: Apart from being a surprise it was a tad disappointing as it meant that I wasn't as far along in the story as I'd originally thought :-(
Anyway, I have waffled enough, so I shall toddle off and start to play catch-up.
It isn't quite as warm up here today as it has been, although we are missing the lovely strong wind we had yesterday, so it is now actually feeling fairly warm. Although, nothing compared to the rest of the UK/other parts of the world. With few exceptions, I think we are the coolest, we are even cooler than a great deal of Scotland.
I do hope those of you in really hot areas of the UK and America, Holland and wherever else the temperatures are soaring, are managing to cope. That you are keeping as cool as you can, drinking plenty of water and taking care when going out. Cooling vibes are coming your way.
I've really missed you all. *Hugs* all round to my wonderful f-list.