Sunday, 13 December 2009

The Worst of Times. The Best of Times

I got the phone call I was dreading at 6.25am this morning.
My father left this world peacefully around 6.00am. He felt no pain and was still compos mentis. From what the staff at the Norwich & Norfolk Hospital have told me, it was more that he ran out of energy trying to fight the cancer, rather than the cancer causing anything to fail.
If there can be anything to take solace in it is the fact that he has died now before the cancers started to cause any pain, and before he suffered the discomfort and frustrations of the chemo-therapy that they were planning to start.
Via this blog, I offer my heartfelt thanks to the staff at the hospital that looked after him in these past final days, and to all the wonderful, generous and helpful people in both Stalham and Hickling who have offered their help and support to both Dad and myself over the past six months or so.
May God go with you all and may his Peace be with you for ever.
In memoriam:
Donald Daniel Simmonds
Dad & Fred
May 1931 – December 2009

Monday, 7 December 2009

Got Bored

Thought it was about time I changed the layout. I was getting bored with the old one. I think this is reasonably gentle on the eye.

Dad went Ouch!

As you may have gathered, Dad is suffering from "The Big C". Between it and the treatment, it's left things like his legs very weak.

He had two falls last week on the same day. The first just ended up with a short visit to the A&E (ER) to be checked out, the second led to him actually being admitted because of the large gash and bruise he sustained to his left eyebrow. Although it doesn't show physically his ego also sustained a fairly major bruise and he's feeling a little silly to say the least.

A good friend and neighbour has also taught him how true it is that the human race is excellent at stating the obvious, to whit:

"Oh, you've fallen over and cut your head. Are you alright?"

In his estimation he held nothing back and the reply was Anglo Saxon/expletive-rich/profane (take your choice!) to say the least.

He's also now realised he has to swallow his pride and let people help him where he needs it. There are a lot of people who will gladly do this for him because of what he and Mum did for them when she was alive.

Thankfully because of this it's now apparent to him that people like the physiotherapist, District Nurse, Doctors, GP, and Social Services Visitors are not actually having a go at him, but are also actually trying to help him.

We went down at the weekend to clear the debris for him and install a few bits and pieces to make life a little easier when they finally release him. I think between ourselves and his GP we can get him organised.

The Joy of Stillness.

There are times where my body will not stop jerking about - literally. If the inflamation in the nerve tissue in my neck gets really bad, then muscles all over my body begin to twitch. They don't do this violently, and if my arms or my legs begin to do this and I concentrate hard, I can stop it in the limb in question. That said, I can't concentrate on more than one area of my body at any one time, so the rest of the body is still twitching away. It makes writing, typing or any job that requires manual dexterity very difficult.

The joy comes at that point some seconds after the last spasm, twitch or jerk has actually finished and my body is finally at rest. It is almost a divine pleasure to not be moving any more.