A quick update

I guess it’s update time.  Unusually for me, I’m not sure what to say (sort of…)

We’re getting Tony’s pain under control, but it means he is very sleepy, sometimes dozing or sleeping for 14 hours. I don’t mind as long as he’s not in pain. I don’t take it personally when he falls asleep while I’m talking and just keep going, otherwise I’d be saying the same thing over and over – which neither of us would enjoy. Sure, he misses the thread of what I’m saying, but it doesn’t really matter; half the time I’m just waffling about nothing much anyway!

Tony can seem quite good but today, for instance, friends visited for under an hour. He’s had two extra lots of pain relief since they left and has been asleep for just on three hours now. Yet they probably went away thinking he’s doing great… It’s good for him to see people though, and that’s what the pain relief is for.

The Hospice staff continue to be a total miracle, sorting out medication and script issues with no drama. I can’t believe how much pressure they have taken off me already.

I had a lovely break on the West Coast. I stayed with Alan in Hokitika; I slept a lot, went out on the farm, up the Taramakau River is his jet boar, patted the dogs and played in my art journals. My dear friend Penny and I went out for lunches, visited a fabulous art exhibition at Left Bank Art Gallery and talked about “all the things”. I’m so grateful to both of them for the love, light and rest they bring to my life.

Speaking of thanks – my best friend of forever (okay, 52 years?) Sandra is always beside me in spirit, and my sister Ailsa is on the end of a Viber message any hour of the day or night if I need to talk. We all need people like this in our lives.

And my art – the place where I pour out the feelings and the worries, and pack them away so I can keep doing the doing. Things are tricky but we’re in a fortunate position – we have Tony’s brother Roger with us, I have a great job with an understanding boss & supportive employer, a warm house and supportive friends and family. #LoveRemains

Tony, art, rest

I started this year’s Creative Jump Start intending to do the challenges daily, as I have done it previous years. After the first week I gave that idea up, as life is too busy, so I’ll do them through the year as I have time. It’s a pity, because I love starting the year with a creative rush, but other things are taking priority.

Tony’s health has deteriorated and we’ve had a lot of trouble getting his pain under control. We got an amazing Nurse Practitioner and Doctor last week, who really listened to all that’s going on, and made significant changes to his pain meds while he stayed in overnight.

On Tuesday we had a visit from Breeda, a Hospice nurse. She checked over the Advanced Care Directive and witnessed it, sorted out some issues with his meds, & gave us advice about nausea etc. It all feels much more controlled and doable now.

Tony and I know, from 14 years of nursing mum, that the carer needs regular breaks if they’re to keep going. Today I’m heading down to stay with Alan for 10 days. Tony’s brother Roger will be in charge some of the time & Tony will be in Te Mahana for respite care for 5 nights. That’s not an easy thing for him to accept and I’m proud of him for agreeing to it.

For my part, I’ll be sleeping a lot, napping in the sun, patting the farm dogs, riding the quad bike, eating out with Penny and visiting arty things with her, playing with my art supplies … just generally resting and recharging,

Sure life is hard at the moment, and will probably get harder, but Tony and I are grateful for 29 years together. I’m grateful for good friends, a supportive workplace and boss, having my sister Ailsa and his brother Roger, my bff Sandra, and his kids to support us. Whatever comes our way, we’ll meet it head on, like we always do. Love remains.