Following my mother's near death experience at Harrogate Hospital the first part of the year involved trying to fix the damage -- much of which was hospital related not a result of the pulmonary embolism. The dental work was the easiest -- there were several appointments with a geriatritian, whose expectations were (happily) disappointed. Not sure if she'll be listening to her colleague quite as trustingly again. Anyhow -- the dementia magically faded. A healthy weight was regained. The physiotherapists and phlebotomists visited very regularly (and the GP service was... marginal). There was a lot of hospital waiting, and home waiting, and just plain waiting. I think any shadow of 'the daughter complains a lot because she's abusing her mother' suggestion lifted with the improvement in her medical condition. The nightmares about being in the hospital faded. She has very few clear memories but the idea of being an inpatient ever again is an instant panic attack. I don't think I'd be able to persuade her into an ambulance ever again. The second half of the year didn't go quite as well because... well choices made by my mother in 2012 came back to haunt her (as badly as getting rid of the couch ... which left me sleeping on a recliner chair or across my comfy chair in the first weeks when she needed close round the clock care) -- plus they found a shadow wrapped round an artery in her lung. They're not willing to do any tests (and the appointment for a six-month follow-up scan hasn't arrived... so I'll have to chase that up some time) but we have ended up seeing the pulnonary nurses and I can't help thinking that her breathlessness has actually got worse since they started giving her various inhalers and nebulisers. (A little before Christmas I realised that one was causing her rashes and heart disturbances to worsen so now it's hard to get her to take any preventers). I'm hoping things will get better once winter is over -- but things like her addiction to daytime tv make keeping her healthy much harder than it could be.
Pretty much all of last year I had worsening symptoms of my own. In the last month of 2013 I ended up having a total hysterectomy. There is a difference between letting a chance slip away and having it cut out of you, however remote the chance. And there is a lot about the post-op that they do not tell you pre-op EVEN IF YOU ASK QUESTIONS. I don't know yet if all the symptoms will clear up, but at least the anaemia shouldn't be as bad since I won't be bleeding like a waterfall every month. My post-op is being slow and possibly going wrong but since my last GP visit resulted in the declaration that a pain in my groin could not be related to the hysterectomy because it's below where they cut my open... I guess I'll give it the wait and see. The thing about being so involved with my mother's care is that it's used up most of my patience with being a patient. (And why *doesn't* the GP computer system have a sticky notice on the first page of my records with a list of the drugs I have bad reactions to? Why do *I* have to remember them all on the fly when I feel ill?)
The third major medical event was my father having a stroke -- at first I thought he might be dead/dying. This was not what happened, however, but he is going to need closer supervision and care. So just before I went into hospital I found myself locating and bidding on a flat for him to live in. It is less than a five minute walk away -- because whatever the emotional problems with that it's the logical and humanitarian thing to do. I don't know how it will work out -- I have a feeling the answer is 'not well' -- but... I managed to knock six thousand off the asking price of the flat. It looks like his second wife and family have managed to blow through most of his cash and investments but he has a decent pension... (I am loaning some money so he doesn't have to sell before moving here -- that's really scary too)
2014 is starting out with serious handicapping in the 'happy new year' stakes
Writing? I did some. Mostly on the punk band revege on faeries story. And then there was the story that will never sell -- I don't know if it's broken or just too... me... to sell.
I also started reading again. A large amount of non-fiction -- because fiction keeps ending badly/disappointingly. The Hunger Games books, The Milkweed triptych, etc. Delia's Shadow (by Jaime Lee Moyer) was a bright sun in the fictional void, but I've not got the energy to read ten books to really enjoy only one. Non-fiction has been safer -- although in the case of Sarah Wise I've found a historian that gives me the same thrill as a really good story.
From the summer to just before I went into hospital I spent quite a few hours making the front garden look better. I haven't solved the path widening fail -- my brother have promised to do it again and better but that may take a while. In the mean time there is a new fence on the righthand side, a trellis for the climbing rose, a lot of weeds and overgrowth hacked back, pots added, and a lot of planting done. If it works out it should look great -- of course I wasn't expecting a winter with this much rain :)
Next year I need to try and tackle the back garden (my brother took charge of the gardening a decade or so ago... sadly he only does edible things and lives in London, this year I was finally allowed to take back the front, which he just ignored, the back means dealing with stuff he ignored *and* filled with veg and fruit bushes/brambles)
Also I want to get mother a wheelchair with pneumatic tyres.
I guess I'll have to fix up the Boss's place, and get his bungalow sell-worthy.
And that's about as much of the to-do list as I want to think about.
Except -- I keep chewing over the idea that in 2014 I should try and be a bit more mouthy on the internet. Not sure what I can write/talk about -- but at least that would give me moral high-ground for bemoaning the loss of content from others :)