Sunday, 20 December 2009

Harder than hard

As ex - Paramedics we know more than most the unbearable situations that people find themselves in when health lets them down. We used to go into patients' houses, do our best to help and then swan off to the next job, rarely giving much thought to what we had left behind. How difficult then, that we find ourselves at the sharp end with our own family.
Neils's father was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and has found his health failing in several dreadful ways ever since. The situation now is rock bottom. The whole family are trying to cope with the dreadful result of the decline of one of their most loved and treasured family members, and the sheer frustration and feelings of ineptitude are tangeable.
Living in France we have been cushioned from this decline, which makes things both easier but also harder. The sheer shock of seeing the difference in him and the realisation that this is unlikely to change for the better is frightening and we wonder how on earth things will go from here.
For once having a vague knowledge of the 'system' regarding elderly care is not really going to help, as there is nothing much to be done, and as much as we want to stamp our feet and make things change, apart from initiating support, if this will be accepted, we feel powerless and impotent.
I have lost count of the amount of patients who warned me "Not to get old dear",but as we all hurtle through life it is a stark reminder that every day counts.


  1. I'm so very sorry. This must be dreadful for you both...in a way, easier to adapt if you are living with the situation as you see it day by day and deal with each problem as it comes up. To come back and be confronted by the reality of it all in one go must be difficult.
    Mr. Fly is very fragile...we have long decided to do what we can while we can when we can and let the future look after itself....

    Every sympathy to your husband's father...he is the one going through the worst, not only the problems and the pain but knowing how it hurts everyone who loves him.

  2. I find the same when I have seen my mum since I came here. Every time she looks that little bit older, that little bit frailer. I try to psyche myself up in advance, but the visual impact of her aging process also reminds me of the march of time. Not to waste time. Not to waste the moments of the day. And at the end of the day to look at my partner and say to myself, "Thankyou God for giving me this day with this man, and for today I still have a mum".
    I hope that you and your partner enjoy your partner's father while there is still time to lay down treasured memories for the future. Sending blessings to you.

  3. Mel and I have been thinking of you both lots and lots over Christmas. Take care both and reach out when you need to. Love to you all at this difficult time.



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