Saturday, 17 November 2018

Mood Swings

From hopeful to hopeless, from dark to light, from cheerful to miserable. Sometimes all of these emotions overcome me in one day. Whatever is the matter with me!

The first few days of solitude, when the last of the carers said “Well, I suppose I’m redundant now” because I had had the temerity to take a shower without supervision, and she left, possibly in a huff because I had made a decision for myself, I felt free. And hopeful. I was still very slow - as I am now to a lesser extent - but I knew that, with care, things would improve from that day onwards, and the time would come when I could return all aids and equipment. So it was, two walkers, one crutch and one commode were duly collected last week; I have kept hold of a set of crutches which I have had for years, ever since I broke a leg a long time ago. I am still using at least one crutch for rough patches outside and when I am in a hurry to get somewhere inside the house. I have gradually added a detour here and there to lengthen my walkabouts. I may soon be able to get to the village shop, although walking with an aid, having a dog pull on a lead and carrying a shopping bag doesn't seem a sensible way of perambulating. We’ll see.

So, really, I should be happy, shouldn’t I. I can feed myself and Millie again, do small jobs around the house; with the help of a driver friend I've been to have my hair cut, taken Millie to the vet, seen the podiatrist for a treatment, and yesterday this friend took me to a supermarket  to buy some early Christmas treats. German specialities disappear quickly from the shelves although the feeble pound makes them very expensive for the average shopper. I’ve been to a couple of concerts and a live streaming of a National Theatre play, again with the help of friends. I am making progress, albeit my walk resembles that of a penguin.

Is it that the dark days of winter are with us? Is it that I am beginning to think of the holidays on my own? Who knows? I was out in the field with Millie just now for a final walk before the light goes and I was thinking how nice it will be to get back inside, lock all the doors, turn on the lamps, pour a glass of wine and get comfortable. What’s not to like?

In 1634 Henry Peacham wrote in 'The Compleat Gentleman': “Keep up your spirits with healthy exercise. Leaping being an exercise very commendable and healthful to the body, especially if you use it in the morning. But upon a full stomach and bedward it is very dangerous, and in no wise to be used”. Best not start leaping then.


  1. Certainly the first response should have been one of praise from the carer. How marvelous you're able to reclaim bits of independence!

    Enjoy the wine from your comfy chair.

    GrĂ¼sse aus San Francisco!

  2. "....and I was thinking how nice it will be to get back inside, lock all the doors, turn on the lamps, pour a glass of wine and get comfortable. What’s not to like?"

    That sounds wonderful!

    Ha ha...had to laugh about leaping. Ok, I won't leap. ;-)

  3. Hi Friko - people ... we never seem to understand each other. Just not easy. But you're doing it your way and slowly getting along - and it's good to know you were outside enjoying the early winter days. I too hope you can get to the shop on your own ... perhaps with a friend in tow holding onto Millie, while you enjoy being out on a journey - small granted, but there.

    Excellent to know you've been out to the supermarket to get some German goodies ... and seen a National Theatre play livestreamed in ...

    The wine, the book, the leisure in a comfortable chair, Millie at your feet and the Aga cheering you with warming food ... sounds like by the time the Spring comes you'll be much better.

    All the best ... just by chance watch for those 'lords a-leaping' - seeing as there's eleven of them at this time of year - even more so 'take care' and watch their glancing eyes before they leap in front of you ... but keep up your exercise, just make sure you're back at the witching hour to keep those leaping lords at bay ... good to hear from you - cheers Hilary

  4. I am all too familiar with those mood swings. Sometimes the only exercise (other than leaping to conclusions) I get.
    Keep looking after yourself. Glad you could get those treats, and being hunkered down in a comfy chair with wine and a book sounds blissful.

  5. I so love you. Always, cat.

  6. Yes. I second that remark. You have caused us to love you and to care. Winter is a challenge I had forgotten, even in the Mediterranean climate of the San Francisco bay area. We are thinking to make our way home to Honolulu to friends, family, familiarity, and sunny days...

  7. I'm so glad to hear you are on the mend. And I too enjoy the luxury of a book and a blanket with my glass of wine in the evening.

  8. Glad to read you've regained some freedom and I pray you'll get stronger with each new day. Good to get holiday goodies while you can. Enjoy lovely, comfortable evenings in your home sweet home, with a glass of wine, Millie and solitude. :-)


  9. How wonderful to learn that you are taking steps --literally -- forward. Frustrating, I know, but marvelous each day.

    My gr-daughter loaned me one of her books, YA. I am so enjoying it. Even have my Christmas quilt (only one I have made for myself) and tea beside me.

  10. seems you are making good progress. I would attribute the mood swings to impending winter. the days are longer down here but still too short in winter to really suit me. too many cloudy days in a row will get me down.

  11. Currently visiting mother who has been very down pin I am aware of the carers' need to be appreciated. However, while happy to appreciate some, others' needs have found me decidedly unappreciative, accompanied by provision of a fact sheet to improve their utility, shared with their employer.
    Mother wishes to regain her independence...not to remain dependent on people who wish to preserve their jobs.

  12. To answer your question, whatever is the matter with me, I must say there is nothing the matter with you. We grieve in our own way on our own timetable, and then you are recovering from surgery on top of that. I think you are doing fine. Now enjoy that glass of wine and your warm home.

  13. You're probably bothered by the fact that you're dependant on friends. Don't worry, this dependability can be minimized; it greatly depends on your personality and your willingness to learn ways of coping alone with the situation.
    For the shop it's best to use a shopping cart, not a bag.

  14. I agree that moving around is a key to mental as well as physical health. I push myself
    to walk for that reason. I know it helps my mind.

  15. Now you must be better if you are musing about leaping! I do get a smile when I see you have posted because you see life so clearly. All of those moods above are mine and are also many other bloggers...even those who have not lost their partners. It is life. It is what it is and you sound as though your life is much richer socially than mine. Welcome back.

  16. So glad you have been able to cast off some of the paraphernalia, and may it continue. The shorter days do pull one down, though the compleat gentleman is wise at least to suggest, no matter how much one might be tempted, there should be no leaping late in the day. I do wonder, though, what he means by leaping. Walking perhaps, but leaping? Makes me think of John Cleese and his Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks sketch.

  17. Your sense of humour is intact, and you're making yourself reach a little further all the time, by the sound of it. These are very good things. As for the downs, they're completely understandable, I would think they're a natural thing and to be expected, if not enjoyed. Illness and incapacity will have their way with your mind, but it seems to me that you've got the upper hand. A gentle Canadian hug to you.

  18. When I think of exercise leaping never occurs to me. ;)

    Glad you have your independence back.

  19. Despite the mood swings, which are normal but frustrating, your desire to move forward will get you there.

  20. "Keep right on to the end of the road" was one of my father's favourite songs. I apply it to myself on my good days.

    keep counting the good days.

    And November is a wicked month. We will survive.


  21. No leaping just yet, then! (That made me laugh.)
    Christmas Market in my home town starts the week after next - I am very much looking forward to it, although I doubt there will be a visit with ALL the family like last year. My Dad's condition is much better than what it was a few weeks ago, but he won't be able to walk properly just yet, and maybe never will again. We'll see.
    Anyway, as for you dreading the holidays on your own, if you really dread being on your own (I always thought you much prefer your own company anyway), I am sure there are things near you organised on and around Christmas for those who do not wish to be alone.

    1. PS: Moodswings are perfectly normal. Show me one person who does not experience them from time to time. And especially after a particularly difficult period in our lives, they are a perfectly natural reaction.

  22. I was thinking of you and Jeanie both over the past two or three weeks. Somehow, I pulled a tendon in my left leg. The first sign of its malfunctioning was that my leg would give way without even a hint of what was coming. Then, it would proceed to hurt fora while. It's nearly healed now, although I still get a twinge from time to time. I am back to walking normally, and what pain there was has disappeared.

    Still, it was quite something to have to consider every step, and to have to pay such close attention to what always had come naturally. Like breathing, we never think about walking until we can't. So: that's why I was thinking about you, and hoping that you were on the way to full recovery, too. It sounds as though that's happening, and I'm so glad. I'm with you when it comes to leaping, though. We can forego that together.

    I'm probably not going to experience any ambivalence at all about the holidays this year, since I seem still to be stuck back in September, and the holidays are going to be gone before I'm ready to greet them. I might follow your lead for the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. A closed and locked door, a bottle of wine, and some books sounds just fine to me!

  23. I'm glad you are getting better and feel the freedom of independence again. But the holidays are tough when you've lost your spouse.

  24. Thanks for this, Friko. Lately, I have reserved leaping to encounters with rattlesnakes and phone-calls from physicians, but I quite understand the need to get out and about. I just do it more slowly and carefully now. All best wishes to you.

  25. I'm glad to get your update. Recovery is a long haul and I think the fact that we have to recover at all does a number on our confidence in being able to do what we've always done with little if any effort. I know after the foot issues on my trip, my confidence in how I can travel took a real hit and of course your fall and recuperation was so much more significant. I'm glad you can get out now -- that had to be a big deal! -- and begin to reclaim your life again.

    I think the early dark days do a number on us too. All I want to do after the sun goes down is hibernate, be cozy. I'm pretty sure you're not alone in that. But those holidays can be hard when they are different and missing those you loved. Be sure to make your friends know you need them! Whether it's by inviting them over for wine or if you see them in your village. Sometimes people get wrapped up in their own worlds and they forget that your world is very different this year. So if they don't find you, you find them! Let them know exactly where you are -- you don't have to do it a Debbie Downer way. But there's nothing wrong in saying, "It's so nice to be with you -- this year is a little hard for me and being with my friends really helps." And if they don't come round, beat 'em with your crutch.


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