Thursday, 27 February 2014

Why did I choose this title for my new blog?

I am an EFL (English as a foreign language) teacher by profession.  My husband and I sold everything we owned and left the UK ten years ago.  Since then, we have travelled the world and enjoyed every minute of it!  I've taught in France, Turkey, Italy, Vietnam and, most recently, the Russian Federation.  We have met countless people and forged friendships which I hope will last a lifetime.  I have also built up a huge circle of 'virtual friends' in my PLN (personal learning network).  Perhaps some would say that we have led selfish lives.  As I explain in this post, we never wanted children, but now, through circumstance, I find myself in the role of parent - to my own Mum.  Hence, the first part of the blog title.

And the second?  Well, I toyed with lots of adjectives to describe what sort of carer I am .....

Reluctant - kind of, but not really.  Whilst I would never have chosen the role (who would??), once it became apparent that there was little choice, I accepted it without hesitation.

Naïve - definitely!!  I had no idea what I was letting myself in for!  Discussions with Mum's care manager had led me to believe I could pick and choose which aspects of Mum's care I took on, whilst all the time remaining, primarily, her daughter.  Not so!  Yes, Mum has professional carers who come in twice a day to help with washing, dressing and medications - all the personal aspects of care that I don't want to be involved in - but Mum's needs aren't limited to those two twenty-minute slots!  What happens for the other 23 hours 20 minutes?!  Also, I didn't know how demanding dementia makes a person.  It's a very selfish illness with the sufferer quickly losing any sense of empathy or sympathy for others.

Resentful - sometimes!  I really miss my job.  I don't particularly like living in the UK.  So, yes, I do feel resentful from time to time.  I try very hard to aim that resentment at the disease not the sufferer, though!

Impatient - often!  I'm trying not to be, but there's been such a seismic shift in what Mum is able to do that I do find myself expecting her to respond to seemingly simple requests and then getting worked up when she can't do them.

Novice - absolutely!!  There's so much to learn.  I'm hoping that living with dementia, as well as talking to others and reading about it, will help me get over the 'novice' stage quite quickly.  I hate the feeling of ignorance I have and the lamenting of my own stupidity at the mistakes I'm making.

Happy - contented, fulfilled, or any of those other positive adjectives - absolutely not!!  I've yet to find a way through this minefield of caring and get some joy back in my life.  I'm working on it, though!!  :-)

.... which led me to imperfect!  This seemed to sum up where I am, and where I'm likely to remain!  I'm getting things wrong (very wrong at times!) and am probably going to continue to do so, but I'm trying to find a way through.

Courtesy of


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