Sunday, January 23rd 2011

A good week

I’ve just come to the end of my first full week living downstairs. And what a difference it has made to my quality of life! With an easy access wet room adjacent to my bedroom I’ve been able to take advantage of having a shower and indeed a hair wash every day so far. The net result of which is that my skin and scalp are a lot healthier looking. After being denied a shower or bath for many months it is like a breath of fresh air being able to sit in my shower chair under a jet of water. Goodbye bed baths!

My carers are enjoying the new working environment too. There is a lot more room for them to move around, and this coupled with the new amenities has meant that some tasks can be performed a lot quicker in the morning. Consequently I’m now finding that I have more time to do the things I want to do in the mornings. And the same is true at the back end of the day. Because everything is now in closer proximity and the working environment is so much better, I can now stay up a little bit later as it doesn’t take so long to put me to bed.

The other big boost to my quality of life this week has of course been the ability to get out in the fresh air – the first time in about three months! All I’ve been able to do since leaving the hospice is stare at a computer screen and a plasterboard wall all day and catch daylight from a window in my peripheral vision. And although I look at a great many beautiful landscape photographs on the Internet it is no substitute for being there. Compare for instance a photograph of a harbour scene. That two-dimensional representation fails to capture the actual assault on the senses that you would get from being there, from the smells of salt water, raw fish and diesel oil, to the screech of seagulls overhead, from the heat of the sun on your skin and the feeling of wind in your hair, to the appetising smell of a nearby fish and chip shop and the sound of people and traffic nearby! No photo could ever hope to compare with that. And that is why I have longed to get out again. I have been looking forward to an assault on the senses once again!

Weather-wise it’s not been the best of weeks but by midweek the sun had come out to play and Kim wrapped me up in a similar set of winter accessories to my furry little friend (although I would hasten to add that I drew the line at wearing a tail warmer!) before setting off for a stroll around the housing estate. It was so lovely feeling fresh air on my face once again and being able to look up at a winter sun shining down from a clear blue sky. I have really missed the feeling of open spaces and am so glad that my year of confinement upstairs is now over. I’m convinced that it cannot be a good thing to be trapped in an artificial environment for all that time, both from a physical and mental perspective. After today I feel a lot more cheerful in myself. And long may it continue!

Before signing off I would like to say a big thank you to all my carers for everything they’ve done this past week, but in particular to Kim (for finally getting me out of the house) and Debbie (for all the running around she’s done on my behalf and for the lovely cooking – home-made corned beef hash – yummy)! Thanks girls.

Mark

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One Response to Sunday, January 23rd 2011

  1. kerry says:

    hi my name is kerry, i am a main carer for my dad who has mnd your he was diagnosed in may 1997,with a slight slurr on his speach, needless to say 4yrs down the rd your stories are so simiular apart from he can no longer speak so communicates through writing on a notepad . mnd is the most cruelist disease he was so indendent it makes you appreciate life and i thought i was having a bad day it makes me proud to have been involved and to read other peoples stories as you fall into the trap of thinking your the only one my dad reads the thumbprint mag i think it helps him thankyou for your story keep writing and stay strong regards kerry

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