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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Carers & Surviving Christmas...

Hi Guys, well have we all survived ok? I hope so! lol

Christmas is such a challenging time for most Carers isn't it? Well I usually find it that way anyways! lol
It's really nice to be around family, if your lucky enough to be able to get out and join in but sometimes that creates it's own challenges too.
Between the changes in routine and beds 'n' meds times add in the ...

Rich foods and the obligatory chocolate munching that usually accompanies Christmas and I think everybody suffers a little bit don't they and no wonder! lol

One thing though, I never touch alcohol - never really liked the taste much and Coo rarely drinks too as it affects his meds.
He does have the odd beer at this time of year though, and so far it's not done any harm so I think we've done ok!

Coo's been no worse than usual and better than some other Christmas times I can think of, so all-in-all we've survived the Christmas splurge this time around - Woo hoo!

Just new year around the corner and we're home and dry!
I hope you're surviving things too!

Happy Christmas
Maz x

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Carers & Christmas shopping...

Hi guys, well...are you all ready for Christmas?

I'm never ready - but I'm usually more organised than this! lol
First Coo's and then my nasty cold, kinda de-railed things a little bit and we've been caught a bit on the hop this year.
Luckily, I got a few things ordered online (in between sneezes!) so it wasn't too bad but really!

I never go shopping on Christmas eve...ever!
Now I remember's a bit of a stress-ball-struggle isn't it! lol

Fast and ferocious are two words that spring to mind!
Shopping is kinda crazy this time of year and people seem to go a little nuts don't they?

Anyways...I guess it was real lucky I only wanted some last minute bits, a cuppa and...back home again! lol

Thank God for our Direct Payment and thank goodness Looby was here too as Coo would not have coped well with all that hustle and bustle and we'd both have been totally stressed out! I went with my mum instead and nothing much fazes her in a hurry! lol

We manged to hit the shops, stop off for a lovely cup of tea and casually make for home while everyone else was still fighting at the chocolate and perfume counters!

Now, if I can just find the quiet hour I need to finish wrapping parcels it'll all be done! - Woo Hoo!

Happy Holidays!
Maz x

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Who carers when Carers are ill...

Hi guys, the dreaded has happened! I have a stinker of a cold!

I think it's the same one Coo had the other week and now my system has given up the ghost and fell down with it too- typical!

The weather is terrible too, rain and gale force winds - what a week!
My wee greenhouse has taken a bit of a battering and come to think of it, maybe me running around chasing the roof panels in the wet, has contributed to said stinky cold!
Note to self time, just like Piglet here...let 'em's just not worth getting ill! lol

Anyways, my plant pots are strewn everywhere too so all-in-all our garden looks a sorry sight and it'll just have to keep as there's no way either of us are in good enough shape to sort it out yet!

So I got to thinking, just who does look after the Carers when they're ill? Well, that's a good question isn't it!
I think if you're lucky, family can come help out and if not...well, you're kinda on your own with things and just have to carry on regardless! Now that just isn't fair and I suspect most Carers are in the latter category and need to muddle on as best they can and I think that's easier said than done!

I'm lucky in some respects, as when Coo's awake, he can help out and make the odd cup of tea but then the down-side kicks in as he quickly tires, sleeps and...yes, you've guessed it...seizes. They're never far away that's for sure but at least, between us, we can mostly manage!

I really worry for those Carers where that is not the case and when the Carer is ill, the person they care for is not able to help at all! Who picks up the strings and helps them?
Probably nobody - We need a better system!

My mum and dad popped in just to make sure we were ok, at times like these  I'm kinda glad they only live a few minutes away! We have  a system though as sometimes getting out just isn't an option for Coo and I so the delivery man brings the shopping and if things get really crazy...I'll use some of my Direct Payment holiday and send for Looby!

Meanwhile, we'll just keep cosy indoors and wait it out!
Let's hope this stinky cold goes soon and...normal service can be resumed! lol

Hope you're fairing better in the sniffy and snuffly stakes where you are! lol
Maz x

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Carers voices...

Hi guys, all Carers know how important it is to get their voices heard!

That's especially true when it comes to your local authority as it's generally the key to getting better services and support. With that in mind, I'm still heavily involved with my local councils personalisation and Carer  strategies. I figure, if you want changes and improved services, you need to be prepared to give some real time and get ready to...push!

Probably most Carers will be able to identify with this too...
In my experience, dealing with the Local Authority (or N.H.S.), usually means digging out your hard hat and flak jacket and preparing for the long-haul and it's usually very stressful and a real struggle for all concerned too!

That's why I feel, real Carers just like you and me must have their voices heard - it's important!  Who knows better than other Carers, just what is working (or not working for that matter!), with current services around caring?

I know it's not easy finding time, it never is for Carers, who sometimes feel pulled in all directions trying to negotiate the best deal they can! Really, what we all need to keep in mind, is Carers are one of the most essential parts of the system as without them the whole care system fails - it just doesn't work!
In most cases we the Carers, are the glue holding it all together so it really makes sense to just Care for the Carers! It sounds so simple doesn't it so why doesn't it happen?

In our area, this time at least, the local council are trying to get it right! To enable Carers to attend meetings and be fully involved, they've actually paid respite costs! Now, that sounds such a simple thing, but it's the difference between being able to give your input or be left out the loop!
They've asked lots of Carers and service users for their honest opinions, what they really think and they seem to have taken their views on board - now isn't that a new approach!

Thank God for this change in attitude as more than ever before Carers have been able to sit around the table with the decision makers and at the earliest stage - what a change!
I must say, I'm impressed with how things have gone so far and I'm pleased to see they have at last recognised the work and commitment Carers provide. It's been a long time coming but it is a real and positive step isn't it!

Hopefully things will continue to improve!
Keep strong!
Maz x

Friday, 2 December 2011

Quilting is Quite brilliant fun...

Hi guys! I've been trying my hand at quilting recently and it's been great fun!

Some lovely ladies from a local craft group came to visit my wee Carer meeting a few weeks ago and well, you know me, I like to try out any kind of crafts!
I was totally enthralled by all the lovely fabrics and just what the ladies had managed to create with them...I was hooked! LOL

Now, I've never really used my sewing machine much, if truth be told I actually bought it for my daughter some years back and have only, occasionally tinkered with it...until now that is!  Just like McDonalds say...I'm lovin' it! lol
Bearing in mind, I wasn't really confident on my own at all and it's not a quiet craft that I can do while Coo's sleeping either (sewing machines make a bit of a racket don't they!) so my quilting time has been a bit limited. Even though, I've  really only been working on my quilting for a couple of hours on a Friday, in three visits, I've managed to turn this wee pile of scrap material...

Into a wee baby's first Christmas quilt for wee baby B, our eagerly awaited Grand-baby!
So what do you think?

Now, some of the seams are a little bit wonky here and there, and it's definately not a work of art but...
I'm really rather pleased with it!
Wee baby B will know in years to come that Grandma made her very first quilt just for him or her! lol

I'm finding more and more that crafts and new experiences, really give me so much back, they make me smile and I have a real feel-good factor too. I think they're a bit of an antidote to the other stressful parts of my life and that can only be good for me!

I hope your happy too, try some crafts - it sure works for me! lol
Maz x