Either I'm far more of an optimist than my grumpy, cynical exterior shows or I'm a complete idiot. And don't all rush to answer that.
I thought a trip to IKEA might be a good idea - God alone knows why. We need some bits and pieces and they have nice sweeping aisles so the plan was to take the wheelchair, go for lunch and then have a mooch around. The plan started to fall apart 500 yards down the road when Ma (in the back with the child locks on) kept trying to hand me her seat belt. This continued all the way down the M66 and on to the M60 where she got bored with that plan and started poking me in the neck with a pencil she found in the back. I have to say that this probably had something to do with the fact that when we came off at junction 8 IKEA appeared to have vapourised. At that point I realised we actually should've been coming off the M62 not the M60. So a bit of a detour.
We pulled up outside the front of the store and got a disabled space. Lovely. Got the wheelchair out and attempted to get Ma into it. This wasn't a hugely popular move so as I was trying to get the safety belt fastened I was also being belted from here to next week around the head. This was accompanied by shouts for help and pleading arms etc. The fact that it was quite sunny and pleasant meant that all the benches and tables outside the store were full of families having a drink or something to eat. So not in the least bit mortifying at all. We made it into the foyer where I could see that there was a bit of a queue for the lift. I was just about to ask H if she fancied having some lunch first when Ma kicked off again. Without breaking stride we did an about turn and headed straight back to the car. Extracting Ma from the wheelchair and getting her back into the car was a repeat performance in reverse - much to the astonishment of all the hot dog scoffers - and away we went. Both H and I were shaking with distress and Ma was oblivious, calling us both darling...
As a direct result of that I went for a swim.
This is the point where I tell you that I've joined a local gym and I wait until the collective sound of jaws being winched off the floor has ceased.
So I've joined the local gym. It's very pleasant and not too huge but it does have two lovely sparklingly clean swimming pools, toning tables and more yoga and pilates classes than you can eat. I'm not terribly interested in the weights bit but hope to get on to the cardio machines at some point. H is happy to Ma sit for an hour or so on non-centre days or during the evening so with luck we can get into a bit of a routine. Going for a swim, steam, hydro-jet thingy and relax on a lounger for 10 mins was really great and I definitely feel much less stressed out than I did when we got back from the journey to hell on a stick.
The evening carers are no more. The final straw was finding Ma, bed and bedding soaking wet less than an hour after she'd gone to bed. This was because the two carers had managed to fold her night time pad in half which obviously wasn't then able to do its job properly. I was extremely unimpressed. So we are now only having help in the morning. In all honesty I probably could (and have on several occasions) deal with the mornings too but it's nice to not have to and it allows my joints to get going at a gentle stroll rather than a full gallop.
Very pleased with several blips from the last week or so. This this and this spring to mind :)