I Don’t Understand, and I Won’t Remember, So I’m Not Listening.

My Bed

My Bed

In my day-to-day life, I deal with a Girl who listens and remembers, but doesn’t understand; a mother who listens and understands, but doesn’t remember; and a dog that remembers and understands, but doesn’t listen.

I swear, when I’m old and gray I’m hanging a sign around my neck that says, “Unless you’re incredibly interesting or telling me how much you loved my book, I don’t understand, and I won’t remember, so I’m not listening.”

I know, right? It’s a proven formula.

In the meantime, I have other issues to deal with. If you’ve followed me on Facebook lately, you’ll know that the most interesting conversation I can offer revolves around how much sleep I’ve had—or rather, how much I haven’t had.

The Girl goes through periods where her entire internal engine seems to seize up. I’m not going into details here, suffice to say that at times her care management becomes incredibly challenging. Take Friday night. She had dreadful diarrhea. I had care support in overnight, but even so, I didn’t get to bed until 11 pm. That was okay. I got some sleep.

Saturday turned into the nightmare of Friday past. The Girl had stomach pains, ear ache, sore feet.

At 10 pm I got up and gave her Paracetamol with Codeine and went back to bed.

At midnight I got up because she was moaning. She seemed fine, so I tucked her down.

At 2 pm, she woke me up singing—yes, singing. I yelled at her to “Shut up the singing and go to sleep. Mummy’s turning into a grizzly bear and once that happens, it’s all downhill from there.” She quit the singing and chatted to Lilly Lion and Dead Cat for another hour.

At 4:30 am, we were both still awake, only the Codeine was wearing off and she began to wail. I got up, gave her Paracetamol liquid, took her to the toilet, and went back to bed.

At 5 am I got up because it was pointless trying to sleep.

At 6:30 am she fell asleep and stayed that way until 9 am when I woke her.

I had a repeat performance on Sunday, and, to a lesser extent, again on Monday. In desperation I called the Hospice community nurses and asked for help. Two nurses came straight out. They assured me I was not being “a big sookie-bubba who was asking for way more than she deserved” (Not the way I posed it, but the way I felt). They told me I was doing fantastically well, and that it’s dreadfully hard with someone you can communicate with, let alone someone you can’t.

The next day I spoke to my mother. She told me to go and have my hair done and get a little pampering and that she’d pay for it. (I did not let her forget it)

I have people tell me they could not lead my life. They tell me they could not do what I do. But here’s the thing…

I’m so utterly, utterly grateful.

I’m on a miniscule income and I make sure I cope on it. But you know what? I am so frikkin’ grateful for that income, I can’t even tell you. There are countries around the world where people in my position simply have to do the best they can. I’m sure they, or their loved ones (maybe both) live tough lives then die early.

I’m grateful for the community nurses at the Hospice who keep a constant check on how we’re tracking. I’m grateful that they know what I’m going through and have access to the resources to help me. I’m grateful for Sasha, my wonderful counsellor, who tells me I’m doing great, and then sits for 55 out of our 60 minutes to listen to me drivel on about how my book is going.

I’m grateful for my sister who calls me and tells me how much she loves me, and gives me more support and love than I ever knew a sister could—and that’s saying something.

I’m grateful for all my friends wherever they are. I’ve developed friendships all over the world through my blog and my writing. I have the most spectacular bunch of people spread across America, Britain, Australia, and a million other places who cheer me on and send their wishes, their love and their support. I cannot say how much this means. (I even had someone in Mongolia who dropped by my blog. I’m still wondering what they made of it)

And yes, I’m grateful for a mother who may not remember, but who reaches out when I need it.

I’m grateful for a Girl who’s given me more joy than anyone could know.

The dog—I’m not so sure about …

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “I Don’t Understand, and I Won’t Remember, So I’m Not Listening.

  1. As always, Cathy, thank you for sharing the highs and lows of your daily life with those of us who should never complain about the simple challenges we face from time to time.

  2. Wonderful and eloquent, as always!

  3. Rachel

    Cathy you know you are my hero … but it’s also just great to read your blog … better than a novel…. well, perhaps not your novel but it’s close! And hooray for you and the Girl, you make an awesome team x

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