As you can probably tell, this blog has been very quiet.
The reason for this has been to do with my dad’s health.
In early 2017 he was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). It is causing the tissue in his lungs to harden. It will eventually kill him.
The process has been gradual. His walking distance became less. He needed oxygen, then more oxygen. Driving became difficult, and eventually he sold his car. He lost strength, and everyday activities like washing, dressing and eating became a struggle. A stair-lift helped him retain some mobility for a time, but it was not to last.
In the spring of this year, the decision was taken to install a special bed downstairs, and he has been there ever since. He has a commode next to it. We’ve done everything we can to make him comfortable. The care visitors, district nurses and other helpers have been a blessing. But it has taken a toll on myself, my mother and my sister.
Then a breast-screening detected a small growth in one of my mum’s breasts. A biopsy confirmed it was cancerous, but it had been caught early. She opted to have a mastectomy, to make sure it couldn’t return.
I’ve been caring for both my parents the last few months. My mum is fully recovered, but needs my help to look after dad and keep on top of the household chores. Dad is relatively comfortable.
I’ve no idea how much time we have left together, and I’m trying to make the most of every day. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had bouts of anxiety and depression. But I have support from some close friends, and a few hours of respite each week.
I am reconciled now to this process. I do not fear death. I know that it is part of the cycle of life.
I’m posting this partly to help me heal, and partly in the hope that it may help others who are or have been going through a similar experience.