13 August 2008

A clean start - in more ways than one.

I'm back from my break - refreshed and revived, ready to fight the fray. I had a wonderful time with my mother. We chatted non-stop, while we emptied out bulging cupboards, hacked back rampant undergrowth in her garden, washed net curtains and cleaned windows. We went for gentle walks (she hardly ever leaves the house otherwise) or went out for trips in the car. I have brought her back with me for a little holiday in the metropolis. She will also be here with me when Kay returns from her adventures at the weekend. There will be so many stories to hear then.

On that subject I cannot believe a whole month has nearly gone by since I last saw Kay. When I got home, I discovered two emails from her sent over the last two weeks telling me what she has been doing and of her adventures. It was a welcome relief as I had been worrying terribly, as some of you already know. My fears were made worse by the
story in the press last week about a group of boys from Tunbridge Wells who were in Guatemala on the same sort of expedition with the same organisation and were attacked by armed bandits. Kay was due to take the same route as these boys a few days later, so I was truly alarmed and could not settle. Her emails therefore buoyed me up. I am counting the days till her safe return.

To thank me for not being in use these past few weeks, my trusty washing machine decided to give up the ghost and the drum would not turn at all either to rotate the clothes while they wash, or to spin them at the end. I suspect the washing machine decided to go on strike before Kay throws muddy trousers and mosquito-splatted tops in its direction, when she gets home. It is hardly worth the call-out charge to get someone to look at it, as I know they will write it off. It has served its time over many many years, anyway. So my priority has been to find a replacement as quickly as possible. These days there are so many to choose from..... from the basic switch on/ switch off, to ones with control panels that look like an aeroplane cockpit! I have spent the last few days sticking my head inside the drums, twiddling the knobs and making up my mind about whether there's a bargain to be had. I wonder if they take empty whisky bottles in part exchange? I am lining up the laundry in anticipation of its arrival, hence the "clean start" to my title.

To those who asked me in my last post why I bought enough whisky for Greg to last during my absence and why I did not leave him to make his own choices, my answer is simple. If I did not supply Greg with whisky, he would certainly go out and get it himself. However, that would mean him getting into his car and driving about half a mile or so either eastwards to an off-licence or westwards to a supermarket. Bear in mind, on most days he can barely stand, let alone walk or drive a car. If he killed himself whilst driving under the influence, I accept he would have only himself to blame, but I could not have it on my conscience, if he killed someone else in the process. I have tried to confiscate his car keys so many times in the past and it has led to even more conflict between us and subterfuge on his part to steal my set of keys from wherever I try to hide them. He cannot walk the distance to the various outlets, because he gets severe pains in his legs (a side effect of the smoking and heart disease). To leave him without alcohol altogether is not an option as the withdrawal symptoms would be too dangerous... hallucinations, convulsions and coma being the worst. So I figure that buying him the supplies is the best option all round until he can either reduce his consumption or kill himself. Whichever comes first.

Greg did not look at all well on my return. He had not eaten ANY of the food I had prepared for him or the ready meals left in the freezer. He had basically existed on a diet of whisky and virtually nothing else, apart from the occasional can of soup. He looks very thin, can barely walk and needs my help to stand up from the sofa. We have an appointment with the GP this afternoon who has asked him to come in for the results of some blood tests done a few weeks ago. I fear the results will not be good.


Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi, Glad to have you back raring to go. There's another award for you over at my place. Hadriana x

rosiero said...

Many thanks. I display it proudly. I am always worried that I shall bore people to death with my moaning, so I am grateful for any positive feedback!!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Glad to hear you back in the hot seat!
I admire your ability to think through the various scenarios and your ability to write with humour all the while.
I know its not easy, and its a case of the devil and the deep blue sea sometimes.. l could weep for you...but l'm all spent.
Enough l hope that you know someone is reading with sympathy and empathy...

Kit Courteney said...

Very good to see you back and writing.
Please do continue to 'bore' us all!
Kit C :0)

aims said...

Oh Roseiro! I can hear so much in your written voice.

How is your Mom taking Greg's condition? That was my first thought when you said you brought her back with you as I can imagine the state of the house and his state as well. Oh dear.

I can see you are just waiting for him to go in any way - sad that after standing at the altar all happy with thoughts of the future in your head. How drink can kill all that off...sad.

Let us know what the doctor says will you?

And - I'm so glad your daughter is coming home safe soon and that your mother is with you.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Hi Rosiero - so pleased to see you are back again and you have your mum with you too. Sounds as though you had a relaxed time with her - can't imagine your thoughts on what you might be returning to. Will be glad to hear that Kay is safely back with you and she will have some stories to tell - enjoy! A x

cheshire wife said...

I found your blog as you went away. Pleased that you had a good holiday. I am not sure how you manage to remain so cheerful and write with such good humour. I will be following your daze from now. So stay cheerful and keep writing.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the explanation re: buying the supplies for Greg to prevent him from driving -- I did wonder if that was the reason but I was not totally sure.

The reason for wrenching my left shoulder was not overdoing it in the gym, but carrying a huge amount of heavy bags up to my 2nd floor flat (with no lift) and no help from my taxi driver (I normally depend on helpful taxi drivers). I have added a little blog addendum.

Best wishes for your return to the fray.


Fern said...

Hi Roseiero, so glad you have had a good break and with your Mum staying and Kay coming home with lots of tales about her adventures, to look forward to, I hope "girl power" prevails this weekend and you all have some fun whilst you can.

Juicebox Mom said...

Welcome back, I've missed your writing. Glad you are doing well and your lovely daughter will be back soon :-) What a relief that will be! Will be so nice to have your mother and daughter together.

rosiero said...

Thanks you all for your supportive comments. You have no idea how much that means to me and it keeps me sane. My mother has been somewhat alarmed to see how much Greg has deteriorated. She always tries to see the best in people and just thinks it is so dreadfully sad that he has come to this. If you knew how he had been in the past (and she too has known him for 37 years), you would think it sad too. He has gone from being such an intelligent, kind, caring man to a self-absorbed, angry, forgetful, almost on the verge of stupid, depressive.

The GP yesterday read him the riot act. His liver values are almost off the scale. She says he must try to reduce drinking or he will kill himself. He just sat there - I am not entirely sure he even took it in. I had to almost crawl with him from the car to the surgery. A short walk of about twenty yards took 5 minutes. He had to keep stopping and needed to lean on me for support. It really is such a terrible waste of a life.

DogLover said...

Sounds like a good holiday! I hope you enjoy your mother's stay.

You have answered my question why you bought the 15 bottles of whisky. Thanks.

One of my school friends became an alcoholic and permanently damaged his liver and kidneys. His wife did her best to help him to overcome his addiction. She got into a bit of a state because of it, but then went to Al Anon. He also later got to AA and stopped drinking quite soon afterwards. They are both now fine, though his health has been damaged and he's on dialysis. They often talk about the bad days and he has told me that he wishes his wife had not tried to help him, so that he might have found his "rock bottom" much earlier, perhaps before his kidneys were damaged. She now realises that a lot of the things she hoped would help did in fact probably delay his recovery.

If you go to your local library, they'll probably have the WHICH? Magazines in which you should find comparisons of washing machines!

Best wishes

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Sounds like Greg has his own exit strategy. AA is not just for alcoholics, but also for those who have to live with them. It might help you get into the head of an alcoholic and why they drink. You at least can get away from your torment now and again. Not sure Greg can.

Millennium Housewife said...

You should never feel that you have to justify buying your husband his drink. People only judge through ignorance. I haven't a clue how it must be for you but stand in awe of how you are bringing up Kay and the resillience you show. good for you Rosiero and good luck to you MH