Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Life's a trial

I hope that the title says it all. Recent computer problems and family issues that have demanded my attention are the cause.

About January time my husband bought himself a new lap top computer. He then installed Vista on his old laptop and handed it down to me. Right from the start the thing was difficult to use - slow, stiff, awkward and cranky. I was not sure whether it was the laptop or Vista that was the cause of the problem. Slowly it got worse until the point where it took me 45 minutes to navigate my way around one blog. Then it decided to switch itself off in the middle of the day. I could not blog, send e-mails or surf the Internet. We have become so dependent on computers that it is difficult to manage without one. My husband has now updated Vista to Windows 7 and the laptop is behaving itself.

When my mother went into the care home eight weeks ago now, the contract that I signed made it quite clear that the first six weeks of her residence would be a trial period. Yes, those six weeks were a trial and in some ways the trial continues. Not only has it been a trial for my mother, of which she is blissfully unaware, but it has also been a trial for me. Making sure that she has everything that the home requires her to have and most difficult of all sorting out her clothes. When I wrote in Eleventh hour booking that it was back to normality I had forgotten about the suitcase full of my mother's clothes that needed sorting out. All of the clothes needed to be machine washed then tumbled dried so that I could be sure that they would meet the home's requirements. Some of the clothes needed to be soaked before washing, to remove a variety of stains. Then the clothes needed to be named. The home had ordered some iron-on name tapes for my mother and had used them to name some of her clothes. One day whilst tidying her wardrobe at he home, I noticed that her round neck jumpers and cardigans had a strange square indent at the neckline. At first I could not work out why. Then I realised that it was the imprint of a hot iron used to iron on the name tapes. These clothes only needed a cool iron. I know that the clothes were not expensive and that my mother sees very few people but I was annoyed that clothes had been damaged before she had even worn them. I had taken the precaution of buying some sew-in name tapes for my mother as I realised that iron-on name tapes would not be suitable for all clothes. So it was back to sewing name tapes into her clothes. I did allow the home to name some of the clothes that I considered could not be damaged by a hot iron. Anyway, the six week deadline came and went with no comment from the home but an appointment had been made for a review meeting, regarding my mother, on June 15. It was a bit like a parents' evening in reverse. The home are pleased with the way that Mum has settled, which is a relief, although I would not say that she is totally settled. I think that that will take a few more weeks. I am pleased with the way that the home have handled Mum, as they too were on trial and if at the end of the six weeks they had asked me to remove her I would have seen it as a failing on their part that they could not manage her. If my mother did not settle in this home I could not see her settling anywhere.

Whilst computer problems and care home trials are going on life itself goes on or doesn't. Unfortunately my mother's sister died about three weeks ago now. She was quite a bit younger than my mother who was sixteen when she was born. My aunt was sixteen when I was born and she has been more like a sister, than an aunt, to me and I shall miss her. She was the only one that I could turn to, apart from my husband, earlier this year when my brother was being so difficult. The help and advice that she gave me in the search for a care home for my mother were invaluable. So ten days ago my husband and I returned to my East Yorkshire roots for my aunt's funeral. Then I had the unenviable task of telling my mother that her sister had died. She appeared to take it very well but in fact it did not sunk in and I still do not think that it has.

It would be nice to be able to get my head above the parapet and keep it there, with life on an even keel. However, I think, I might just find that a bit dull.

31 comments:

Maggie May said...

I am so sorry about your Mum's sister dying and that you are so close to her. It will be a sad loss and your Mum not really being able to digest the fact will also cause a big well of grief for you.

I know nothing about Vista as I have a MAC and wouldn't know where to start with a PC & Windows.
Sorry that I can't give an opinion on that.
I do get really upset when anything happens to my computer, especially is my son is not there to help me. Makes me wonder how we managed before they were invented.

I dare say this run of bad luck will turn to better things before too long.
I really hope so.

Suburbia said...

Gosh you've had a few weeks of it haven't you? So sorry about your mums sister. I hope your mum continues to settle. Take care of yourself.

CG said...

It is always good to hear from you. I am very sorry to hear about the death of your aunt. I absolutely hate Vista myself! Hope your mum continues to do ok in the home.

Akelamalu said...

Vista is a real pain!

I'm sorry to hear about your aunt. I hope your Mum continues to settle into her new home, I'm sure it will be a load off your mind.

Jennyta said...

Sorry you are having such a difficult time at the moment but hopefully, things will get better soon. Vista seems to have been causing problems since it first came out - typical of Microsoft that they rush new products out before ironing out all the problems.

Catharine Withenay said...

Sorry to hear about your aunt and all your computer problems. I'm delighted your mother is settling in well: I'm sure everything will calm down soon and 'normal' life will resume.

Moannie said...

In one of our incarnations we owned and ran a residential home for the elderly and too often children were only too happy to leave their aged parent with us, returning only when it was time to check that mum's necklace watch or ring were still around. How wonderful to read of your devotion to your mother. I wish you love and patience.
My sympathies for the loss of your beloved aunt.

Lindsay said...

Would love to see a post on how you are getting on with Windows 7 when you have the moment - I am sure it would help many of us to make the decision. Never touched Vista!

I was luckier with my dad when he moved into his care home. We had shared a house for 30 years. I did all the name tape sewing in a period of six weeks before he went and Dad himself sorted out all paperwork. However when he had left we had his half of the house to clean (really quite bad) and our own half to get ready for selling.

Dad's care home have just acquired two kittens who are the darlings of the home - everyone loves them - Dad adores them. They are now big enough to wander where they please and I gather they amuse the night staff no end!

Carol and Chris said...

Gosh, you've really not had an easy time of it recently have you!!

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your Aunt....she sounds like she was a really special lady. The pain will lessen in time.

I hate being without my computer (Kinda feels like your cut off from the rest of the world doesn't it) but I'm glad you've got it all sorted out now :-)

Keep your chin up

C x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I was sorry to hear about your Aunt, CW - you will miss her, not least because she was such a help to you regarding your Mother. Good news though that your Mother has settled well. That must be a relief.

I have had lots of problems recently with my computer, similar to those you encountered. Fellow bloggers advised me to change to Firefox. So far, so good! A x

cheshire wife said...

Lindsay - will have to leave a post about Windows 7 to my husband who is the computer expert.

SJA - I already use Firefox so I am afraid Vista seems to have been the culprit.

Rob-bear said...

So sad to hear of your aunt's passing. She was obviously an important presence in your life.

But glad to her that your mum is settling in.

As for computers, @$#%&*^. You can quote the Bear on that one.

Gilly said...

I am so sorry about your Aunt passing on. In the middle of all the worry about your mother, it must have been very hard to bear.

I hope your mother settles eventually. We had similar problems with my mother (though she was quite "with it" until she died) but do keep an eye on the home - staff change, and little things that should be done don't get done!

And I feel for you about the clothes problem - been there, done that and got the T-shirt!!

French Fancy said...

Oh you poor sweet person - it seems never ending at the moment. Sorry about your aunt going - and as for them ironing the tags with a hot iron - how lazy and mindless is that.

Fingers crossed you have a few months with only good things happening. Have you got anything good lined up on the horizon?

Susie Vereker said...

Oh dear, you are having a difficult time. Sorry about your aunt. It sounds as if your mother is settling as well as can be expected. Annoying about the clothes and the computer and everything else. Life should get better from now on, I hope. I understand about feeling like a parent at school. It happened to me.

Jenny said...

Sorry you are having such a rubbish time. Life never seems to run smoothly for very long does it and the older we get the more baggage we carry. Here's hoping for better times soon.

imbeingheldhostage said...

You have definitely been hit this year and deserve a break from trials. Like Maggie, I have a mac, so no computer issues like what you've faced, but with the storms rolling through the east, you know it means terribly slow internet. I have a difficult time trying to read blogs these days.
I am sorry about your Aunt. I'm especially sorry that you've lost your ally. Big hugs and hoping for some ease to your trials.

cheshire wife said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
david mcmahon said...

So sorry to hear about your family's loss. My thoughts, especially, are with your Mum.

cheshire wife said...

FF, Jenny & imbeinghelhostage - watch this space but there are more storm clouds on the horizon.

David - thank you for your comment. Mum lives in her own little world.

mrsnesbitt said...

Sending you a big hug cos I thought you needed one.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Cheffie-Mom said...

I'm sorry about your loss. I'm thinking of you and your family.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Sorry to hear about the loss in your family.

I have Vista on my desktop and my laptop and even though I feel it is very sophisticated, there does seem to be one or two problems which are inconvenience more than anything. Sometimes when reading blogs (on the desktop) I get thrown out with a message saying Operation Aborted. Don't know what that's all about but it's only started happening. Very odd!

CJ xx

♥ bfs - Mimi ♥ said...

Here from David's. Very touching. I'm glad I came by here. Your attitude is marvelous and you are strong.

snoopydog said...

It is quite extraordinary how dependant we have become on computers. I teach 7 and 8 year olds and they use them with such confidence and expectation. Guess I'm getting old!! Life can be tough at times and it's not always easy to see your way clear. Hope the sun will soon be shining again.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Found my way here from David's. Congrats on the POTD mention, it is well deserved. Hard times for you losing a much loved relative and having to tell your mum. Been there, bought the T-shirt, as they say. I totally understand your loss and the sadness over your mother being in the care home. All the best.

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

I am so sorry to read of all the problems you are going through. You are an angel taking care of your mum so well. Re. Vista, all I can say is Grrrrrr! Same problems with it here.

Working Mum said...

How sad. What a lot you've had to cope with recently. Glad that your mum is staying and that you are happy with the home.

On the upside - Microsoft are bringing out a new version of Windows (probably in autumn) which should be better than Vista - I'm waiting until then to change our computer.

cheshire wife said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. They are much appreciated.

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