Wednesday, 15 August 2012

I could scream ...

Last week ...
... but not out loud. Such a terrible two days - my dear Raymond is not well again, yet will NOT call or go to the doctor. Tells me not to interfere when I say I will fix an appointment for him (he hates telephones!) - and berates me for everything under the sun. I am sure he is afraid, ill, and cannot cope, or he would never say the hurtful things that he has. He is far too gentle, and too much a gentleman, for such an outpouring. I'm beyond crying, or feeling aggrieved. I do what I can but fall below expectations (though I do not know what they are). He struggled so hard with the roof (actually two of them). I plod on at my computer (need to, so as to pay the bills), am up early for household chores, prepare his favourite supper. He makes prints of his gorgeous A3 photographic collages of our recent visit to Ireland, and between each slow sheet, falls asleep on the bed. The 'office' is next door to our bedroom.

Books printed in the mid-1700s
And then ... thunderstorm, downpour, deluge - and he actually calls for my help. The temporary surface he had positioned over the hall (wherein sits his beloved piano) had, well, not exactly sprung a leak, but the down-pipe that channeled all the water from the house roof proper had fallen away from the guttering and all the water was pouring into the hall. All over the piano again (which despite my suggestion, he had failed to cover with plastic) but also all over the bookcase in which I keep my most special reference books. Water was cascading over them, all over the floor, into the kitchen. My instant (unspoken) reaction was whether his piano was more important than my books - some I have had for over 50 years, some for longer; very special, used regularly.

One of eight, and so special - to me at any rate
But more treasured is the little Victorian mahogany mini-bookcase given to me by my great-grandfather. Ugly, but in it were books that to me are priceless. Tiny books, the earliest printed in 1756; others around the early 1790s. Unfortunately, the case is falling apart and water was leaking into it. I hope Raymond did not see me snatch it and literally run with it into the kitchen, to take out each little volume and check for damage. Only one was a trifle damp where water had started to soak into the pages. Other books did not fare quite so well and are currently spread around the house drying out. Of far more concern of course is Raymond. How much is the sudden realisation that he is no longer the strong young man he once was, and how much an overwhelming sense that this house and garden is beyond us, is hard to tell. We have a wonderful doctor; at least he COULD check, if only he would. No point my writing 'word-whispers' in blank verse ... I cannot; and I cannot say that my heart is breaking, for it isn't. I just have to be practical, and delicately lead him forward; if that is possible.


  1. Oh Ann, how awful for you both. you have my sympathy, though that doesn't help much. Love and prayers for you both.
    Barbara x

  2. Oh dear Ann,
    I am dealing with this with my elderly parents. Neither one of them will go to the doctor, and I literally bang my head on the wall. Both are having issues with remembering bills and things in general, and as such, I have taken over the bills only to be screamed at as to where the money goes to pay bills...everything here is so very expensive and utility bills are off the charts.
    My heart goes out to you, the only thing is just what you have said, lead gently.
    Blessings be upon you.

  3. Perhaps he is trying not to worry you! Pah! These menfolk of ours can do stubborn like it is going out of fashion . . . Mine was out on the (high) roof here this summer - made sure I had gone out first before he and our son colluded together and he edged along the ridge to put new chimney cowls on the chimneys . . .

    I guess it will have to be a case of softly-softly catchee-monkey, and I hope that he eventually realizes that there is nothing wrong in just TALKING things over with the Doctor. I expect he is frustrated, worried that he can't do what he has always done in the past and perhaps admitting that is a step too far just yet. You know him better than anyone, so perhaps you will be able to talk him round.

  4. My heart goes out to you my husband too gets grouchy when he does not feel well. Men just donot want to cope with reality and they really hate the medical things, Hugs to you.

  5. Thankyou all for your kinds comments. Husband came to his senses this morning and visited the surgery without any prompting from me. One of the possible 'components' out of the way. Books all dried out, and none too badly damaged (those shown above hardly suffered at all); and eventually, I managed a good day's work, which was touch as I am so worried about him.

  6. I was so sorry to read this, and see all you are going through but your comment just above was more heartening. Do you have family and friends near to talk to? To help out?

    1. Nan, thankyou. I keep in touch with our sons and they are very supportive. Indeed we will all meet up on Sunday at the younger boy's house to celebrate Raymond's 80th birthday. So he'll see all our three children and our nine grandchildren. I hope to post pics of our celebrations. It will be so lovely to have all the family together again. As for friends, my very dear ones live some way away; but Facebook honestly keeps me going. Everyone is so kind - dear people I have never met. So I stay up late and 'communicate'. xx

  7. There is hurt, pain, pride and fear in your post and I hope with all my heart someone nearby will give you a hug!
    It is okay to share your feelings and screaming is perfectly understandable!
    If I may, those books looks absolutely priceless, forget the dang piano!!
    Sending prayers and good thoughts your way! Hang in there!!

  8. Men,men,men...I see by your above comment that Raymond did go to the doctors...I am late catching up on past blogs but I do think about you and wish you all the best,your beloved books are so special,hope by now the roof is repaired,it is a hard time for men when they find they are not as strong or agile as they used to be,Bob is finding that at 65 his energy levels have changes a long road ahead for me! lol hope you had a lovely family gathering and some lovely hugs for you too.

  9. Glad this has settled down for now Ann. You can make an appointment in his name and go and have a talk with the GP about your concerns. It is really useful for the health professionals to know what is happening - I.e change of personality and things that he might not tell the doctor. Not just for your husband, but for you too. You are suffering here as well. Gentle hugs xx

  10. Your worry, frustration and love shines through this post Ann. Thank goodness your husband has been to the GP and that you have a supportive family at such an uncertain time. The Barefoot Crofter has a good point about visiting the Dr yourself so that you can explain the reality of living with this situation.

    I am pleased that your books were saved. Thinking of you both.xx

  11. Dear Ann,
    there is such a lot of worry, pain and frustration in your writing - I only wish I had a magic wand!
    The most I can offer is a virtual support, thoughts and a prayer,
    Warmest wishes and thinking of you both
    Liz x