Why Having A Daily Ritual Saved My Life!

cancer cerebral palsy children with disabiliies depression family grieving stress Aug 09, 2020

2016 was not a great year. From the start of the year, my father’s cancer returned to another part of his body - his spine. Going in and out of hospital and having carers in the home was so traumatic for him and seeing him lose his independence was awful.

That day in February when dad was picked up from home and taken to his routine Radiotherapy appointment, little did I know he would never return to his home again. February came and went, then March and finally April when he was discharged to a Nursing Home. During these months, all stressful with little support, asking questions, querying processes, coordinating hospital, social services and nursing home.

Coupled with conflicting information from the hospital, firstly told my father had a year to live, then told by a consultant he had 3 months to live, only to be told that consultant got it completely wrong. Being constantly involved in my fathers care making sure everyone was talking to each other was so stressful. Being wrapped up in financial statements with social care to check on my dads financial affordability for his care. Looking after my fathers house and keeping my eye on the issues relating to my fathers needs was a full-time job.

The first nursing home was negligent in their care and so in April he was moved to another nursing home. Again all arranged by me. My father by this point had lost all mobility and was confined to a wheelchair. In just 4 weeks he had given up speaking with anyone and was short-tempered. He refused to see visitors and refused to answer the phone when his friends called. He had urine infections which were not clearing. The hospital was not interested in the changes affecting him, even though on discharge they specifically said to inform them of any changes.

On the 14th June my father died, exactly 3 months from when the consultant said he had 3 months to live.

The anger I felt at the hospitals relaxed approach, covering up the truth was beyond words. The guilt I felt being wrapped up in the silly financial things instead of spending the last few months with my dad is something I feel I had been robbed of. The unfinished conversations brought a deep hurt in my belly.

Parallel to this, I was working plus preparing my daughter for university as she was starting in September. And now I had my fathers funeral to arrange, in addition to dealing with the estate as the executor.

The red tape and bloody mindlessness of the hospital, care home and social services had taken me to breaking point and I was signed off work in September. The vultures were desperate to get their money. They say money brings out the worst in families, how true this was.  How I was feeling or the amount I was dealing with were not important. I felt I was having a breakdown and had no one to turn to. My vestibular condition returned with force and to be honest started months ago, but I could manage it. The stress of everything was the tipping point.

It got to a point enough was enough, I was at my lowest point and hated how I was feeling. I had to help myself get out of this deep sense of depression and stress.  I still was not grieving my father as this was buried as I was sorting out the practical things and being pulled in different directions by people - just to satisfy their needs.

I had seen 4 different GP’s, only 1 GP was not dismissive and actually listened. The others suggested if I felt like giving up to speak to someone. Actually, I thought my GP was someone I could speak with.

I took control and started helping myself. I managed to stop taking everything on at once, mainly to control the vestibular. I booked to see my previous vestibular physio for treatment as an appointment with the NHS was not imminent. A referral to see an NHS physio was made in February and an appointment came through for August. 

Today I have people around me helping me. I have a personal trainer. I eat clean as much as possible. I meditate morning and night and have a gratitude journal.  I continue my rehabilitation and focus on positives, staying away from negativity as much as possible.

My daily ritual has saved me.

Take a look at my free resources HERE, I hope they help you!

Sera xx

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