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Barmy Blue's Bland Blog

...I Don't Know What I Want

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Now then where to begin?

I wondered about writing earlier but it's too much effort. Ha.Ha. Effort. You don't know the meaning of the word. I do but I get your point. This month so far and the one before have gotten away from me a bit and to be honest I just couldn't be bothered to clear the way to mu keyboard and then spend 3 hours typing up a rambling entry without an automated spellchecker to post a blog entry in 2-3 parts. But anyway.

I've finally had my eye test two months late (my choice. I put it off then forgot until I couldn't ignore the less than crisp edges anymore. If you have astigmatism you'll know. It's not the same as short sighted blurriness. Having lenses that keep getting dirty and harder to clean and eyelashes rubbing on one side doesn't help either). So I've picked out new glasses. I'd originally planned to move my vaccination appointment but worried that if I cancelled it to make a new one (that's how you have to do it) then something could go wrong so I might as well keep the one I got. But I booked it to give some time for wiggle room so if this is how it was to turn out I should've booked it for earlier. I worried about going to the optician while I'm only half vaccinated but I did have a mask. But I did have to take it off to try on frames. My vaccination id booked for later in the week. I made myself a fidget bracelet in anticipation of it, well of moving it. It's quite fun to play with but it's only on cheap elastic from a children's kit so I hope it won't break any time soon.

I have a lot of tomato plants in varying degrees of size and health. I've harvested some tomatoes but haven't really eaten them yet. Some rotted (they were compromised to begin with). I had a little crop of cucumbers. Spiky little devils. I pickled them. The skin is annoyingly tough. I was harvesting them as 7 inches but they didn't seem happy with that to I looked it up. It's supposed to be 6 inches. Either the packet was printed wrong or I made a mistake. They look healthier at 6. Not so pale and stretched. My strawberries from last year flowered and have started producing a little fruit but I don't hold out much hope. They're inside plants and infested with flies. I have 4 little lettuces that shot up, also inside with the tiny flies. The peppers are ripening at last and I planted some salad in some of the bigger pots (with stuff already in) because why not and to drain excess water. I also put some radishes in with my tiny carrots and the carrots seem to have perked up. It happened when I put in extra carrot seeds too, the older ones seemed to perk up a bit. It's almost as if they won't grow unless you threaten them with another vegetable.

So yeah. That's all that. I also spent most of last month re-watching archer for the new series so that didn't help with my sense of time.

Anyway. Was that it? Was that what you wanted to write last month? Kind of sad isn't it? Sure it's nice you have stuff going on and all but still.

No. It's not what I wanted to write. That's just general update fluff but some of it might interest you just to see how things are going.

So here goes the long bit.
Just to clarify he's not dead. Yet. As far as I know. But who knows how long it will be in the grand scheme of things and all.

You know my dad has prostate cancer. It can't be removed. It spread to his bones. He's on hormone treatment. It shrank a bit and his numbers are good so that's all good.
well. He'd been having pee issues. A catheter was fitted. He's had one before. It was due to come out/be changed for another one I can't remember exactly it was a month ago.
He'd been keeping me updated with occasional texts. When stuff was due too be done he didn't text. Fair enough. Maybe he forgot. He fell asleep. His phone wasn't charged. I'm not going to bug the man. So I gave him the weekend. Nope. So then I send a general text. Exact text unknown so lets just say I said "how are you?" it's the sort of thing I would put. Then he'll remember that he didn't text me and get right on it or tell me if there's a problem. There was a problem.

He was in hospital. His catheter blocked. The daft old man got mixed up and ended up dehydrating himself. Exact details unknown so let's give an example. 2 liters every hour but he was drinking 1 liter every 2 hours. So it blocked with what he calls "crud" that's not me substituting there, that's exactly what he calls it. I assumed he meant blood and I'm thinking that's not unusual for me, I'm a physically mature female human after all. I have had blood clots. Coming out of me. At certain times. But it must be kind of scary for a man because if blood comes out then something is wrong. If it comes out for us then it can be perfectly normal depending on the circumstances.

You may remember my mum was in hospital a while ago so although this did concern me I wasn't too worried. So I asked the question I thought I should ask based on what he told me to ask when Mum was in hospital. Funnily enough that week I was adding things to the bag I'd been thinking of for a week or so prior. An overnight bag of toiletries in case mum, or even myself, end up in hospital any time soon. We don't want to be caught out like last time.
So I ask him the questions I'm supposed to ask and then he drops quite a bombshell and I'm not sure how to feel about it.

I'm not listed as his next of kin. Neither is my mum, his legal wife. His next of kin is the mysterious "Sharon". I call her that to protect her identity as she is now more relevant to things I guess. I've mentioned somewhere that several times over the years, usually at Christmas since he's with me all day then so it's more likely to slip out, he's accidentally called me "Sharon". I don't know if he's remembers that he's done that before or if he thinks I was completely oblivious.
I think this stint in hospital frightened him somewhat. A taste of true mortality and the constant trickling away of life. It's not some day way off into the future. Realistically it could happen any time but we as a species forget that until we get a scare.
So. He tells me that "Sharon" is listed as his next of kin. Although I have mixed feelings on that I'm not going to dump it all out at him. My general feeling is "Okay". He assures me that it's not a slight at me or something. It was when I was at school or uni and he didn't want to out all that on me (I guess he means the sudden adult responsibility of taking charge if something happened to him). He's genuinely relieved to have told me and that I'm okay with it so it's clearly been bothering him for a while.

Now then. My true feelings on the matter. I'm not angry. Well just the tiniest little bit. I had more rage when I was younger and imagined various things regarding this unknown being "Sharon" but I've grown out of it now. I still don't really know who "Sharon" is. I don't know if she's in a relationship with my dad, lives with him of just near him, like an upstairs neighbor for example. I only ever had a name. He has since told me that she works as an A+E nurse so that's interesting and alters my feelings on the matter.
Being a nurse it's nice to know that he has a trained professional to help him (since I don't even know where he lives. Though I do have an address written in a very old notebook somewhere. He has hid insurance details in his truck and I made a note because I was there, he left me in the truck waiting while he did something else I was bored and had a notebook and pen and I was a teenager. But I don't know if that was his current address at the time or now. i didn't actually want to snoop and I'd have to dig through a lot of stuff to fine that notebook because I don't even remember what it looked like. It was probably blue. They were all blue back then). Anyway. I got sidetracked there.
It makes sense for someone who actually sees him more than twice a year to be his next of kin and, to be brutally honest, this means I don't have to be the one making decisions for him. I'm starting to think I won't need to plan his funeral either. I'm not sure how I feel about that either.
I've thought about the fact that my parents WILL die and, assuming i follow the natural order of not dying before either of them, I'll probably have some involvement in their funerals. I've thought this since about my mid teens. Envisioned a few funerals. Mostly the eulogy I'd give. I'd pictured my dad's but didn't like chancing planning my mum's because hers will be a deeper wound since she's been with me so much more. To be clear I don't hate my dad. And it WILL hurt, probably more than I realize.
I'm relieved that I wouldn't have to plan/arrange the funeral. I asked him once, years ago, what he wanted me to do. Should I just go through his phone and invite everyone to his funeral and see who can make it. Sure fine. I thought he just wasn't paying attention or didn't really care. But now I wonder if he'd realized that he'd have to tell me about this next of kin thing in the future. I'm not good with people, especially strangers so interacting with a bunch of people I don't know who mostly will never have even met me and giving a eulogy for someone they knew better than me despite me being his only child (unless he's hiding something else from me but I doubt it. Wouldn't it be awful if that were the case though, and the first time I became aware of their existence was at his funeral, around everyone who probably already knew. It's not worth thinking about).
So the idea of having someone else arrange it does sound kind of good don't you think? A lot less stress.
But then I receive and invite to my own father's funeral from a complete stranger and attend with even more complete strangers. And they have a bunch of stories to tell about him and things about him I had no idea about and my stories are very few or from when I was little and are soured with a tinge of resentment for all the lost time.
Give me a minute here.
It's a double edged sword. You can see why I don't like to think about it now but can't help at least thinking of the concept of it.
There is a third outcome of course. That it's all arranged and everyone's there and for what ever reason I'm not. Maybe they forgot to invite me to my father's funeral.

So. Yeah.

Away from the funeral aspect please.
Back to "Sharon" in the present.
She can care for him and I don't have to do anything. But then she has time with him which is fine. But the time is getting shorter. One day there will be no time. And I will have missed out. But then again do I actually want to spend more time with him. In a monkey paw be careful what you wish for situation. If I say I want more time and get all of it. Do I really want that? Do I want to be the one helping him flush his catheter (because that needs to be done) do I want to be caring for him as he degrades? Do I want us getting on each other's nerves? No. I admit I do want more time but a balanced amount. A little more than I have now but not too much. Not everything has to be said and done, some things are best left unsaid after all.

He wants to meet up with me and mum to "sort things out" I'm not completely sure what. I guess like a will and stuff and deciding who pays bills and such and what he'll leave me. He's asked what I want. I don't know what to say. I don't know what he has so I can't even hope to express what I may want. (It makes me wonder, will "Sharon" be the one sorting through his things. Will I just get a random box of things like when my aunt died last year. A box of bits and pieces. Things they kept. Things that meant something to them but are nothing to me. Trinkets from things I can't even fathom and have no interest in anyway. My dad got a box of stuff too, he told us about it when we went through my one at Christmas. He got a bunch of junk that used to be his brother's, like an old wallet. I understand why the widow aunt would keep things like that, they were pieces of her husband. But even though it belonged to his late brother, to my dad it's just junk. Easier to dump it on a relative than get rid of it another way. Will it be like that for me too?)
I've thought about what I want. Time. But not too much as previously stated. I want him not to have cancer. I want him not to be ill. I want everything to stay as it was before the cancer. I can't have what I want. I need another minute

That's why I have mixed feelings about the whole thing.

So he was let out.

Then more recently he's gone in again for surgery. Something about putting a drain in his kidney because it's blocked from the tumor I think. So that was done and things are decent. He's still getting blockages but it can be managed at home. It's not just blood you see, as he's told me but I struggle to understand. I've looked it up. It's also "encrustation" that's what the internet calls it. He has an infection and everything's been unsettled ever since the dehydration incident. It's not uncommon. Even though it's sterile the catheter can cause infection in the bladder, since it's not a quick in and out, it's been a fixture for a while now. It's not coming out until he's cleared up I guess. So the "crud" is blood and "encrustation" and maybe what ever else the body is trying to flush it with. Bacteria making itself a nice little nest to grow ne being hard to shift because most antibiotics can't touch it and it's kind of in a blind spot for the immune system. You ever wanted to scream a someone's immune system? I do. I've seen Cells at Work and it's very enlightening about the human body but in a fun way. But I just want to scream FIGHT THAT INFECTION YOU LITTLE ****S! And also YOU WERE SUPPPOSED TO KILL THE CANCER CELLS. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER! But firstly you can't do that and secondly they do the best they can. Cancer is a sneaky bastard that hides and tricks the body into feeding it to grow bigger. And as I said, the infection is hiding and has built a fortress in the bladder. Sigh.

He calls it soul destroying. To be honest that's surprisingly eloquent for him. It unnerves me. Being blocked then getting a trickle and that's better than nothing then you have a bowel movement and things block up again and I guess this would class as a Sisyphean task. And "Sharon" has to flush it but injecting fluid into a tube in the catheter to flush it. She was at work do he had a go himself with moderate success. The syringe creates a vacuum so that's a thing. I'm very vague on the whole thing and on how he feels about it because I can't really imagine, I'm trying though, and he can't explain it. I'm not sure if it's because he doesn't have the words (he doesn't research. If research id to be done "Sharon" does it. I know several medical terms because I've seen a few medical shows so I know a radiologist does imaging even though I've never had an x-ray (though no I think about it i have had one ultrasound) a scope is an endoscope (when it goes down your throat) I've recently looked up the "pee hole" scope because he had one, it's called a cystoscope and so on). There is something to be said for not looking it up. Sometimes you get so much information and one thing contradicts another but I feel that it's equally valid because you should at least know a little something about what's going on. Sometimes you forget what the doctor told you or you didn't understand it clearly or you forgot to ask a question and maybe if he knew more about it all then he could explain to me better. Then again maybe not.

So he was trying to get along.



  1. Bluebiird's Avatar
    I forgot something important and it's so significant I'm putting it here.
    Since the cancer I've been saying I/we love you each time we speak because I know I'd regret it if I didn't. I know the first hospital stay worried him because he said he loves me and no matter what he's still my dad and he got choked up. He never does that. Last and only other time I heard him choke up was at his brother's funeral where he replaced "glory glory hallelujah" with "glory glory Tottenham Hotspur" at the top of his voice. It was a very important thing for them. So yeah. That happened too.