Oblivion

It’s a scary world that we live in these days,
Planes crashing down from the sky in various ways,
ISIS in Iraq, Russia versus Ukraine,
Israel and Palestine back at it again…

Syria, Libya – the list is too long,
Is it only me who feels something is wrong…?
Poverty in Africa, conflict in Afghanistan,
A global financial crisis no-one understands…

The world once again seems just all in a schism,
Superpower posturing, creeping fundamentalism,
The new threat of our own home-grown terrorism,
Governments in response to our phonecalls all listen…

I often wonder how mankind is still alive,
Two world wars and a cold one somehow still survived,
God only knows how we avoided nuclear M.A.D.,
Sometimes I just despair of all humanity…

But the true fact is, when all’s said and done,
We are each one a mother’s daughter or son,
We all of us have loved ones, all shed blood and tears,
We all have our hopes, dreams, desires, dreads and fears…

They say it’s dementia that makes you forget,
But mankind hasn’t learned from it’s history yet,
Collectively stuck in a state of amnesia too,
To the millions dead and the harm war can do…

It’s not just those with Alzheimer’s losing their minds,
And not only them living on borrowed time,
Not only they who the fine line of sanity tread,
But all of mankind who to oblivion head…

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Don’t Care For Me

Don’t care for me – I don’t want you to,
It’s beneath my dignity to ever ask this of you,
Whether dementia is one day my fate,
Or I fall into a persistent vegetative state,
Or am stricken with some awful wasting disease,
Don’t care for me – I’m asking you, please…

Don’t care for me – I hate the mere thought,
Of making you angry, upset, overwrought,
Seeing mother-in-law when you look in my eyes,
Having my most loved ones witness my demise,
Or wiping my bottom – that I’d truly despise,
So don’t care for me – by my wishes abide…

Don’t care for me, as that I would hate,
I won’t be a burden – I’m telling you straight,
You’ve my full blessing to move on with your life,
Don’t forfeit it for me, please don’t sacrifice,
And don’t override me, if I can’t have a say,
Don’t care for me – I don’t want it that way…

Don’t care for me – it wouldn’t be fair,
Put me in respite and then keep me there,
Have Social Services pick up the flack,
Place me in a care home and please don’t look back,
To do otherwise would be an affront,
Don’t care for me – it’s not what I want…

Don’t care for me – but you can still visit,
Sit down and chat over tea and a biscuit,
Make sure the care home is not like on Panorama,
(Oh, wouldn’t that be some ironic karma!)
Still bring me home for a Christmas Day feast,
But don’t care for me – not full-time at least…

Don’t care for me – it’s a selfish request,
To ask anyone otherwise, I can attest,
People can’t realise what they ask when they say,
Please keep me at home, don’t put me away,
As if they did, they would not make such a demand,
Don’t care for me – please understand…

Don’t care for me, even if your heart tells you so,
Love is a two-way street, that I well know,
Don’t agonise over whether it’s right or it’s wrong,
But just cast your mind back to this little song,
Recall the poem that you have just read,
Please don’t care for me – I’ll be caring for you instead…

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In Vino Veritas

In vino veritas, so the saying goes I think,
Oh, my mother-in-law is driving me to drink,
This evening am close to a whole bottle downing,
Better I’m drinking, than that I’m drowning…

In vino veritas, and also in pills,
Diazapam keeps me from dwelling on my ills,
If mum-in-law rings now, I’ll be all nicely chilled,
Ooops – there goes the carpet – my red wine I’ve spilled…

In vino veritas, forgive me I’m wasted,
It’s not like she and I are even blood related,
I hate being a carer – I find it quite galling,
Hang on, I’ll be right back – nature is calling…

In vino veritas – time for some home truths,
Caring is not how I wanted to spend my youth,
Sometimes dementia truly drives me to despair,
Oops – I have just fallen off of the chair…

In vino veritas – now my guard’s down I’ll say,
That I really don’t want to keep living this way,
Caring for her long-term I just can’t foresee,
Oy hubby – can you please pour some more splosh for me..??

In vino veritas – now what I was I saying…??
Oh yes, dealing with Alzheimers is a huge pain…
I’m tired of her calls and her constantly clinging,
Ummm, I think I need to go now – the room is all spinning…

In vino veritas – now time for my bed,
Tomorrow won’t remember the things that I’ve said,
But mum-in-law and I have one key thing in common, you see,
Cause she is an even bigger pisshead than me!!!

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Panic Attack

Last night I had my first panic attack,
Seems like my sanity’s starting to crack,
My heart felt like out of my chest it would burst,
Can’t remember the last time I ever felt worse…

I started to come over all dizzy and faint,
And then began to hyperventilate,
No paper bags so plastic had to do,
Then ran to the toilet cause I had to spew…

Husband was worried, but knew what to do,
He gave me a white pill and then a blue,
But neither helped – the panic was too deep,
Then husband unhelpfully fell straight asleep…

It wasn’t all down to my mother-in-law,
But a long line of things that have happened before,
Husband’s upcoming court case, with neighbours at war,
It never seems just to rain but it pours…

Three redundancies in just the two last years,
Husband had a mental breakdown too then, I fear,
Car troubles, accidents and a house flood of late,
Are all what have led me to this sorry state…

And just to be clear so there is no mistaking,
None of the above has been of my own making,
Yet I’m the one dealing with all of the stress,
Is it any wonder I feel in such a mess…??

It just seems to me like my life’s under siege,
Who know’s what the next disaster’s going to be…?
All I want is a quiet life for husband and me,
Not to live in this state of constant catastrophe…

90 minutes in this sorry state I did spend,
Only Eminem on a loop seemed to help in the end,
And what’s worse in terms of this mental health warning,
Is I’ve woken up in a similar state of mind this morning…

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I Do Everything

(Based on ‘I’d Do Anything‘ from the musical ‘Oliver’)

I do everything,
For you dear everything,
For you need everything from me…

I know that,
I go anywhere,
For your sake, anywhere,
For your sake, everywhere,
I see….

Would you sort my bills? Everything!
Make sure I take my pills? Everything!
Clean up all my spills? Everything!
Even love me still? Ummm, can’t answer that…

(Chorus)

Run round after me? Everything!
My personal slave be..? Everything!
Answer my every plea..? Everything!
Never again be free…? It seems that way…

(Chorus)

Your life sacrifice? Everything!
Yet always play nice? Everything!
Fix a broken device? Everything!
Care at any price…? Depends how high..

(Chorus)

Do all I can’t do? Everything!
Take me for dinner too? Everything!
Feel constant deja vu? Everything!
Let me move in with you? Not happening!

(Chorus)

When I call, you’ll come? Everything!
Live underneath my thumb? Everything!
Fight to not succumb? Everything!
Even wipe my bum? Oh God. please no…

Yes, I risk life and limb,
To keep you in the swim,
Yes, I do everything,
Everything?!
Everything – for youuuuuuu!!

 

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Bright Eyes

I was going to right a poem based on the Art Garfunkel song ‘Bright Eyes‘ called ‘Blank Eyes’, but on review the original lyrics actually already say it best – could almost have been written for dementia…

Is it a kind of dream,
Floating out on the tide,
Following the river of death downstream?
Oh, is it a dream?

There’s a fog along the horizon,
A strange glow in the sky,
And nobody seems to know where you go,
And what does it mean?
Oh, is it a dream?

Bright eyes,
Burning like fire.
Bright eyes,
How can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale?
Bright eyes.

Is it a kind of shadow,
Reaching into the night,
Wandering over the hills unseen,
Or is it a dream?

There’s a high wind in the trees,
A cold sound in the air,
And nobody ever knows when you go,
And where do you start,
Oh, into the dark.

Bright eyes,
burning like fire.
Bright eyes,
how can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly
Suddenly burn so pale?
Bright eyes….

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Do-Gooders

Why are you babying your mother-in-law?
Why must you always patronise?
You don’t need to be so condescending,
Or tell her those little white lies…

We talk at a level that she can still get,
Do you hear mother-in-law complain??
We tell her little white lies on occasion,
To save her from hurt and from pain…

Old people do repeat themselves a little bit,
I know she does when we speak on the phone,
On our once-a-fortnight little calls,
And that one time I visited her home.

Dementia is more than just repeating yourself!
You’d know if you were here day to day,
It’s a loss of all basic skills and functions,
An unstoppable mental decay…

It’s silly to rush round each time she calls,
She’ll never learn to get by that way,
You need to respect her independence,
And let her get on with it, I say.

So when she calls us in a state of distress,
We should tell her just to recall what to do?
And she will then magically remember?
I somehow don’t think so, do you…??

If it’s that bad, just get some help in!
That’s what it is there for you know,
Call Social Services – get them to stop in,
I don’t think she needs it yet though..
.

Getting help in from Social Services,
Is like getting blood from a stone,
We’ve got private carers visiting her now,
If you’d have been here, you’d have known…

What about her own sense of dignity…?
What about her own human rights…?
You need to treat her just like anyone else,
She’s still a person – do keep that in sight.

A person is right, but not the one you once knew,
Alzheimer’s has made her all grumpy and mean,
She might put up a good show on the phone,
But you haven’t seen what we’ve seen…

Oh, but you just cannot say that!
That’s treating her with real disrespect!
Please stop with all the stereotyping,
And try to be more politically correct!

So come on then, if you can do better,
Put your money where your big mouth is,
Do our job for a day and not from a distance,
And until then, stop taking the p***!!!!

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Imperfection

I have always possessed a,
Strong perfectionist streak,
I am the classic Virgo,
A bit of a control freak…

I have gone about my life,
With ruthless efficiency,
All my academic life,
Got all As – never Bs.

Was classed as a High Performer,
In my Annual Review yesterday,
I am not particularly clever,
But I get things done, let’s say.

I have Excel sheets galore,
To manage my affairs,
I guess that you might say,
I am one of life’s squares…

But now I face imperfection,
In the form of Alzheimer’s Disease,
Something well out of my control,
That fills me with unease…

It’s a blot on the horizon,
Of my otherwise controlled life,
One that I can’t change or fix,
And brings me too much strife.

It’s a hard lesson for me to learn,
I’ve had to learn to adjust,
Show patience, learn acceptance,
I have to, cause I must.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow,
Struggle with anger every day,
My life may not be perfect,
But you know what? That’s ok…

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A Random Remark

When out with my husband yesterday,
Mum-in-law a funny thing did say,
I didn’t see, I wasn’t there,
(Had to work late, to be fair…)

Mum-in-law’s not one for deep thought – true,
But she just piped up right out of the blue,
What her late husband might think of me…?
(A good man I never got to see…)

What made her ask that – why why why?
Husband said to her in his reply,
She’s been good to me and good to you,
I’m sure he would have loved her too…

With that answer she seemed content,
But all of last night I just spent,
Wondering what this seed might sow?
Reading too much into it, I know…

My first thought was to feel ashamed,
All the times I’ve mum-in-law defamed,
If dad-in-law’s looking down from on high,
He’d see right through this caring lie…

He’s see how his wife I help and guide,
But he’s also see my thoughts inside,
He’ll know when he looks in my core,
I’m an unworthy daughter-in-law..

Mum-in-law has always been a mystery,
Father-in-law still more to me,
Why she asked, I’m none the wiser,
But I’ll try to be a little nicer…

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Depressed

Once wanted to solve my problems,
But now I can’t be arsed,
Used to think life was full of promise,
Now it’s looking pretty sparse…

Once was so full of energy and hope,
To become all I desired,
But don’t know what that is anymore,
And besides, I am too tired…

Once thought pills were not the answer,
But now they help to get me by,
Used to drink on social evenings out,
Now it’s on my own inside…

Once knew I’d be forever young,
Went at life at full throttle,
Now my one idea of fun,
Comes inside of a bottle.

Used to have a load of friends,
Now crippled by social fear,
It’s easier now to stay at home,
I’m nice and safe in here…

And it’s all down to dementia,
That I am feeling so stressed,
And though I don’t much like labels,
I think I might be depressed…

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