Thursday, 29 December 2011


Well it seems to be taking a little longer than expected. Maybe the spring time will boost me. I am fine but finding things an effort so until I am bouncy again I will say please be patient ...........................

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Facing challenges

I will be back when I have sorted my life out..........................................don't all hold your breath.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Back to my comfort zone

Thanks for your comments ladies. Yes strange how many emotions can be experienced in a short space of time.
Yesterday I was back to work allbeit only for three days but it certainly is where I function well.
Always playing catch up but I don't miss too many deadlines. Would like to be able to delegate more but heh can't have everything.

I have been advised to get some liquid support- no not alcohol but tonic. Anyone got any recommendations?
Metatone and Seven Seas are two that have been mentioned. I once tried pro plus but had to be scraped off the ceiling so don't like them one bit!! And I have heard some strange stories about Red Bull !!!

I am starting with a lovely cold today so I hope it doesn't develop for the wedding on Saturday. Don't want to drown out the vows with my sniffing. Although I am sure I will shed a tear. I have been with Elaine and Jim from day one of their relationship and I couldn't be happier with the final outcome.

Dreams do come true as my friends frequently prove...............................

Monday, 25 April 2011

Time out- not always useful............

Having time off work leads to plenty of time to think. Sometimes good sometimes not.

Such a variety of happenings since I was last at work  just over a week ago:
  • White water rafting
  • Pamper days
  • Girly days with Julie
  • Deep sadness at the loss of a friend
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Taking time to consider my future
  • Supporting a friend whose sister may not survive
  • Criticism about my treatment of Phil?
All this whilst trying to fill the hours with "normal" things.

So it started on a high and slowly I began to sink.  Events just took me there.
I have to lift myself again and back to work tomorrow. I know I will be fine. But I do have to think more about what lifts me up and what drags me down.

Certainly the criticism from a friend of Phil's has affected me more than I want to admit. I was angry at first but now I just think he is one of so many who have no concept of what my life is like. And I feel sorry for him .........

Next week will be a mixture too:

Three days back at work then:

Manicure and pedicure ready for Saturday
Elaine and Jims wedding
Scrapping with Sam
Liverpool with Carol Ann and Sara
Joyces funeral at the same place where my Mums was

Then back to the usual routine which if I am honest is probably better for me.

Plenty of time to think is not always a good thing......................................................

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Bye Joyce love you .........

Our close friend Joyce lost her battle with leukaemia yesterday. I can't get my head around it. We would sit until the early hours listening to Beatles music and trying to fix the world. Love you Joyce and yes we WILL celebrate your life xxxxx

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Exceeded expectations

White water rafting was so amazing. I was so scared when I first got into the boat. I was so touched that all my friends wanted to look after me. I was so grateful that they needed ballast in the middle of the boat which I was happy to provide. I really don't know how I could have sat on the edge of the boat and paddled.
God was looking down yesterday and decided that because I had been brave enough to even turn up for the love of my friend that he would give me an "easy" ride.
Having said that it wasn't exactly easy being in the middle with nothing to hold onto but I wedged my feet in  and when the guide  said "down" I gathered my friends in and held on for dear life.
It was so cold and we spent a lot of time under the water. My closest friends  me will know that for very personal reasons I hate water. I don't swim but even though my Dad was a good swimmer it didn't help him.

So I am awarding myself the medal of extreme valour.

I did it and am glad I did but don't feel the need to ever do it again. There will be some fabulous photos soon.

What can be next on my list of extreme activities. Any suggestions????

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Still waiting

Watching the post for my results. I have been too busy to think about it until now. I am still busy but winding down to a week and a half off.
I do hope that I get my marks through soon. Everyone is telling me I will have passed but until I see it in black and white I am still nervous.

Talking about nervous I am white water rafting this weekend and I should be nervous. Do you know what is worrying me most - getting into the wet suit!!!
I have never been graceful and really don't fancy wetting myself laughing before we even get into the "boat"?

This may be my swan song as far as extreme activities is concerned as my body is really telling me to take it easy so I really want to go out on a high. Watch this space folks.........................

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Friendship - a gift to give and receive

I am lucky enough to have loyal and loving friends. Thanks ladies for your comments. I value the love and support that I am blessed with and which keeps me sane.
Yes She next friday we will start our first retreat of the year. My bags are packed already! It is the best therapy in the world. I can be totally ME.........And the company is not bad either!!  and the food is .......mmmmm
Looking forward to 1st May too Sam and our scrapping and nattering session. More nattering than scrapping I am sure when us three get together.
In between  I have white water rafting and Elaine and Jim's wedding. Lovely stuff...........................

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Shift of priorities

Since before Christmas my focus has been on finishing my dissertation. As a result my role of carer to Phil has been secondary. Not in a bad way though. I think it has done us both good and he seems to be more aware of my "other" priorities in life.
Each time I make an observation and say it out loud something happens to change it. I really hope that this stays the same. It is good to be considered even if only fleetingly.
My career (which I never planned) has taken another turn and where I was recently yearning to retire I now relish my new challenge.
I have had a day off this week and truthfully at the end of the day I realised how much time I waste if I am not focussed.

So it was prophetic when I added to the title of my blog. I am not only carer to a brain injury survivor but many many other things. And they all deserve to be encompassed in my very full life.

     I am Trish

and I just happen to be a carer right now but no longer will that hold me back. I have a lot of living still to do and I believe I will be a better happier person for it.

Only my friends and family will let me know..............................

Thursday, 10 March 2011


I have started going to ZUMBA classes with Julie. Last night was our second visit. I remember when we did Salsa and I never wanted to make the effort to go but when we got there we had such a good laugh.

I am not quite at the laughing stage with ZUMBA yet as I am too busy watching what I am supposed to be doing.

I am attempting 80% of the moves but leaving out the low knee bends and not doing the hops or the double turns which make me dizzy.

The first week dragged and I kept looking at the clock but last night just flew by and we were doing our final stretches before I knew it. I was actually disappointed that it was time to go. That is novel.

I am aching this morning and asking myself why  I do it but my family and friends have already confirmed that I am mad so maybe that is why.

I suppose my reason is that my life needs to be filled to the maximum with fun things so I will never say no.

The thought of white water rafting next month is scaring me slightly but I know that I will be glad that I can put it on my list after I get through it. 

I just keep hoping that my energy levels cope with my wish list but I guess that is all in the mind anyway so bring it on as they say................................................

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Part Four

How typical is that. The references I have omitted are in a book that I no longer have. I am hoping it is in work but if it isn't then the references will have to be deleted.
All the other changes done and ready but then it all needs printing on premium paper.
Very nearly there....................................

My very special daughter

Yesterday I spent the day with Julie. We went to Manchester for a BOYZONE concert. It was a very emotional tribute to Steo. I went to the concert loving Ronan but came away loving them all. Thy are a wonderful bunch of down to earth lads doing what they love and desperately missing their buddy.

This trip was a gift from Julie and all day she would not let me pay for anything. We took a coach from Bangor and talked non stop for the 8hr return journey ( many pick ups). We both work really hard and don't see enough of each other but this more than made up for it.

We both agreed that it is days like yesterday that tell us how truly blessed we both are. Not everyone has a relationship with their daughter like that.

It was a wonderful day with my very special daughter.............

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Part three

I collected my work yesterday and was delighted to find only three comments. I have spoken to those who had several days of amendments and mine will take maybe half an hour. So this time next week it will be with the binders.
I know my tutor would not ket me submit anything less than a pass so I am really excited. REALLY excited............................................

Monday, 28 February 2011

Part two continued

Collecting my work Wednesday morning and looking forward to seeing what parts need editing.
Quick turnaround hopefully then hand it in for binding.........exciting times...............

Friday, 25 February 2011

Part two

I have had a message from my tutor to say that after very few amendments my piece of work will be ready to hand in. Music to my ears. I was expecting considerable editing to be done.

So I will collect it next week, complete the changes then submit it for soft binding and then for marking. Not sure how long that takes but I have been assured that I could be graduating this summer if all goes to plan. 

Now I wish I had worked just a little harder on my course work so that my overall marks would be higher. A pass is a pass I know that but I will know what marks I get. I am a hard task master particularly on myself. 

So ... more of the waiting game. Someone has already planted a seed in my mind about doing a PHD after this. What a good idea. I may investigate that. 

At the moment work is chaotic and does not look likely to change until about May. I am submitting funding bids to keep us in existence. No pressure there then.  Part of me enjoys the buzz and yet I am nervous in case they are incomplete or at worst ineffective and unsuccessful. Not had any rejections yet but...........
The first one has been ok'd. Second one submitted today. Third one on Monday and so on until the end of March.
Each one is different so I can't even just produce a standard template.
It might also help if I knew what I was doing. So out of my comfort zone right now.

Wow what a boring blog post. ME ME ME.

This is obviously what I am thinking about just now so in a way I suppose that is what a blog is all about but I apologise for my self indulgence...................................... 

Sunday, 13 February 2011

First part of the end

I handed my dissertation in on Friday!!!!

That is the first part of the final chapter. I now wait for my tutor to come back with suggested amendments. Once they are done and agreed I get the work "soft-bound" then submit it for marking. Once it has passed (positive thinking) I then get it "hard bound".

Then I wait for graduation day.

This is such a biggie for me. Something that I persevered with for me.

I really can't say it was easy but in a way it was a buzz. The biggest buzz will be on the day I walk up and get my certificate. This will prove everything that my parents believed about me. They always thought I was more capable than I ever thought myself.  They were always so proud of everything I achieved no matter how small it was in real terms.

How lucky was I to have such support.

So on graduation day I am sure they will be looking down and smiling and nodding (with maybe a little tear).

Thanks you two; so glad you ALWAYS knew how much I loved you.....................................

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

My next project

Once the dissertation has been handed in in its final state then this is my next project. My craft room is out of control and I want to enjoy spending time in there. Another mountain but  I can take my time...............

The final hurdle

I am so close to finishing my dissertation. The printer has run out of ink; I have done too many words for Chapter one and Phil is singing in my space!!!!

I will overcome all of this and finish and print it by Sunday evening ready to hand it in one day next week.

I can't even begin to say how much I want to hand this over now. I have enjoyed many aspects but the mountain has been enormous.

I am definitely going to have a rest from studying for the rest of the year
(unless something unmissable presents itself!!)

So this time next week I will be waiting to see how much editing needs to be done when my Tutor has had a look............wish me luck................

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Beautiful boy

At last I have put a picture of Jason for all to see. He is a beautiful boy. His Mum and Dad are so besotted with him - long may it last.

I can't believe that my grandson who is 21 next month is now a father himself............
Quite scary but wonderful at the same time..............

Saturday, 15 January 2011

A good day

I am so glad I went to the Carers group. It was a good day. Jenny and I met for lunch first and did our usual summary of how our lives are going - her husband has had a stroke which has affected his emotions.
We have so many things in common and yet we are so different.
We then went along to the group and for the first time I was able to talk about my situation without getting upset. Such progress. I then realised that I haven't cried about this part of my life since September. At the beginning of September I cried myself all out.
Acceptance has been a huge problem with me but I think I have finally reached it. My life is the way it is; either live it or change it. The second choice is not an option so I choose to live it to suit me in the best way possible. Thanks to my family and friends I am managing to do this.
So if only for reassurance yesterday was a good day...........................

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Feeling the need

I haven't been to my carers support group since about July. I just haven't been able to take time off.

But I feel the need.

So tomorrow I am going to meet Jenny for lunch and then we will go to the group.
And my boss has approved my absence without me having to take a days leave.

I can't believe that we are in the 9th year since Phil's accident. How have we coped?

I always say it is "hard" because I can't find a better word to describe it.

Dealing with emotions can sometimes be worse than with physical difficulties because they are so subtle. You can usually see a physical disability but you can't see an emotional "problem".

But I am long past the stage where I forget that Phil has a problem. Every day it is apparent and some days there are new signs of the condition. It never ceases to amaze me how many effects there can be from an injury.

I have just heard from someone who has started to have seizures 20 years after her injury. Please God that does not happen to Phil but there is an increased chance as well as an increased chance of early dementia.

So our future is a little insecure to say the least. So I am going to the support group because I feel the need.............................

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Recording thoughts

I need a new invention.

When I am lying in bed unable to sleep I have some brilliant thoughts.
(Some rubbish ones too).

I need to be able to press record and save all those thoughts until I get up and start the day. I try to remember them all (which prevents me from going back to sleep) but by the time I do start my day most of them have gone.

In my subconscious I am a genius. I just need a better memory bank.................

Out for lunch today with Angie and Julie to Rhiwafallen. Not really sure my skin can stretch any more but I will soon find out.

Now what am I going to wear? All my trousers are too tight and I hate dresses and skirts but................................

Friday, 7 January 2011


This week has been tough and although it has been a short week in terms of days in work it has seemed endless.
Priorities is my main word this year but when you have got at least a dozen urgent tasks on your desk how can you prioritise?

The fact that I am training 2 new volunteers whilst trying to learn a new additional role myself is proving to be a problem. No chance of concentrating on anything when the questions are coming thick and fast. I am very fond of my volunteers but I have to be honest and say I also love Fridays when I am in the office alone.

I know this will be for a short time only and they will settle into their particular projects so I am being patient and focussed. They are my priority just now and Fridays will be playing catch up.

Strange that I have never been ambitious and now here I am with such a massive area of responsibilty.

Would I have it any other way? Of course not I love it but every now and again it is good to voice your concerns.................

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Careful planning

First day back at work yesterday and I had a vision of how the day would go; deadlines to reach; contacts to be made and appointments to be arranged.

My trusty sidekick Celia who works Tuesdays and Thursdays emailed me to say she is still unwell after the Christmas break and would not be in.
No deadlines reached; no contacts made and no appointments arranged. Just spent the whole day answering the phone and opening the mail.

Today there will be little chance of catching up and if Celia is not back in tomorrow then I am in trouble.

I took on an extra role at the end of the year for two days a week and felt confident that I would cope. The condition was that I would have Celia to do on Tuesdays and Thursdays what I would have done before.

So my careful planning relies totally on others and for someone who is always in control at work I struggle with that.

Whats the solution? Answers on a postcard please............................

Tuesday, 4 January 2011


Back to work today and to the busy schedule that is Cruse.

I am disappointed that I did not complete my dissertation but I could not have worked any harder at it. I am a perfectionist. I counted up more than 30,000 words and I need around 22,000.
So a couple more sessions should get me there. I have to edit and then construct in the right order and get the page numbers right. Looking at what I have achieved this book may be a bit thick if I include all the appendices.
My tutor will have the last word I am sure.

I can't even begin to think how many hours have gone into this piece of work. Hundreds for sure. So I have a bit more to do and I have to let the tutor know that I am not quite there.

So today I turn my attention to work and where to get monies from to continue offering our services. I am working with a very blank canvas because this is not what I am trained for. My colleague just walked out in October taking all her records with her. I have to start from scratch and build up a new network of funders.
Wish me luck........................

Monday, 3 January 2011


Try as I might I cannot stop reflecting at this time of year. Not sure how productive it has ever been but it happens anyway.

I am back at work tomorrow and the relaxation period is over until... who knows...

I have been thinking about the people who helped me cope with 2010 and who I hope will still be around in 2011 to ease my load.

Julie my daughter works too hard just like me so we don't spend as much time together as we did but she is always looking out for me and checking that I am ok.

Sheilagh is my best friend in all the world and she is just....well I was once asked how I would like people to remember me after I have "gone" and I said I would like them to say " When I was with her I felt precious, safe and loved".....that just about describes how I feel when I am with "She" and in addition she makes me laugh. What more could you ask for from a best friend??

Elaine and Yvonne are my dearest friends and again because we are all so busy don't meet as often as we would like. I was at Elaine's last night and had the best couple of hours. She knew Phil before his accident and has gone through his changes with me and they adore each other. I am going to try and meet Yvonne this week when it will be just lovely to catch up.

My friendships are very special to me and I have made two new friends recently who have brought me fun and laughter. Sam and Celia have in their different ways made me laugh and cry in equal measures and I hope that our friendships will continue.

There are many others who have eased my 2010 path and if I made a list I could possibly omit someone important because there are many. So suffice it to say that without ANY of them I would have struggled. I hope that they realise this..........

Sunday, 2 January 2011


I have just done a pie chart and a column chart. Now after about 5 hours of trying I had almost given up. Then I broke the data into smaller chunks and hey presto it worked.

Are you glazing over yet? Well I would have been if they had not been so important to my submission. I was told very recently that the work is more about layout than content!!!
Why did I not know that when I worked for hours filling the pages with as much information as possible about the brain; brain injury; results etc etc.

So I could have done lots of fancy charts and pretty diagrams instead. We will see. I am almost complete. Tomorrow may be the day if I can have a clear run through.

I love pies as a rule but today I am really thrilled with this particular pie!!!!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

A very big light at the end of a very long tunnel..........

Todays priority is my dissertation. I need to complete it by Monday ready for the first submission.
I can't believe that it has taken me so long. I had intended to complete it within a year of gaining my diploma. I had intended to graduate whilst I was still 60.

I just hadn't realised how hard it would be to put so much stuff into words. While I am doing the research I am enjoying it but motivating myself to complete each chapter has been so hard.

I am an organised person when it comes down to work life. I have deadlines which I rarely miss; multiple requests which I fulfil; and a ridiculously full diary which I manage.

At home it is a completely different me. I am swayed by the mood of the house. My energy levels dictate my input. I am so often overwhelmed with the amount of "stuff" that I have to consider about my life.

As a result this research has taken me three years. I know that once it is handed in as acceptable I will want to weep. At the same time I will be proud that at last I have achieved my ultimate goal.

I want to throw my cap in the air and tell my Mum and Dad that their faith in my ability was not misplaced. They always thought I was a genius; a very hard title to live up to. I just wish they could be at my graduation .....................