What’s it like being 57 years old…

I recently became 57 years old on: 18th April 2020.

This particular birthday was not an altogether easy one.

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Number one, my mum died: 27th November 2019 aged 93+; I cannot say enough how ‘lonely’ that event makes me feel…especially so when you have no father/mother/brother/sister.

Quite literally, I only have ‘distant family’ relations to turn to…; and, frankly, that is like walking around on very ‘thin ice’…they could turn against you at any single moment…and, for whatever reason they like.

There is nothing that quite beats…wholly ’unconditional’ love…that only a parent will ever offer you.

To no longer be able to physically see her/hold her hand/or, hear her voice…other than in both my day/night ‘dreams’…is really ‘sad’.

On the other hand, the memories together that we both had…tend to last, quite simply, forevermore; that is all the way straight through from my ‘birth…right up until my own death’.

NOTE: Strangely enough, I recall the hospital nurse said; that one of the last words my mum spoke before she died -(I myself was not present…/I did travel to the hospital the same evening that my mum died…only when I arrived there…she had already passed)- was to call out for her ‘mum’. So, even at age 93+…she did not forget!

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Another bitter thought than haunts me is…even before she died, my mum would constantly warn me non-stop…to NOT send her into hospital…because she doesn’t like it there…and, doesn’t trust them…that she believes if she ever goes in there…she will not come back out, again.

-(NOTE: When my last aunt died…she used to say exactly the same words to me…if I go into hospital; then, I don’t think I will come back out, again; and, she went in there…and, never came back out alive.)-

What actually happened was, I would repeatedly tell my mum she has got to go into hospital; and, I mean, for each and every single day...for them to discover exactly what’s wrong with her.

In particular, she had a fall in the back garden…at the beginning of the year: JAN/FEB 2019; and, I had to drag her ‘limp’ body up to bed…which is on the 2nd floor of our house.

She absolutely ‘hated’ having to go into hospital…so, she said she would prefer to stay at home and recover.

-(This is, of course, putting things really ’mildly’…in reality, she would scream at the very top of her lungs: ”I do NOT want to go into hospital!” She even said, “if you send me into hospital; then, I will chop you!”)-

Well, gradually, my mum did seem to get a little bit stronger…and, could still move…because she would get up out of bed…go down to visit the toilet/as well as, kitchen…on the floor below; and, make dinner…; then, come back upstairs, and, climb back into bed.

But, I know my mum…she liked to go up and down, everywhere…meaning she loved to go do her own shopping/and, also, do gardening at both the front/back of the house; she would also go and visit her flat in Stockwell.

Only, now-a-days, I found she was no longer going outside, at all; and, that really worried me an awful lot. Nevertheless, I respect my mum’s own opinion and feelings…so, I let her do what she, in essence, wanted to do.

-(I did try speaking with other family members…who, of course, told me…immediately, send her to hospital. For them, of course, it’s really very easy to say that…as in 1 + 1 = 2; but, they don’t understand the emotional blackmail that I have to go through…?! So, I went and ignored their advice…which wasn’t particularly easy to do…as I knew myself they were, in fact, quite right. Yet, nothing I would tell my mother to do…would persuade her to go…if she was absolutely adamant that she really didn’t want to.)-

Well, so long as my mum was able to get up out of bed; and, fend for herself…; then, I decided to put up with it.

However, there eventually came a point…sometime, during the last 2 or 3 months…when she seemed to loose the ability to ‘move’…I actually had to turn her in bed; and, help her stand up to use the bed side toilet bucket.

During the last few weeks…she was no longer eating/drinking, properly; and, everything I tried giving her…water/Lucozade…she just went and vomited it all back up…needless to say her weight was dropping off…she used to be really fat around the stomach/hips…but, had got thinner and thinner…!

Again, I would insist you ‘must’ go into hospital…but, she resisted all the way.

Eventually, I decided…if she’s not properly eating/drinking; and, can hardly ‘move’…then, I’m going to have to call the doctor in.

So, I went and contacted my mum’s GP Surgery…the doctor they sent was a female called: Dr. Henna. She took one look at my mum…and, said she thinks she only has one or two weeks left to live(which, to me, was a total shock!). She also said that she knows -(judging from having read my mothers doctor/hospital notes)- that my mum doesn’t like doctors/hospitals…; and, therefore, I should consult with the rest of the family…as to exactly what to do, next? She can either stay inside of the home; and, die here; or, she can be sent in to hospital to be taken care of…and, possibly, die there.

So, I phoned the family…telling them story of what the doctor had told me; and, invited them to come along to the home to have a serious discussion about what should next be my mum’s fate.

When they did turn up…everybody agreed…she has got to go into hospital…because, at least, in hospital there would be a chance to find out what’s wrong; as well as, if she has a heart attack…then, I myself would not know how to revive her; but, the hospital doctors/nurses could. Thus, it was finally decided amongst all of us to send her in.

I phoned the ambulance to come and get her…; meeting them outside of the home…and, explaining that my mum doesn’t really want to go…in fact, she is totally against it.

The pair of ambulance men…entered the home…and, also, into my mum’s bedroom…where they tried to monitor her condition…by placing instruments on her wrist; but, because she kept on moving…and, saying she doesn’t want to go…; therefore, it was difficult to obtain a proper instrument/monitor read out.

Eventually, the pair of ambulance men…went and got a chair…and, carried my mum off the bed…and, strapped her into the chair…; finally, they took her downstairs…strapped into the chair…and, into the ambulance.

Unfortunately, our local Kings College hospital was too full up to hold any more patients; thus, she was taken to Lewisham hospital, instead. This was a big disappointment to me…; because I can easily travel to Kings College hospital; but, Lewisham is really far; nevertheless, there was no other choice.

Within the space of less than a single week…; my mother died inside of Lewisham hospital…where she had been put into the critical care ward…needing to be, constantly, observed.

The gist of this whole story is…just like my mum had already warned me, if she goes inside of hospital; then, she believes she will never come back out, again; and, yes, she was right.

On the other hand, the hospital doctors did diagnose…that there was something wrong going on with her liver…not working properly to remove waste matter; and, also, that she had problems going on with lack of hygiene below(meaning, she could not get up to clean her self…even though I did try bringing water/and, towel to her bedside when she was at home…but, she didn’t seem to have enough energy to use it/and, I myself was too afraid to go interfere with her body myself); thus, she died really of mass complications. Inside of hospital…they were able to clean her up well.

The nurse who tended to her last explained…that she seemed to be perfectly stable; and, then, all of a sudden…blood was seen coming from her nose; and, she cried out for her ‘mum’. They tried to do heart ressusitation…but, failed.

I buried my mother inside of West Norwood Cemetary; around 3rd January 2020; she did not live long enough to see the year 2020 come in; that was a very sad, bitter, lonely Christmas/New Year.

The bottom line is…if only my mum would have listened to me…and, have gone into hospital at the start of year 2019…after having had her fall; then, who knows, she might still be here. However, she did not wish to listen to me at all; and, although my own family advised me to send here into hospital, anyway; I did not have enough guts to go against what was my mum’s own wishes…basically, I decided to respect her wish more than theirs; and, so, she is gone. I’m not happy that she’s gone…and, furthermore, in truly terrible circumstances; the family aren’t happy that I didn’t send her into hospital far earlier…whether she liked it/or, not; my mum is not happy that I sent her in there by ‘forcing’ her out of her own bed/house…the truth is, nobody wins…and, thus, the end result is all loss.

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Number two, we are currently living through a difficult time of Pandemic crisis…where everybody in the whole wide world -(almost/apart from really remote areas where hardly anybody lives)- has been put on ‘lockdown’/house confinement…meaning, we are no longer able to go out and about as we normally would; due to fears of contracting an ‘invisible’ air bourne/or else, physical contact flu-like disease called: Choronavirus; which can, sometimes, prove to be deadly.

Quite literally, here in UK/London where the disease happens to be most widespread…due to London being the most densely populated area in the UK…thousands of people are dying from this ‘incurable’ disease -(so far to date, there is no known or reliable vaccine)- for each and every single day…as is being reported daily on the news: TV.

Even our English Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, himself…did manage to contract it…thus, proving it doesn’t matter what you financial/or, social status is…anybody can get it; and, was sent into hospital…only he was lucky enough to fully recover. They say that 80% of people who get it…are likely to recover/or, may get only mild symptoms…lasting a few days/and, the unlucky 20% who get it, seriously could, possibly, die; they, will need hospital admittance in order to more properly monitor their condition.

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I myself have suffered flu; and, frankly, do not honestly know if I have had Chronavirus/or, not?

Because having this disease does very closely tend to mirror having normal flu symptoms…

  • headache
  • body aches
  • fever (experiencing both hot and cold chills)
  • sneezing/runny nose
  • coughing

…therefore, it’s really difficult to tell exactly which is which. What has been said in order to more clearly distinguish between having ‘normal’ flu/and, having Choronavirus…Choronavirus is…

  • a lot more ‘dry’…less sneezing/runny nose
  • the disease is meant to affect ones lungs/breathing…some people who find they just can’t breath properly at all…might need hospital care
  • the disease also results in ‘persistent’ cough…even after the rest of the symptoms have left: fever/and, so on.

Myself, after experiencing flu symptoms…lasting around a fortnight/up to a month…am now left with a ‘persistent’ cough…there is a constant tickling going on right at the back of my throat.

To me, this quite clearly indicates that I had Choronavirus…as opposed to normal flu; because I’ve previously experience what it’s like to have normal flu multiple times…and, after a few days, all symptoms would have cleared. However, this ‘persistent’ cough symptom has lasted well over a month long, instead.

Another difficulty I’ve been having is the air doesn’t seem to smell/taste the same…; I don’t know if that indicates my lungs/internal organs have been damaged by the disease…because both my lungs/internal organs have a burned/parched…inflamed feeling…that just isn’t going away…as I am always hoping and praying.

Of course, there is no sure way to find out…unless I were to actually get ‘tested’.

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NOTE: I did try calling NHS/National Health Service phone number: 111; in order to seek ‘expert’ advice; but, the guy I spoke to just said -on having already heard me describe my symptoms- it’s likely you may have had it…; if the fever symptoms are gone/then, it’s likely you are no longer ‘infectious’, anymore; however, the persistent cough will be the last symptom to leave…which might take weeks to fully recover from.

(I do recall telling the doctor over the phone…that I used LemSip sachets dissolved in hot water…which is a form of standard flu medicine; but, he answered that because Chornavirus is a brand ‘new’ strain of the flu; therefore, LemSip would not be able to treat it at all.)

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What I find to be particularly disconcerting about, Choronavirus…is people are deeply afraid to enter into a doctors surgery/or else, go into hospital…because that’s where the worst of the disease is already rife…meaning, the most sick victims tend to go there.

Bearing in mind, that this disease can be very quickly and easily be contracted ‘invisibly’; therefore, one cannot help but to be very deeply worried about going out…maybe, you accidentally went and touched the wrong thing…/or else, you breathed it in…?!

For these above mentioned reasons…constant worry about getting it…people much prefer to remain inside of their own homes rather than go out to get treatment/or, even, properly diagnosed…and, basically, decide to treat themselves, instead…/or else, just simply stay at home ‘untreated’.

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Anyway, for now, I’m just staying in…and, hoping to fully recover from whatever illness it is that I seem to have been afflicted with.

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An upside of staying inside of the home for what seems like endless weeks and weeks…; which, in reality, is only a couple of months…; is your time is free to get on with studying/or, otherwise, seeking to entertain yourself…though in the close confines of home.

So, I mainly tend to…

  • Surf the internet
  • Practise doing some exercise: shadow kick boxing (it’s very important to keep fit…especially, when you are not going out to do walking/running/bike riding/-etc.)
  • And, also, ‘dream’…sometimes, I let doing too much worrying get the better of me…financially speaking, I’m stuck in a complete mess…no job to speak of…just living on the dole…and, the JSA/Job Seeker’s Allowance money I’m getting, amounting to: £50.80 weekly…is insufficient to pay all of my bills with: Council Tax/Water Rate/Gas/Electric/Phone and internet broadband/Home Insurance/Life Insurance/-etc. Other times, I take the optimistic view hoping that life will be able to improve…one day, I will find a job -and, money- whether it’s working for others/or, through doing self-employment…(I think, the latter case will be the most likely way to go)

Ok, for now, I’ve finished updating this status…I’m out.

Straight single male, 55, London, UK. Autistic: AS/Asperger's Syndrome. ADD/Attention Deficit Disorder. BP/BIPolar. PTSD/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.