The M74 and me :-)


It’s good to join the forum!

A little about me. I live in Northumberland, work online from home as an editor/writing coach and I care for my adult son who lives nearby and for two elderly relatives who live in Scotland. The caring is complex. My lovely dad lives in Scotland, is 86 and was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder a couple of years ago. He also has COPD, and mobility issues. My fabulous aunt who lives a few minutes away from my dad, is 89 and has mobility problems and is developing memory issues. Both are deaf. They both live in their homes with some care from local and private services. My amazing son is 28, has Asperger’s (autism) and a degenerative condition - he’s had two hip replacements. He also has uveitis, a rare eye condition and is losing his sight. He has no sight in one eye, and his other is very poorly. He lives without any support apart from me.

I was also a carer for my uncle before he died.

It’s a two and a bit drive between home and my family in Scotland, so the M74 and I are old friends. I’ve watched it being improved over the years and it’s watched me fall apart with age :laughing:

I do my best to accept that I can’t be in three places at once.

Sometimes the M74, Radio 4 and Radio Scotland transport me from feeling overwhelmed to feeling peaceful; it bridges me safely from one crisis in the South to another in the North. Sometimes, on a clear night when there’s a full moon, I feel lucky to be on it. At other times, like all friendships, some time apart would be welcome. :slight_smile:

Aw, glad you find peace with the M74 - at least sometimes. At one point I had caring responsibility for Mum, Dad and two small children and used to find a few minutes of peace shuttling between commitments a god-send. Radio 2 on loud singing to pop songs was a good release! I also used to keep a stash of liquorish in the car and sit and eat that for a few minutes peace before school pick up (kids don’t like it so no chance of them wanting any!)

Sounds like you have a lot on your plate, but a cheerful spirit! And that helps! Do you get any time for yourself?

Thanks for replying Sally.

My husband’s a musician so, unless I’m in Scotland, I have time to myself when he’s making music. When I’m in Scotland I have no time to myself, and when I’m home I’m ‘on call’ for my son. His hospital appointments can take up a lot of time - yesterday it took over five hours. He’ll be having some procedures scheduled - so there’s a period of change and adjustment coming up.

Lack of time to myself isn’t so much an issue, as the interruptions of phone calls/hospital appts/trips North. Sometimes it’s impossible to get things finished without sacrificing sleep. I’m a writer, so I recently started writing flash fiction and was short-listed for the Fish Flash Fiction prize. I’m a trier :laughing:

I agree.
Whenever I am on the M25 heading to a client, I feel this indescribable sense of calmness and peace. I love it! Plus I enjoy listening to the music/news or people watching. I love me time away from my cared for person who is also my little brother. He is mostly easy to take care of but sometimes I feel like I am drowning when I have to deal with his paperwork and so on. It helps me remember that I am a person. The off topic discussions do keep me sane.
My superstar three year old little brother has had two or three operations, has severe bilateral clubbed feet, bladder issues, and is a full time wheelchair user due to lower limb paralysis. I am also expecting my first ever baby soon as well. It is a girl.
Have you had a needs assessment yet or not?

Congratulations on your pregnancy; exciting times ahead :smiley:

No, I haven’t had a needs assessment yet and need to organise this. Thanks for prompting me!

I drove North on the M74 on Saturday, intending to drive home again on Sunday. But my aunt fell ill while I was here, was admitted to hospital and is likely to be there for some time. I’ve decided to stay for a bit longer so that she has a visitor every day and am hoping that she improves enough to return home with additional support.

Thanks! There is something relaxing about the motorway.