Sue Ryder - Dee View Appeal

28 February 2019

As I've mentioned before, this blog is a personal place and not something that I do for financial gain. In years gone by the waters may have been muddied at times, but at the heart of it, this is just my little corner of the internet where I have shared (mostly) music that I've enjoyed. This post is primarily of a personal nature and I'm well aware that that declaration may be where a lot may stop reading, and that's entirely fair enough. I've nothing fresh in a musical sense to share, so that may see off a few more of you. I will post up a previous mix I've done, something for you to play if you should choose to stay and continue reading.

I've mentioned my Mum, and her real battle living with Multiple Sclerosis, a few times. That's my Mum in the pictures above. The top picture in the collage is of my other half (Lisa), my Mum and I, and this was taken as we had a bite to eat before taking her to His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen last March to see Seonaid Aitken performing a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Unfortunately we had to leave halfway through because my Mum was struggling to keep herself sitting upright. I'd posted about what we were doing on Social Media and even shared a couple of the nice pics we'd taken early in our wee trip out and about. I didn't post about the abrupt end to the evening because on Social Media being real and honest about things isn't the 'done thing'. I really don't like when I fall into the trap of only sharing the positives, but I'm as guilty as the next person.

The picture in the bottom right of the collage is of me, with my Mum, during a Summer event at Sue Ryder, Dee View Court in Aberdeen where she now lives, and I'll be coming back to that shortly. I've posted that picture on Social Media too, but I've never mentioned the fact that this would have been on a good day, and even on the VERY best of days, she is only up for a few hours.

The picture on the bottom left is one taken whilst we were chatting about years gone by, mostly me talking to her because she doesn't really converse any more, it tends to be short answers at the very best. Mild cognitive impairment the "professionals" call it, in reality it's dementia which comes with the territory of M.S for some people that are at an advanced stage. Really, I'm trying to get her to try and think about her own memories and speak about them to me as best she can. The picture was taken in hospital, and is during one of her four stays in hospital so far this year. So far in 2019 she's had around a week at home, perhaps a little more, but not much. She's been hit with several infections, including two bouts of sepsis and currently has a large kidney stone that doctors aren't sure how to deal with (as things stand).

We were due to be taking her to the Music Hall in Aberdeen (having bought rather expensive tickets) tomorrow night (Friday 1st March) to see a Tina Turner tribute, but unfortunately that plan has been scuppered due to the way her health has been this year. It's meant we've had to give the tickets away to someone else in the Sue Ryder facility, which we're happy to do as it means they aren't wasted, but at the same time it's disappointing and quite upsetting that the nice things we try and do to improve her quality of life, are turned upside down because of the nature of her illness. The person that will be going in her place will be taken by a Carer, who will be volunteering out of their usual working hours.

I've probably gone on a bit of a long winded tangent really, when I was really trying to find a way to plug an event my wife is taking part in to raise funds for the Dee View Appeal, which is a campaign to raise money to develop the Dee View facility. It currently has space to care for 24 people, all with complex Neurological conditions like M.S, M.N.D, Huntingtons and those who have suffered brain injuries. It is the only purpose built facility in Scotland and many people who have these conditions are having to live and be cared for in hospices and elderly care homes that are not designed, equipped or staffed to meet their needs. The Dee View Appeal aims to double the size of the facility, and make improvements to the existing building. It's something that is very much needed, especially when you consider those in unsuitable living spaces elsewhere, and the fact that Dee View Court has a waiting list that is only getting larger.

In a couple of weeks time, Lisa (my better half) is going to be joining a group of other mentalists and taking on a Fire Walk where they will walk bare foot, over 20 feet of wooden embers that are burning at 1,236 degrees. All the money raised goes directly to the appeal and will benefit people who need a high level care, for very complex conditions, ultimately leading to them hopefully being able to lead a better quality of life. It's a wonderful centre, with some genuinely amazing staff, so please consider a small donation if you are in a position to be able to do so, no matter the size - EVERY donation helps and is appreciated.

You can donate to Lisa's Just Giving page or direct to Sue Ryder by click the links below.