Soon after my Mum’s second COVID vaccination I went to stay with her for a few weeks. Prior to the global pandemic I was going to spend some time with her in late Autumn 2020, but with lockdowns and a shielding our meeting had been limited to cups of tea and Kit Kats in the garage with the door up every few weeks. I should also point out that from my current post lock-down location of Manchester – travelling to Hull is a 2 hour drive over the Pennies on the M62 and beyond. But it’s certainly better than my previous working from office location of North London.

So in mid February, and after a negative COVID19 test, I was to be the first person in her house since April 2020. It was the day before her 80s birthday. The following day we celebrated her octarian birthday with champagne and cake, telephone calls and endless Skype.

It was a lovely day considering it was the middle of a global pandemic.
This new routine broke our daily WhatsApp video calls, just being able to wake up in the same house together was lovely.

I ensured that her routine didn’t get impacted too much, as I wasn’t due to be there too long, and breaking a routine of daily activity and meeting friends due to my arrival wouldn’t be good for when I departed. All was going to plan. We were having a great time together.

Then after one of those routine meeting and walks with a friend – her leg became very painful. Too painful to walk. Too painful to sleep. Layed on-top of the anxiety of COVID19 and the restrictions my Mum world shrank even further – exercise was impossible and being outside in the cold wasn’t really an option.

The local GP wasn’t that helpful – forcing her to go digital – thankfully together we made it work and got an appointment a few days later. A referral to the physio. That appointment was 3 weeks away – nothing was face to face without a triage phone interview first, but thankfully they had my Mum in the next day.

During this time pain hadn’t improved very much – unable to walk without support, and still in considerable pain
Before all this my Mum was fit and healthy – outgoing, and regular interaction with her friends – even with the lockdown restrictions. It was far from perfect, but she made it work. Now, nothing worked for her.

It’s at these moments in life when you realise where the priority is. I am lucky enough I didn’t need to focus on finding my next client, so I didn’t. My focus was my Mum – and her health and wellbeing. A big distraction from focussing on work and finding new clients.

Three months later things are much better, not perfect, but heading in the right direction. Her independence is returning – she can make it to the supermarket, go for short walks, she’s even started to take her car out for a drive.
She was my focus. The priority. It’s nice to get back to some normality.

Now back to it. Break time over. And it wasn’t a break.