Last week I started a deliberate project of being thankful for small things, because so many of the big things seemed out of my hands.
Also, I just got so sick of being permanently angry and complaining, so worn down by continual difficulties and obstacles, that I felt utterly defeated. What was the point of all this effort? 
I just started expecting the worst. When that happens, you become brittle, angry and permanently on the defensive. Even when you truly believe that the next transaction will go smoothly, it’s as if you give off an invisible signal inviting trouble. I can’t help thinking that the expectation of conflict can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
There had to be another way to deal with it all. 

I made this list of reasons to be grateful to Nick’s carers, and it was an interesting thing to do because I started appreciating them more.

I am grateful that they come three times a day to give Nick his tablets so he gets the regular medication he needs.
I am grateful that they nearly always make his bed nicely.
I am grateful that their visits break up his day when he might otherwise be alone.
I am grateful that they feed the cat.
I am grateful that they are (mostly) reading the menu book now and following the food preparation requests.
I am grateful that they do the washing up and vacuum the carpet.
I am grateful that they are starting to put card and plastics etc. in the recycling bag.
I am grateful that it takes some of the load off my shoulders.
I am grateful that Nick seems to like them.
I am grateful that things seem to be gradually improving.

Have they suddenly picked up their feet and transformed magically overnight? No, not really. When I visited yesterday evening they had not switched off the washing machine or taken the damp clothes out and hang them to dry, as politely requested the night before. 

They seem to have a problem with giving Nick a pudding (which I have called by various names, “dessert” “sweet” and even specifically named, “chocolate mousse” or “trifle”, all to no avail) 
It just seems to be an alien concept to them.
He has developed a really sweet tooth over the last couple of years and craves chocolate; left to his own devices he would polish off a four-pack of Snickers bars after tea every night. It’s weird for me to see this when chocolate bought for the children used to sit mouldering in his cupboards for months at a time because he just wasn’t bothered himself. Now he loves it, but those big chocolate bars are a choking hazard as well as terrible for his teeth.
Luckily he also loves sweet, creamy desserts, which are actually something that dieticians recommend for HD because they are calorific and easier to swallow.
So we buy lots of these and I write it in the menu book every time asking the carers to give him a dessert after his main meal but it’s hit or miss whether he gets something or not.
One day last week I saw the lunch that they had prepared for Nick with a slice of blackcurrant cheesecake nestled carefully in the same bowl as his fish pie and chopped broccoli.

I had to add something to the list:
Just when I thought I had seen it all, I am grateful to the carers for surprising me.