Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The way it is

Now at 60 mine & the life of my immediate family-(those with whom I live) &  has turned around completely & utterly. We now have living with us my 86yr old mother.
She suffers from, Diabetes, vascular dementia with the associated confusion & memory issues, mobility problems as well as other physical illnesses. The lady suffered from behavioural issues before she become demented which periodically rear their nocuous  head & injury me as they have over many years past.Such is the nature of the beast that is vascular dementia it waxes & wanes ins its effects upon the sufferer.
 Thus the lives of my family have changed as the seasons change at he end of summer. No longer do we have time alone together, evenings or a few hours out alone together. Gone is the time I formerly spent on solitary exercise & gone is the time I was able to spend listening to the joy of my life- my music.

Thus we spend our lives caring for a woman who gave birth to me but gave me away to my grandmother when I was a baby. A mother who has said in the past that she "didn't give birth to me" & "didn't like me". This makes the caring at best difficult. harder still because nightly we are woken by her wandering about the house, turning on lights & going into bedrooms telling us that its time to get up-at all sorts of ungodly hours.
The local authority are conspicuous by their absence viz a vie their actual help in any form & my brother-my mothers 'golden boy' has said that he is unable to offer any support even for a few hours of respite. His family are untouched by the events currently unfolding in mine & his life unaffected. He has abdicated all responsibility to me & my family
We awake tired, downcast & negative & I try my very hard to be kind & caring to a woman who in the past abandoned me.
I take a crumb of comfort from the fact that there are thousands like us caring for elderly relatives in their homes with little support. But I wish that our lives could improve , that we could have some time together as a family. And I wonder if I'm being selfish when I long for some of my former own time?

Monday, 22 October 2012

Update since the 60th birthday

I ain't post since I turned 60-last month for the reasons which will become clear should you chose to read on!!

I had a very moving and joyful birthday, we went for an evening at a local organic cafe, alot of old friends came along -the night was wonderful & I was deeply touched by the lovely things people said about me. The beer and wine flowed as did the humour & good feelings. A truly memorable night not marred by me having to wear the damn boot-even tough it did cramp by 'dad dancing' style somewhat!!

The in early October Kate, Esther and me went to Spain. It was fantastic-the sun shone warmly on our vitamin D deprived bodies, we made new friends & bathed in the local pool-heavenly.
However all good things come to an end, & with every ying there has to be a yang. The yang on this occasion was my ailing mother.
She had been in a rehab' hospital for the elderly since before we went way to Spain & my brother (younger by 5 yrs)had visited her occasionally. Prior to us leaving we attended a meeting with a rather clinical, emotionally cold social worker who bluntly announced that mom would have to go into residential care. My brother when hearing this stormed out of the meeting leaving me to 'pick up the bits and attempt to negotiate any alternatives. The only one that I could come up with was that mom come and live with us-the 'system' was against this, whilst my brother was strongly against the residential care alternative, although not offering any other options.

Thus mom came to live with us along with 2 Zimmer frames, a commode and a large 'tiling stool' to assist her when she washes.Bare in mind that we live in a small mid terraced house with stairs & a bath/shower. the only loo is upstairs. Conditions are cramped, emotions fraught and care of the aforesaid lady difficult to say the least. My brother met with us last week and openly announced that he was unable to offer any time to help us-he has commitment with his son-takes him to football on Sundays, and his wife doesn't get on with mom.He did take her to his home last Saturday for 2 hours. This help from the man who firmly announced that he doesn't want his mother to go into residential care-yet his help to prevent this happening is limited to say the least!
we have come to see that my mothers personality is very similar to my brothers. They both scheme, avoid & manipulate.
Living her mom wakes throughout the night shouting for a nurse, wanders into my daughters room during the wee small hours, hobbles around our small lounge with her Zimmer frame, repeats herself+++, has physical health problems & hides the medication which she has been prescribed by the doctors .
Life is difficult. Mom attempts to manipulate me & Esther, & in truth, as you may or not be aware, I have no emotional attachment to her. Her behaviour is governed by who is with her at any given time-if its Esther then she wobbles about the house without her frame, refuses to eat, gossips about me whilst saying how helpful my brother has/is for her.But I'm used to this.
I'm not sure what to do. We get no help from my brother (who lives only 6 miles away from me).Emotions are, as I said fraught in our house, we are beginning to snap at each other & we are all dog tired.
So there you have it. Its all about doing ones duty I guess. Even though I have no attachment to mother I feel that I have to take her in or else......residential care.
Watch this space folks.

On a happy note though: my ankle is fantastic!-the pool in Spain provided some hydrotherapy for me & I've just returned from Physio at the local DGH.