Sunday, 22 May 2011

Tackling A Tricky Situation

Oh dear, not sure what to do.

Had a call from my sister this morning which is a rather unusual event so I knew instantly that something was wrong. Sure enough she informed me that my mother is causing concern. Mum is going to be seventy five in a couple of months time and up until recently has not shown any signs of aging apart from the obvious greying of hair and spreading of middle. Recently though I have noticed that she has become a bit forgetful. Not remembering things I've told her or repeating things she has already told me. However the developements my sister described are more worrying still. My sister paid her a visit last week, she last visited on Mother's day when nothing was noted as being amiss. On this visit however there was a dramatic change. It would appear that my mother's standards of cleanliness have taken a sharp downward turn and, not to put too fine a point on it, the whole house stank. My sister said it was so bad she had to leave sooner than she planned because the smell was causing her to gag. My mother however seemed totally oblivious. This alarmed my sister and she intends to visit again later this week to try and track down the cause of the pong and, hopefully deal with it. Unfortunately in order to do this she is going to have to say something to my mother and the reason for her call was to ask advice on to how to go about it.

We discussed every possible option available and finally decided that the only way to do it would be to tackle it head on. Our reasoning is that not only would we want to be told if it were us but my mum has always had a fear of 'losing her marbles' as she puts it and has always told us that if we thought she was beginning to act a bit weird to tell her. This stems from a history of dementia in the family. I never knew my great grandmother but apparently she was very awkward and violent towards the end of her life. My grandmother I remember well and can clearly track her dementia. Towards the end she didn't even recognise mum who gave up her job and her chance to go to uni to look after her. I remember visiting my grandmother who had taken against my mother by that time and accused her of throwing my grandmother down the stairs. There were no stairs, she lived in a ground floor flat. We finally persuaded my mother to put my grandmother in a home only a few months before she died. After she died mum made me promise that if she 'went the same way' not to ruin my life but to put her in a home as soon as possible. She also stated that I was to tell her if I thought she was going down the same path.

Unfortunately I am not in a position to travel to Wales at the moment otherwise I'd go down and we'd tackle it together so this unpleasant duty falls solely on my sister's shoulders. I have warned my sister to expect an unpleasant response as despite all the protestaions that she'd 'want to know' the very nature of the condition means she is most likely not to believe it or take it as an attack. Fortunately my sister has nursing training so knows that this is a real possibility. I just hope my mother takes it in the spirit it is intended. For my part I will not be surprised to get an angry phone call from my mother accusing my sister of all sorts of treachery. Not sure how I am going to handle that one, I'll just have to play it by ear, no doubt while having my ear well and truely chewed off.

My sister is feeling better thank goodness and the ulcers in her mouth appear to be healing. She now tells me she is eating three small meals a day and is incorporating fruit juice in her diet. It may not sound like much but it is a huge step forward for her and I'm proud she is making such a positive effort to get better.

Had another go at relaxing this morning. Peter was out, both boys were still in bed so perfect opportunity. I lit my candle, lay on the bed focused on my hands until they warmed up, clasped them to my chest and was just starting to drift off when 'MEOWWWW!' Bloody cat  on the wrong side of the door, again! Maybe tomorrow will be the day. all I can do is keep trying. I must say though I didn't realise how little time I really get to myself until I started to try and take thirty minutes out to relax. This is going to have to change.

Well the world did not end and funnily enough Mr Harold Camping is unavailable for comment. What a surprise! However the eruption of a volcano in Iceland might have temporarily lifted his spirits. The ash could reach Scotland by Tuesday so we could be in for another interesting, and quieter, week.