My mum is the bane of my life – as you will have gathered by some of my previous moans about her. I do however love her to bits. After all she is my Mum.
When the child has to become the parent it does become increasingly difficult to know where the line is drawn. After all, this is the person who did everything for you growing up, wiped your tears, your sore knees, and even your bum. With my Mum though, I find it hard because she will not admit she has problems, and therefore wont get help. She has become a self-imposed housebound person and is extremely lazy, or that is the way it comes across. When we are on holiday, she is perfectly capable to get the bus into town to meet up with Hubbys Mum for lunch, but when we are here, she can’t leave the sofa let alone the house unless someone takes her. When I was in hospital, she did helped in the house, and Hubby said she got the cleaner out, and managed to walk as far as the kitchen on more than one occasion, but as soon as I’m back – even before I was really fit, she suddenly lost all use of her legs and is unable to do anything. You can maybe see why I get so frustrated even though I want to be understanding. She used to be so lively and full of life, but chooses to be a miserable old bag a lot of the time nowadays. She is impossible to talk to about her ailments or why she behaves in such a way, putting up a wall with the excuse of being old. Yes, I know she is old. She is 87 after all, but using that as an excuse to not live life to its full seems ridiculous to me. She often talks of a friend of hers who is 100 and the things she still gets up to, and yet she doesn’t see this lady as an example of how to really live.
Now, I am brushing over the fact that she does have health issues. I am totally well aware of this, and make plenty of allowances for it. She has been riddled with arthritis since her 40’s and has had 3 hip replacements, and 2 knees. There are therefore some mobility issues, I’m not stupid and do see that, but her doctors have said moving about is good for her, at whatever speed she can manage. I’m not expecting her to go off and run a marathon, just to move off the sofa once in a while!
My biggest concern though is her mental health. Watching hour upon hour of trash telly – most 15-year-old quiz shows, and antique programmes, can not do anyone any good. She has no friends living locally so has no stimulation from conversation, but refuses to join any groups, as they are full of old people!!! I have tried buying her magazines with crosswords in but she said her eyesight isn’t good enough to see them, but refuses to make an appointment to go and check the prescription on her glasses – I think I will just have to make one and take her to make her go!
Well, after months of moaning we finally persuaded her to make an appointment about her hip being sore again. The GP referred her as he believed it was ready to be realigned. Last week she had her hospital appointment to be checked out.
I was in the dog house to start with, as I was unable to take her because of school run times, and she had to ask for hospital transport. I had actually forgotten about her going as she hadn’t written it on the calendar and my whole life revolves around what is written on there – if it’s not on my calendar it can’t be happening to anyone in this household!! The transport picked her up, and off she went. I sent her a text a couple of hours later to see how she was getting on, she replied she was just waiting to come home. Time went on and she still hadn’t appeared, so again I sent her a message to which I just got a reply to say she was at last on her way.
When she got home, I asked her how she had got on, and got a mouthful about what a horrific experience using hospital transport was, and how unwell she now felt. All enquiries about the actual appointment were ignored. I left her to sort herself out, it’s often safer to do so! D then asked her what the doctor said, and was told she was glad somebody cared enough to ask! Inside my head I screamed very loudly! I just cant do right for doing wrong!
She was told that at her age they had to decide if it was worth doing the op! Now, that sort of thing makes my blood boil! I thought we had a health service that still looked after people from birth to death, all be it sometimes a lottery on the level of service you receive. They are going to take her in for a day and give her a full MOT to see if she is both physically as well as mentally fit enough to cope with anesthetic. Now while this might not be the answer she was looking for, it might be a blessing in disguise if they are going to totally check her over to see if she can cope with it. Maybe they will find some of the things she is trying to hide.
After going for the dramatics of how they had told her she was just too old, she then actually went into what they had actually said. Because of her age, there is only a 50/50 chance of coming through a full anesthetic, and they aren’t prepared to go with those odds, so want to see if they can make them slightly more favourable. The other option is to have it done by local anesthetic. Now, this is how she had her last knee done, and that was fine, other than she hadn’t had it explained to her that it was going to happen that way and so she was quite frightened in the theatre – I said to her if that’s the option this time to borrow Hubbys noise cancelling headphones and take in an audio book to listen to. The final and rather unsatisfactory option is just to give her increased medication, possible injections into the hip, and leave her until she cant walk.
Hopefully the appointment for all the tests will come through soon and then a decision will be made on how to move forward. Maybe she will get referred onto other services if they find – or rather she lets on, some of her other problems.
I do love my Mum, and feel very guilty about being annoyed and angry with her a lot of the time, but some days, or most days rather, being more understanding to someone who refuses to help themselves or ask for help is just so difficult. I am not expecting miracles from this but if she can get the help she needs, then it will help us all!