My Mums health seems to have not fully recovered since her spell in hospital a couple of months back. She seems extremely lack lustre, and to be honest just not quite herself.
While she was in hospital, they did change some of her medications and she was a little confused by what they had removed and why. I therefore took her to the GP surgery to talk to a doctor to go through what was different for her. He was quite detailed going through the changes with her – I attend her appointments as she tends to get a little confused, and explaining to her why there had been changed. He also suggested she had another set of blood tests to see that the infection which had caused her hospitalization was totally clear from her system. A few days later she received a phone call to say everything was clear, but suggesting she received a Vitamin B12 injection to try to boost her. She had this done a few days later. The days following the injection, she said she felt really tired, totally the opposite effect that was meant to be achieved. The strange thing is, that when I was given these injections, they just made me feel washed out, something the doctor refuted was possible! She is due back for anther blood test next week, to see what, if anything has been achieved with the injection what it was intended for. We will see what the doctor suggests after that.
She definitely seems down since her stint in hospital. She is happy to sit and do nothing. Even more than before. She hasn’t even offered to do any ironing, something that was her job in the house – done sitting down. She has made no notion to even mention it. She sits hour after hour watching 30 year old games shows, and doing the puzzles in her magazine. At least these are tasks that engage her brain, which is still fairly sharp.
Before Christmas, the social worker managed to persuade her to have a visit to the day care centre. I have been trying for years to make her go out of the house and interact with other humans but to no avail. I took her down for a visit and she agreed to go once a space was available. There was then quite a wait, and we were into February before she was offered a day. When her first day arrived, she reluctantly let me take her to the car. It was plainly obvious that she didn’t want to go, but I was desperate for a break, so was determined she would at least give it a go. I dropped her off, and took a huge sigh of relief! It was very odd not having her about, but I was able to get on without constantly stopping to make her cuppas! When I went to pick her up, we hadn’t even got to the car before she was moaning. The people, the food – not the quality but the quantity, as they were fed most of the day! She did however say the staff were lovely, but she wouldn’t want to do it too often. The following week, she had appointments that had been made before she was offered the place, so did not attend. The next week when I said it was time to go, she looked at me blankly as if she had forgotten about it – the type of overacting the kids do when they are trying to get out of something. She did go, but moaned the whole way! When she came out, she said there was nothing the following week because of holidays – I thought this a bit strange but had no point of reference to refute it. There was of course a phone call asking why she hadn’t attended and we were told she would be charged anyway! Last week she was much more resolved in the fact she was going. I imagine it was with the kids off she wanted some peace and quiet. She says she isn’t really enjoying it, but then talks about the things they do in a fairly positive way. At her age, if she out and out said she really didn’t want to do it, then I would have no choice but to contact them and say she wasn’t going anymore. However she moans about it, but hasn’t said she doesn’t want to go, so I will keep taking her down. I think mixing with other people has to be good for her. It saves her from stagnating at home. On a selfish level, a few hours each week knowing someone else is looking after her is a huge load off my plate. I may get to the stage where I stop feeling guilty and find some me time in there!
On the whole, her eating is also getting worse. She has never been a big eater, instead preferring to graze when she is hungry. I respect that, but when she keeps saying she doesn’t want anything it is rather worrying. She is no ;onger able to get around the kitchen so I have to prepare all she eats. She argues that sitting down all day means she is loosing little energy and so she doesn’t need much. I give her tiny potions at meal times, and she will still try to palm off half her plateful onto the boys, or wrap it in a tissue – thinking we cant see it happen, and throw it away later. I am worried she isn’t getting enough nutrients, and so I get her enhanced cereals so at least at breakfast time she’s getting a boost.
It is really hard to know what to do for the best for her. She is pain with her hip, which makes walking nearly impossible. Her shoulders have deteriorated because of the strain of using the zimmer frame to drag herself about. I really don’t know what we will do when she can no longer lean on it. Our house does not have space to make her a downstairs bedroom as we have open plan living and dining room. I would hate to be thinking that at that stage we would need to be putting her into a home. I know the boys wind her up, but am sure that they actually keep her going and to suddenly go to the loneliness of an old folks home would literally kill her.
For now we plod on. We put up with her mood swings and her often childish behaviour. I think if I am lucky enough to reach her age, then I want to be entitled to act child like if I want to. I have said having her, is like having an extra child, but its more than that, as I have to remember she is my Mum and as such deserves the respect that comes with it. It is a fine line to walk between letting her off with her behaviour because of her age, but also not letting her believe she can treat the boys based on out dated parenting ideals. D baiting is probably one of her favourite hobbies! While Granny baiting is one of his!
She is my Mum, and as such I love her, even if some days she makes me want to scream and yell, both at her and about her! I worry about her, as her physical health deteriorates. Every day adds new problems she has to face with just getting about, and as I am closest, I am the one who feels the flack from her. There is nobody else she can take it out on. It is not fair but I understand.