Tag Archives: family

Too old to treat.

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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!

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Is the laziness down to me?

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Today I had a revelation.

I realised that my Mothers behaviour must be down to me.

Now, I am not having a self wallowing moment but the evidence is making me feel like this.

I am still feeling like rubbish.   In myself, I just feel tired and weak but that is probably due to not eating properly since the op.    My ears are constantly hurting my tongue feels very swollen.    My throat is only sore when I try to swallow and eat, so while I am doing that because I have to, I am not doing it more than I really need to.

While I was in hospital, and when I got home and was in bed, Hubby said Old person was really helpful.     A friend of ours walked the boys home from school on the days Hubby was unable to, but she dropped them off with old person.    The boys said Old person was really well-behaved – might sound an odd thing to say, but D often recounts times of her off-hand behaviour and on the whole we try not to leave them alone with her.   They said she got the snacks and drinks when they got home – usually she will  just nag them from the moment they get in, that is on days she acknowledges them.

He has said that in the morning she has helped get the boys breakfast – usually she sits at the dining room table and doesn’t speak a single word while I feed the children in the morning.

He says she has cleaned and tidied.   This made me laugh.     I am amazed she knows where the hoover lives let a lone how-to use it!    The shelf under the coffee table is filled with her rubbish – mostly junk mail that she actually believes that she might have a chance to win £50,000 from – I really believed only really stupid people believed this or is that what she has become.   While there is still lots there, much has finally been moved to the recycling bucket – it usually waits until she can’t fit any more there and I get fed up and throw the lot out.

It is all very odd her behaviour, it doesn’t fit in at all with the laziness we constantly see from her.

Then I came downstairs!   I really don’t have the energy or inclination to get on with my usual, chores, but it seems my emergence has flicked a switch in her head.   She has not moved from her position on the sofa for three days.    Having been forced into laziness, it’s doing my head in, so I don’t know how she does it for hours on end every day.    I feel my brain turning to mush – and I am still doing the crossword, so what does endless hours of daytime television actually do to her?!

So why does she believe I should be her personal slave?

Is it repay for waiting on me as a child – maybe but I was the child who would get upset when I wasnt allowed to help, so I did far more than my fair share of chores around the house.

Is this payback for making her move to Scotland?   Possibly because it was at that  time she entered her rapid decline.    The problem when I was preparing to move was that I owed the house we shared down south so she had to make choices and there were to buy me out, find somewhere to live in that town, move with me, or ask my brother – he and his then wife had made it perfectly clear there was no way they would take her in, and so she decided to come with us.     While I was working, she pulled her weight,  but the more I was at home, the more she stopped doing –  is it she feels this is somebody elses house and she can’t interfere too much?   When the boys came along at time she forgot who the parent was and had to be told to back off and let us bond with our boys – maybe she took this to heart and decided if they don’t want me then I’m going to do nothing, and then she became our third child.

I think this week she proved the real her is still in there, but my problem is how do we make her more visible more often?    If she chooses to be lazy there is little or nothing I can do about it.   For almost ten years we have gone around in circles, on this one and always draw the same conclusion, and that is – it is impossible to help somebody who refuses to help themselves.

So we just carry on watching someone we love disappear because that is what they have chosen to do.

I am not feeling guilty about any of this, as we have to follow our own paths and she has made the choices that have led us this way, but it is the four or us that suffer her behaviour rather than the boys having a Grandmother they respect for who she is.    Sometimes I wish we were ambigger family so there were others to help.

Brotherly love, ASD style.

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D hasn’t felt himself for several days.    Nothing serious, just the usual coughs and colds that do the rounds at school.

I also think he has missed his wee chum who has been off school for a couple of weeks,  but returned Wednesday.    I believe the relief for D came to a head and let him wallow in the self-pity everyone feels when they get a cold.

On Thursday morning, he was really putting on his  I don’t feel well act.      Any other day of the week I may have taken him a bit more seriously but he opens admits Thursday is the worst day of the week for him because he has gym. Now, he loves Tuesday gym, but its a different teacher on Thursday, and from what I gather, she pushes them hard. D always gives it his all, but that just doesn’t seem to be good enough so he is totally de-motivted to the point of getting upset at the thought of this session. I therefore just gave him some paracetamol, and told his teacher he was a bit below par. He got through the day, but was full of snot.

Friday he wasn’t keen to go to school, but got there with some effort. After school he was complaining of a headache, and by the time we got home, he was really feeling poorly. I snuggled him up on the sofa. M left the room, and returned with a bottle of water for D, as he was coughing. He just plonked it down on the coffee table and grunted he thought D might need a drink. Within half an hour D was rushing to the bathroom being sick. I went through with him, and M trailed in to see if he was alright! He seemed to perk up for a while, and managed some tea, before very quickly going down hill. When he was suggested he went to bed, he just started sobbing his heart out. Tears streamed down his face, as he complained about missing movie night. M tried to explain to him that being a long weekend, we could do movie night on Sunday night. There was no consoling him and he was quite aggressive towards M, who was doing his best to look after him.     A normal reaction from D would have been a mega tantrum, at the thought of changing plans, so the tears showed how unwell he was.

I managed to eventually get him into his bed, and he was sound asleep before 7am. M came through several times to see if he was OK, or if he needed anything.   He seemed quite worried about his brother.

I gave M a big hug and told him I was really proud of him for the way he had looked after D. He shrugged it off, and said because D wasn’t there, he’d chosen a movie to put on that D didn’t like but he did, as he couldn’t usually watch it! Again, there was another sign of kindness and consideration!      Having said that, I think M enjoyed having Mummy and Daddy to himself for a couple of hours.

D slept for a full 12 hours and is much brighter today – although he’s still not quite back to full strength. M has been fussing around him a little, which I think is confusing D no end!

I asked M if he loved his brother, as it certainly seemed that way, he thought for a moment and said, he only loves him when he isn’t well. It made me laugh!      I think he means its easier to show affection to D when he’s not well, because he’s less verbally aggressive to him at these times!

M often upsets D by telling him he doesn’t care about him, and we try to explain that he finds it hard to show how he feels. He has proved his caring side in the last 24 hours.

I would never force my children to be friends, but I will encourage them to understand that they need each other. My parents used to push my brother and I together, and force us into activities to make us friends. It didn’t work, and in fact probably went a long way to underlining that we didn’t understand each other enough to want to be friends. I love my brother, because he is my brother, but I don’t know him as a person to be able to like him. We have nothing in common and no understanding of each others lives so why would we be friends? I will always try to explain to my boys why being there for each other is important, but pushing them together isn’t the way to go.     They have to want to do it.

M has great problems showing affection, so to see the way he has fussed about D has been lovely. Now he is feeling better though, normally service has resumed and the nasty tone and aggressive speech has returned, from both sides. It was lovely while it lasted, I just wish it could have lasted longer as the constant nastiness is very wearing on us all.