There is a chap comes to Mum's place who has been visiting his wife every day for five years without a break - and he needs just a few days but doesn't like to leave her with just the staff! This chap has two daughters who could cover for him for a few days but they 'can't cope with seeing her like that'. Well, I thought, Bless! Poor mites. Sorry, but can't be doing with them. What do they think the rest of us do? Cry 'party time' and mosy on down for a right old blow out? Blow of the nose, more like.
p.s. Norman, in a former life I married a RN Officer (more fool me but that's another story) but I do believe I could teach an Italian stevedore a cuss or two. When I run short, I join them together in a sort of anagrammatical way. You could hold a garden party, Norm's cussathon, at the bottom of your's but what would the fairies think?
A good Italian cuss is far more effective than the Scouse as one can also give vent with over-dramatic gestures; arms flailing, hands in frustrated prayer mode, quite a performance and a show stopper. Not at all very British! The mother-in-law (even if there is none) is a suitable starting point and the quarry from which she was borne, together with her probable profession (I'll leave that to the benefit of your imagination).
It is no idle boast that I am, indeed, a multi-lingual cussa BA(Hons). I swear it's true! Even serbo-croat, at least that's what I tell folks in response to their bewildered looks. I am rather lax on the Mandarin front, however my son-in-law has his masters degree in same and having spent some time in China (don't you just hate people who can use chop sticks with aplomb, I always look the victim of a severe hail storm) he should be able to assist and I will let you know in time for your next sesh with the fairies and your benighted neighbour. Failing that, my Welsh (as in let's round up the sheep and get the flock out of here) suitably gutterally uttered, would impress even Charlie Windsor.
I adore the idea of a National Elf Service but we would have to pixie the right provider and IMPel them to provide us with suitable mushrooms (magic!).
The awful conflict I have as a daughter is I love my Dad, but I don't love him as the husband of my mum (can you understand that, I know it sounds ridiculous). But because he had no time for her earlier in her life, almost to the state of farming her out to me while he indulged his own pecadillos, I learned a lot about her, not just as Mum but as a woman-to-woman thing. Her fears for her future - she knew she was losing her mind and even though she found it hard to speak of her feelings, when I asked her to try she would say 'I'm scared' and I would say, so you forget things, I will always try to remember them for you, that's what I'm here for. Whilst I have come to terms with the fact that she needs 24 hour nursing care I don't believe that is what she is getting - her hospitalisation was so traumatic (she screamed in a terrible way: HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME? as the secure door closed - she knew where she was).
The truth of the matter is that a I let her down - I refused to be part of the admission process and left it to one of my sisters who, in fairness, had insisted on coming some 300 miles to join the force of family at a meeting to discuss her possible admission for assessment, and the terms under which the admission would be staged. Ha! there's a cynical laugh. They ballsed it up symphonically, as Dabbles would say. Despite agreements of who would be where and when......blah....to minimise the trauma. Ha! They didn't even expect her and to the day I die I will never forgive the bastards!
I will also never forgive myself, because, as is the general consensus of family, I would have just left with Mrs Pumblechook there and then and left them to pick the bones out of it. She deserved better and so, incidentally, did everyone else. Mum had her glasses stolen, her wedding ring which had been my grandma's, a gold watch which, whilst you might say was foolish for her to wear, was such a part of her dress to this day she still touches her arm where it used to be. When this happens I just say I have taken it to the jewellers for a quick overhaul. Now, she is too far down the line for me to replace it even with a cheap jobby.
She was not the only one to have things stolen, and you can put any intepretation on it you like, they were stolen: a glorious ex-cricketer who had had an overnight brainstorm from normal to brain dead had a gold chain removed from his neck placed there on his 12th birthday and had remained there ever since: another glorious lady, now in her late seventies, widowed when she was 36, sporting her wedding, engagement and eternity rings always since the death of her husband had them stolen. Amazingly, the wedding ring only mysteriously turned up in one of the corridors only after her daughter had kicked up a stink.
When I pointed out to the staff that wouldn't it be the decent thing to leave something for the gravediggers, their get out clause was that they disappeared down the toilet, got caught up in the laundry change overnight, etc. My mum could'nt even flush a toilet and hadn't been to bed for at least ten days - she just sat in the chair by the bed and fell asleep. If I provided the laundry service to that hospital I'd sue! Fact is they had a thief and given the rubbish they employed as temporary staff you'd wonder why they would provide such a wall of protection to those that sullied the name of professional nursing.
In the hospital they tried to Section Mrs Pumplechook, because she would'nt take her medication. We had never had any problems getting her to take her medication at home and when the beast of a nurse suggested in the meeting that she had tried everying we suggested that she tried kindness. I also said, to her psychiatrist present, that we would go to the law given that a Section was not in the best interests of Mum but only in the best interest of the staff who were obviously ill-equipped to deal compassionately with their patients. I explained to the Psy. that my mum had lived the earlier part of her life in fear and that if he thought that I would stand back and let her end her life in the same manner they would have to think again. I have had the unfortunate experience of seeing a patient treated under a section. My Mum was already bruised at this time because she couldn't take two people at one time intimidating her. The brutality of a section in order to protect the so-called professional staff was unthinkable.
The psychiatrist threw the request out to his obvious secret delight - in a sort of don't waste my time until you have actually tried everying, sort of way - and I went to the hospital the following morning to administer her drugs. I also arranged to give her a bath for the first time in ten days because they couldn't get her to have one. I could, I'd done it for years. All this because they wouldn't call on our experience gained over years of intimate knowledge. Its cruel and worthy only of a Siberian Gulag. Civilized society........
But all through this, Dad wanted to be Mr Nice Guy, mustn't upset the staff. Sod what was happening to Mum. I can't forgive him for not fighting her corner. He doesn't mind me being Bad Cop and the obvious fallout from the staff as long as they all think he's a 'lovely man', whatever that is. I'm with the not-so-nice man if he'll fight my corner.
Dad didn't know that Mum had lived her earlier life in fear - why not is maybe not my business - but in giving her over to me which was for me a joy, a better friend you couldn't have - to take away any right to a holistic approach to her latter days I resent with every fibre of my being, to such an extent that sometimes I am moved to say that as long as she is where she is I will no longer see her in a feeble attempt to have her moved to a more benign environment. Unless I win the lottery of course, then you'll see the proverbial fly. We live in hopes. As Norman says day to day...
It's four in the mornin, and once more the dawnin'.... Misery, most foul. Can't sleep. Psyching myself up for a meeting on Tuesday with the social workers and Dad re the nursing home; their periodic check of how things are going! Oh, Gawd, don't think I'll be able to keep my mouth shut. Just hope Dad doesn't go into Obadiah Slope mode....must remember, calm and assertive. Then explode. No, mustn't.
Think I'll have a cup of tea and get out the bazooka for the mosquito that considers I'm lunch.
Always remember it can be beneficial to explode at meetings - floods of tears, mad rantings, huge fury...whatever is most appropriate to you - it shows there is something they need to address.
If you keep it all in then they will think things are fine. They tend to accept normal speech - even of dire things - as a situation under control.
For many years I cared for Jan at home and kept it as much to myself as possible. It was only when on a visit to my GP on quite another matter that I emotionally crashed, and things then got set in motion, treble quick!
Eventually slept at 6.45 and eventually rose about 10. It's no routine, is it? and not conducive to concentration. I do have something to take to help me sleep but when the thoughts, midnight minnies I call them, come I just go through the barrier anyway and end up feeling dozier than could normally be ascribed as my state.
I'm actually thinking of sounding off by phone to the Social Worker prior to the meeting. That way I can voice my concerns, and Dad won't get upset - he can then go on his own; or, JJ will take him as support and just listen and report back and then I'll have a word with the social worker - I know I'm a professional pro-basher but in fairness this particular lady is quite understanding and has always appeared to be on Mum's side, which is the one I want her to be on, after all.
I do agree with you though, once the gasket blows action swiftly follows, it just seems so umnecessary that we have to reach such a state.
Bad day at the Gulag. Mrs Pumblechook is not looking at all well and appears quite sedated and, oh God, so sad, so very sad. As I was getting her comfortable before leaving she looked at me right through my heart and said: 'but I want to come with you'. She looked frightened. She knew I was her daughter today. Three steps forward, seven back. And as I'm writing this, there is a deluge - I really should get some waterproof mascara.
Mr P was as predicted yesterday when speaking to the SS obergruppenfuhrer. Have resolved to make a private appointment to express my real concerns and to tour the locale in search of a five star gulag worthy of mum's hard earned cash.
Took her in some replacement underwear by truck, but as I couldn't find it in BUPA grey I'll leave the laundry staff to add the uniform hue. They have laundry facilities fit to send a Raj dhobi wallah into paroxysms of joy, all they're lacking is the Raj dhobi wallah.