At 6 pm I got a message from my mother's carer that she'd finally managed to get into the house but my mother was in a really bad way and fainted into her arms. I knew it was another TIA - heavy sweating, limb weakness, unconsciousness, extreme pallor. I told her to phone 999 and that I'd get into a cab and be right over (a 25 min journey in the rush hour). I phoned my 'sister' who was making her way home and told her that my mum was seriously ill. She said she'd get round to the house and was about 8 miles away. I ran out of my flat, managed to get a cab, contacting the carer and my sister on the mobile on the way. The paramedics had arrived and were taking my mum to hospital. I agreed to meet everyone there. I was very nervous as my mum has a habit of attacking me. When I got there, my mother was obviously ill, pale and confused, attributing the TIA, as ever, to the delusional Menieres Disease which she imagines she has, She was seen in Triage and then moved to the Waiting Room. And we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited............. I hadn't eaten for 8 hours. My mother was coming out of her TIA quite jovially because both of her children were with her, and as my 'sister' and I did our usual black-joking act, she joined in, laughing and even contributing to the fun. At the end of three hours I was dying from hunger, we were no nearer the front of the queue, and we decided to call it a day. I explained to the nurses that the NHS is a joke, and how did they imagine we could deal with a seriously demented elderly woman for hours on blue plastic chairs, and they made some pathetic apologies, advised us that we shouldn't really leave as she might have another TIA, and were next to useless. We left, with lots of genteel expletives hissing out of my mouth. I asked my sister to stop at the chippy, and then had an idea. My mother hasn't been out of the house for six months - she's agoraphobic. She looked a sight, hadn't brushed her hair, was wearing clothes from the 70s, clean (thanks to new carer) but threadbare. I suggested we go for a pub meal to the pub my mum used to like. So that's what we did. We went to the pub, ordered a meal I knew would be dreadful, but I was too bushed to care. I told the girl who was serving us that my mum looked the way she did as she had dementia, and she said, 'No worries!' We ate rubbish ( my mother had fish which she calls 'swordfish', which means that it's so heavily battered and overcooked that you could kill someone with its sharp ends, my sister had salmon, and I had a taste-free steak) but it filled a gap and provided us with much-needed blood sugar, and my mum then had chocolate ice-cream which she adored. All in all, as a birthday treat (she is 85 on Wednesday, I am 60 on Sunday) it was dire, but she loved it. Afterwards, when I went to pay, I said to the girl who'd served us, 'My family is demented or transexual, but I'm relatively OK,' and she went into hysterical giggles and said,' I've never heard anyone be so honest before! We HAD noticed.' My mum had the time of her life. I had a lot of ear-ache, but don't I always? My 'sister' and I had some laughs on the way home, and it's funny that my mum's latest TIA, and her, as usual, instant recovery from it, was a celebration, rather than a night in the hozzie for her. Ehyup - how weird is this dementia thingy? Gets me, every time.