Crazy Emergency



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.


Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
West Sussex
Dear, dear, BJ, I have to admire your tenacity under pressure! When it comes down to it, what would the hospital have done any way? All you can do with a TIA in someone with or without dementia is hope they get over it and wait for the next one after all. I think you did all of you a power of good in going to the chippy & on to a pub she liked really, it won't change a thing as far as the illness etc is concerned, but it did bring you all closer together which can't be a bad thing and to top it all, you managed to have a laugh. Good on you! Lotsaluv, She. XX ;)
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Registered User
May 20, 2004
I'm not sure how, but I ended up smiling reading your post! What a twisted world we are in heh!



Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
Tully, Qld, Australia
Unusual Evenings...

Dear BJ,

Sounds like a wild night! I'm glad it turned out better than hanging around at the hospital though. Shame about the food, but at least the ice cream was appreciated!



Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Dear BJ. Take my hat off to you and your 'sister'. It is a meal you will always remember with a smile. Better a good memory than the trip to the hospital. Love Connie

Nutty Nan

Registered User
Nov 2, 2003
Sounds like you found the silver lining after the initial emergency - good on you!!
Isn't it odd how, in retrospect, we manage to smile at our dire situations.
All the best, Carmen


Registered User
Mar 27, 2004
Well done BJ.

It sounds as though you managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Chalk one up to you and your sister.

It is lovely to hear of someone feeling good about anything to do with AD. even if you only felt it in retrospect. It cheers us all up to hear about it.

Cheers Barraf


Delighted to hear from all of you - but hey! that's TP, isn't it? It's the best resource I've ever found.
Today, my mother is carrying round the small paunch she's got in the last 2 weeks since finding a carer who can finally access her microwave with all the goodies I buy for her. She's a dinky 5' 2" and weighs 7.5 stone, and could eat more in a single sitting than all the contestants on Sleb Fit Club, and certainly more than either my 'sister' or I can. My sister is 6 ft and 15 stone, I am 5ft 8 and 9 stone 4. My mother put us all to shame in her eating frenzy last night, AND I've just heard from her carer that she had bacon butties for brekkie, and sos and mash for lunch, before she 'fainted' then dived into the fish and chips, spritzer, double choc ice cream and cappuccino last night. And bear in mind - this was just after she was telling the medics that she felt terminally nauseous.......
Ah well.
Live and let live, huh?

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