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melting but not down

Monday, 24 August 2009


My mother should have been an actress. The nurse later told me that she had been fine all day, wishing she could go home but quite accepting of being in hospital, pleasant to staff, eating her meals, albeit small portions. Which came as quite a surprise given the performance I was treated to tonight. I arrived to mum's attempting to strip off in front of the ward and visitors. Up went the nightie, down went the boobs, ye gods! It took some persuasion to get her covered up again, into her dressing gown and sit in the chair rather than attempt the Great Escape (by zimmer frame rather than motorcycle). I tried to reason with her, I reminded her of the time when I was hospitalised for a fortnight (I was about 7) with a mastoid infection and asked her what she would have done if I had said half way through the treatment that I was ok and wanted to go home. I'm sure she could see the logic but she wouldn't admit it - "you've got an answer for everything, its like talking to a brick wall" she retorted.

The next hour's visit was full of all the usual entreaties, complaints and character assassination of yours truly - some of which was overheard by one of the nurses attending to the patient in the next bed. Foolishly, although with the best of intentions, she told mum not to be nasty to me as I was just trying to help. Of course, that was translated into my having got my claws into the staff now. Mum added a new dimension to the "you've put me in this place to die" accusation - apparently having left me everything (in her will), I couldn't wait - hence the cunning plan! She was adamant she had cried all night and couldn't eat or drink. Amazingly feisty considering such deprivation. I had taken her tonight's Gazette, a couple of new magazines and a packet of Maltesers. She wasn't interested, she was too upset. She wanted to write to her solicitor. I gave her a pen and a note pad. She said there was no point in bothering because I would make sure that he didn't receive it.

The nurse told me mum had a heart x-ray and a brain scan today, as well as more physiotherapy. The doctor is pleased with her progress and may be looking at discharging her by the end of the week. The Fast Team will get involved so hopefully a good care package can be put in place. The nurse was most sympathetic as I left - she couldn't believe the change in mum, she reckoned she had just saved up all her frustration for me. Little tinker. Lovely daughter says one day I'll look back on all this and laugh. She's probably right.


Clippy Mat said...

it's easy (as an outsider) to see a frightened old lady. but it's much harder for you bearing the brunt of her anger and fear.
stay strong.
just potter about in that lovely new kitchen whenever you can. :-)

Emily said...

Well, I don't know if you'll ever find it funny, but it'll make good stories later. I'm glad her behavior's been observed by the nurses; might they be telling you she's fine all day to keep you from worrying?

Anyway, be sure to complain loudly to the doctor; get all the help you possibly can.

Lily said...

Oh dear, although I rant on about mum I do realise that she is distressed by all that happens to her and is struggling to understand it. I do feel sorry for her, I hope that comes through.

Clippy Mat said...

yes, definitely. just trying to offer support and certainly not judegement. your being able to vent is very important i think we all know that. :-))