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melting but not down

Sunday, 23 August 2009


Lovely daughter and I visit mum, greeted by a tetchy "I hope you've come to take me home." Repeat of yesterday's vitriol and confusion. She tells me I'm hard as nails, that I don't listen to her and am just a parrot for explaining over and over again why she is in hospital and can't go home yet.

New bones of contention - I've brainwashed both my children, she can't believe how cunning I've been to manoeuvre her into this place - she thought I was taking her shopping (in bare feet and a nightie?), she's in pain and they won't give her any pain relief, they dragged her out of bed and made her sit in a chair because they want the beds to look tidy. She can't eat or drink, she's so worried; she'll die in this place. Where do you think you are? I ask. "You know where I am!" Where do you think you are? "An old folks' home!" Again I show her the hospital brochure. She says she must be in a special annexe where old people no-one cares about are left to die. She compares herself unfavourably with other patients who get visitors. (We don't count, apparently.) LD and I give up after 20 minutes and leave.

I speak to one of mum's named nurses. She tells me that apart from mentioning the 'conspiracy' last night, she's doing fine - she's eating and drinking, has been given stronger painkillers and can walk with support! She's hooked up to a 24 hour heart monitor at the moment. The results should be through Monday/Tuesday. I am close to tears when we leave. *LD promises to come with me again on Sunday. I am so grateful - I dread facing mum on my own. Shattered, I go to bed 'for an hour' early evening and don't wake up until midnight.

* Other good things about today:

  • I call into our local Boyes to see whether the wool I ordered for a bedspread I intend knitting in time for LD's 30th birthday (I have 28 months to do it in!) has arrived - I already have 4 x 400 gram skeins but need another 4. Another store has 4 and will send them over. I manage to get into my online Ravelry stash on my mobile and discover that the yarn I already have and the yarn on order are from the same dye lot!
  • We are getting closer to finishing the kitchen. The redecorating is all done and the appliances and furniture back in, we just have to finish sorting through and returning the stuff that came out of it, hopefully binning/recycling a good portion to reduce clutter. I'll post before and after pictures when we're put to rights.


cornbread hell said...

shit happens, lily. i'm glad for you that you can blog about - get it off your chest.

my mum's losing it so fast i just don't want to talk about it any more. it's sad enough to watch first hand.

Lily said...

So sorry to hear about your mum. I know what you mean about not blogging about it when weighed down with the awfulness of it all. Sometimes its a real effort to get that post up but it does help me - not only a mini catharsis but also the comfort of virtual hugs and words of wisdom from other bloggers. Stay strong x

Emily said...

Oh, Lily, surely your mother was more "mom"-like when she was younger? I hope this isn't a continuation of life-long nastiness.

When she rails at you like this, she's not railing at YOU. She probably isn't aware of you as a separate person; she's hollering at some projection of her own inner terrors. I grew up with self-absorbed alcoholics, who yelled that way; they were so consumed by their own pain that they could not see clearly anything outside themselves. I learned to distance myself & not take it personally, which has left me with some very weird coping skills. But when confronted by a screaming banshee of a student's wife (long story), I was very glad of it. I don't think my blood pressure went up at all.

More easily said than done, I know. But I wouldn't even respond to her accusations. Wasted effort, & it just spins the ordeal out longer.

On the other hand, what a time to have your kitchen torn up! But hooray for the yarn! Not to mention that daughter & son. Life is good after all!

Lily said...

Emily, my relationship with mum has been better than this, although we were never close, probably because she has always been self-absorbed, a legacy I think of an unhappy early life. In fact, ironically, we've probably become closer than ever since dad died and I've increasingly had to take on a carer's role. I know she's scared and unhappy and that helps me not to over-react.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily
So sorry to hear about your mom. We have some of the same here with ours. It´s so sad to see them go downhill. Hope you get some rest and are able to keep on helping.
All the best from California. Blessings Mary

Lily said...

Thank you Mary, there's a lot of us out there!