About Me

My photo
melting but not down

Thursday, 22 October 2009

New beginnings

The move was confirmed for Monday so I spent the last day of my sick leave dashing to and fro - first to a friend's to use her tumble drier for mum's last load of washing then to the hospital to drop off mum's discharge clothes - she would be leaving some time after 2pm. Next to the nursing home with all mum's bits and pieces to make her room seem familiar and homely. Her clothes, shoes, photographs,letters and towels went into the wardrobe; one of her paintings and one of dad's went up on the wall; her cut glass dressing table set and photos of the grandchildren on the chest of drawers next to the bed; tissues, underwear, tights, hats, scarves and gloves in the drawers; a silk flower arrangement, her crinoline lady toilet roll cover, makeup, perfume, flannel, towel, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste went into the en-suite; small ornaments on the window sill and zimmer frame by the bed. I also swapped the home's bed linen for her own quilt cover and matching pillow case. I realised more space was needed for the other family photos she used to have on display at home and for her calendar clock and favourite books so I dashed up to the bungalow (about 2 miles away) and brought back the bedside table that dad made. Then it was back to my friend's for a late lunch and moral support and to collect the dry washing before some last minute errands in town.

By this time, around 4pm, I was feeling very nervous about the prospect of facing mum at the home and decided to wait until lovely daughter finished work so we could go together. We took a 'good luck in your new home' card and a box of chocolate liqueurs. Mum was in her room, sitting in a high-backed chair like Queen Victoria on her throne. She was not amused. She berated me and LD for the terrible thing we'd done to her - putting her into "a mental home", she was fearless in her fury - asking the care staff at her door what they were whispering about and why people were "grinning" at each other. We spent a very long time trying to explain the benefits of being in the home but she did not want to be persuaded. I could just forget about her now, I needn't visit again, she wouldn't stay there, she would leave her money to someone who cared. The nurse who had assessed mum in the hospital said she couldn't believe the transformation from canny little old lady to battleaxe but she was very good humoured and well used to letting insults fly over her head. She gave me a 'living will' form to complete on mum's behalf (aargh!)and promised to arrange a hairdresser's appointment for mum and for the optician and audiologist to visit her (hopefully to provide a better quality hearing aid).

Back to work on Tuesday after 5 weeks off. I telephoned the home on the morning to check how mum had been, expecting to hear she had been restless and was sulking in her room. The nurse told me mum had slept right through the night, had joined other residents in the dining room for breakfast and was last seen in the lounge! My feet left the ground as the mum-shaped millstone hurtled heavenwards from my shoulders. Maybe it was going to be alright after all! On the afternoon I bent the chaplain's ear over the uncomfortable issue of the living will, especially the bit about 'if my heart stops, I do/not wish to be resuscitated'. We had a long talk which eased my mind a little.

On Wednesday lunchtime I went to see our solicitor to discuss lasting power of attourney for mum's medical care and property. Still very confused about what it all means but the solicitor was very reassuring. We are going to meet at the home on Monday morning to talk to mum about it. Apparently, he has to ask her about her end of life wishes, so that will make it easier for me to complete the home's form. I just hope mum is in a good mood when we go, if her consent can not be obtained, I'm facing a long and even more expensive court process.

I'm going to visit mum on my own tonight. Which may explain why I'm up blogging at daft o'clock again.


rilera said...

Whew! Sigh of relief on your part. Your mom will have up and down days, but hang in there, you've made the right decision.

Emily said...

"My feet left the ground as the mum-shaped millstone hurtled heavenwards from my shoulders." Oh, I laughed out loud! Wow! Wonderful!

And how wonderfully lucky she is to have a daughter who'd arrange all those details of her new home so lovingly. She'll probably still complain, you know...but I think it'll be just noise.