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melting but not down

Thursday, 31 December 2009

money, money, money...

Visited mum yesterday with beloved son (in his Xmas jumper!). She was fairly uncommunicative but now and then became more animated, once to tell us about one of the 'patients' who had hit the 'maid' and once, to my delight, to inform us that the watch she was wearing was the one the Canadian airmen had bought her during the war when she was in hospital - she thought she'd lost it but had found it again. Actually, the watch she wears is one Dad bought her. The watch she was given in the WAAFs was stolen in a burglary many years ago and it's loss has grieved her immensely ever since. That she has forgotten all about this and now thinks she still has her precious memento of 'people who thought a lot about (her)' is such an unexpected but fabulous gift of dementia.

Mum's ankles are not so swollen any more. I spoke to her nurse who told me that the blood tests came back fine so they haven't changed her medication (which she sometimes refuses to take) but they have taken some more bloods and are waiting for the results. She is eating better (she certainly is - TWO sandwiches AND a mince pie while we were there!) but has not put on a lot of weight because she's burning off the calories, being constantly on the go.

While at the home, I caught up with the finance clerk. I owe a little money for mum's incidental expenses - she goes to the hairdresser every week and has seen a chiropodist. I also discovered that the reason I hadn't been asked to pay for mum's care yet, was because they thought Social Services was footing the bill and hadn't been able to contact someone in SSD to sort it out! They're going to send me a contract to sign (agreeing I'd pay the bills) but have promised me they'll try to hold off requesting payment as long as possible - I'd explained that my solicitor is sorting out my application to be mum's deputy for her welfare and property through the Court of Protection.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you.....

....Beloved son in his new mum-made Christmas jumper!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

I think it just might be! My lovely 'little brother' (not really but might as well be) has arrived with his partner and baby boy to spend Christmas with us! Lovely daughter and I are going to take mum's Christmas present round to her tomorrow (and visit again on Christmas Day) and together we're going to tackle cooking the Christmas Day dinner for the first time in years! (Just bought the turkey, sprouts, parsnips, potatoes, turnip (already had the carrots), cabbage, OH NO - I'VE JUST REMEMBERED I FORGOT THE YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS!!!, cranberry sauce, apple sauce (already have a joint of pork) and gravy today. Wonder what else I've forgotten? Must check the pantry for Christmas pudding, sure I saw some brandy butter in the fridge....

....Mr Lily has been tasked to purchase puddings on Christmas Eve - Yorkshire and Christmas, hopefully he'll surface before the shops have been emptied. I'm off to work now then to mum's to wrap all the Christmas presents before lovely daughter and I visit mum. I'm so excited!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

snow snow snow snow snow

I love it but it doesn't love me. It left me stranded diagonally across a narrow road in our village, totally blocking it, at 10 o'clock last night. I had to rouse a friend to push me into position so the wheels could get some purchase on the skating rink surface. I can't even get up our sloping drive at the moment. Still, its nice to have snow at Christmas. Mustn't grumble. No, really. Mustn't.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

The Daft O'Clock Chronicles, continued

Well here I am again, pounding the keys at nearly 2am, more because I don't want to go to bed than because I want to blog. I'm living a double life at the moment super-efficient, upbeat, unfaseable (is that how you spell it?) at work; distracted, obsessive, procrastinatory (!) at home. And when I'm not busy with some totally absorbing activity like knitting or xmas shopping (think I finished it today!) or playing Farmville (I know, sad), I'm sleeping for England (but not going to bed until I'm so tired I can't keep my eyes open any more). Anything to keep the sticky footed 'you put your mother in a home' devil on my shoulder from catching my attention.

Went to see mum on Wednesday - she wasn't in too bad a mood but still time travelling, mostly rooted in the past with long-gone relatives but occasionally visiting the present for brief moments. She introduced me to the other residents in the lounge as her sister yet she knows my name. I suppose its pointless trying to understand what's going on in her head, its probably as much of mystery to mum as it is to me. However, 'The 36 Hour Day' book has arrived so I'm hoping it will shed some light on the subject and give me some useful coping skills.

Tomorrow, sorry - today, the plan is to tidy up the house and get the christmas tree and decorations down from the loft. That's the plan ....

Saturday, 12 December 2009

tonight's visit to mum - the 'highlights'

Why can't you take me back with you?
I'll just walk home in the dark then.
I'll have to turn to strangers for help.
You're my sister - you should be looking after me!
There's something funny going on.
You're nothing to me.
Shit out.

(and I've just remembered this one...)

What's going to happen to me when I leave here? I don't want to go back into the RAF.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

sad, so sad, sometimes she feels so sad.....

I visited mum last night after work. She was already in bed but not asleep. "I'm glad you've come" she said, "I have to get all this stuff packed up before I go home tomorrow". I offered to make her a cup of tea to change the subject and tempted her to eat two jaffa cake bars. Although mum didn't have a go at me this time, it was still an upsetting visit. So sad - she couldn't understand why her brother and sisters hadn't kept in touch with her, leaving her feeling abandoned and lonely. I didn't have the heart to tell her they were all dead, she would have forgotten within minutes anyway. She talked a lot about her "grumpy old" father who she thinks is still alive and living 'at home', she was bewildered by his apparent dislike of her. She commented "I suppose you'll be getting married soon" and was surprised to hear I already was, "I would have given you a nice wedding but I was in here" she said regretfully. (Mum and dad didn't come to my wedding 30 years ago - they didn't approve of Mr Lily.) She's contemplating getting married again, if she finds "the right one".

The staff tell me she has settled well and is eating reasonable amounts but they're monitoring her fluid intake as she's very resistant to drinking much at all. I'm going to take Mackeson and Sprite in on Thursday, to see whether she'll do better with her old favourites. They organised a second visit to the memory clinic and said she'd 'done well' but I'm not sure what they meant by that as mum is going to have a CT scan of her brain - they must suspect further deterioration. She does a lot of wandering about during the day so her ankles have swollen, she's had blood tests and depending on the results, I think they're going to alter her medication. I've asked them to take her to the hairdresser's today for a cut and perm, it will give her a boost.

Although I'm not as acutely stressed as I used to be, now that mum is safe and getting the care she needs, I'm still not functioning properly. I'm often up in the early hours, unable to sleep, and mostly feel a bit 'flat' which dulls the pleasure of socialising. I wish mum were happy. Then maybe I wouldn't feel so guilty.