After 8 weeks of having to deal with a fruit loop of a wife battling major insomnia, the Bugsy sat me down yesterday and said how this was affecting him. My hubby is the most placid, calm and long suffering person I know, so this conversation was a long time coming. It really upset me to think that my 3.30am wake up was getting to him. So, last night this Aries went to bed determined to allow the Bugsy a good night’s sleep, without the wife getting up to go downstairs for early hours blog. Success!!! At 5.50am, my writing buddy was stood at the bottom of the stairs miaowing loudly. The mighty Maximus was telling his Mummy we were behind schedule. I LOVE MY CAT!!!!!! After seeking permission to go downstairs with my faithful sidekick, Bugsy congratulated me on a great sleep and permission was granted. So, here I am, sat here with my gorgeous Maximus, feeling fully energised and restored. (That last bit is a joke, it won’t happen after one night, not even for an impatient Aries!). Now that I’ve had a fairly impressive 6 hours sleep, it’s deciding which battle I conquer, in the world of my Mum today…
When I arrived at my parents’ house yesterday morning, Abbie was there to clean their house. I’d arrange with her to do weekly cleans, this was her first visit. Mum has never accepted she now needs a cleaner, but the cobwebs on her extensive collection of family photos, suggests otherwise. Abbie is great! She went to school with my daughter, I’ve watched her grow up. It was such a relief to know the house was getting a decent clean! (I’ve only been able to clean in a subtle way, before I’m busted by the Mummikins!).
I had a list of jobs to do in town with my Mum. As I’m living the Dr’s quote, “Derek, you are medically exempt from life’s pressures,” I told Dad to rest whilst we were out and chat to the lovely Abbie. He told me that he felt he could go to town today, I was sceptical, but respected. My Dad seemed very tired this morning. When we got in the car, it was apparent that my Mum was in a horrible mood. I find these days difficult, as my Mum has always been the same, despite whatever may be going on in life. But I know she cannot help these mood shifts, dementia is wicked. It was obvious there had been some sort of contretemps. Mum was really agitated and my poor Dad just seemed lost. As we drove towards town, I suddenly realised it was the Tour of Britain! Arghhhhh! I had my parents in town on a day where people were everywhere! Great planning, Soph, great planning!!
We made our way to their bank and my Dad could not go inside. He finds it so difficult to let people see him in his broken condition. So I had to weigh up who I supported at this time – My Mum queuing up to speak to a bank clerk, or my Dad standing outside, vulnerable. I stood with Dad. He then told me how Mum had been “hard work” all morning. It was only 10.10am, so all morning was about 3 hours. I didn’t like hearing this, throughout these last 8 weeks, I’ve felt fiercely protective of my Dad. I know his present situation makes him completely powerless to the demands of Mum and the dementia. I stood looking at my exhausted and frail Dad wondering how the hell I’m going to resume normal life, and go back to school next week. At this point in time, I don’t know if I’m strong enough to leave this fragile situation, I feel so torn.
My Mum was moving so fast, she came rushing out the bank. She led the way, Dad and I followed slowly behind. I could see her knee was playing up. (Mum’s had a new knee due to arthritis). I asked her if her knee was sore, she said it was. I told her we should see the GP about it ……. “I’m not going to the Doctor about it!!!! Stop going on, Soph!!!” …. I think it’s fair to say that most of the people outside Greenslade Taylor Hunt heard this! My Mum was volatile and it was like trying to keep the molten lava from exploding all over the High street. As we walked into whsmiths, my phone went, it was from Red One, the driving assessment company. Oh dear. I walked away from my parents, leaving them to look at the ‘back to school’ items! The lady on the other end told me that they’d received the messages over the weekend. (I didn’t doubt that!). She said that Mum could only appeal with the GP’s permission. The GP has to decide if an appeal and retest is justified ….. He’s on annual leave for a fortnight now. Not that I blame him, I’d be on permanent annual leave after dealing with my Mum recently. The lady asked me if I could tell my Mum this information. (I feel I’ve now changed location, from the foot of Ben Nevis, to the top of Mount Vesuvius). I apologised, again, for the phone calls from my Mum.
After buying some stamps, we then walked up the High street. I’ve never seen Tour of Britain due to work commitments, so I couldn’t believe how many people turned out for it. It was really lovely, I just wasn’t in the mood to appreciate it. Mum hadn’t asked me what the phone call was about, but she suddenly started talking about her NEED to drive!! We went into Crusty Cob, Mum is obsessed with buying Dad egg custard tarts at present, I’m not actually sure if he’s enjoying them, or not. As she was leaving the bakery, walking towards the crowds of people, she shouted “I bet they’ve all driven THEIR cars here!!!!!” This woman is relentless!!!
We then had to go to the paper shop to arrange a daily newspaper delivery. Luckily the man in there has known my family for years, plus I’d already bumped into him in town and told him about Dad’s stroke and Mum’s dementia. She was so rude, she was tutting when the lady behind the till was taking her details. I just stood there, staring at Chris, shaking my head. Getting The i delivered daily was as difficult as pulling teeth. She was telling the lady how “ridiculous” it was that they were having to get their newspapers delivered. It’s such a personality change, my parents have always been the last people to ever complain about anything. I’m like this too. I’ll avoid any situation where I have to make a complaint. However, this new character of Mum takes no prisoners!!!
Before work yesterday, my hubby had written up local bus times to town, Seaton and Sidmouth. In a bid to try and get Mum used to the idea of public transport! He also found out lots of information regarding TRIP and their facilities. Walking back to my car, I stupidly mentioned TRIP to Mum, explaining how they do organised trips to places such as Abbotsbury. (Lure her in with Dorset!). She went crazy! “I’m not ready for TRIP!!! That’s for old people!!! We’re not old! You will not get me on that TRIP bus full of old people!!” I’m so glad I mentioned TRIP as I feel she took it so well. What a battle on my hands. My Mum is 78 at the end of this month, however, I’m sure she’s convinced she’s half that age. Keep smiling Sophster, keep smiling!
I have left the conversation about the Fit to Drive appeal for today. I was just too tired yesterday, and you really do have to pick your battles! ….