Whilst on a walk with Evie yesterday afternoon, I phoned our Key Worker. She wasn’t there, so I left her a message and said it wasn’t urgent. She phoned me back as soon as I got home. She said “A message from Sophie Vickery saying it wasn’t urgent, means it is urgent, but she doesn’t want to say!.” Busted. This woman has really got to know the person I am. I hate putting people out. We spoke for just under an hour. This woman is amazing. I urge anyone in a similar position to me, to ring social services and get a Key Worker on board.
During the lengthy conversation, I aired all my safeguarding concerns; walking into oncoming traffic, burnt saucepans, weak spatial awareness, PIN numbers, confusion, vulnerability. The list seemed endless. Although our Key Worker is totally professional, she’s also totally human. She always asks how I am and I’m never able to use my normal tactic of question evasion. She sees right through this. Well, yesterday I wasn’t great and she knew it. I very much feel I’m treading water right now. Trying to keep my head above the water, with both my parents on each arm. I feel like I’m waiting for so many things to happen right now… Mum to be properly assessed, Dad to have follow-up assessment at the stroke unit, Mum to agree that I can start the ball rolling to sell the house and get them into a supported living setup. So much seems to be pinning on waiting for things to happen. I’m not a patient person at all. The Aries in me provides bucket loads of impatience, however, I’ve certainly been patient during the last three months of my life. I’ve had no other option but to be.
My Key Worker told me to ring the surgery to get a telephone appointment with my parents’ GP. She told me to be “assertive.” The receptionist told me that the nearest telephone appointment was 15th October… 15th October?!! Two weeks from now? “Assertive” was ringing in my ears. I asked the receptionist if I could give a brief outline of my situation… Suddenly, there was availability for a telephone call from my parents’ GP that evening. Uncanny!!!!!!!
The GP phoned me back within the hour. I was very aware that I had limited time to fight my corner. I told him that I needed my Mum properly assessed, that her condition was having direct consequences on my Dad’s mental and physical health. He discussed the medication she’d been put on, during his annual leave. I consider these tablets to be a stopgap, they were to pacify me and buy the other GP time until my parents’ GP returned to work.
I can talk, until I’m blue in the face, about how I’ve lost my Mum during the last two years. I don’t need a General Practitioner to tell me otherwise. Nobody knows my Mum better than I do. This is certainly not a “heightened personality” as old age takes hold. Total and utter bullshit. Ask the family members for clarity, not the GP bible of illnesses and conditions. My parents’ GP, I have always argued, does not know the real Mary. My Mum has rarely visited him, she has always fought against going to see the Doctor. My Mum would have to be really poorly, to admit defeat and seek medical help.
The GP could obviously hear the frustration and exhaustion in my voice. He told me he’s referring them both, as a couple, to the mental health team. Finally!
After the call, I should have felt relieved that he was actually actioning steps forward. I didn’t feel relief. I felt beaten and emotional. Selfless, caring, strong and loving people were now in the system awaiting mental health assessments, together. Whilst this is very much needed, the reality hit me hard. I sat on the sofa and cried my eyes out, with Evie beside me. It’s, again, another step in this journey. This journey can be emotionally loaded. This was definitely the case last night.
I don’t want labels for my parents. I hate labels. However, I need clarity. I very much work on needing to know the whole story, so I can act appropriately and not have any nasty surprises waiting around the next corner. If I know what’s what, I feel I’m better equipped to deal with things.
As my hubby arrived home from work, he told me devastating news about a colleague of his. I felt so guilty for my tears over two people in their late seventies. However, I really don’t think I should own this guilt. I’ve been brought up to appreciate everything in life, and to know there is always someone worse off than yourself. This is true, some people are given the worst life and set of circumstances. My heart breaks for them, it really does. Unfortunately, it doesn’t alter to the fact that I very much feel I’m grieving for my previous, familiar life.