I’m going to apologise, in advance, for any strong language. My blog, so I’ll exercise my right to vent and swear. For today anyway.
Not in a good place tonight, following a horrendous 24 hours. Yesterday afternoon, I arrived at my Parents’ to my Mum shouting at Dad. These moments are horrible. My Parents have always been non-confrontational sort of people. Seeing my Mum let rip on Dad absolutely crushes me. He’d lost an appointment letter he’d received in the post that day. Her reaction was irrational, over the top, but most of all, cruel. During these moments, I cannot help but defend my Dad. He looked so frazzled, beaten and totally lost. Again, I love my Mum, but fuckin detest this disease of the brain.
Dad’s words yesterday “Soph, I need a break from Mum and she deserves a break from me.” … Alarm bells once again. I phoned our Social Worker, but unfortunately she was on annual leave. So I phoned Dad’s Mental Health Practitioner. She arranged a meeting with Dad for this morning.
The Occupational Therapist phoned me last night and we had a long chat about separating my Parents during the day, to give them both respite. Last night I pretty much went to pieces. My Parents both need space from the other’s damaged brain. I hate dementia so much, it destroys all your familiars. It’s such a cruel illness.
People say that I must lean on the services for help. The thing that others fail to realise is that services are so overstretched, with huge funding shortages. You are not handed help and support on a plate. It just doesn’t work that way. Until you’re in similar circumstances, you don’t know how bloody hard it is to be heard. If it was as easy as asking for help and being granted it, I certainly would not feel so exhausted right now. Yes, I might be guilty of making the system work. Taking care of my Parents has meant that the services can pat me on the back and go about their day. However, when the heart rules the head, why on earth would I walk away from two people I love so much? It’s easy to judge, until you’re in a similar situation.
Without a clear diagnosis for my Mum, any sort of care package available is centred around my Dad, and my Dad alone. Today, I cried for help and I finally feel I’m getting it. My Mum’s memory test has been brought forward to the end of this month. My Dad’s Mental Health Practitioner could see today that I am not ok. I really don’t feel ok. My Parents are both broken and it’s fuckin breaking me. This isn’t poor me, I don’t do the poor me routine. We’re all given a test for a reason. We all have Parents, there’s nothing to say they can’t be ill at the same time. A clear diagnosis for my Mum will provide clarity, but also the right sort of care for her.
The Mental Health Practitioner today echoed the exchange between the OT and I last night… Separating my Parents during the day. I’d like to say I feel more positive tonight, but I’d be lying. I want to see action before I pass comment. When Dad and I got home to Mum, after our meeting, I explained to her that care is going to be offered and that she will not refuse it. Her reaction was “We don’t need any help, Soph!.”… Sitting my Mum down and, once again, telling her that Dad has been her unofficial Carer for the past three years and now he’s very unwell himself, was not easy. This journey is so emotionally exhausting. Anyone who has a family member with dementia will tell you just how impactive it is on the family, as a whole.
I need to thank Gini, who has become like family to me. Also, my cousin, Marit, for being a rock right now. I have amazing friends in all of you. So lucky, and so grateful, for each and everyone of you XxxxxxxxxxxX