DVLA, Digestives and Doldrums.

I’m very grateful to my lovely Mum, she’s kindly put me on an accelerated ageing programme during these last few months. Each time I see a new grey hair, I know I’m winning! I am also in a deep and meaningful relationship with McVities… However, it’s a slightly one-sided partnership, it really does take the biscuit sometimes, but I’m not bitter.

This Saturday began like any other normal Saturday… With not just one, but three letters to Mum from her beloved DVLA!! We absolutely love their close relationship, it’s a truly, beautiful thing. Today’s offerings were; one to say they’d heard from her GP that she was having further tests regarding her health, another to say it will be “some time” before a final decision is made, the last one explaining that the decision was made and she would no longer be in possession of a driving licence… It begs the question as to how long the DVLA consider “some time”, as quite clearly, some time was a few minutes?? It’s fair to say we now have a plethora of correspondence from the lovely folk at the DVLA. Bless them. It’s amazing how the majority of their letters are received on Saturdays. To be honest, it’s all I look forward to each week. I’m totally at a loss if we don’t hear from them. Long story short … (Are you having a laugh, Soph?!), final decision has been made to keep Mum off the road, (after that thoughtful individual’s idea to contest).

Recently, I have felt completely defeated. The last fortnight I’ve felt beaten by the whole situation. There are only so many times that you can say, to the powers that be, that you are struggling, before you begin to just give up on yourself. When you’re fighting professional services for help, it takes all your energy, not to mention your spirit. I have felt so helpless with the fragility of my Parents’ situation. I know my Hubby has probably dreaded walking through the door, to deal with the aftermath of yet another day of frustration. (If I was him, I’d check the bin first to gauge how the land lies.  The empty biscuit packs would be indicative of my current mood… I’d make the right decision, and head for those hills!).

During the last week, there has been a definite shift in Dad’s mood, this is lovely to see. He has also been a lot more aware too. I can see a little bit of my old Dad in his eyes. He’s beginning to write again, and his determination to do so is completely inspiring. Once again, demonstrative that my Dad is small, but mighty. I can’t begin to say how fantastic it is to see Dad practising his writing. I’m still realistic, but I see small steps forward. It has been a long time coming… having monitored him for the past four months, and seeing very little improvement.

Yesterday was Mum’s assessment. I’d been dreading this day for weeks. Slightly bad timing being on my Hubby’s birthday. Hat had a Non-pupil day, so she was off as well. Bugsy and her took my Dad for a walk and coffee by the coast, leaving Mum and I for her assessment. The Mental Health Practitioner was a friendly chap, with a great sense of humour. For the win! He’d obviously been sufficiently briefed regarding the circumstances. When he asked me “Are you a grown up?”, I knew we were in safe hands haha!

He spent an hour and half doing intensive memory tests with Mum. It’s really interesting to watch. Testing all five domains of the brain; Attention, Language and Communication, Memory, Executive functioning, Sensory and Motor function. Mum certainly rose to the occasion, getting high scores. As I was sat there watching my Mum being tested, I felt desperate for answers to explain her change in personality. The high scores were definitely not giving any clarification! However, the last part of the test was the area she struggled with. It was actually heartbreaking to see her struggle to recognise objects, animals etc.

The Practitioner was really thorough. He said the next step would be to fast track Mum’s CT scan. He spoke about a need to gain the big picture to organise a care package tailor-made for my Parents’ situation. Finally I felt I was being heard. During Mum’s test, I had to fill in information as to how my Mum’s condition impacts on my family’s life. Now we wait for the results, wait for the scan and then hopefully have evidence for support. Yesterday wasn’t an easy day, but it gave me a much needed kick to keep fighting. Whilst I’m very much a person who despises labels, a diagnosis of some form of Dementia will get the ball rolling to get some help.

Our amazing kids have treated Bugsy and I to a night away next weekend, in our beloved Dartmoor. They’ll hold the fort here. So thoughtful of them… And very brave! As soon as I heard “Cream tea on arrival,” I was sold. Xxxxxx

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