Sunday, 14 October 2007

birthday girl

Mum rang me at 8 this morning (I really should go to bed earlier than 4 on a Saturday night, or at least turn my phones off). She was stressing about the cheque that arrived yesterday, which she's now mislaid. I told her to wait until Monday and ask the Warden to help her find it. She said, "He's not here today," which was my point so I let it go.

Then I got a call during which I happened to ask her what she was going to eat today and Mum told me that the meals-on-wheels people had stopped coming some time ago. Now I know that they don't deliver on weekends, so it's most likely that all is as it should be, but it's one more thing for me to investigate on Monday. For the meantime I let it go.

Just now, I got another call in which Mum proudly announced that she'd just heard from the guy who's going to install her new shower (I'd had to intervene earlier this week because she called "Mr O" twice, both times inviting him to take on the job even though he's already agreed and the work is booked in for next month). Mum told me that Mr O had told her today that work would be starting on September 27th.
I didn't let it go.
I questioned the date. She confirmed it. 
I asked her what date it was today. She didn't know. 
I reminded her that it was her birthday and she eventually came up with October 14th. 
"So it's October 14th today and work is starting on September 27th?"
"Do you understand why that can't be?"
"....... No?"

We're more than half-way through the day now.

Happy Birthday, Mum.


Henrietta said...

Hello, I stumbled across your blog I've been deeply touched. I've no words of advice and I can only wish I had anything adequately comforting or supporting to offer. Best wishes. Hen.

witzend said...

Thank you so much, Hen. It's actually hugely comforting and supporting just to have people read and respond to the blog. I don't feel so alone right now - thank you again.

I'm pleased you found it touching - it's reassuring to know that I've hit the intended note when I often feel so conflicted writing these entries. I think I'm trying to turn my anger, despair and frustration into something that I can look at calmly, with a bit of perspective.


BigAssBelle said...

this is so heartbreaking. one of the things that disturbs me most about my father's dementia is that he seems almost childlike at times. i desperately miss our intense conversations about science, world events, politics, religion.

i am very grateful that he's on a combined drug therapy that has helped, but still he'll never be the same, as your mother will not be, and it's such a loss.

thanks for writing this. for keeping this up. i don't know how you do it alone.

witzend said...

Hey Belle. Nice to hear from you again. Yes, Mum is very childlike and dependent, too. She's even eating like a child would if unsupervised: bowls of cereal throughout the day interspersed with cakes and chocolate bars [which is why I set up the meals-on-wheels deliveries].

Conversation, like you say, is a very dispiriting experience. I can't get much sense out of Mum at all if I need to know something as she'll quite happily contradict herself twice in a sentence. The unexpected thing is that she's just as unreliable about the past as the present. I want to do a post soon about the way 'truth' and our family history died the day my Dad passed away. That one's going to take some thinking about. I'll get around to it when we have a day without more immediate problems to tackle!