Monday, 7 April 2008

soap opera

I'm beginning to learn more about the new characters in Mum's life.

I was with her on Saturday. I took her for a cosmetics run to a large department store, where we allowed the Clinique girls to go to town on her face and sell her some new playthings. The staff quickly worked out that giving Mum a choice wasn't a great idea and that she takes suggestion well. They cooed over me, saying that she was lucky to have a Son like me to take her out. It made me wonder what normal Sons get away with. I don't feel like that brilliant a Son.

Anyway, back at the Home, the Screaming Lady was mostly asleep at the table and when she was awake she was feeble and whiny and sounded very scared. I did hear her refer to "those bitches" but she was immediately challenged by a staff member, which I found reassuring. I'm a bit sorry for her now, as she sounds very confused and seems to live in a frightening world where everything is being taken away from her. As I keep telling Mum, this is a troubled lady, but Mum no longer has the subtlety of distinction necessary to understand this. Like an child in a playground she categorises people only as 'nice' and 'nasty'. I try to tell her that every drama needs to have some conflict and that she's now living in her own private soap opera with Screaming Lady as her Nemesis.

'The Gentleman', is my new focus of concern. He was constantly wandering off down the corridor, past his own room and disappearing into those of others. I made a point of running after him whenever he was headed for Mum's room, and the staff member on duty caught on and began coming with me. 'The Gentleman' kept insisting that they were all his rooms, which claim we firmly refuted. When the staff member asked him what he wanted in those rooms, he said that he was looking for cash, which pretty much answered for me the question of what happened to the £100 I left in Mum's purse all those weeks ago. At one point, the staff member took him to each one of 'his' rooms and pointed out that they all belonged to different people and each had that person's name on the door. 'The Gentleman' strode back, apologetic and saying "You're quite right", but 2 minutes later he was off down the corridor again. He's too much of a handful when there's only one staff member on duty. I need to speak to the Manager about him.

So we have a Nemesis and we have a Gentleman Thief.

Also in the lounge was a new resident I hadn't met before. At first I wondered why she was in the Home, as she seemed normal enough and made sense in conversation. But after a while I noticed that her conversation was cyclic and came around and around to possessions of hers that had gone missing. Now I knew that she and Mum had clashed over a black coat in Mum's wardrobe to which this woman laid claim. The woman's own coat had then been located in her own wardrobe, but this didn't stop her retelling the story about 5 times while I was present. When I circumvented her on the last occasion to say that I knew all about it and that Mum hadn't taken her coat, her face fell and she asked for the telephone and started weeping, holding it in her hand. We had actually met this woman earlier in the department store, shopping with her daughter, and she was wearing her black coat...

So that's a Nemesis, a Gentleman Thief and an Accuser.

Then I met Mum's Special Friend who, again, seems quite normal, if maybe a little fragile and excitable in temperament. She sat next to Mum gazing adoringly at her, as if Mum was made of diamond, and drinking up anything that Mum said and repeating it back to us both. She seemed positively ecstatic to meet me (so she's definitely nuts). Mum doesn't even remember her name, which is slightly embarrassing. She's told me before how her new friend hugs her and kisses her goodnight, but I was amazed to hear that they've even shared a bed on occasion when Screaming Lady was prowling the corridor.

Oh my, this is a progressive soap opera! It seems we've got a potential Lesbian love interest, too.

I'll be back after these messages from our sponsors....


Dee said...

Sad, eh? You ARE a good son -- you're caring for your mom. That's a good (and difficult at times) thing. Pat yourself on the back. D

Greg said...

Thanks Dee. I may have to do some stretching exercises first, but I'll give patting my own back a go. I'm way out of shape.

Tilly said...

Hi Greg - hope you don't mind, I have just added a link to your blog. It sounds like you are doing a fabulous job with caring for your Mum. Love the excursion out to the make-up counter - what a fantastic idea! Lucky Mum to have a son who "gets it"! Tilly x

Greg said...

Hi Tilly. Thank you for the compliment. And thank you for telling me about the link - I'm flattered.

I'm now a couple of pages into your blog and I can already tell it's one I'd like to link to as well. It's humbling to read how caring CAN be managed at home. I look forward to catching up with all you've written so far.

Greg x

Sorata said...

I'm so busy at work that it takes me two days to read 6 posts of yours, LOL

Anyway, what a great post. In a way, they're all like superheroes: Screaming Lady has the ability to make loud noise and intimidate people; The Gentlemen is quick and able to find "treasures"; The Accuser imitates people by dressing like them; The Sidekick is of course a superhero's best friend! Now, we just need to decide what's your mom's ability is...

Oh, and if I read one more time that you even remotely think you're not a good son, I'll send you photos of what I pickup after my dog each morning.

Greg said...

She has two super-abilities: (1)she can forget anything within a minute - believe me, sometimes it's useful, and (2)she can attract a crowd of concerned people with her super-vulnerable-old-lady ray.

Has that video game of yours got you thinking this way?

Please, no Cleo droppings in the mail!