Friday, 5 December 2008

sticking to the story

My relatives, D&G visited Mum today. 

D rang, as usual, to give me a report. It seems that the cortisone injections to Mum's knees might be doing some good, because Mum was no longer confined to a wheelchair and was getting about with the use of her stick again. Apparently Mum was very bright and cheerful and seemed better than at the big party a few weeks back. They shared a nice meal in the Bistro downstairs where Mum apparently ordered Cumberland Sausage only to say "I don't like sausage" when it was served. [Mum is quickly becoming the Child I will never have]

D said, "I hope I didn't put my foot in it, but I mentioned about you leaving your job and she didn't know anything about it."

I told her that I'd planned to keep the news from Mum until I had confirmed my arrangements. There's no sense in confusing Mum with plans about travel when I might be held up for a few months selling her apartment and getting my own affairs in order. D reassured me that Mum had very quickly said, "Oh, well he was never happy in that job anyway and I've told him for years that he should go overseas."

Whilst that isn't quite true, I was glad to hear that Mum was tacitly supporting my decision.

When I rang the Home, however, I heard a different story. 

Apparently, Mum was in tears and very distressed after D&G left, worrying that I had been "sacked" and would never get a job again. I spoke to Mum and told her that I hadn't been sacked, that the company had offered us all a package and that I had decided to go for it so that I could do some travelling. By the time I mentioned travelling, Mum had already forgotten the package and was saying "but you'll need some money for that". I think there's going to be some turbulence ahead for Mum as she remembers fragments of this conversation. I've explained the situation to her Care Worker so that she can correct Mum when she distresses herself.

As soon as I've worked out what I'm going to do I'll have to start telling Mum a stripped-down version that I can repeat and repeat like a bedtime story until she knows it by heart and owns it.


Sorats said...

Ehm... my question is, how did D get to the conversation about your job at the first place? That was kind of personal and wouldn't it occur to D that your Mom at that age, disregard of her memory condition, will probably be better off not knowing what happened? Just thought it's an unneccesary stress for her.

Ever thought of maybe record some audio for your Mom? The idea of bedtime story might not be that far off from a solution, espeically if you can put it in an audio format and have her play it once in a while. Just a thought. You can make a Greg radio show!!!

Greg said...

Ha Ha... Yes, good question. My relative D has a knack for saying the wrong thing and upsetting people. Ah well, she means well and it's nice that they're seeing Mum every few months now. It'll give me peace of mind to know that someone's visiting Mum if I ever DO get away.

I hadn't thought of audio, but I did think of burning a DVD of myself explaining the situation to Mum, and maybe mailing her DVD postcards from wherever I pitch up. That plan would mean travelling with a laptop and I'm still pondering the wisdom of that.

BigAssBelle said...

My stepmother made the mistake of telling Daddy a few months ago that Mike and I are planning to move to Mexico. All of the things he forgets on a daily basis ~ what he had for lunch two minutes ago, whether or not he took his blood pressure pill, if it's Monday or Saturday ~ he has that stuck in his head and talks about it endlessly. It's so strange what sticks, but I've figured out mostly it's the scary or unsettling stuff, the things that would normally worry him, that I could put to rest with a discussion were he in his right mind. It's just such a fucking tragedy.

On a happier note, though, you're getting to do some traveling? That's a grand thing . . .

Greg said...

Remember to buy a place where I can live next door. That way we can swap vegetable growing tips over the fence.

That's an interesting observation about only retaining the unsettling stuff - that's just what I'm seeing, too.

Thanks for the encouragement about travelling - let me know some good places to see in Mexico, eh? G x