Sunday, 9 September 2012

Enjoying the good times

This post is a couple of days out of date.  I held off posting it as I wanted to upload the photos to go with it but I'm struggling with uploading photos from my mobile onto my computer and now reluctantly must accept that it's not going to happen! I don't know why, it used to work but for no reason I can see, it no longer does. Harrumph!

Anyway, here's the post - imagine some sunny photos of garden fruits and flowers and one of me and my mum sitting out on the patio.

I went to my parents again on Tuesday evening and Wednesday. I'm trying to make it a regular thing, going over every couple of weeks for a day and a night. As our weekends are so busy it is difficult to find time to get over there frequently so midweek trips seem to be the answer. Dad has now got broadband set up so I can go over after work one day, stay over and then work from home there the following day before returning home in the evening. This way I can give Dad some company and conversation and also spend some time with Mum while not giving up precious weekend time with Richard or use up too much of my holidays.

Dad and I went to the pub together on Tuesday night after Mum had gone to bed. It was quiet until the Parish Council lot came in after their meeting. Then it was chaos - many glasses of wine (I was relatively restrained at 3!), scurrilous gossip and broad-ranging conversation. Dad loved it and so did I - a bonus on a Tuesday night for sure. We had to drag ourselves away to avoid going back to someone's house for a promised bottle of whisky!

I'm very glad we did though given that I had work to do the following day. Working from home there is pretty good. I can tap away on my laptop but also be there with Mum for breakfast, the odd coffee break and over lunch too. The dogs love it and it allows my father to go to the supermarket or carry out errands without worrying about what Mum is doing alone at home. She does occasionally wander off and has burnt out a kettle and set fire to a frying pan through simple dementia forgetfulness!

Some recent trips have been hard. Mum has developed an aversion to showering and changing her clothes. I don't know why - I suppose she thinks she showers frequently but has no concept of time. She doesn't understand why I'm suddenly bullying her to get in the shower and change her clothes and now she doesn't really know how clothes work. It's heart-breaking when you think about it so I try not to.

I always try to get her washed and into clean clothes when I'm visiting to help Dad out as she is much more stubborn with him than with me. Last trip I went about it the wrong way (it's a process of trial and error I've found) and the showering process was awful. She dug her feet in and pointblank refused and instead of backing off I pushed. Big mistake. I was in tears and Mum turned nasty. NOT a nice time although in between times she was her usual sweet self.

This time, she was much more cooperative and receptive and the whole thing was done and dusted in 30 minutes and with no pain on either side. Not only that but at lunchtime I persuaded her to go for a short walk with me down the lane in the glorious Lincolnshire sunshine. She walks very slowly and leans heavily on my arm but we shuffled along and looked at the flowers and the insects in the hedgerow and chatted about the birds and the bees (literally, not figuratively) and it was just lovely.

Then we had our lunch out on the patio and watched the birds in their beautiful garden and chatted about the sparrows, the planes flying over and the 2 flirting pigeons in the trees (repeatedly as she goes over the same points many, many times). Really, there was a small slice of heaven in that sunny garden.

I was truly on a roll. As well as sorting Mum out, I also collared my Dad and persuaded him finally to get round to telephoning some home care providers about regular visits to help him with Mum. He's had the information for weeks (months probably) but, for some reason has not made the call. Well, we all know about procrastination don't we?!! I think he didn't want to make it real. Or maybe didn't want to admit that he couldn't look after her himself? Either way, other peoples' demons are never as bad as one's own are they so I was able to go through the leaflets with him, select a couple that we liked the look of, start the telephone calls before he took over and made the appointments.

He looked lighter and happier afterwards. I know that feeling well - the feeling of relief at having accomplished something you've been avoiding for ages!

Obviously, as I was doing so well, something was bound to go wrong! I was travelling by train this time (without the dogs too) as my car is in the garage. Dad dropped me off at the station and my mobile must have slipped out of my pocket in the car. I realised it was missing as soon as I had bought my ticket so borrowed a phone and rang my number hoping that Dad would hear the phone ring in the car and turn round to bring it back to me. Trouble is, Dad did hear it but didn't connect the ringtone (a sort of musical noise) with a phone and thought the car radio had mysteriously turned itself on! So now I am without my phone until tomorrow when (hopefully) it will arrive in the post. 2 days without my phone - only a teenager could feel such a loss more keenly. I don't even know what the time is!

So, kharmic balance is restored but I'm happy. I am making sure that I appreciate having had a lovely time with my Mum, having helped my Dad and that we had a good chat and some fun in the pub too. I know there will be more difficult visits ahead, that Mum gets bored and frustrated and that Dad's life is not a bed of roses either but, as long as we appreciate the good times, we will get through.


Peridot said...

Phew - at least your phone wasn't lost on a pavement somewhere and you will be reunited!

You're a good daughter. It's worth saying.


Claire said...

Agreed! You are a good daughter and good plan just taking each day as it comes with your mum. That way it's easier to appreciate the positives. Hurrah for you x