Mum Back in Hospital

I’d told Mum I’d take her to the hospital for a routine blood test on Wednesday because she’s a bit wobbly on her feet and is suffering from agoraphobia (she does’t want to go out).

The three kids and I drove down to her flat straight after we’d spent the morning walking around a woodland trail. When we got there however, she came to the door and told me that she had to go back onto the psychiatric ward. Apparently the crisis team had sent a doctor over for another evaluation and the doctor had decided she wasn’t fit to be at home. She really didn’t want to go back, and to be honest I’m not sure what the benefit was to her when she went in two weeks ago, so I called the crisis team to ask.

It turns out that Mum is not taking her medication as prescribed. I know she saves up her sleeping tablets – she skips a day and then takes two. It’s the only way she can sleep at all, and even though she’s done that for years the health team don’t like it. However, they also said that her behaviour was worrying them as she was sitting silently instead of answering the doctors questions. And apparently mid-conversation she was doing things like throwing herself down on the floor.

I have to say, I have never seen my mum throw herself around. She has told me all sorts of stuff that has gone on in her head that is clearly not true, but I’ve never, ever seen her physically act like some mentally disturbed patients do. Maybe she doesn’t do it around me, I don’t know.

Then they dropped the bombshell – the thing that I’ve suspected for a while, but was ignoring because it’s so upsetting to deal with. They said that her memory is really poor and they suspect it might be the early stages of dementia.

I have known for a long time that this would be the route we would go down. Her memory really has been terrible for ages and the doctors have flagged it in the past as an issue. Her physical health is not good, but her mental health has always been so poor. I feel very sad. I’ve read about and heard about what it is like dealing with dementia. There’s a lot of public awareness over the condition here, and the prevalence of dementia in over 65s is around 7%.

It’s going to be really, really tough. I know that if there are things I want to know or ask, I need to make sure I do that before in the years to come she forgets who I am. And that at some point she will no longer be able to live independently and I cannot care for her physically so she will have to go into a home. I will have to watch her deteriorate before my eyes, and worry about whether staff are treating her properly. The end will be slow and difficult and hard to predict.

I think back to when I was young and I remember that although I could always tell my Mum was an older person – her hands were dry and her body wobbled more than mine and my brothers – she was still healthy and living in a way that dries up and disappears as bodies get old.

Mum said many times that she didn’t want to be admitted. I talked to her and persuaded her to pack up some stuff. Then me and the children dropped her back at the psychiatric hospital.

I looked her in the eye and told her to get herself better and get out of there. I hugged her, and left.

The Evils of Persil

I’ll bet you’re wondering how my rash is doing, eh? I mentioned it to the guys at work while we were on a coffee break today and they all looked a bit scared. One of them ran away. Mum said they probably think I’ve picked up some lethal disease hanging around at the hospital, and perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned my new rash in public.

It’s not really any better. I look like I’ve got a sunburnt bottom. And I have a bra shaped inprint on my back too. I’m now fairly certain it’s the washing powder – wherever my skin has been pressed against my clothes it’s bright red. Need to buy some different stuff tomorrow and rewash everything. What a pain. For those of you with extra-sensitive skin, be cautious with Persil non-biological aloe vera liqui-gel! I know – you’d think I’d be OK with non-bio, as it’s usually the enzymes in washing liquid that cause skin irritation. I know it’s not the aloe vera, as I use that stuff almost pure after shaving to stop skin irritation. I guess there’s just some other ingredient in there that my body has decided is an INTRUDER, thus activating a crazy immuno-response as protection.

Anyway, enough about that.

Mum came home today, yay! She’s got a bedroom set up in the living room, and I’ll be able to make sure she eats all her vegetables while she’s here. :-)

A Bit of a Nasty Rash

Back to work today. My skin was sore and itchy in the office and really starting to play up while I was at Sainsburys buying food. Once I got home I discovered I was covered in a rash of some kind – it’s all over my legs, hips, bum, stomach and a bit on my back. Wah!! I look like I’ve got severe, localised patches of measles. Not sure what’s caused it. Just changed to a different brand of washing powder so could be that. Or it could be stress. Or just the weather today. My skin plays up at the slightest provocation, so lets face it, it could be anything. I should photo it for you, so I can hear your opinion on what it is, but I’m too tired…

I spoke to mum this evening and she is still waiting for both a ward bed and a scan. She said today the doctors are now thinking of letting her come home and making her an outpatient appointment for the MRI scan. This seems ridiculous to me and I’d like to wring someone’s neck over it. They don’t know what’s wrong, aren’t sure what medication to give her, and they want her to come home and come back for a scan at an as yet undetermined date, to a hospital she lives 20 miles away from. STUPID!!

Sigh. I’m off to bed to try and get a decent night’s sleep in the hope that I’ll look less like a freshly plucked chicken in the morning.

A Nice Quiet End to a Long Week

Went to see mum this morning and she was out of bed and sitting in a chair, wearing a rather fetching bright pink nighty and some turquoise NHS foam slippers. She looks really well (considering), and all the tubes and wires and everything have been removed. She’s still waiting for an MRI scan, and no beds in the ordinary ward yet.

Spoke to my nan, brother and other uncle today, so everyone is up to date with how she’s doing. What a scare she gave us all… She said today she’s realised she needs a lifestyle change, so I can only hope that this remains with her when she gets out of the hospital and back to normal, everyday life.

Have listed some bits and pieces for sale on Amazon and eBay this evening, and I’ll be back at the office tomorrow. Things feel a bit more normal again now, thank goodness. Monday morning is on it’s way with a mountain of work for me to catch up with, although I’m just glad the week has ended without any major disasters.

Onward and upward we go.

Waiting

Had a fairly quiet day. My uncle called this morning to see how mum was, and we had a nice chat, which was good. I called the hospital and the portable phone is not working, so I couldn’t speak to mum, but she is waiting to be transferred to the normal ward now (hurrah!), and is going to have an MRI scan as soon as they can fit her in. I’ll be driving over to the hospital again tomorrow.