Wednesday, 26 February 2014

My Mother's Memory

Life is not terribly easy for The Beautiful Parents at the moment. My mum has been having memory problems for at least 18 months but has vehemently denied it, she is quite happy in denial land, we have tried all kinds to get her to see her GP but have failed. My dad isn't able to persuade her and doesn't like to upset her, so we have a fair bit of hiding under the duvet about it. As she has been very physically well, she had managed to dodge her doctor for the last 2 years.

Recently she has been feeling nauseous and been off her food. She wouldn't go and see the GP about this as she is scared to, in case they see how bad her memory is. Eventually she was throwing up old blood and my dad phoned an ambulance, she had a perforated duodenal ulcer. The "indigestion" she'd been having clearly was more serious. So she's had some major surgery and has been thrust back into the bosom of the NHS. Normally she's not be best pleased about this but as she's so ill, her arseyness (which is legendary) was abated, she was very compliant and docile.

I went up to stay on the day she got out of hospital and was properly shocked at how poor her short term memory is. I really wasn't fully aware of how much my dad is doing and how little she can now do. She has given up any kind of housework or cooking, she is not really doing anything to contribute to the running of the house, my dad is doing everything. She was still driving but has had 2 bad experiences when a road was closed and she couldn't find her way home, she was missing for over 4 hours and my sister had to drive around to find her. I knew nothing of this.

So I have a mother who clearly has dementia and refuses to acknowledge it, I have a dad who can't walk the length of the hall without being out of breath due to his COPD and asbestosis. My mum can't even make a cup of tea now, my dad doesn't drive so can't do the shopping, my sister will help but lives 40 minutes away and also has 2 school age girls and a 15 month old baby.

So, now we are 2 weeks post surgery, today she went to the GP and had a memory test done. She could not remember any of the answers, not a single one.

My mother is now refusing to be referred to the memory clinic and to ever see another doctor as long as she lives because there is absolutely nothing wrong. She is perfectly happy.

It's the rest of us that are not.

15 comments:

Gigi said...

Oh sweetie! Sending you hugs.

Dealing with aging parents is never easy. To throw in all these issues just makes it that much harder.

libby said...

Sending love and hugs..x

auntiegwen said...

Gigi - it is properly hard at the moment

Libs - I know x ps Travelzooo has a spa day for £55, shall we? xxx

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I watched my Mum go through this from afar, and it is heartbreaking, wishing you lots of strength and peace too xxx

K Ville said...

I'm feeling your pain. OH has flown to Australia today for a week to see his mum. A recent hearing aid seems to have helped things a bit, but it's an awful bother.

We are the squeezed generation apparently. Working women with aging parents and children.

auntiegwen said...

LFBS - yep, I am quite afar, different country, different social care maze to navigate, tricky isn't it? xxx

KV - the sandwich generation is what we are

Mud said...

Sweetheart, scary and painful. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

Thinking of you.

xx

auntiegwen said...

Mud - thanks xxx

Nota Bene said...

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. You poor souls. Your mother must be terrified. Dementia is such an awful condition to deal with. xx

auntiegwen said...

NB - indeed xx

family Affairs said...

Oh good grief - sounds awful and a little bit familiar and the reality is that we are all having to face ageing parents and what that brings….not sure I can cope - with ageing children AND ageing parents!

PTFA Admin said...

Hugs and hugs and hugs. x We'd better make it gins all round when we see each other at the airport. x

PTFA Admin said...

PTFA admin is Katyboo by the way! For some reason it seems to have eaten all my other gmail accounts!

Jay said...

Oh my goodness this sounds really tough on all of you, sending best wishes your way

Velveteen Rabbit said...

Poor you....poor Mum...poor Dad...
Sorry things so difficult at the moment for you all.
I am 3 hours from my lovely (and thankfully remarkable Dad) but have The New Husbands parents to deal with down here.... Pa-in-Law in supported accommodation but mentally and physically unwell and Ma-in-Law living alone with Parkinsons....its a grim old world x