Wednesday, December 21, 2011

If you have elderly parents...

...and think the best solution is to have them move in with you or to all live together then take my advice, unless your parent is of the kind who enjoys their independence and relishes life - don't.

(Here is the post where I come over all selfish and spoilt when in reality I'm not, I've just reached the end point where I have no more energy for this.  For real.  No energy, not one bit.)

So when Dad died I did everything, took over all the arrangements.  Straight away mother began hinting heavily that moving in with us would mean she "wouldn't be lonely" even though we are many miles from any friends or family (although her family don't really speak to her which is a whole other saga.)  I would phone only for the phone to ring out at all times of the day meaning I had to constantly contact neighbours and on one occasion the police to check she wasn't lying in a heap somewhere.

I got her house sold, cleared and things put in storage until we got something bigger than the 2-bed house we were then living in.  Make no mistake, at this time I was thinking this was resolving many problems as I no longer had a 40 mile round-trip to deal with her increasing demands on me.  I then bought a house, got us all moved and the mortgage, well I could probably have gone on a day trip to Mordor with less hassle.

All the time I'm working, trying to keep my boys in a safe, stable home despite the interruptions now and again from the father feeling guilty over ignoring his first sons.  We moved into this house and although it isn't fabulous (the person who lived here before last was a DIYer, a DIYer of the Frank Spencer type it would seem.)  I made my list of things to do and began to try and settle everyone in.

Mother became awkward, her catchphrase "can't be bothered" met with a desire to stay in bed all day and a lack of want to do anything at all.  It became apparent that she was not ideal in her role as babysitter while I was at work (which had sold the idea to me.)  I cut back my hours which mean I began to be undermined at work and credit taken by others for things I had happily done.

Cut to summer, the tiredness I'd been feeling was at the stage where I felt as though the plug had been pulled from me.  Strange to describe it really, it isn't like a proper tiredness, or even the fatigue you get after not getting a proper sleep in a while.  It just feels...flat.  No longer in working condition, brain like wool, limbs unable to do even stupidly simple things.  It is according to the Doc what happens when your body decides you are not an "infinite resource".  My cortisol and thyroid levels are "imbalance".  There is no cure other than time.  Jeez, time is not on my side.

One month later and while out in the garden mother has a turn, not waking up when I try to revive her.  Ambulance => hospital => now.

Today she was transferred to a local hospice.  She is ready to come home they say after filling the house with things to make her life easier but ours a little harder (the thing in the bath...really?  The rest of us will have fun jumping over that.)  I say, it is a week before Christmas, the chaos is about to erupt.  My sons turn 10 the week after, we will not be here for her whether there is a care package in place or not.

Not once was discharge discussed with us.  I had made my point several times that I was ill and wouldn't be able to cope during the holidays with everything going on.  If I pace it right I can make it through (although I am still suffering from Sunday as is the case when I over exert myself by doing things I once took for bloody granted.)

So I guess I'm the stick in the mud.  The awkward one not letting her home when they say so, the awkward one for having asked several times to have at least a week to prepare.  The social worker is constantly harassing me for a date when she can come home.  I am able to organise only a few things at a time and can't see why they couldn't wait until the end of the holidays in January when I'll be able to devote time to getting her settled back home.  Sometimes I wish I could wave a magic wand and be able to have her place in a care home without us then having to lose the house (I had it put entirely in her name as I didn't want anyone thinking I was conning the money from Dad's house out of her - stupid, stupid, stupid!  That was my inheritance too!)

This is a pity party for one.  A few days until Christmas.  Guilty father has sent a whole bunch of stuff for his sons, still doesn't pay maintenance right enough and still owes from the debts he skipped out on which I had to pay back but hey-ho.  Youngest is about to burst from excitement, eldest is more reserved and will be until faced with the pressies.  They've already decided on where they want to go on their birthday and I'm already preparing so I can last the day.

So far 40 seems as bad as 39 does.  I used to be an optimist.  I don't know how to get back there but for my sons' sake I must.  This is my life and I have to deal with it but how lovely it would be to have help and a winning lottery ticket.  I win Bad Daughter Award along with Crap Mum, Disposable Wife and all those other ones I've collected on the way.

(I also am about to be "illness terminated" from my job as they are inflexible in changing my shift to one I can actually do once I am better.  I hate this, I don't look ill - well on really bad days I do, people actually stare I look like Palpatine after his battle with Mace Windu, the rest of the time make up helps.  I have a plan over what I need to do to try and work from home, working freelance, but until I can get my head to think in a straight line then that is not happening.  I did dream a solution to a problem in one of my stories last night though so that's good.  Every cloud...)

Here, look at this instead....

No comments: