Just when you think it can’t get worse………….
We went today and my mother threatened to tear my skin off and began tearing at my clothes. When we got there the carer said she had been horrible to her hairdresser with no let up at all. She had constantly derided her hairdresser for having no children and taunted her for not adopting and hadn’t stopped for a moment. My daughter-in-law had sent my mother a thank you letter with a lovely picture of the baby but my mother was incandescent saying she had called her by the wrong name – she’d written Dear Mrs….. when she should have written Dear Edward’s Grandmother. And there was swearing and terrible threats of what she was going to do to her.
And so on.
Soon all the care agency office were there, everyone trying to talk her down without success, every new face made her increasingly aggressive until for our own safety we all had to leave her alone in the room and withdraw to the dining room. This of course was the day I had taken the special dinner and champagne but as everyone was so long past their dinner time I fed it to the workers while we put in endless calls to the doctor’s surgery for help.
It was the middle of the afternoon when I finally got to speak to my mother’s doctor. He was of the opinion that Christmas was a no go area for people with that stage of dementia and better ignored. I was told all the National Health emergency places were full – no room at the inn you might say, so I would have to get on with it myself. I was given permission to crush a sedative tablet and give it to her, which was unhelpful because no one so far in any of these situations had managed it.
We had several goes but she refused to ingest anything. So, telling the carers I would have a go when I got back I went to do the shopping, because, of course, now we weren’t going on Friday, doctor’s orders, I had to get some food in to the house, to look as normal as possible, ignoring the turkey, crackers and what have you, in my bags and on order.
When I got back all signs of Christmas had been removed. The carers had had another few sedative tries and had the doctor on speed dial. I suggested putting the sedative in the cream cake we always have at the end of the visit and while I was out getting my coat off they doctored a slice, I removed all unnecessary people from the room and we proceeded as if it were an absolutely ordinary Wednesday tea time, the tea was poured and the cake was eaten – every mouthful.
Then the locum doctor arrived, was brought up to speed, gave my mother the once over, detected a temperature, prescribed antibiotics and left, swiftly followed by the extra carers. I spent the next hour talking my mother into the information that she would be having extra tablets that the visiting doctor had just prescribed, and that her own doctor said she was too poorly for the excitement of Christmas and must get well first, whereupon she asked if I was bringing all the vegetables because she couldn’t go out and fetch them.
Tomorrow, which is Christmas Eve, I have to ring all the relatives and tell them not to ring and wish her happy Christmas, I’ve already been to the neighbours and told them I won’t be able to take their presents and not to go to her because I think she’s dangerous. In the car on the way home I found my eyes were leaking.
There is a story told about this time of year about a baby. In this story the parents of the baby are warned there is a dangerous person who will harm the baby, so they don’t go back home.
In my parent’s hallway is an old carved chair depicting the flight into Egypt, I’ve always liked it, though you can’t lean back on it without extreme discomfort.
So the S&H and his lovely wife and my granddaughter are coming to us this Christmas. I can’t do the last Christmas for my mother, the doctor has prescribed a course of sedatives, and quiet and carers. What do I tell her when she asks on Christmas day where I am and where the presents are?
We seem to have got to the point where my primary duty is to keep people safe from my mother and my mother safe from herself. Most of all I feel the need to protect my daughter-in-law and the baby and I will do so, there’s historical precedent.
and was warned in a dream to go home a different way.