The Dementia Diary

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The Big Bang

on July 28, 2012

Yesterday F i L had two medical appointments.  The one at lunchtime was to have a heart recorder fitted for 24 hours.  This was a follow up to a Cardiology appointment I had taken him to.  We need to establish whether Aricept will have a detrimental effect on his already irregular heartbeat.  Husband and I both had to work so No. 3 Son took him. Unbeknown to me No. 3 Son had just come off a night shift, but I was being made aware of what a hardship it was for him to take his dad to this appointment.  I have very little sympathy.  I have done enough of these myself, although I now understand better why he was saying that he couldn’t do two days visits in a row.

The afternoon’s appointment I took him to and Husband met us there on his way home.  It was F i L’s medication review, during which he kept telling the doctor that he was concerned about his memory.  There were no changes needed to his current meds.

Because Husband and I didn’t take him to get the heart monitor, we didn’t have all of the facts about when it needed to be removed, how to return it etc.  We spoke to F i L about this before leaving him yesterday evening, reminding him that he would need to call No. 3 Son if he had any queries, but of course he forgot.  This morning I got a call.

“When do I have to take this thing back to the hospital?”

“I don’t know.  I wasn’t with you so you need to speak to [No. 3 Son] about it”

F i L called No. 3 Son, who is apparently still working nights and was consequently in bed.  His wife called me almost immediately.

“What’s happening about this heart monitor?”

Aaaaargh!

“I don’t know! [Your husband] took him and we don’t have all of the information.”

There was a little to-ing and fro-ing of who should know what, when she said to me

“We should all get together to discuss what is happening to [F i L].”  All good so far……..

“We don’t want him to become a burden to you!”

That was a platitude too far.

“That’s a bit late.  He became a burden to us about a year ago!”

She took affront to this, but it needed to be said, and then started giving me the ‘explanation’ as to why they can’t help more.

“[No. 3 Son] works shifts and I’ll be working three days a week soon too….”

“Husband and I both work full time.”

“We’ve got 3 small children”

“We’ve got children too!”

“We live 20 minutes away”

???????

20 minutes?  My daughter walks for longer than that to school

The explanations (also known as excuses) kept coming and I couldn’t bring myself to mollify my sister in law by saying ‘You’re right.  Your life is so much tougher than mine.  You shouldn’t be helping.’  It was all just words and we’ve heard them all before.

She continued…

“You need to tell us what needs to be done to help.”

“I don’t need to tell you anything.  He’s not my father, and I shouldn’t have to explain what he needs in terms of help.  We told [No. 3 son/your husband] what we needed a year ago and we’re still waiting for anything to change.”

Anyway, the conversation continued with her trying to get me to confirm that they shouldn’t be helping, to a point where I had had enough and ended the call.

Husband and I went to get the heart recorder to return it as No. 3 Son had already refused to do it.  The hospital department  we needed was closed for the weekend, and we were asked to come back with it on the Monday, when we will be away on holiday.  Husband managed to convince someone to hold it for us at the hospital until the Monday morning.

Later in the afternoon Husband got a text message from No. 3 Son.

Just got up. [Wife] in tears. What’s going on?’

When he showed me the message from his brother my immediate response was that she had ‘finally developed a conscience’.

I don’t know if a reply to this got sent but I did notice that Husband had sent a text to his brother earlier saying

[My] Mrs is stirring it!’

Thanks for the support!

The next text from No. 3 Son was

‘He’s got enough money.  He can go into a home.’

Husband replied along the lines of

‘Why? So that he can be forgotten about?

My verbal reply to Husband was

“Your father is not going into a home, because it’s the best thing for your brothers. He will go into a home when it is best for him.”

He doesn’t need this yet.  He needs daily support, but while he can maintain his independence and dignity he should. What we want is for us to continue pretty much as we are, with us doing the bulk of the work, but with the other sons doing something!  Mow the lawn, help with shopping, take him out.  Just do something on a regular, not begged for basis.

We’re going away.  I’ve implied that we go tomorrow and return next weekend.  In fact we are away Mon-Fri only.  F in Law is aware on some level that we will not be around, and is worried about this already, and I suspect that Husband and I will ignore his calls so that other members of the family experience a little of his reliance on us.

I also suspect that when we return we will be fighting a battle to NOT have him put into a home

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One response to “The Big Bang

  1. kimjoy24 says:

    I hope you enjoy your time away, it sounds like it is well-deserved!

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