Mum became rather angry that we had no Andrews and started verbally challenging me, I kept calmly explaining that I had tried to get an appointment with her doctor but he was on holiday I would call tomorrow when he was back at work. Mum struggles with having visits from HER doctor as she doesn't remember who he is and when another is sent it is too difficult to get them to understand Mums weird ways.
I had received an email letting me know that there was a Memory Cafe at the General Hospital that day 4-6pm and I was determined that no matter what happened I would be there. I had been very low this week and was struggling to manage Mums constant challenging me. I had attended another Memory Cafe locally but found it was more like a 'nice afternoon tea session' than somewhere that I could go and 'vent' I was told the one at the hospital was run by Jeni Bell (someone whose great reputation in dementia nursing had preceded her).
At around 3.45pm my mother decided that she wanted to go out no matter what, I agreed to go with her for a short 'walk' as I knew she would not be able to go far. I got out her 'walker' and off we went, as usual nothing was right, the grips on the walker were wrong, the height of the handles needed changing........ On and on it went. Mums shuffling soon developed into a wobbly foot dragging but she refused to turn back instead blaming her glasses that she couldn't see where she was going, it had nothing to do with the fact that before we left I suggested she wore her prescription sunglasses instead of her normal ones. I lead Mum in a short circular walk round our adjacent housing estate which gives good none pavement walking! By the time she realised we were heading back home she was so annoyed she just kept on moaning at me. As soon as we were back in the house I called my brother and asked him to have Mum so I could go to the Memory Cafe as I needed support.
I dropped her off moaning that she didn't need babysitting. I found a parking space just outside the hospital and sat trying to decide if I should just sit there and cry or force myself to go to the Cafe. I did both, I was so wired by the time I found the room where the Memory Cafe was being held that I must have been like a woman possessed.
I was asked if I wanted a drink, tea, coffee or juice and my reply was 'nothing stronger?' this seemed to register with Jeni who finished her conversation with a gentleman and turned her attention to me. After our introductions I started talking about the fact that I had had a lovely midnight rhino safari the other night with Mum in Southampton ....... I was greeted with a very concerned look .......until I showed my photos she had thought I had totally cracked as she was not aware of the Rhinos! It went downhill from there, the tears came and wouldn't stop, I babbled about so much including the inability of the A&E staff to acknowledge dementia even when I made special efforts to let them know Mum was suffering from it, the Andrews issue, getting Mum motivated everyday trying to get her out of bed and her nightie, the O.H fiasco, my counselling (or should I say my completed counselling),
I was mentally exhausted and couldn't stop talking.
I realised after a while that I seemed to have cleared the room of other people, there were now just two other people and one I seemed to recognise as being the organiser of our one hour a week carer from 'Home Instead' that we no longer had due to Mums continual cancellation of her visits.
I felt mad at myself that I could get so upset about Andrews but I knew deep down that it was just a trigger, this had been brewing for some time.
Jeni sat talking to me for some time and asked to exchange numbers as she was worried and wanted to check on me in a couple of days, she also asked me to return to the Memory Cafe and gave me some things to think about for ‘homework’.
One thing she asked me to think long and hard about and to call her today (15/7/13) with the answer was.......
Why am I doing this?
I am still struggling to answer that question......................