Bad week

It has been a week of pain and vomiting and complaints and I have not been able to resolve anything.

It started with mum throwing up on the transport on the way home from her day centre. Not unusual.  This was Tuesday.  She got some opiod patches from the GP on Wednesday for the pain and was fine, but the following day threw up on the transport home. We put it down to the heat and travel sickness, but she continued to feel ill on Friday and vomited again in the evening.  So now I didn’t know if it was the medication!

I tried taking one of the patches off (the GP said we could use two if necessary) but had to put it back on again in the end (with the help of some surgical tape) as she complained the pain was too bad.  The pain eventually did subside, but mum was not happy as I was reluctant to give her anything else for the pain.

Now she feels dizzy as well as sick, but at least the vomiting appears to have stopped.

 

The whole week has been a strain.  She clearly doesn’t know where to put herself and is no doubt getting anxious as I am going away in a couple of weeks.  She has been calling me in the night, complaining that none of the buzzers or phone works, called the watch alarm people out because the carer was a bit late and has been generally unhappy.  She said she doesn’t want to be a nuisance but wants someone with her all the time, which just isn’t possible.  Even in the Residential Home that didn’t happen, though she now thinks that was wonderful – short memory!  I can’t do any more than I am.  In the end, I gave in and gave her two paracetamol, two phenergan (for the sickness) and two senna tablets (for the constipation) on top of her medication last night and she seemed to have slept through – unless she has died…..I am too frightened to look!  Or I just didn’t hear her from exhaustion…I will find out in a minute 😦

 

Night out

Got invited to dinner tonight, but it meant leaving my mum on her own.  The last carer came at 6pm but had nothing to do.  Mum had come back from her club wet and having thrown up on the transport, so I had already changed her and got her ready for bed. As soon as the carer left and I had my coat on, mum then asked for a cup of tea, commode, fan etc clearly panicking that I was going to leave her for hours on end.  By the time I arrived at the restaurant, I was late and looked a mess.  Everyone else looked so calm and relaxed and, as it turned out, had far worse things going on in their lives than I had.

I was actually home by 9.30pm but managed to eat and drink far too much in that couple of hours, on the excuse of being stressed – why do I do that?  I go out determined to have a salad and end up having the most fattening dish on the menu plus a desert!  I seemed to be set on a downward spiral heading towards obesity and diabetes.  I really need to take some control and responsibility over my diet and actually exercise – I have one of those ‘pay and don’t go’ gym memberships!

Practicalities

A good friend reminded me today about insurance!  Having a keysafe and carers coming in and out of the house might invalidate my present house contents cover!!

Immediately I got home from work, I rang the Insurance company to check my policy. The lady who answered the phone was extremely helpful and understanding and confirmed that they would cover me at no extra charge.  However, she then proceeded to tell me that I actually didn’t have contents cover with them, only buildings insurance!  Could I remember who does cover my contents – not a chance!  So embarrassing!

I did eventually remember, but will have to phone tomorrow now.  Hopefully they will be just as helpful, but if not at least I know who to change to now.  And an important lesson – to be better organised!!!

Selling up

I am actually dreading putting mum’s house on the market.

One it means there is no turning back and two it will be upsetting for mum.

It’s also one more problem to have to deal with – getting the right price, clearing out the furniture, sorting out all the paperwork, old photos, ornaments, cleaning materials, crockery, cutlery, cooking utensils, clothing and all the other stuff she has collected over the years.  I have done this before for my grandmother and I know that their whole life is just going to end up in a small shoebox!

Plus I have to arrange energy certificates etc and cope with all the viewings, assuming there are some.  Housing market is really quiet now after Brexit and the election apparently and prices have fallen – typical!

Selective hearing

Mum had a fall last night. She tried to use the commode and slipped off.  It was only when my husband starting pushing me, that I realised that the loud ringing I could hear was her calling for help!

All the years I cared for my daughter, I seemed to sense in advance if she was ill.  Even though she no longer lives with us, I still know when she is unwell.  For some reason I just don’t hear my mum!!  I have a video camera in the room with 2 way audio as well as a doorbell and I still don’t hear her.

Tonight she had to press the watch alarm.  I just managed to get to the phone before they turned up.  I forgot to tell them that mum was sleeping in the front room, so they are likely to bound up the stairs into our bedroom one night! Think I had better get that one sorted out early on.

It was a real struggle to pick her up.  I didn’t want to ask my husband as he has been ill himself lately and also has a bad shoulder, but I thought I might have to.  Mum knew to cross her arms, but it was only after a few unsuccessful attempts that I realised she was keeping her legs straight! No wonder I was struggling.  I got her half up and we both fell on the bed.  Eventually, after a lot of struggling, she managed to get into bed properly but they really should provide the family with training on how to lift someone.

Anyway thank goodness she was okay, but we seem to be going backwards.  She was starting to manage in the night, but her leg has been playing up the last few days and she has been having trouble standing.  Painkillers are not helping so it may be connected with her stroke – I have been reading about post stroke pain – and if it is that there is apparently not much they can do about it!  Looks like we are back to some disturbed nights again.

Families

Now the arguments have started.

Mum has to sell her house to pay for her care.  There is a way to avoid this – if I do her care 24 hours, but I need to work and, having been a carer most of my life I know only too well that it will be too much for me to take on full time.  We have chosen the cheapest option anyway by moving in with me and have already sacrificed the ground floor of our house and most of our privacy with all the carers, social worker and therapists coming in and out when they want using the keysafe!

She could rent her house, but it would need refurbishing and neither she or I can afford to do that.  We have already loaned her all of our savings to get a new boiler and replace the kitchen, but the upstairs still needs doing.  We now have the additional costs of food and laundry, electricity etc now she has moved in and anyway any rent will not be enough to cover her care costs, so that option is out.

In the meantime, we are hoping the Council will agree to defer payments for the full cost of her care (her house is now seen as an asset) until the house is sold as she is currently on a low income.

Meanwhile my brother has been sending emails offering investment advice. Clearly I misinterpreted his email as I read it that he was trying to release some of the money for the family, and now he has gone off on one and will no longer speak to mum, accusing her of being selfish (I put it more politely than he did).  My daughter and son also thought his proposals were good and I am stuck in the middle trying to resolve everything.

Mum doesnt want to think about investment and said no.  My thoughts are that she hasnt even got her house on the market yet – and understandably wants to hang on closely to her money and to be able to see it in the bank (she has an App on her phone and checks her balance every day, despite not being able to use the phone to make or answer calls!).  She may change her mind, who knows, but it is up to her what she does – she could give it all away to some stranger if she wanted (hopefully not! and I now have Lasting Power of Attorney so can at least try and protect her from any scams) but she has the right to say no.

She worked really hard to buy her home. We lost everything when my dad got Parkinsons Disease – his business and our home – and ended up in a council flat which then had rain leaking in in every bedroom and carbon monoxide fumes in their bedroom (fortunately they had moved into the loft because of the water so avoided potentially dying in their sleep).  She then took a GCE and got herself a full time job and also worked nights in a burger bar to save a deposit to buy her own house.  Since then, as the only breadwinner, struggled to maintain the house over the years.  Any money she may receive now should go towards making her life as comfortable as possible.  Yes it should be invested wisely, to meet her future care costs and hopefully leave some for the family, but she hasn’t got any yet!  Early days!

Honeymoon is over

I just get pointing now.  Get me this or that. Put that there.  Had my hair cut and got told I look like Camilla Parker Bowles!  I had to tell her she would be out on her ear if she continued and fortunately that brought a laugh.  Not quite killed each other yet.

Carers have been coming, but times are bad.  Late twice on the days mum goes to her club, so I have had to run back from work to wash and dress her and do all the other things that you need to do in the morning.  I am a wreck.  Carer turned up just as I had finished and just before the transport arrived.  Then lunch is getting later at 1.30pm, followed by tea at 4.00pm, then bed at 6.00pm – sounds familiar??  Have had a chat with the Agency and hopefully they will sort it out…..