Why does each new crisis arrive so soon after the previous one is resolved?
When I awoke very early this morning, as I usually do being a moderate insomniac, I was looking forward to writing a blog post about the really momentous thing that happened yesterday.
Meanwhile, the news was full of information about the amout of rain that has fallen overnight, and sure enough, the usual deep puddle had formed on our driveway. I’ll come back to the rain later…
Yesterday, Mum’s GP decided it was now time to sign whatever the relevant paperwork is to define Mum as an Adult with Incapacity. The immediate first thing about this is that Mum can now be over-ruled about having local authority carers coming in. We have been in limbo for over four years, with everyone – OT key worker at local authority elderly care team, GP, Mum’s friends, me, my sibling, my friends, the church elder, Mum’s neighbours, Uncle Tom Cobley – thinking that Mum would benefit from these visits, and that she would actually enjoy having more people coming into the house as she becomes increasingly housebound.
But, the gatekeeper to this service, the OT key worker at the local authority, cannot (she says) provide it if Mum says she doesn’t want it. Which she does, every time.
In the last couple of months, though, there has been a dramatic step change in Mum’s condition. She is now confused and distressed upon waking. She is also wetting the bed, forgetting to take her pills, and a whole host of other behaviours that are not optimal for quality of life.
Yesterday, when the GP called me to say she was now content to sign the paperwork, I was happy and relieved; but when I awoke this morning I had other more mixed feelings:
- sadness that my Mum should be categorised by officialdom like that;
- rueful regret that Mum’s stubbornness about accepting carers should mean that this categorisation was necessary in order to get her what she needs;
- worry that there will be some other consequences of this designation down the line that I don’t yet know about and which will be bad for Mum.
However, I don’t have time now to process these feelings any further, as it never rains but it pours.
The GP had visited Mum yesterday while I was out working, and among other things realised that Mum is constipated. Our whole family has lived with Mum’s bowels for as long as I can remember, and she was diagnosed donkey’s years ago with diverticulitis. Mum has always had to eat bran and perform various dietary rituals to ‘keep herself regular’. She almost certainly has sub-optimal gut motility. These days she eats Oatibix and prunes every morning and uses a product called Laxido. I think she has missed a couple of days recently along with forgetting to take her pills, so today the chickens came home to roost.
I gave her a Laxido drink yesterday at teatime after speaking to the GP, and another one this morning along with her Oatibix. She then felt the need to go to the loo, but was in there for ages bellowing with great pain. It’s a ghastly situation. When she finished in the loo, she told me that her cleaner blocks the loo by using the wrong toilet paper. This is clearly nonsense, but after a few minutes I realised Mum was trying to tell me the loo was blocked. Sure enough, although there was no sign of anything she had passed in the loo, when I flushed it the bowl just filled up.
Bloody flipping feck feck feck!
Mum lives in a very ancient wee cottage with very dodgy drains. It is possible that Mum has blocked the loo by accidentally dropping an incontinence pad down it. It is also possible that the sewers are backed up by the torrential overnight rain, or blocked by autumn leaves. I investigated…. stuck my hand around the U-bend, but couldn’t find any obvious block. So where we are now, is that I have called the relevant sewerage company and they will send someone within 24 hours!
She only has one loo, by the way.
So, I will have to spend as much time as I can at Mum’s house between now and them coming because she can’t even answer the door never mind speak to them! And it’s parents’ evening tonight and….. and I want a life!
Why does each new crisis arrive so quickly after the previous one is resolved?