Monday, March 02, 2009

Mother and Sister Blue

Not a good week for Mother last week. She is struggling on her own. Not sure why as she has everyone running around at her beck and call. We are all somewhat frustrated with her.

The week before last, Mother's blood pressure was sitting at the oddly low figure of 110/60. The following week she woke one morning and knew it had gone very high. A friend called in and she asked him if he would drive her to the chemist to have it checked.

Drifting off a bit for a moment, the friend's son had rung his father in panic the week before as his horses were under threat by a nearby fire. He rushed to his son's place to help move the horses and managed to cook the motor of his car. Hence, he took Mother to the chemist in a large campervan and he managed to scrape a car while he was parking outside the chemist.

Blood pressure was up to 220/90. Mother panicked. The friend who took her to the chemist had to go to work, so he took Mother home and she called another friend who had taken her out the day before. This friend drove half an hour to collect Mother but Mother could not get to see her own doctor another fifteen minute drive away and so went to late Step Father's doctor, just a few hundred metres away. Probably about three hours out of this friend's day.

I obtained the forms for Mother to get cheap taxi fares but she does not want to use taxis. Sometimes she will have to wait, never mind other people inconveniencing themselves muchly.

A slight alteration was made to her blood pressure medication and she was just told to rest more.

The following day Mother woke to a warm fridge full of food. Heck, it only lasted 35 years. It is a large frost free model with worn seals and must cost a fortune to run, so it is not such a bad thing really. In my ABI Brother's garage is one of our old fridges that works perfectly well. We had to rid ourselves of it when we moved here and there was already one here. We would have been better keeping the old one as the one here packed it in and we bought a new one.

So the first friend turned up with a trailer and Sister and Little Jo arrived and while Mother looked after Little Jo, the friend and Sister transferred the fridge from ABI Brothers to Mothers. Although the freezer immediately became cold, the fridge part did not (I kind of remember that it took a while). Meanwhile Mother had left a message for Tradie Brother to attend that afternooon. He called to discover crisis had been handled. ABI Brother turned up and was despatched to buy a cheap esky and ice in case the fridge wasn't working properly.

'Another biscuit Little Jo?' said Mother as she passed one to Little Jo. Sister roarded 'NO, she has had two already', and snatched the biscuit and threw it across the room and burst into tears. Little Jo started crying and ran to another room, Mother burst into tears and headed to her smoking refuge in the laundry. This is quite uncharacteristic of Sister and I know very well such behaviour comes from extreme stress.

Mother called me that night to recount her tales of woe and I guess she felt a bit better after getting it all off her chest. I called Sister and suggest she go and stay in the country with the Bone Doctor a few days. She had already decided to.

I am going to have to have a word with Mother though. She has become so self obssessed since Step Father died, she cannot have a normal conversation without always swinging it back to being all about her.

Maybe it is a bit early yet and I will need to tread very gently, but Mother really needs to start developing some independance. She is always profuse in her thanks to people and R and I received a thank you card from her last week, as have others no doubt. But peoples' kindness will wear thin in time.


  1. Unfortunately, your last sentence is true..for your mum at least.
    Perhaps you can all have a family meeting to explain it to your mum. Although, that would mean she may think you are all against her when you are not.
    I think perhaps she hasn't allowed herself to grieve enough..but then, what is enough? This is the perfect time to speak to her now your sis cried..poor thing! I don't envy you. (((Huggs)))

  2. your Mum may be scared that you guys will abandon her if she shows independance, so it's easier for her to make demands and keep your attention. Talk to her, reassure her that you'll be there, within reason. Grieving takes a long time, but she has to start moving forward.

    Good luck.

  3. Ditto what them above said.

  4. It must be very hard for your mum after all those years of companionship. And it is definitely hard on all of you. As Jayne says, great advice above. Is your mum involved in any comsuming hobbies or community work? She sounds like an organiser and it might help take her out of herself.

  5. Definitely not family meeting Cazzie. Too confrontational. There is an amount of anger that she has been left alone I think.

    Good point Fenz. Never thought of that.

    Not involved in anything at all LiD. No interests apart from family, gardening (pretty hard in drought), her stray cats (last count 14) and trashy magazines. She rarely even reads a book now.

  6. Anonymous6:37 pm

    I'm with Fez on this. Also, it could be her way of having company. With your stepfather gone, she may feel like she has no purpose or no one to spend time with - escalating these dramas is a way of engineering company.

  7. Escalating dramas. Hmmm. Worth me thinking about MD.

  8. I get what you are saying Andrew, I hope it all works out in the end :)