Sunday, March 13, 2011

Family Matters

You know dear readers, I was actually looking forward to Mother being at Sister's for christmas. Mother made sure she was as difficult as she could be, often going to her room, not fitting in with anyone else's plans, holding everyone up all the time while we waited for her, and of course moaning on about her medical problems. At one point Bone Doctor said to her, for goodness sake T, there are so many much worse off than you. Sister couldn't believe what Bone Doctor said and rushed to tell me. None of us kiddies would dare say such a thing. Mother is never obvious about it, but she does wield some sort of curious power about her. It is not just us kiddies, but other people too. I might guess that it is because she is so nice and caring.

I was listening to something today about kiddies being regretful in the future about things they do and post online or with their phones. I heard of one case of a teenager being rejected by a family abroad as an overseas student because of what was on her facebook profile.

In my case, the damage has been done in my blog. I have said too much about my family and there is no going back. But not quite. I have never used names, nor precise locations. Clearly Highriser is not my last name and if I google myself using my proper name, there is nothing except facebook and not the one you readers know me on (It is Andrew Highriser if you want to add me. I am often nagged about the lack of my facebook friends) . It is the random that will be my undoing and discovery as a prolific blogger. I probably won't post any more identifiable photos of Little Jo. She is getting too old and I feel it would be an invasion of her privacy.

Of course it would only take a sleuth a few minutes to find out the identity of my real self, where I live, what my job is etc etc. It matters little anyway. I don't need to hide very much in my life and what I may hide, you can be sure I haven't written about it here. Actually, there is precious little. I am obviously quite boring.

In days of old R and I would have long discourses on men, sex, the world, friends and associates, venues etc. Now our long discourses are usually about family, medical matters and mentions of friends is a short conversation.

Mother was hospitalised to get her blood pressure under control a few years ago. R remarked a good bit later over one afore mentioned conversations how Mother spoke to the hospital staff including the nurses. Always perfect pleasant and nice but it was clearly an command. R remarked during our chat that he had never heard her speak like that before and she had showed a new side of herself to him. His comment rather reinforced what I had been telling him for some time, do not under estimate Mother.

Bone Doctor is a bit harsh though. She may lack bedside manner, as many of the best medical specialists do.

I might just make a list here of Mother's medical problems, even if only to clarify in my own mind.

Severe upper leg pain, probably referred pain from worn out discs in her vertebrae.
Borderline diabetic.
Goitre pressing on her carotid artery. Dangerous to operate on.
Arthritis, but not severe.
High and unstable blood pressure, in spite of medication.
Stomach problems and self diagnosed allergies to many foods. I suspect this is about her poor diet, constantly snacking and gorging at times.
Recurrent diarrhoea, treated with imodium. A recipe for disaster.
Sleeping problems, par for the course for someone her age.
Anxiety, nervousness and over excitement.

Not quite so medical is doctor shopping for one who listens and humours her. Self diagnosis and treatment are up there too.

I can be strong enough if I need to be, but I am not in Mother's league. It matters little what we kiddies do or say to her, she will do what she wants. It is not that we don't care, but we tend to ignore her nonsense a bit. Even R gets less stressed now when he sees Mother and has to listen to her.

This post has been hanging around too long, 24th Jan. 


  1. She's lonely and needs a hobby but... you can lead an intelligent woman to knowledge but you can't make her think.

  2. ALL OF that - the physical and the psychological - simply indicate to me the onset of age.

    I know people who have a similar sense of 'entitlement', maybe on different topics and along varying fault-lines. But there still exists an attitude of 'how dare they say/do that to me'.

    I am often flabergasted as to how the entitlement lodged in their world-view.

    I am in an 'interesting' space at the moment. I have a father who is 89. I have children in their early thirties. I have a grand-daughter who is a half.

    The jockeying in my own head for self-knowledge takes into account all these disparate views of the internal world. I am learning heaps about myself as a consequence.

    And that is all that really matters ...

  3. Some people do complain a lot and some don't - some have devastating disability and never complain - its all down to personality. I have a friend who wears her suffering like a badge of merit and goes on and on and ...well you know - its exhausting and I always feel tired after being around her - I think she thinks it makes people feel sorry for her and that equates to her being loved...but it drives me the way Thank you Andrew for putting Don's facebook page up on your site - it means a lot that people care enough to do this.

  4. And I had a bit of a health whine in my latest post will not make a habit of this

  5. She sounds like your usual attention wanting, elderly hypochondriac. A lot of old people (don't know your Mum so can't comment on her specifically) go to the doctors time and time again, yet they don't actually take the steps to fix what is fixable. They enjoy the attention, they feel if they were 'healthy' that no one would pay attention, let alone visit them. People in their lives enable the behaviour so it continues.

    Plus it gives them something to do!! My Nan can be a bit the same at times.

  6. Oh another illusion shattered. Highriser is such a cool surname ...!!! But I can't talk, I'm hiding behind RNO, and will continue to do so to protect the innocent ...

    'Hypochondria as a Hobby' is common among the ageing - generally in place of other interests. What can you do? BD may be right - if their world is a bit insular, they may not know they're going on and on. Is it possible to give her a 'project' or two? For eg, I ask my mum for a favourite recipe - by the time she's found it, written it down, posted it off, then rung to see if I've got it, the bad moment has passed.

  7. Fen's comment is spot on - oldies love the quack, yet absolutely fail to do as they are told to fix the thing that they went for.

    Great post though, HR.

  8. She does need an outside interest Jayne, but she just won't do it.

    Julie, she has had a pretty easy life really compared to many so no doubt her sense of self entitlement is very deeply ingrained. I often try to self analyse but at times I don't like what I see, so forget about it.

    MC, exhausting in a way that Don never exhausted you. I know exactly what you mean. Mother exhausts and drains me.

    I guess you are right Fen. Attention seeking at its finest.

    Red, I have tried distraction and it works but only briefly.

    Precisely Ann. Some problems remain untreated because she doesn't like the process or medication.