Saturday, July 21, 2018

What is happening with family?

Well, Mother after her hospital stay came out increasingly frail. I expect that is why they wanted her to do physical therapy while she was there. She mostly refused and only went twice. She went back to ABI Brother's home and she concedes herself that she needs to sell her home. She is back to getting meals on wheels, at a cost. She doesn't like ABI Brother's cooking. This Tuesday I took Mother out for lunch at McDonalds and then to the doctor's. The doctor has to call Canberra to be able to prescribe her strong pain killing medication and while she wants four tablets a day, he will only give her three a day. I am afraid for my mother because she can barely walk, barely managing with a walking frame and a walking stick. She only tells us what she wants us to know, but as I see it, her in home care support is pretty hopeless.

After the doctor visit, she asked if I could drive her to the masseur where she had an appointment booked on Thursday, when R would take her. Can't you telephone them? No, they don't answer. They are busy massaging. She tried to change the appointment to later, to her suit her, but I chipped in with 1pm would suit R best. That should have taken a minute, but she buttered up the staff for five minutes with tales of when her late partner used to attend the practice in a different location, and how wonderful they were, and his masseur sent flowers for his funeral. She went on to ask if the massage would be gentle, and of course they reassured her it would be. She said to me, don't bother with getting my walking frame out. I will use my walking stick. She went up the four stairs, with me behind her to catch her if she fell. When we left, I said to her, use the ramp. What ramp she said? She never looks for the best ways to do things.

Lordy, she did not mention her bowels once today. A miracle. ABI Brother's place is not set up for an old person.There aren't support handles in the shower. She doesn't have her emergency alarm. She is waxing and waning between going home and whatever other option there may be. While it is not easy for any of us to see her like this, it can't be easy for her either. She must know she is transitioning to an aged care place.

Hippy Niece with her father, Tradie Brother. and the twins headed north to Step Mother's near Echuca for a weekend. They had a good time. Tradie Brother posted a photo of the coloured twins crawling over Father's grave in Nathalia. What fun. All I heard was that Step Mother said the twins were very noisy. Step Mother, in spite of having two children, is not really a mothering kind of person. Give her a dog or cat, then she is just brilliant. Lordy, babies cry. Who would have thunk that.

Oldest Niece had still not send us a thank you note/sms for the hundreds of dollars we gave her for he engagement/30th birthday, just to equalise to her siblings and how we have bailed them out in the past. She did host us for a nice lunch though, with other family. It was fun day, but her new lounge suite and dining suite had not arrived. And she has bought a new Jeep. Money runs through her fingers like water. Which is fine as long as the money is coming in. I expect it always will for her. Like Ex Sis in Law, her mother, she is not work shy and her partner seems to earn well.

ABI Brother, acquired brain injury, knows how to work the system quite well, and received an $100,000 payout from Work Cover for his bad back, which is bad. After solicitor costs, he gets $80,000.  He sent two bunches of flowers to the respective female staff at the law firm, who he thought were very kind and caring. One called and spoke to Mother to thank him for the flowers. Whether his back problem was caused by work or his terrible accident, who knows. WorkCover pays for one hour of house work each week and one hour of gardening. Mother tries to play queen of the manor and order the cleaner and gardener around, but they take little notice but are also so kind to Mother too.

Since I wrote the above a couple of days ago, ABI Brother was called into the office and told he was no longer needed at work. His work place has been quite good to him over the years, and to R and myself, this came as no surprise. He was taking a day off a week and costing the company money. He could not really do the job very efficiently that he had recently been allocated. Maybe he will get some redundancy money. Mother, according to R, is nagging him endlessly. Like my father did, and her children do, Mother's nagging kind of disappears into a dead space. It is only the non blood relatives that really hear it. ABI's gardener and house cleaner are no more.

Sister cancelled their booked stay at our place (which thankfully shut up R moaning about Sister staying), and instead they just visited us for lunch for Little Jo's 11th birthday. Sister and Little Jo went on to play bowls with the Rainbow Family organisation. We had a very nice lunch at Sandbar in Middle Park and played the card game, Exploding Kittens, which was our gift to Little Jo for her birthday. $30 dollars plus postage for about forty printed playing cards? It is a good game though. It was played fairly, and Little Jo won. I thought I was in a prime position with a cancelling exploding cat card and a card to negate Little Jo's cancelling exploding cat card. She was the only one who had played it before.

I think Tradie Brother went through a depressive period when, only reading between the lines, was sacked from his old job for being so hungover when he turned up at work. He has never spoken honestly to anyone about it, but we read between the lines. He ran out of money, and borrowed $2000 from ABI Brother. Then he could not remember that he had only paid back $1,000, not the $2,000. Such stuff is uncomfortable for families, and I sided with ABI Brother as he keeps records, and he was right. The money was repaid.

But after some time, Tradie Brother found a new well paid job, and he still is getting income from his tenant in the granny flat and his boarder. So, maybe it is time for me to remind him that he owes me $500 of Mother's accumulated costs, that is her health insurance and admittance to hospital cost. Her health fund is good and paid for everything else aside from the $300 admittance fee. He is much happier now he is back at work.

Nephew and his wife are doing fine in their seaside surfing country town and they have a new dog. We are yet to visit.

Mother is our prime focus at the moment, yet we have no control over her. She will do what she will do. Frail as she is, her mind is as sharp as a manipulative tack.

29 comments:

  1. It must be very, very hard for your mother. And hard (and sometimes frustrating) for the rest of you.

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    1. EC, both true. I, or we just don't know what to do. Her last words were that she was thinking of selling her house, but she had not quite decided yet. It is very unlikely she will return.

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  2. Your mum isn't slowly transitioning into aged care. She needs it NOW. Your mum will hate it of course but you and your siblings are legally and morally obligated to meet her urgent needs, not her flighty wants.

    She will not thank you. In fact she will yell at you. Been there, done that :(

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    1. Hels, I know you have spoken wise words from experience, but she is too strong and forceful. We have to do it by some back door route.

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  3. If your mother wasn't going to do the physio, then was it really worth weaning her off the codeine? You have to wonder. It's not as if, on your account, she sounds like a very physio kind of person. (And I say that as one who also isn't.)

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    1. Marcellous, the theory was good, to get her on to pain killing morphine patches. A change over of doctors and her intransigence saw her a new less addictive pain killer, but she had a total loss of appetite, unusual for her. I said to her half way through her hospital stay, it looks like you are wasting this hospital stay. She did not deny it. No, she isn't a physio king of person, but the older woman in the bed next to her recovering from a hip replaced used to get up each morning, shower and dress and then sit in a chair, walk about, go to physio, whereas Mother showered late4 morning, but did not dress and lay in bed for three weeks. Her newest grasp at the end of pain is a masseur, who correctly told her she has muscle wastage and that is why she is finding it so difficult to walk.

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  4. Families are so much fun. Kinda. Sorta. I got nothing. :)

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    1. Ah, the younger Snoskred with the younger parents. You'll get your turn girlfriend.

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  5. The more fragile the body gets the more manipulating the mind gets. It's the only way they can control their life never mind enjoying making everyone else miserable. So if you are looking for my blog, I'll start writing again when I'm living my life not two.

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    1. Wise words Jah Teh. Thank you.

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  6. Sorry to hear your mum is more frail, physio would have helped, but I shouldn't talk, I'm supposed to be walking daily and doing exercises to stretch the achilles and hamstrings, but I sit around instead with books, computer and TV. At this point I think a nursing home is probably the best option for her and she will realise it soon enough, especially if she sells her house and has nowhere to go that gives her the care she needs.

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    1. River, do make a bit of an effort for exercise, but nor can I talk. She might be ok if someone was just there to supervise her showering. That is where she is most fearful. She thinks her mobility has improved over the last week, and perhaps it has as she restores muscles. It must have been very late week, as me who was there on Tuesday and R who was there Thursday saw no difference.

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    2. I do walk to and from bus stops and often get off two or three stops before I need to so get an extra bit of walking that way and on really fine days this time of year I'll walk as far as I can before getting a bus, for instance home from the cinema, where I get out just in time to miss a bus, so walk in the home direction for about 40 minutes to an hour.

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  7. Snap Andrew..... my Mother should be in a nursing home but ..... No! "I am not ready for that" when I ask her and then I am the most rotten person on earth for the day. Mum does not like the Meals on Wheels but I get them to go twice a week as they can look in for me - I do not live close sadly. Like your Mum ... mine will not tell me the full truth , took her to a physio but she does not do the exercises . Her legs are up (that means she is drinking too much water ) but she says she hardly drinks.Doctors say she should only drink 1.5 litres a day. Its so hard and the Goverment help - "My Aged Care" is a joke. I so understand your situation ... sort of like mine :(

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    1. Lady J, very much snap. My Aged Care is a nightmare. She and yours need a professional social worker to visit them and tell them their options, and suggest an appropriate care place. But then money comes into it too. If Mother sells her house, what will she do with the money? On her past record, it will be frittered away.

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    2. If she goes into a nursing home, arrangements can be made to give her an allowance on a weekly basis so the money isn't frittered away too quickly.

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  8. It's sad to see our parents getting old and frail.
    Hopefully the family will find a solution for her future care.

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    1. Sami, like Snoskred about, you are a bit younger younger as are your parents and I think your parents aren't doing too badly yet. They looked pretty ok. Correct me if I am wrong.

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  9. There is a lot going on in and around you, Andrew.

    Growing old, so often, isn't a lot of fun...for all concerned...and the onlookers. Life becomes very difficult...and for a person wanting to hold onto their independence it's understandable...and has to be understood. There for the grace of God go us all....

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    1. Lee, Mother's predicament is brought about herself. Step Father died about eight years ago and she should have moved on and moved then and had a much better quality of life. We urged her to do so, but no. She is now in a very difficult situation. Sometimes I think she would be better off if we didn't prop her up so much. Thanks.

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  10. I used to say to my aged clients that unless they used it, they would lose it. Meaning their mobility. And once you lose it, it's a hard road back. Much love darling, it's tough x

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    1. Thanks Fen. She has certainly learnt that now.

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  11. Oh dear Andrew, I am sorry that your Mother is going through all of this. It was a nightmare for my sister and I the last two years of our mother's life. She kept needing more and more pain medication and of course here in the USA they are cracking down on narcotic use for any reason. Thank goodness back then, it was not so much the case. Mom's been gone for 5 years.
    My husband is having a very hard time, as it seems each day he becomes more and more frail. It breaks my heart. At 80 he remember when he was a strong daily runner and now he cannot feel his feet or hands.
    No, getting old is not for sissies!

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    1. Maribeth, Sister's partner is a doctor and she says, so what if she is addicted to painkillers at the age of 84. But the side effects aren't that good. You have my full sympathy for you and your husband. A mother is one thing, your partner is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

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  12. Your family seems extensive and complicated. I'm sorry about your mother failing. That must be hard to see. And I feel some guilt because I have no family at all whom I interact with or see. I think it better to have family though.

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    1. Strayer, painful as they are at times, I am very glad to have my family. You have your brother, but he moved away further, didn't he.

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  13. Andrew, I know you keep a diary so put everything about mother in it, doctors, medication, when this or that stopped working. Then when something comes up and an argument starts, it's "don't argue with a person who keeps a diary", wonderful how that shuts them up.

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  14. So sorry to hear about your mum Andrew. Do watch her carefully,sometimes things can escalate really fast, they did with my mum. Was good to catch up on family news, they can be a pain sometimes but they are all the family we've got ✨

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