“I Don’t Know”

By my dad…

I haven’t been in touch recently because Jane has been quite settled over the last few months. All the family and children have been up to see us over half term which has been very nice for me, but perhaps a bit confusing for Mrs T.

Mum and Dad

When Clive was leaving with Natasha after watching the glorious rugby between Scotland and Wales, Jane said to him “give my love to your Mum”. Although this was perhaps amusing to us, she was quite serious and genuine in her thoughts. It is very strange that in this brain of ours the wiring is so out of “sync” that beliefs and understanding can be so altered that they completely overrule sensible truths. There doesn’t seem to be any sensory or motor deficit but logic, memory and cognitive concepts are totally impaired.

She has been a little difficult this week. “What would you like to eat? What shall we do today? Would you like a cup of tea? Shall we take Maggie out? Would you like to watch T.V?Shall we put this jumper on today. ???????

“I don’t know.”

Simple decisions we all make without consideration, Jane now cannot process in her mind and usually says nothing or “you decide.”

Communication is becoming less and the psyche. nurses who come in weekly say if she is happy cleaning the sink over and over again, just let her if she seems happy and content in doing so. I find it rather frustrating though, because she is unable to do the most simple of acts such as drying the dishes or putting kitchen items away in the correct place. Gone are the days when she could cook lovely meals or use a Hoover !

The home care ladies who come in morning and evening tell me that it has been more difficult for them to put across simple instructions with regard to dressing, undressing and bathing. She is not distressed at all but like a toddler it does take patience and resilience to get messages across. When she comes downstairs in the morning after half an hour with Suzanne or Lesley she is bright and breezy and says “good morning” to me as if she hasn’t seen me for weeks !

She doesn’t take much breakfast, although she manages her medication (just) ! Lunch is a bit hit and a miss although she has a good dinner. When she attends the day centre twice a week they say she has a great appetite and eats all that is put in front of her at lunch time. They provide a lot of 1:1 care with various activities thrown in which perhaps is not what she obtains here. I find it hard though to try to keep her motivated and busy at home with her not really knowing me (or the children now) and with her slightly obsessional behaviour it is becoming more and more demanding.

As I look out from the conservatory at the hills bathed with sunshine with a gin and tonic by my side I mustn’t complain too much. I’ve had a good working life and this is my “life” now – trying my best with my love. I have told her several times to come through to the warmth here, but she seems content in staying in the kitchen “pottering”.
What is going on in her brain I often ask myself. Is she unhappy? Is she content with her restricted, rather simple existence here? Is life becoming too much for her? Why is it impossible for her to tell me? “I just want to go home” is becoming too much of a regular issue for her that it is hard for me to try to deflect this belief and other delusional thoughts at times.

The children ring regularly and Jane tries her best to hold a conversation with them. Martha has raised over a £1100 for The Alzheimer’s Society recently by donating her long hair to the little Princess trust and of course, Clive and Sarah raised £3500 for them in running the great North Run last year. They are all wonderful, caring and devoted and all miss their Mum, as I do.

Well I better go and see if everything is okay and the hot tap is not turned on, as it has a few times before !

I don’t know if things are going to improve. I can only hope.

One thought on ““I Don’t Know”

Add yours

  1. I know what you mean about the tap. When Maureen is out of sight I am listening all the time to try to gauge what is going on. If I follow her around I’m in trouble but nothinhg like what might happen if I switch off for too long!


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