Something is up, mum has not been responsive for a few days. Neither happy or grumpy, just nothing. I have seen this before; she is not well I can tell. I manage to get her up onto to a seat in the hallway. Now Dad does not want to go to the toilet. I take mum into the bathroom. As mum is doubly incontinent it takes a while to strip her nappy off and then she refuses to walk into the shower. Nothing will persuade her. I clean her up with a flannel and a towel. Not an easy job when she wants to sit down. Forty minutes later I get her to accept another nappy and I manage to secure it in place.
I take her from the bathroom and she is happy to sit in her chair in the living room. I go and see what dad is fussing about in the kitchen. He is looking for matches to light the gas; gas that has been disconnected for safety reasons six months ago. Most times he is okay but lately sometimes he gets very confused.
When I go back to see mum she is trying to pull the dressings off her big toes. After weeks of trying to arrange a time for a chiropodist to visit, the person cut each of mum’s toes. Mother didn’t want the chiropodist to touch her feet and the accidents happened as a result of the wrestling match that ensued.
Mum has had Alzheimer’s for nine years. Dad’s condition has been diagnosed much more recently. Lately mum has not been well. I talked things through with the doctor yesterday and he said I should get a urine sample as she might have an infection – we have been here before.
It took me most of this afternoon to get a urine sample. I don’t have to explain to you the technical difficulties and absolute frustrations involved in doing this. When ‘successful’ I put the sample in the plastic tube and I put that into a jiffy bag. Traffic was mad but I got to the doctors at 4.45pm feeling all hot and flustered. There were two receptionists standing behind the reception. I was told by one they were now closed. I explained that I had a urine sample and it took most of the afternoon to acquire it. “That might be so but this is not a drop in centre”, replied the receptionist. I lost it. I screamed at her. I said things I should not have uttered. A doctor passing through the reception area eventually took the sample. When I got into my car outside I cried my eyes out. WHY CAN’T PEOPLE BE A LITTLE MORE UNDERSTANDING?
Thanks to Jean for her story. And thanks to the doctor for dealing with customers in a more understanding way.