My mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2010. This is a blog about coming to terms with her absent mind.

Friday, 26 August 2011

The Doctor Calls

Ma's reluctance to eat has been worrying me for some time now as you know. This morning I thought it would be a good idea to have a chat with her GP, so I rang for a phone appointment. Typically his phone appointments were all taken so I was offered one with the triage nurse. She was very pleasant and said she would speak to Dr Hampson. At 12 there was a knock at the door and there was the man himself.

Ma adores her GP and this can be quite useful! He asked Ma a few questions but it was obvious that she wasn't able to answer them (What did you do? I can't remember. You fell Ma. Oh that's right I fell under a bus. Not in the kitchen you didn't..), although interestingly she does try to divert the conversation in an attempt to disguise this. We talked about various medication adjustments instigated by the hospital and I mentioned that Barry was organising a re-referral to the Dementia Team, which he said he would chase up.

He then gave her a stern look and told her she must start eating a bit more. I asked about food replacement products but he was reluctant to prescribe them because a) they don't taste very nice and b) he feels it could encourage Ma to be lazy about eating - which I think is a fair comment. Especially as as soon as he had left she asked for an apple and some soup! He agrees with me that so long as she is eating something I shouldn't get hung up on it being all sweet food if that's what she will eat.

She's been resting since half two, so may not get up again properly. On the other hand she may be up for a party in a bit. You never know!


Are you going now? Should I get out of your way?

Where am I going Ma?

I thought you were going to look at the land.

Umm no. Not going anywhere today don't worry.

Well aren't you going to be with your husband?

(He's not... uh never mind)

No Ma, he's not here.

Isn't he? Oh I thought he was. Are you sure?


Some things:

It has been weeks since she last kissed and cried over my dad's photo.

She joins in with any conversation and will say things in an attempt to sound as if she knows what's going on. Example: Uncle Vic was here chatting away. There was a break in the conversation and he jokingly said 'What else? Oh yes, the Dutch have taken Holland!' To which Ma replied, 'Oh I think I saw that on the news!'

She asks permission to do so many things now. It's heartbreaking.

Reading is beyond her now really, and for someone who set such great store in sending and receiving greetings cards, it is quite shocking to see her barely glance at her get well cards. There was a time when they would've been counted and the number paraded about. I think I get my aversion to greeting cards of any description from this.

She's convinced there's another room off her bedroom. There isn't. There is, however, a set of mirrored wardrobe doors which she opens to 'go in the other room' and is then very confused when there isn't one. Unless she's been skipping off to Narnia in the night...


Reablement ladies get her ready for bed, lots of good natured laughter when she goes to use Canasten to clean her teeth.

Phone rings. It's Glenys saying that they will be visiting on Sunday with Judith and Orla. Absolutely delighted to hear this. Tell Ma and she's also thrilled.

She's now dozing in the chair having refused to go to bed.

Why don't you go to bed mum?

I'm waiting for them to come.

The girls have been already?

I don't remember that.

They put your pyjamas on.

Oh yes I remember that but I'm waiting for the others. With the little one.

They aren't coming until Sunday! Today is Friday.

If you say so. I'll just wait here.


  1. I think your right, just give her want she would like to eat, when she would like to eat, I nursed someone who lived on Egg and cress sandwiches, ice cream and custard, dietitian, as she was having all the main food groups. As for the wardrobe.....well there may be a better world through there, will have a look tonight in mine and report back!!
    Take care lovely Bee, love and big squishy hugs to you xxxx

  2. What I meant to say was the 'dietitian wasn't too worried', it's been a long week :)

  3. Cleggers here Bee, you are doing a grand job in very difficult/emotional/and trying circumstances

  4. I'm with the doctor, Bee. A bit of what she fancies is better than none :) x