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

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Putting the record straight

Phone rings.

'Hello it's Ward 20 here. Are you coming to see your mum today?'

Me: Yes, at visiting this afternoon.

'Oh good. Only the Doctor wants to talk to you about your understanding of your mother's condition'

Me: *blank silence for a moment* Ok. I'll look forward to it.


*ushered into a side room by the Doctor and we exchange niceties*

'So can you tell me your understanding of your Mother's condition?'

Me: Do you mean apart from the end stage vascular dementia?

'Um yes... what does that mean to you?'

Me: Ok. I suggest that we drop the patronising attitude and talk about this like adults.

'I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to be patronising! Let's start again. Do you see your mum every day?'

Me: I should hope so, I live with her...

*later in the conversation*

'She is quite malnourished and was dehydrated.'

Me: yes she is. I have been begging the GP for food supplements for months now.

'Oh and why haven't they been prescribed?'

Me: because they are too expensive.

'Well that's not acceptable!'

Hey ho.... welcome to the real world. We also discussed her needs. I explained that we already have a pressure mattress and cushion and that a hoist has been requested. We talked about getting food into her. I explained about adding extra cream and syrup to her porridge and cream/butter/cheese or cream cheese to mash and veg etc. We talked about the fact that her care package wasn't suitable. I explained that I was asked what she needed and was only able to judge it on how she was before she broke her hip. And suggested that possibly the two week assessment could have been done when she spent three weeks in Spurr House, resulting in a more suitable package.

In the end she dropped the patronising attitude, I let her keep her head attached to her neck and she commented on the fact that I seem to be providing the best possible care for Ma.

I confess that I was ready for a bust up. I'm fed up with being treated like an idiot when it comes to knowing Ma's needs, I spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with her and try my absolute utmost to give her the best that I can. The implication, intended or not, that I am lacking in my care for her rankles quite a lot.


Ma is looking much better today. Her colour is vastly improved and she's clearly no longer in any pain. She's due to be transferred to the assessment bed tomorrow so we will see what the next couple of weeks brings.


A lovely teeny toadstool for today's blip

1 comment:

  1. I do so admire the way you kept your temper when authority tried to 'teach you to suck eggs'. I do so hope that the conversation generates a better level of service from the NHS towards which she and you have paid all your working lives.