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

Monday, 19 March 2012

Very Frail

I'm sorry I didn't manage a Sunday update. I'd like to say it was because I was buried under the weight of Mothering Sunday cards and flowers but actually it was because Ma wasn't too good and then Peter arrived in the afternoon.

We had a quiet night on Saturday but Ma was distressed and upset early Sunday morning. I heard her on the monitor at about 5:30 calling 'Please, please' over and over. This usually means that she is in pain so I gave her some codeine and manged to get about 10ml of water down her and then sat and stroked her head until she calmed down and went back to sleep.

There was a bit of a breakdown in communication with the carers yesterday due to the lady who came on Saturday morning saying she couldn't deal with Ma due to her back problems. So Sam came, the girl who had been on the previous mornings, but she had a full list so didn't arrive until 11:20. Once Ma was clean and sorted we decided to leave her in bed because she seemed comfortable and content. Going by her discomfort the day before when she was sitting in the chair it just seemed a kinder thing to do. It is very distressing for her and for me to see her arching her back calling 'Please please' and worrying that the GP has said not to give her too much codeine. I know it causes constipation problems but honestly, when she's like that, it seems irrelevant plus I give her a liquid laxative in the hopes of preventing that happening. She had very little Fortisip and not much more water but by using an eye dropper I was able to get some into her at least.

She slept through most of the day and when Anne came in the evening to get her ready for bed she commented on how much more relaxed and cooperative Ma was.

She's had another quiet night, I heard her murmuring at around 5. When I went in she'd uncovered herself a bit so I put the duvet back over her and she is now sleeping.

She is very frail indeed. The deterioration even from when she came home last Wednesday is worrying and upsetting. As Peter is going to be around until early afternoon we have decided to request a home visit from the GP.


The carers have been. They tried to get her to sit up but it distressed her too much. So she's now clean and sleeping. They have suggested that I need to request a hospital type bed for her if she's likely to be on 'bed care' from now on. That will be the GP's decision I understand and we are down for a home visit at lunchtime.

The dietician has just been. A lovely girl and really not her fault that all her advice would have been incredibly useful about eight months ago.


Thank you for all the emails, text messages and FB messages. It never fails to astonish me just how many people actually read this.

I would point out that Ma is made of stern stuff. We were told six months ago that her sister was gravely ill and all treatment was withdrawn. Admittedly she is now very poorly but she's still with us...

Another update later.


She is now on Ward 7, calm and comfortable.

The GP came and checked her over thoroughly but was of the opinion that she needs to be in hospital due to a bit of a temperature, which would indicate an infection of some sort, and a need to get some fluids into her. Once again, when we sat her up she was incredibly distressed - gripping me very hard (bruises on boobs to prove it oww)  but he couldn't find anything which would indicate an internal problem for instance. To be perfectly honest, I was relieved when he suggested hospital because the whole food/hydration thing is incredibly worrying.

He tried to have her admitted straight off but was told that there weren't any beds so she had to be admitted via A&E and ambulance. Because she wasn't an emergency requiring a blue light call, it would be anywhere within a four hour timeframe. It was actually just under six hours but the ambulance men were so lovely and Ma was relatively calm and settled so it didn't matter.

Oh and, talking about how lovely they were.... they said they would have to transport her via a chair. I warned them that she wouldn't like that one bit, she had already been in extreme distress twice already today because she had been made to sit upright.

They walked into the bedroom, said 'Hello Audrey' in manly tones, lifted her into the chair and she was utterly compliant, to the extent that she was 'almost' flirting with them. My ghast was totally and utterly flabbered.

Once I'd wound my chin off the floor...

She went straight to Ward 7 thank goodness. Very comfortable and relaxed. No real news until she is assessed tomorrow morning and that is likely to be about 10am.

Thank you for all the concern expressed via various networks, I really do appreciate it.

This morning I really thought Ma was close to dying. Now I think she will be with us for a fair bit longer.

A good day after all.


  1. I'm so sorry Bee. It's really hard when we have to watch our loved ones deteriorate in such a way. When I was nursing Wayne (late husband) through his last few weeks, I found that I actually could detach myself and put on my nurses hat and leave the wife outside until she was needed. I think it's natures way of protecting us. I did it for my mother too...fortunately she was in hospital for the last week but the important decisions were mine.
    No matter that you and I don't have as much contact as we used to, I still regard you as a friend and I want you to know that if ever you need me, just leave me a private msg on fb with your number (which I'd love anyway) and I'll get in touch. I really am thinking of you dear.xxxx

  2. I think about you and Ma every day, and hope for the best. I'm amazed you have time or energy to update this, but very pleased that you do x

  3. As Orange says. And best wishes to you both.
    ((( )))

  4. Yes, I'm with you all the way Bee and clicking regularly to see whether there is any news. So glad that Mum is comfortable and that the responsibility of actually getting liquid and food into her has been taken on by the experts.

    Try to get some much needed rest while you can.

  5. Sleep well! Hope hip is much improved.