Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

And now for something different…

This week’s post is a little quirky. Don’t say you weren’t warned! I used an issue I need to address, in combination with drawing a tarot card each time I hit a writers block. It’s a little off-the-wall and a little rant, but as I’ve been told before, “better out than in!”. Here goes…

If I could turn  back time, I would take further steps to ensure my teenage diary was never found by Dad, then I might have remained Daddy’s girl for a bit longer. I always thought that Dad was the easier parent to be around compared to Mum – less judgemental and more easy going. In hindsight, he was actually a hands-off parent, a product of the upbringing of the time he was born in.

Communication has never been his strong point.  Well not within the family setting. All through my adult life he used to hand me off to Mum almost as soon as he answered the phone. The times we did speak were due to Mum being elsewhere. Mum was always a chatterbox in one way or an other. She would phone me at the most inopportune times… usually as I was about to go to bed. The phone ringing at that time of night used to send me into panic mode, wondering what had happened to prompt a late night call. Usually it was nothing that couldn’t wait till the following day! She’d chat away and I’d spend the next hour trying to get rid of a massive adrenalin dump in my system. Hello sleepless night! When she learned to text there was no stopping her random messages informing me of her latest coffee or shopping expedition.

How times have changed. Mum is so incapacitated that she cannot use a phone and can barely hold a conversation on a video conference. I had thought that Dad would need his daughters to talk to.  As it turns out he just doesn’t want to talk to anyone at all. Video calls, phone calls and text messages are reluctantly answered. Non-communication is not limited to my sister and me. He will not answer the phone/mobile to people he needs to talk to. This includes Mum’s social worker, who is trying to sort out her care package for the future. Any attempt to talk about this ends up with the messenger (me or my sis) being shot!

As a result I now feel sick as a dog before I have to call him about Mum’s care. I get the silent treatment and have to do all the running to get him to talk again. In the end, I feel drained. This can’t go on. There will be more horrible issues to deal with and I can’t take much more of this behaviour from him but what to do? I can’t just abandon him to his moods. If I do, I know he will make some dumbass decision that will dump a whole new heap of issues to deal with.

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on

At this point I ran out of words so pulled a card,  the 2 of Swords… I feel I am at stalemate with Dad’s behaviour. I have often said I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

So what can I expect as things progress? Oh what fun. I drew The Tower! Really it’s not that much of a surprise. Mum was the foundation and bedrock of the family. Her failing health and resulting care issues have upset the applecart. Dad, my sister and I are the characters on the card, falling from the tower which is crumbling, following a catastrophic lightning strike.

 However, this state of affairs will not last forever. What will be the outcome? The  final card I drew was the Emperor. The calm that always follows a storm will see us empowered to deal with anything coming our way.

Blog Posts, Menopausal Mutterings

The Law is an ass!

The saga of Mum’s care continues to take new and unexpected turns. As you know, the poor woman has been in hospital, moved to a community hospital and now found to be ‘too well’ to stay with there. Given that she has stage 4 breast cancer and vascular dementia (yes, that was one of the interesting turns last week), it seems absurd to describer her as a well person. The medical team have referred her case to the social work department to decide what happens from now on.

As an important reminder, Mum has vascular dementia and has been declared unable to make informed decisions about her care and welfare. My Dad has full power of attorney, covering her finances and medical/housing issues already in place. So you’re acquainted with the key facts. You will be amazed at the call I received on Monday morning from Mum’s appointed welfare officer. Amazed and puzzled at the outcome.

After delving into my background and my mother’s background and recent health issues, he informed me that he would be visiting Mum shortly to ascertain her wishes regarding her future care. To say I was shocked is an understatement. Nobody from our family has been allowed to visit Mum, but this stranger can. Just to be clear in my mind I asked him what he planned to discuss with Mum given her dementia. To my horror, he plans to ask her what her wishes are regarding her continuing care. I reminded him again of the doctor’s findings an declaration on her records. He said none of that matters. If she says she wants to go home (which she will) he must act on this.

Stunned silence.

The upshot of the legal system is, that even though Mum has been declared unfit to make her own informed decisions, the welfare officer is duty-bound to abide by her wishes… unless my Dad applies for welfare guardianship! This is a whole new level of legal red tape for poor Dad to navigate through.

Astounded, I asked the following – Given that the medical team have declared her needs too great to be cared for at home, if Mum says that’s where she wants to go, you will go against all medical advice, the power of attorney counts for nothing, and she could be sent home.

Yes. That’s exactly the case. Unbelievable. You can imagine the extra stress that has placed on Dad as well as my sister and I. I told him that Dad is booked in for further cancer surgery and would require care himself when he comes home to recuperate, but this fell on deaf ears.

The big meeting between the officer and Mum is set for next week, with a follow-up meeting to include my sister and I to support Dad.  Already my anxiety levels have pushed beyond defcon 10.

I state again, the law is an ass!