Friday, 25 June 2021

Still Trudging

Hello, my friends.

There has been so much going on here. I feel like I've been wading through a wave of thick sludge, uphill, as it threatens to push me over or pull me under. 

I am still finding it hard to process my husband's illness and death. Every day I cry over something. Sometimes it's from loneliness, sometimes it's something little like having to change the name of my next of kin entered in the hospital lab records. Sometimes it's special dates. Valentine's Day, my birthday, his birthday, Father's Day -- all have passed with sadness. Our anniversary is in a few days' time. It would have been our 41st. I keep remembering this time last year, and what we knew and didn't know about the path ahead.

I'm trying to take care of lingering decisions on assets, and everyday maintenance of home and vehicles. And I've been doing my regular job. The job is more of a refuge than a hardship, luckily.

But both grieving and meeting work deadlines has been complicated by a recent health issue my mother has developed. For the last month we have been in and out of hospital Emergency, and although there is finally a deeper investigation happening, it has meant extended periods of time convincing her to take medication, taking her to appointments, booking appointments, etc. I've also taken her to get both of her Covid-19 shots, and I'm relieved she has had them, but it still involved so much time.

Mom is scheduled for a geriatric assessment in mid-July, due to her cognitive issues which were noted by the Emergency physician at one of her trips there. Mom is not at all happy about getting old (she's 91), or maybe I should say she's unhappy about developing health issues. She's always been pretty healthy, and I do understand the fear that lies beneath her anger. Still, the anger is what comes out and it's often what I get to deal with. For example, she was very rude to the Emerg doctor who looked after her earlier this week. This is not related to the dementia, although perhaps it's worse now. I can remember when I was younger that she would buy something, not be able to figure out how to use it, and blame it on the product, the company, and the poor employee in the returns department when she took it back. Things that don't work or go wrong are never her fault, and she uses sharp words as her tool to make sure others understand this.

There is also a problem with driving that has come to a head. Her car has been pronounced unroadworthy without extensive repairs - so extensive that the garage recommended she get a new or used car instead. Her reaction was to blame the garage for not pointing it out last year. Turns out she hadn't had it to the garage for quite a bit longer than that. My brother and I are not sure she should be driving at all, given her memory issues, and the suggestion that she could use some other means of transportation (eg., me, a friend, hiring a driver) was met with actual threats of self-harm. (Mind you, if I call her and offer to take her out, she never says no.)

Blackmail: not cool, Mom. Not cool.

I'm in better shape than I was two weeks ago. There was a point when I felt completely defeated, exhausted, and invaded. No sooner would I arrive home from taking her out or visiting with her then she would call me and ask the same questions about medication, appointments, or outing times that we had gone over and over while we were face to face. Given her health, I felt compelled to answer that phone. It is mentally exhausting to repeat myself over and over while staying calm.

But eventually I made a new rule for myself. If I'd just seen her, and it was still daytime, I would not answer the phone. I might get back to her later, but it would be at a time of my choosing. Of course, I still answered the phone when she called during the night. She is a sound sleeper, so if she wakes up with a problem, she does need assistance.

It's been a rough month, but I'm hopeful that with further tests and specialists we can control her health condition. She won't accept home care for pills, cleaning, laundry, or meals, but that's her choice and that's okay, as she is still able to do them for the most part. I'm not sure what's going to happen with the driving. I'm trying to keep her occupied and get her out of the house daily until her geriatric assessment. Perhaps when an outside party sees her cognitive problems they will have to act. I do not have full faith in this, however, because they've already told me they support seniors being able to drive as long as they can, to maintain their independence. I understand her desire to be able to get out at her whim, not someone else's. I am worried about who she might hurt, though (or worse).

In the meantime, reading your blogs has helped me keep my sanity, so thank you for all your posts. I'm also going through quite a few books, all light reading that is easy to get lost in. One of these days I will get around to updating my reading list here.

In the meantime, here is what I've seen through my camera lens lately.

 

New life in my back yard:

Fawn and mama deer

 

Last year's (or the year before's) new life, now growing up:

See the horns? two prongs on him. Prong is not the right term; maybe a reader can set me straight. I know the tips of the antlers on older bucks are called points, but what are they called when they're still stubby?


One prong on each side for this younger male. I think the number of prongs indicate the number of years old they are. Again, can anyone tell me?
 

On one of the rare walks I've had time or energy to take, this guy kept me company until his family happened to drive by and I helped get him into their vehicle. He was not impressed by that.

His name is Jingle, according to the little girl who was trying to nab him, and when he gets out of their house, he stays away for weeks. Jingle, I sympathize, but you're safer with your family.

 

And some lupins that grow everywhere beside our highways - they are a feast for the eyes and I only wish the photo was clearer:

The colour is true, even if it's blurry.

 

And my beautiful Meredith cat: (the other girl, Lucy, wasn't feeling like a photo shoot that day)

Meredith was telling me to stop taking pictures of the deer and sit with her instead.

 

That's it for now. I had my second Covid-19 shot today, and my arm is aching through to my armpit and out to my fingers. Hopefully it will feel better tomorrow. For now, I'm going to lie down and hope the phone doesn't ring.

Take care, everyone.




57 comments:

  1. It is LOVELY to see another post from you, but oh my, the things you have to deal with...
    Thank you for the glorious photos of the things that keep you sane(ish).
    Heartfelt hugs and oceans of caring continue to flow your way.

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    1. Hugs and caring gratefully received and sent your way as well, EC.

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  2. Life can get very complicated in a hurry. We only have one choice but to go on. It's challenging to deal with a parent or spouse who is uncooperative. I wish you well on this journey.

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    1. Thanks, Red. My mother's cognitive decline started about 10 years ago, so I've been dealing with it for awhile. I'm just feeling more trapped lately.

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  3. Dear, dear Jenny-O! The pain leaves eventually, and I wish I could make it sooner.
    As for mom driving, your best hope is a doctor having her license legally taken. That's how it works down here; I don't know about Canada. But medical removal is best, and you certainly can try to influence the decision. You know her better than they do.

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    1. Apparently the only way to have her license taken here is to have the family doctor report her, or for me to call the police and have them do it. And I would have to have evidence that she is not safe driving. I understand the process is open to abuse and they have to do it this way, but I worry about someone getting hurt before something is done.

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  4. The base for the antlers is the pedicle; as they grow and mature, I think they're just called antlers. The individual "tines" of antlers, or points, can help determine age. I hope that's what you're looking for. Now, first know that I really care about you and what you're going through. If I could wave a magic wand and return your husband to you, I would do it, but if that worked, you would have done it already. All I can tell you is venting and blogging have been good therapy for me. As my friend Ann the psychologist says, Get it out. Talk about it and write about it. Second, the situation with your mom is very difficult. Is your brother helping as much as he can? Does he live too far away to be on call? If you can split time with her between the two of you . . . or maybe someone else can help out if he can't. Third, I love to see a baby who still has his spots, and Meredith is beautiful.

    I wish I could do something real for you.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Supportive words are real, Janie - thank you.
      My brother is three hours away. He is very supportive and I talk to him frequently. Mom won't accept anyone living with her or even going in to her home to help her. Even having someone else drive her where she wants to go every day is not satisfying to her - she says she wants the ability to go out whenever she wants, on her own. But when she has a problem, it's me she calls ...
      Thank you for the word "pedicle" - that helped me find more information on deer and their pointy bits.

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  5. Oh Jenny, you must not let your mother run you ragged. Does your mother not have to have a Driver's Medical Examination Report. In our province one is required every two years once you reach 80. Regardless I have found GPs very sympathetic to family concerns re driving. If all else fails simply take her car keys. My grandmother had several accidents before the family took away her car. Possibly because she refused to acknowledge the one way system introduced into our small town and still used the roads as she had for fifty years! It is not worth the risk to your mother or other people. As for help, fake a holiday and arrange for someone to come in for your mother on a temporary basis. With a bit of luck your mom will enjoy the company and agree to continue. I know all this is very very difficult but no one has the right to expect a child to sacrifice their wellbeing. Sorry to go on but I have seen this so many times and it fills me with dismay every time.

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    1. We do not have any requirement here for a regular driver's test; I wish we did. I believe the only way a test is required at all is if the police order it. My mother will not allow anyone to come in to her home to help in any way (except me - and that's a struggle; I only do it if there's clearly something she can't handle, like a new medication). When I talked to the geriatric clinician about the upcoming interview, she said they try to keep seniors driving as long as possible, and that only if I know she is unsafe (example, unexplained dents or scratches on the car) then I can call the police.
      As you can imagine, this situation fills ME with dismay also - I feel like my life has been completely taken over and none of the community services available are making any difference simply because my mother won't accept help. Home Care services said "we" may need to accept some risk in keeping Mom in her own home. When I pointed out that if she burned down her house it would affect her neighbours too, she said nothing.

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    2. Useless professionals make me foam at the mouth. Just remember you are precious and valuable and deserving of good care.

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  6. How wonderful to hear from you Jenny. I have been thinking of you so much and wishing there was some way I could help you. I can only imagine how difficult these past months have been for you in so many different ways. And now having problems with your Mother must really complicate everything. Hopefully when she has her assessment next month you will be able to get some professional guidance in how to best help her now. You sure didn't need this right now of all times.

    I love your pictures of the little fawn and mama deer and the other young deer as well. Those are so sweet! I am also so happy to see a picture of Meredith. I was going to ask you if you could show us some pictures of your sweet cats. Of course you know I am a big cat lover. Meredith is a beautiful cat and she has the sweetest face.

    I'm glad to hear you had your second Covid shot and I hope you don't have too many side effects from it. I had some from my second shot the day after but they soon went away and it is well worth it to have the shots!

    Please do not forget to take the time to take good care of yourself. That is so important, especially now. I'm sending you lots of hugs and healing, peaceful thoughts!

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    1. Thank you so much, Bonnie - I am pinning a lot of hope on the geriatric assessment next month. I hope I can somehow get Mom to hold off on making a decision on a new car until then. I am also worried because her current health problem could affect her driving, but until she has further tests, that's not clear. Then again, I spoke yesterday with the car salesman where we all get our cars, and unknown to me he had her out for a test drive (at her request). He said her driving seemed fine, but that she was getting lost when they drove on streets that were not her exact route to the grocery store. It's those other areas in her life where she is failing (memory, comprehension, recognizing surroundings) that make me worry about her driving, not the actual driving itself so much.
      I will definitely try to get a picture of Lucy to show you. I love seeing other peoples' cats too.
      The side effects of my second Covid shot got worse last night after I posted - fever and chills for about eight hours, but today thank goodness they are gone. As you said, it is well worth it to have the shots!

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's troubles. Would it help if you wrote a list she can refer to regarding medications and appointments etc? I hope someone can convince her to stop driving before she has an accident. I'm glad she has you to look out for her still, hard as it is on you, it would be harder for her to deal with strangers on her own.
    I'm glad your work is more refuge than hardship, a little time to rest your mind.

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    1. That is a good suggestion, River; unfortunately it doesn't seem to help her to have a written list. I've tried it numerous times and she either forgets to look at the list or looks at it and can't understand it. I've tried to have her write it herself so it might be easier for her to follow, but it just doesn't work as she is getting more and more unable to remember and to comprehend. One of my more recent tricks is to not tell her about appointments until the night before; it reduces the number of days she frets about them and the number of times I need to explain it. She has a weekly pill dispenser and is okay with regular meds but when she gets a new prescription it's hard for her to understand that the new pill must be added to the other pills in the dispenser. We have to go over and over what the pill is, what it's for, when it was prescribed, why is was prescribed - you name it, we must discuss it :)

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  8. Jenny, it is good to see you hear and know that you are pushing through, though of course it feels so hard. I’m sorry your mother’s issues have flared so overwhelmingly, especially at this time. I feel for you. Crying does seem like a healthy response to the pain of such a devastating loss as your husband. You got married young! Please know that I am sending you love always, and wishes for peace in your grieving, and help in your caring for your mom.

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    1. Thank you for those kind thoughts and wishes, 37p.
      As for getting married young, I was 23 and my husband 26 when we married. But a great many of my classmates in high school were married at 18 and 20! So I thought I was on the older side at 23 :) In hindsight, I was a young 23 and had a lot of growing up to do.

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  9. Thank you for the update. It's terrible to be facing such stressful burdens with your mother so soon after your loss.

    Only you really know your situation, but it sounds like the driving issue needs to be dealt with as soon as possible before, as you say, something terrible happens -- which could result in a lawsuit, among other things, if it was obvious that she was impaired but allowed to continue driving.

    Take care of yourself.

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    1. Thanks, Infidel - your second sentence is the situation in a nutshell for me right now. My mental health is suffering and I don't usually think in those terms, so to be doing so is an understatement for me. I am worried about something happening as a result of Mom's driving, but in talking to the community support systems (Home Care and geriatric services) they seem much less worried about the potential dangers, to the point that I (and my brother) feel very frustrated. I'm hoping the geriatric assessment in July will clarify things, but in the meantime my mother may yet choose to get another car - which I have been told by community services is her choice, no one else's, unless she is declared incapable of making decisions, which is only done by a family doctor and, quote, is not taken lightly, unquote. I feel like I've tried my hardest to get someone to listen to my concerns but the system is geared more to protecting seniors' rights - which is also important, as the situation is open to abuse by families who just want to control their elders or take their car, for example. I really hope the assessment in July will help resolve this.

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  10. precious friend Jenny thank you for updating us ,it was needed believe it or not .there is hardly any time when you are not in my thoughts i don't know why .

    you are blessed soul with such pure heart and i think there are so many people who can learn how to keep relationships with family!
    this is nice that you are crawling out of tunnel and almost in light by the grace of Lord!

    it is hardest thing in the whole life to bear the pain of loosing someone you love .but it is also true that no ones goes away completely but a huge part of him ,her stays with us until we breath.
    believing in fact that the who left inevitably will never want us to suffer and spoil life we have in hand makes us keep moving and bettering in ways that are likely as we wanted when together .
    so please keep evolving spiritually and always remember that i may or may not be able to meet you physically but there is strong connection i feel with you as human ,woman and friend! my heart says prays for your inner peace dear friend and may you find it soon as possible!
    i think if my mom would have lived till 90 she could have not behaved different than your mom ,she was aggressive in her last year and very demanding and yes full of doubts .
    i hope she let you take care of her correctly !
    and hope you get strength to deal with such issues in days when you lack mental energy or want to be left alone with memories which we do mostly during such hard times .i think all such business can be a good distraction for you somehow.

    i can see how this new life in your surroundings has inspired you too feel better and share your heart .i am glad you are walking and enjoying nature once again .
    sending you love ,hugs and prays with tons of healing energy!

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    1. Oh, thank you, baili - I do so wish we could meet in real life. I feel we are very similar and would enjoy each other's company.
      I do understand my mother's worries and fears. It is not hard to do; all I need to do is think how I would feel if I were in danger of losing my independence. But her self-awareness is so poor now that she believes she is functioning well. It's a tough situation for her and for all those around her.
      Thank you for your kind hugs and prayers, baili.

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  11. Let the tears flow.. been there myself..it takes a year, but fill the hole in your heart with memories.
    As suggested above, get your mum assessed by the doctor as not fit to drive. Your phone strategy is good.
    Questions when asked have to be answered calmly...even for the umpteenth time! Not easy I know.
    At 91 you can feel upset at getting older...or even at a younger age! All the things you want to keep on doing...and with health problems, they keep you from doing what you can do...
    Anyway it sounds as if you are doing a good job, but you MUST think of yourself and your health too. You can't pour from an empty cup. xx

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    1. It is good to hear from someone who has travelled this path, gz. I hope time will help but the days are very difficult in the meantime.
      Yes, I do understand my mom's feelings and sympathize. It's why I keep trying to help even though it's affecting my own mental health now. If I don't help her, who will? And on we go.

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    2. There must be some way for you to get support as much as her. Sending a hug..((0))

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  12. Dear Jenny, Thank you for posting, especially during such a difficult time. I send hugs and warm wishes for you and your mother.

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    1. Thanks, e. Your hugs and warm wishes are gratefully accepted. I hope you are doing okay.

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  13. I can understand how you feel about your Mom driving. My mother, at 79, was diagnosed with an inoperable aortic aneurysm. She was a driver, and my brother and I were concerned about her driving as the aneurysm could rupture suddenly while she was behind the wheel. We discussed how to bring up the issue with her. Meanwhile she was still in hospital and the doctors hadn’t brought up the subject. We went to bring her home and she said to us that she wanted to give up her license since she didn’t want to hurt anyone else should she die quickly whilst driving. Sigh of relief.

    I hope a doctor’s assessment takes the burden of broaching the subject of giving up her license from you, Jenny. You mother may not make the decision herself and bringing up the subject could put you in an adversarial position with her. Meanwhile your own grief is fresh and raw.

    Take care of yourself, Jenny.

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    1. How good of your mother to recognize and act on the possibility of sudden danger, given her diagnosis. I can imagine your relief at not having to battle over this.
      I don't think my mother will make the decision herself; both my brother and I (separately) have raised our concerns with her and that is when she threatened to throw herself into the river - and she was very serious. We have gotten over that dust-up but only by telling her what community services told us: that she can make her own decisions and it's up to her about a car, about medications, about medical tests - all of it. Currently she has not made a decision yet on getting a new car because of the price, but that could change at any time. Unless her doctor declares her incapable of making her own decisions, she is legally allowed to make them.
      And as you said, dealing with this when I am still feeling so sad about my husband is, I think, what is putting me over the edge into desperation and high stress. I'm doing better now than I was a couple of weeks ago but it's still stressful.

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  14. Thanks for the update Jenny. I can see how much of a worry your mother is becoming. Please don't shoot me down with a howitzer but how would you feel about her coming to live with you? Is it a total non-starter?

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    1. Yes, it is completely a non-starter. I would be in a straitjacket within a week. I can barely get through a couple of hours with her at a time now. I'm afraid for my own health at this point as I can feel the stress building each time. I easily and willingly was a care giver for my daughter and my father and my husband, but with my mother the frustration is so very high it overwhelms my empathy. It's hard to explain, but it's not her condition that is stressful, it's her personality within that condition - she is either blithely telling stories from the past, stories where she figures as the central and heroic character, or she is critical and argumentative about something in the present, where she is always right and no one else knows anything. The first situation is annoying but easier to deal with, but the second is the one that makes me feel my stress rise to scary levels.

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    2. It's good that you are able to articulate your reluctance so clearly - rather than it being just an ill-defined feeling. I hear clearly where you are coming from.

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  15. Yay! Jenny O posted again! Sorry to hear of your travails, but good to hear from you again anyway. I have been thinking of you, and I check your blog each day for possible updates.
    I lost my license when I had my stroke, and although I did go to the rehab facility for a driving evaluation that I did pass, I still didn't go to the DMV and get my license again. I drove a truck for my living for years and I sort of feel like if I can get by without driving in my present condition, everyone is better off. I have driven Briana's car a few times when we had to go somewhere and she was unable to drive, and that went OK, but my left foot doesn't work, and I can easily envision the situation where that could cause trouble on the road.
    That is a hard situation with your mother. Briana's mother has dementia, and after her husband died she was kind of at a loss, but that was before the mental decline and she still did OK at caring for herself. She eventually went and lived with her cousin, who was a real trouper about it for as long as she could take it, but last year they agreed that she needed long term care and so they found a place that was to her liking and she lives there now. She railed against the very idea of it at first, but her cousin was firm about not being able to handle her any more, and after a month or so at the facility she found that having a staff of professionals to attend to her every need all day and night and a community of other old folks to socialize with was really pretty great, when compared with how she had been living since her husband died.
    She's pretty far gone, mentally, with serious memory issues and a tendency to live in a fantasy world where things aren't the way they really are, and that can be frustrating for Briana when she does things like try to deal with her property taxes and the condition of the property itself, which she is up in Humboldt County doing as I type this, but as long as she is just visiting and conversing with her, she is remarkably lucid.
    Except for the obsession with Jesus and the belief that the covid vaccines are a government plot.
    Speaking of which, we got the Johnson & Johnson shot, and neither of us had any side effects at all.
    My dad always referred to antlers with no forks in them as "spikes" and before they emerged from their coverings as "in the velvet", but I don't know where he got those terms.
    Our cat brought a mouse in and let it go about a month ago, and yesterday we got the humane trap from Amazon and we had the little fellow safely out on the hillside in less than ten minutes after the lights went out.
    Please do take care of yourself as much as you can, and I have hopes that things will indeed get better.
    Your friend.
    -Doug in Sugar Pine

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    1. I love your newsy comments, Doug!
      First, I feel for Briana with her mother's condition. Please let her know she's in my thoughts and that I understand only too well how frustrating it is. And you have planted a thought for me I didn't have before - you said her mother's cousin told her mother she just couldn't handle her anymore, as a reason for her to accept going to a care facility. That hadn't even occurred to me as something I could ever do; I felt I just have to suck it up, but at some point I may have to do the same thing. Also, your comments about Briana's mother enjoying the socialization and attention at the long term care facility are interesting. I think my mother would like it also, once she got there and got settled in. But she thinks she is still fine mentally - she can't even remember what she's forgetting - so it's an endless loop of denial right now.
      It must have been hard to give up driving but I applaud you for making that decision. There are so many things that can make the difference between driving safely and having an accident - physical problems, medical conditions, mental deficiencies - they all stack the deck against a person in an emergency situation.
      I'm so glad you could give that mouse his/her freedom! (and before it could have babies, if it was a her :))
      Take care, Doug. Drop a comment or email anytime.

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  16. I fully understand having lots of tears. Since Tom was told his illness was terminal I often take myself off upstairs to have a few sniffles.
    You have so much so cope with so my advice is to have a good boo whenever you feel like it as I find it sort of clears things for a while.
    Take each day as it comes that's all we can do.
    Hugs
    Briony
    x

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    1. Yes, I've given up on trying to distract myself from crying. It never worked very well anyhow. And it does feel a little better afterward. My best to you and Tom, Briony xx

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  17. Dear Jenny_o it's good to hear from you. I feel so sorry for your loss of your husband. Grief just takes its time, especailly when you have been married for so long.
    And I hear your problem with your mother, it's sometimes an exasperating thing to make people do what's best for them. I hope and pray that the geriatric test in July will make the doctor put his foot down on her driving - and buying - cars.
    Hugs and prayers for strenght for you all the way from Denmark.

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    1. Thanks, Charlotte - I'm really hoping the July test will help clarify things for the doctors and create some forward progress. I can't keep on like this indefinitely.

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  18. Jenny_o - What a complete pile on. So terribly sorry that you are not able to grieve as you need, given the situation with your mother. There are definitely times when it seems social/community services simply don't offer decent solutions or suggestions. As you point out, your local service pendulum swings a little too far towards letting senior's make decisions without applying a bit more common sense about the reality of some situations. The fact your mother threatens self-harm (even if just over her car) is something you should definitely note to her doctors and those doing the clinical assessment. Ask if they will be willing to sign off on a statement about her competency to drive for insurance purposes. Ha! Doubt it. But tell them you will make note of their conclusions for your files.

    In the meantime, you are caught in a hellish limbo with no real resources to draw upon which is so very unfair. Your cup is already pretty empty--except for the depth of your sorrow. Those doing the clinical assessment need reminding that your mother's burdens are overwhelming you in your time of grief. While fearful, she isn't the only one--or even the primary one--suffering. Wish I could lift the heaviness from you--as do all your friends here. Only hope that the assessment provides some practical solutions. Do take care of yourself and maintain whatever distance you can for your own well-being in these difficult circumstances. xo

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    1. You've stressed two points here that I needed reminded of, Mary - thank you. The first is her threat of self-harm over something like driving (not really an indication of clear thinking, at least I don't think it is) and the effect of the stress on my life. I tried to talk about the effect on me during one telephone conversation with community services. They asked if I had any medical problems that would prevent me from providing my mother's care. I told them about feeling completely burned out after my husband's illness and death, and said I had provided palliative care at home, and that my mother had been requiring attention for 8-10 years now, but while she said she understood it was hard because her own mother had needed a lot of care over the years, there was no other comment about how I could relieve the situation I'm in. If my mother won't accept home care, there's nothing they can do. So I am REALLY hoping for something helpful to come from the geriatric assessment. Your suggestion about putting community services on notice that their conclusions on my mom's driving have been noted is also a good one. I hope I don't have to use it, but if I do, I'm willing to. I just would never have thought of it myself.

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  19. You haven't really had time to grieve yet for your husband so it must be extremely hard having to sort out your mother's health issues when you yourself are vulnerable and feeling fragile.

    I don't know what the answer is regarding your mother driving when she is (due to age) obviously incapable. You've done or said all you can to her and the health officials to make them aware of the situation and there's nothing more you can do. Good to see you back.

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    1. Yes, that's how I feel - I've done all I can do for now. If the assessment shows she is capable of driving (in their opinion) I will have to accept it but I don't think it's the right conclusion to be drawn.

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  20. As someone whose mother also has dementia and memory issues, I can sympathize. It's especially hard when they're resistant to changes that need to happen. My brother and I worried a lot about my mom driving, and fortunately she sort of stopped on her own. My brother eventually took her car "for a tune-up" and never brought it back. It sounds cruel but it was a good way to solve that situation. (He has power of attorney so he could legally dispose of the car.) I can understand why all this has been a struggle for you -- you've been through some big changes and it takes years to sort out such major adaptations. Be patient with yourself! We're all here for you!

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    1. Your mom seems to be a happy kind of person within her dementia, though. I think that makes a big difference. My mother is always ready or an argument and blames everyone else for her problems. It's been two weeks now since her car was towed to the garage and she is still saying she doesn't believe the garage is telling her the truth, they just want to sell her a new car! She isn't forgetting it at all. Gah.

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  21. It is so nice to hear from you! It's been such a difficult time and having the care of your mom as she ages isn't easy. Getting your mother in for a geriatric assessment is a terrific thing to do. My mother had one a couple of years or so before she died, and it really put things in the proper perspective. And yes, if the doctor determines that she should be driving, action will be taken. Until then, there is really nothing that can be done. Because as you said, it could open the door to all kinds of abuse. It's not a perfect system, but I do understand the necessity of it. Wishing you well with your own healing as well as the care of your mom!

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    1. Thanks, Martha. I'm glad to hear your mom's assessment helped at the time and hope my mom's does the same. I'm trying to hold on until the assessment is done and hope it provides clarity, and relief from my worries.

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  22. You've had so much to deal with, i agree with how you are handling phone calls.

    Lots of prayers and good wishes heading your way.

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    1. Thank you, Mimi. Getting older is hard, but looking after someone who is finding it difficult to deal with getting older is also hard :)

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  23. I'm so pleased to see you post, Jenny! Less pleased that you have so much to deal with. My parents are 79 and 81 and still pretty competent but we are at a stage where I am thinking of their future and what I am able to do for them, which isn't a whole lot. Anyway, my suggestions are shot down nin flames every time by another person who is never at fault, she's not sharp and agressive usually, just stubbornly argumentative.
    I shouldn't make your woes about me but I can't say it on my blog because they read it!
    Your mums car being unroadworthy is probably a good thing, maybe you can just delay the purchase of another?
    Hang in there! There must surely be a good day coming!

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    1. Oh, I am sorry to hear that, kylie. It's hard not to have everyone on the same page with parental issues. I sometimes wish I had more than just one sibling so the work could be shared, but then the decisions would be shared also and that can get tricky, as you are experiencing.
      I'm definitely trying to delay mom's decision on a new car. As of this afternoon, she was still talking about what decision to make. And was once again blaming the garage for not telling her about the deterioration of her car before this. Well, it wasn't as bad then as it is now. A lot can go wrong in a couple of years. But she doesn't believe it was a couple of years, because . . . memory issues.
      You are wonderfully optimistic, kylie - I just wish I could feel that way right now - ha

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  24. It's so nice to hear from you; though I'm sorry you're having to deal with your mother's condition on top of all the stress of grieving and re-ordering your life. Sending you heartfelt wishes for strength and comfort.

    And thank you for sharing the photos - Jingle and Meredith are adorable! I'm sure Lucy is just as adorable - maybe she'll feel more like posing for the camera for a future post. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Diane. Some days all you can do is keep going because there's no easier choice.

      Lucy is a crabby cat but I'll try to get a photo that lies :)

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  25. Good to hear from you, jenny_o. Please take care and I hope things get better for your mom. I wish I had more comforting words for you during this time but please know that there are quite a few of us that care about you. Hugs from Idaho.

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    1. Thanks, Mr. Shife. I'm grateful to have good friends in the blog world.

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  26. Just popping in to say hello. Hope you are well. x

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  27. Hello, Sweet Friend! I'm trying to catch up a bit on your blog and the load you carry.
    Is there any way I can get email notification when you post? I hate to miss out!

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    1. The email function has been dismantled by Blogger. I haven't set up any other way for folks to get emails because I don't know how and I don't have the energy or time right now to learn how! Maybe down the road? In the meantime, you can get to my blog by either clicking on any comment I make on your blog, or by saving my blog in your bookmarks and checking it periodically for new posts. That's all I've got, sorry!

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