Friday 23 June 2023

Why Things Have Been Crazy Here

(Warning: Very long post today. I thought about breaking it into two parts but just wanted to get it out of my head today while I have time.)

Last post I mentioned how crazy things have been here lately. Here's the main reason why.

A few weeks ago, my mother (who is 93, lives alone, and has moderate dementia) decided on a new activity: going for walks to the grocery store. The grocery store is almost a kilometre from her house, and there has been construction along the main street of the route she would take to get there. The town is replacing sewer lines, which requires the use of heavy equipment. Various streets have been barricaded and there are detours around them. The detour routes change every few days as construction  proceeds, and you need to be able to follow the detour signs and read the barricade signs.

Luckily, Mom has very kind and alert neighbours, and they have been able to intercept her before she gets too far. One time, one of them followed her for a bit to see how she was doing before making their presence known. Mom had gone past the barricades and was walking where the sidewalk was closed. Fortunately, the machinery wasn't actively operating at the time.

Every time the neighbours notice Mom walking further than the end of her block, they call me and I drop whatever I am doing and go take her for a drive or something else to keep her occupied. I'm concerned that her judgement has deteriorated to a point where she is no longer safe living alone. Even on days when I have planned to take her on an outing, she will go for a walk before I get there or after I have taken her back to her house. So it seems impossible to keep her safe because I can't be with her during all daylight hours.

In case I haven't sufficiently described my mother's general behavior here before, I will summarize now: she is contrary and always needs to be right. This is not caused by the dementia; it's a pre-existing trait (although dementia has made it worse). Her idea of conversation has always been to take issue with things other people say and argue against them. Although I am able to stick up for myself and will do so when needed, I don't understand arguing as a way of conversing with people. I like conversation to be conducted in a pleasant way, finding humour whenever possible and learning from each other when we don't agree. The one time I confronted my mother about her behavior, she defended it by saying it was just "debating" and that she enjoyed it. I know other people who converse the same way, so she is not alone in her view, but you get the idea: we are not alike and do not enjoy the same kind of interaction.

Since her cognitive decline began in earnest two years ago, Mom has refused to accept help except mine or my brother's. She NEEDS help with a number of things. For those two years, she has been unable to manage her medications. We tried a pill box, then pre-packaged pills from the pharmacy. Nothing helped, so I started taking her pills to her each day. She became unable to make or remember appointments, and didn't know what to do when she received bills in the mail. So I started helping her manage her appointments and bills. Her driving ability was becoming a concern - in general because of her memory loss and in particular because she got lost driving home from my house to hers (just a couple of streets away). Fortunately, her car needed repairs and the garage told her it wasn't worth fixing, so that took driving off the table. But her lack of a car meant I had to start taking her for groceries each week. She wouldn't take a taxi because of Covid. Now, two years later, she needs help at the grocery store as well, so hiring a taxi is still not an option.

I understood all along that getting out only once a week was hard for her, so I tried to include her in some of my other errands and take her for outings, but it never seemed to be enough. She was a little more content in the winter and on rainy days, but nice days brought out her restlessness. Last summer she worked it off in her yard, cleaning up weeds and old leaves. This year, she has done much less of that, because she worries about falling on the lawn.

Thus the decision to start walking to the grocery store. She wants the exercise and feels safe walking on the sidewalk. She thinks the store is just at the bottom of her street. She also thinks the mall, a ten minute drive away, is just a few streets away, and talks about walking to a neighbouring town where she grew up, saying it's not that far, when in reality it's a twenty-minute drive.

This has led to some exasperating, unpleasant, and loud conversations between us. She feels she is completely capable, both physically and mentally, of making the walk (the very nature of dementia means the patient doesn't have the ability to understand that there is anything wrong with their brain), and doesn't like being housebound without a car.

I understand her boredom - she is no longer interested in or able to do nearly all the things she used to do to pass the time. She doesn't read, she doesn't do crosswords or Sudoku, she doesn't watch TV, she doesn't make meals or bake, she doesn't do housework or laundry or yardwork. Basically, she eats, washes dishes, and walks to the compost bin several times a day. 

I've asked her to accept outside help to give me a break, hoping to appeal to her helpful side (which does exist, although less so as the disease progresses), but she simply says she doesn't need help and if I don't want to visit every day, then don't visit every day. If I bring up the need for daily pill visits and buying groceries, she simply tells me to stay home and that she will manage her own pills and can walk to the grocery store. 

One day she wanted to know why I thought she couldn't do those things. After telling her that it was hard to explain without hurting her feelings, and that I didn't want to do that, she said she wanted me to be honest about it. So I tried. I told her she had a brain disease that affected her memory, like a man we both know (and who she has repeatedly told me has something wrong with his brain). Predictably, she denied she has the same problem.

She is considered competent to make her own decisions until a doctor declares her otherwise. She is seeing a geriatric doctor twice a year, but he apparently doesn't make declarations of competency unless it's a crisis. Competency is to be determined by the family doctor. Mom hasn't had a family doctor for two years now, like the 150,000 other Nova Scotians who have lost doctors or live in under-served areas.

When Mom started her recent walkabouts, I asked the geriatric clinic for a re-assessment because I felt surely they would understand the danger she poses to herself. They said there was no change since the last assessment and unless she directly puts herself in the line of traffic there is no crisis. My brother was here for moral support and to try to impress on the clinician that I am burnt out and to ask what we can do if the geriatric doctor won't declare any of his patients incompetent and Mom doesn't have a family doctor to do it. 

Her answer? My brother needs to "step up" more. 

He lives three hours away (one way). He still works and has other obligations. He has always been available for me to talk to and to vent to (two completely different things), and tries to support me however he can, not just for mom's issues but for my own too. He does repairs for Mom when he visits, and has given me practical help including cleanup after the hurricane last fall. I don't know what more they expect him to do. (I wasn't present at the conversation between him and the clinician or I would have asked.)

I feel a strong urge to tell her - or, more precisely, tell the geriatric doctor - that it's the doctor that needs to "step up" and do his job.

The clinician's only other suggestion was to apply to the courts for guardianship. This is a lengthy and expensive process, and we still need a doctor to sign a letter of competence. Another dead end. 

The ironic thing is that I believe Mom would enjoy having a care worker come to her home or even living in a care home. She loves to talk (and debate) and telling her life stories is one of the few activities she still has enthusiasm for. But she still thinks she is totally capable of taking care of her home, making meals, and doing personal care. She also thinks care homes are places where people are lying in bed and lose the use of their legs. She doesn't follow (and I think sometimes doesn't want to follow) the logic that some people are in bed without the use of their legs simply because they have gotten too feeble or ill to walk and that's precisely why they're there. She won't believe us that care homes provide different levels of care now than they used to. While she is probably not safe in the first level of care (assisted living), she would still have a fair amount of independence in the next level of care, one step down from full care.

So . . . for now and the foreseeable future, I am chained to providing at least basic care for her. I wouldn't mind so much if our time together was agreeable. But it is mostly not. I know this is partly the nature of dementia, but it is also very much her personality, is consistent with her lifelong behavior, and is very wearing to deal with. The time since my husband died has been hard enough without this. I don't mean to sound full of self-pity, but some days I am at my wits' end. I've had to refuse work at my job because I can't be sure of meeting deadlines, I've had to cancel my own medical appointments, and I never seem to have any energy for my own life. 

That's pretty much the story here, the reason why stressing over the fawn in my yard was almost too much to bear. Stress from different sources builds and builds, and it can take something seemingly unrelated to bring it to a point of being overwhelming. 

If you made it this far, thank you for reading. 

Here's a cat who embodies everything I feel these days. I wish I looked half as cute being miserable.

Please take care of yourselves and have a good weekend.


gz said...

Thankfully your brother understands and does what he can...what a cheek telling him to step up....
It is beyond understanding how the system is failing you.

It is getting tough here, dealing with my husband's cancer..but nothing compared to what you are going through.
Sending virtual hugs as there is noth else I can do..apart from listen..((0))

Boud said...

Oh, I hear you, I hear you. I had years of full on care giving, and only someone who's been there, done that, has any idea of the sheer emotional and physical exhaustion you're feeling.

I'm not going to advise, because you've obviously covered everything already. But if you want someone to vent to, email me. I'll respect your privacy and your skills, and will be a warm listener. The offer's open indefinitely.

Marie Smith said...

Oh Jenny. I hope it helped to get your feelings out. It has to be exhausting and frustrating to deal with your mother during the progress of this terrible disease. I don’t think the medical personnel actually listen to what we tell them any more. They can’t help us and they just put everything back on us.

I don’t know what the solution is but I hope your mother stays safe as she does her walk-abouts. She is lucky to have such good neighbours.

Take care of yourself in the meantime. A weekend away might be good if someone could be there for your mom. It is easy to get sick yourself when you are caring for someone as you are.

DB Stewart said...

Your word-choice "chained" sounds quite apt, and this newest development sounds very problematic. Feel for you. Ugh, that comment about "step up" when you live 3 hours if that's somehow simple. I imagine NS has "caregiver benefits" and "continuing" & "supportive care" benefits but I suspect you've already tried these avenues? Sigh.

Red said...

I made it too the end of your post. Thanks for telling your story. It's an extremely difficult situation trying to deal with irrationality. Dementia people are clever and manipulative. Sometimes they play the cards.

River said...

Sometimes the only answer to stress is to yell and throw a couple of pillows around and have a good cry. I hope you manage to get a doctor to see sense soon and have your mother in a care home although it sounds like she will be very resistant to that change. If you could make it sound as if she is "visiting' to talk to new friends and having "sleepovers" (everyday!) would that help at all?

jabblog said...

OH, Jenny, I really feel for you. The geriatric doctor seems to be following a set script, which is to avoid doing any more than necessary to help. It is ridiculous that nothing will happen unless and until your mother has a bad accident outside her home.

The effect on your own health is not insignificant and you're not able to fully relax because you are at the beck and call of your mother. Are there agencies that could help, organisations you could contact for support?

I hope you can find a way through this mess - and soon.

Take care. Janice x

dinthebeast said...

I remember Briana one time talking to someone about her mother's mental decline, and they mentioned one of the symptoms, and she was like "Oh, no, she was always like that." Her mom, though, seemed to take to life in the nursing home pretty well, and enjoyed "having a captive audience" (I was going to say social interaction, but Briana corrected me).
It's been almost a year since her mom passed and Briana's still tying up the loose ends her mom left in her wake.
She was also that same kind of delusional about her ability to take care of herself and do things, her mechanic pulled a nearly identical move with her VW van and convinced her that it wasn't repairable to get her to not get in it and drive off to who knows where.
It was her cousin Betty, though, who looked after her for a few years before she finally had to get her into the nursing home (a really nice one) after her mom almost set the house on fire drying her underwear on a lamp.
I could go on, but you no doubt get the idea. And hopefully a giggle or two, because you deserve them.
I don't have the useful advice I'd love to give you right now except perhaps put an Apple air tag in her purse to make her easier to find if she wanders off?
Anyway, I wish you the best, and maybe the animals will make your day a little better.

-Doug in Sugar Pine

Andrew said...

Sorry, no wise words and no solution. My mother lives at my brother's and he is paid the equivalent of the old age pension to look after her, which he does. But I can't see this being helpful to you. Frailness as my mother suffers is easier to deal with that dementia. It really does seem like she needs at least part time care to oversee the time when she takes most of her medication and to speak to her firmly, to which she may listen to more than what her own children tell her. I'll shut up now. I am not being helpful.

Mike said...

You were right. I was a long post. It took me forever to scroll down here to leave a comment!

Steve Reed said...

As you know, my mom has dementia too (a slightly different variety from yours, I think). Mom was very resistant to any changes we suggested, but we found that if we just arranged things she went along with it. For example, we hired someone to come in once a week and clean her house. We also arranged her move to assisted living when it came time for that. Both times, she said no beforehand but seemed quite happy to make accommodations when she had to.

Which is a long way of saying...would it be possible for you to hire someone to spend time with your mom each day -- maybe just weekdays -- taking her places for exercise or to get out of the house? She might fight the idea but I wonder if you just do it, and hire someone who's experienced with dementia and the resistance those patients might show, it might work out eventually? (Obviously I'm acting like there's no cost and I know that's not the case, and whether you and your brother could afford such a move is another matter entirely.)

It's too bad she won't do yard work or gardening. That's another great way to get out of the house without having to venture off the property. But as you know, "wandering" is part of the disease with some dementia patients. She just needs someone to help her manage that wandering energy.

crafty cat corner said...

I read every word and understand your frustration. Like you said, it is bad enough trying to come to terms with losing your husband and I can vouch for that but to have to deal with your Mother as well is so stressful.
I hope and pray that I don't end up like that for my kids sake. I was lucky in that my Mum was able to look after herself and had a man friend who helped her until the end.
I feel sorry for my kids at the moment because they are all in their 50's and they have problems to deal with at both ends, their own children who, although grown up still worry them and me at the other end. Plus of course the way the world is going now, they can remember better times.
There is no answer that i can give you but I'm sure that writing it all down in a post must at least get it off of your chest.

jenny_o said...

gz: The health care system is alarming. We need doctors and other health care workers everywhere in Canada. Nova Scotia has a high proportion of elderly people so one could argue we need them even more. I know dealing with cancer is difficult too, and wish you and Pirate all the best as he receives more treatment. Hang in there.

Boud: Thank you for your kind offer and understanding. I do not do full-time caregiving for my mother but can imagine how difficult it would be. I have had my mother with me overnight due to snowstorms and for eleven long - very long - days and nights after the hurricane. I feel for those doing this hands-on 24/7.

Marie: Getting sick is one of my concerns when I'm the only one available to look after her. I know we lack doctors and that's part of the problem, but to even get Mom to a doctor is difficult, unless the idea is hers. It IS frustrating and draining and some days I don't know what to try next.

DBStewart: "Chained" is exactly how I feel. Yes, NS has those benefits but unless Mom agrees to have someone in her hoome, they are of no use to us. And the part I didn't say about having help is that we do not have access to her funds to pay her part of the care for supportive care or a care home. We have talked to her about an enduring power of attorney numerous times, but she balks and stalls. She says it's good for those who need it, but she doesn't need it! It seems like an impossible situation unless a doctor will take the first step and sign a letter of competency attesting to her inability to keep herself safe and healthy.

Red: Her behavior often does feel "clever and manipulative". It's hard to believe that this is the same woman who doesn't know anymore what a kitchen stove or furnace or carrots or broccoli are, but she can argue against having company/help so strenuously.

River: Those are good suggestions and are things I've read about in caregiving advice, but she is very suspicious of anything out of the usual routine. I don't know if it would work but I suspect it would not. She wants to be in her own home. And that would be okay if she would accept help. That's the sticking point. She doesn't want anyone in her home.

Janice: Yes, it's not so much the physical aspect (because she won't let me do any physical work that she used to do herself) but the mental and emotional toll of being always on alert, as well as the frustration of just being with her. I have two more possibilities for help, the Alzheimers organization who have a help line, and Adult Protection Services (which is a big step but I may need to take it). With APS, the geriatric clinic has told me I must be prepared to step away completely from helping Mom before they will step in. As long as someone is looking after her, they won't do anything.

Doug: It sounds like Briana's mother had a similar need to talk :) It does become a matter of just talking, not interacting. Which can't be pleasant for others in the care home, and I actually don't want to inflict that on them. I'd rather Mom stay at home - which is what she says she wants - and have care come in. But it may not work out that way. The Apple air tag has been suggested to us, and we are following up on it, but I would still be the one responsible for fetching her if she strayed. I feel like I can't handle any more responsibility for her. (I can picture the underwear on the lamp and although it was a wry smile, I did smile :))

jenny_o said...

Andrew: You are underselling yourself - the suggestion that Mom might listen better to someone else hadn't occurred to me, and I need to consider that possibility. I do know she has become more and more contemptuous of anything I say, and maybe that's not because she disagrees but because it's coming from her CHILD :) To your point on caring for a frail elder vs a dementia patient, I think care of any elderly adult is challenging. Plus, I see such a big difference between how my father and I interacted and how my mother and I interact. He was so easy to please and generally accepted what was happening to him with dignity and humour, and he expressed his appreciation for my help in many ways. It broke my heart to see how he resigned himself to things he didn't like. I hope I can be like him when the time comes for me to do the same.

Mike: I know, right? :)

Steve: It's interesting that your mother resisted when asked, but accepted help when it was simply put in place. But then, from what you've written about your mom, she had a different personality from mine! The care agencies here that are either paid in full or in part by the government require as the first step that the recipient agrees to the help. So we would have to hire privately and pay fully for care where the caregiver would need to understand the possibility of pushback from my mother. Neither my brother nor I have the money to do that except possibly as a trial, and if it worked, switch to government funded help. It's a strategy we could consider. Some days the mental strain of just trying to figure out new things to try seems so hard and it's easier to just keep slogging away doing what I'm doing, then come home and try to forget about it for awhile. Other days I have more energy to push ahead and think about changing things.

jenny_o said...

Briony: I understand everything you said - I SO do not want my kids to have to deal with this if I ever get to that point. I'm just waiting for an upcoming appointment to sign an enduring power of attorney so my family can look after my finances (including paying for my care) if I become incapable of doing so, and I'm considering what else I can do to make it easier for them. I've told them verbally, repeatedly, that I don't want them putting aside their lives to look after me if I get to that point, but I need to find concrete ways to ensure they don't end up in the same position I'm in. I also understand your children's worries about their children. It's not a good time for many of that generation to be finding work and trying to make ends meet and even to deal with the thought of global warming, war and possible nuclear action. I really feel the boomer generation (me included) lived mostly in a charmed time when people had far more choice and opportunity.

Elephant's Child said...

Aaargh. My heart goes out to you dear friend. My mother could sometimes be induced to think that things were her own idea. Only sometimes though. And the frustration, the fatigue, the worry are exhausting.
And a big YES to that cat's expression.

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

It's infuriating how some people ar loosing their mental abilities, and are still physically fit, thus able to do strange and worrying things, while others are mentally "at home" but legs, eyes, and so on give out on them. I find the mental changes to be far, far worse to bear as a relative.
I hav eno advice except to try all things before you wear out yourself!
Hugs from far away over the big seas.

jenny_o said...

Elephant's Child: I love that cat's expression too. If only I could figure out how to make anything my mother's idea. I have no clue how to do that. I watch a lot of videos and do a lot of reading but I haven't yet found any solution. There is indeed a local adult dementia day care which meets for five hours three weekdays, but when it was raised as a possibility to us last year, Mom didn't want to go because of Covid. To be honest, I didn't think it was a great idea either because I didn't want either of us to get sick (because it would be just me looking after her). It's only been the last month or so that my mother has decided Covid is no longer a problem. So I may give it some more thought. I'm not sure how to get her there though. I don't know what "story" would be most likely to appeal to her. If she senses it's for people with brain or memory issues it won't fly. I wish it would, though.

Charlotte: I don't know which I would choose, to be honest - have my brain go or have my body go. It's likely to be one or the other, isn't it? About getting worn out - well, it seems like I get burnt out, then I retreat and only do the bare necessities for a while and regain some strength, then start doing more and more until I burn out again . . . and repeat the cycle again. Right now, I have taken a step back and stopped doing the extras for her. If she says anything, my plan is to say, We can hire someone to do that if you like. Because as long as I keep doing stuff, she'll never agree to anyone else doing it.

messymimi said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this. I wish i had wise words or solutions, please know, you have my ears and my sympathy.

Diane Henders said...

I can only imagine how exhausted and frustrated and heartbroken you must be. The healthcare system has been steadily eroding, and it's scary to hear about how it's failing people, including you and your mom. I hope things get better for you soon.

Mr. Shife said...

Oh my goodness, jenny_o. This is a lot to bear and I wish I could wave a magic wand to help you with this problem. The thing that makes the most sense is getting her declared incompetent. Maybe filming her walking to the store and sharing that with the physician will show them how severe this is. Best of luck and hugs from Idaho. Take care.

jenny_o said...

Mimi: I appreciate the ears and sympathy :) I don't know that there are actually any solutions at this time. We probably have to wait until there is a crisis to get any help.

Diane: I remember when things started going downhill here - it was the early 1990s, and I was dropped by my (female) doctor - for asking her to give my young daughter a chance to calm down before getting a throat swab - but that's another story - and I had to go to a neighbouring town to find one. That's when our doctor shortage was just starting. I had no idea it would eventually lead to what we're seeing now!

Mr. Shife: I never even thought of filming my mother. It's definitely something to consider. I wonder if they'd take it into consideration or if they only trust their testing. Thank you for your support.

Janie Junebug said...

Dearest Donkey,

I'm so sorry. I fear this situation will end in tragedy but you are caught in a trap with the doctors and the legal system. It's interesting that your mom fears falling in her yard, yet doesn't fear walking in dangerous areas to go to the grocery store or wherever else she thinks she's going. People's personalities tend to become more extreme as they age or when they're ill, so all of the characteristics your mom has that are familiar to you have become more intense. It happened with my mother, too, but she died in her early 70s. I wonder if there's a way to convince her that it's safe to work in the yard, so she uses her energy there instead of wandering. Does she wear a safety alert necklace that would work when she's in the yard but wouldn't work when she leaves? If she had one, would she remember to put it on? I kind of like the idea of hiring someone and presenting the person to her and saying this is how it is. Best wishes to you, as always.


kylie said...

You are doing a fabulous job with a lot of patience and if your mom could think straight, she might be grateful ;)
Having said that, You really shouldn't need to be the only carer and what was that doctor thinking in telling your brother to step up?

My son-in-law has just seen his grandparents into care. Grandma has had dementia for years and grandpa was intent on looking after here even though she was afraid of the strange man she lived with. Long story short, it was only a crisis that pushed them into care and I think that is so often the case.

much love to you xo

jenny_o said...

Janie Junebug: I think you are right, it's going to take something terrible happening to change anything. It just makes no sense to me whatever. And my mother is not helping. Even with dementia, she is wilier than the rest of us put together, or so it seems. She refuses to consider an alert necklace or bracelet, and they are expensive so I hesitate to get one to see if she would change her mind. We would have to hire someone privately to present as a done deal, because the very first question asked by the VON is "did your mother agree to have this service" - I already tried. And hiring privately is really expensive. We have no access to Mom's funds. The pure frustration of this is messing with my head.

kylie: I don't feel like I'm doing a good job; I feel like I'm failing and I'm running on fumes. And I don't have it as bad as those who have their loved ones in their own homes - at least I can step away for hours at a time. But I've begun worrying about her so much of the time I'm not actually with her. It's seeping into every hour I'm away from her now. I think you're right that it often takes a crisis to get care or to convince people that care is needed. Why are people so stubborn?! I feel for your son-in-law and I'm glad they've had a resolution.

37paddington said...

Caring for an elderly parent with dementia is as hard as it gets. My cousin who is doing the same thing just spent a week with me while her sister relieved her, and there were many tears of stress, sorrow, frustration, even hopelessness. What would happen if you began transitioning a care worker into your mother's life and home. You could be there with her at first, to help your mom adjust. My own mom used to say she didnt want any strangers in the house, but after a couple of weeks, the caregiver was no longer a stranger and she looked forward to her arrival each day, knowing she would have company and care. Can her doctor insist on it? Would your mom accept that? I do hope you find a solution, soon. This is so hard. I know, my friend. I know.

PipeTobacco said...

Jenny…. I am sorry for being away for quite a spell. Our stresses appear similar in some ways. We are having challenges with my elderly MIL who is similar but a year or two younger than your Mom. It is indeed very, VERY stressful. We have had her go to an assisted living apartment due to growing dementia.

Have you heard or seen any postings by Geo of late? I am a bit worried about him as well. I am hoping he is doing ok.


dinthebeast said...

I just read that three months worth of rain fell in Nova Scotia in the past 24 hours. Are you OK?

-Doug in Sugar Pine

jenny_o said...

37p: Oh, I feel for your cousin and I recognize those emotions well. The hopelessness is the worst part for me, with frustration close behind. I've done everything I can think of to get Mom to accept help, from pointing out that it would be somebody for her to talk to, to telling her that it's for me to have a break, and everything in between. But then she simply says I don't need to do the things I do; she can do everything herself. I'm in the midst of forming a plan for a few days off. I will tell her my "friend" is going to be taking her pills to her while I take some "vacation". But it won't be my friend, it will be either VON or a private caregiver. I learned last week that even if Mom rejects the help, it will be documented and help to strengthen the future case for incompetence, so I do need to get those agencies involved, not just suck it up and keep doing it all. Thank you for your understanding, and for listening to your cousin because I know how much relief it is to vent to a sympathetic ear.

PT: I sympathize with your situation. It's a mental, emotional and physical drain and leaves one with little energy to live the rest of one's life. I hope the assisted living works out well for all of you, but I imagine you'll probably continue to be quite involved in your MIL's care. It's a sad fact for many, many folks with elderly parents. And no, I haven't heard from Geo. - I must go leave a comment in hopes he will see it and reply.

Doug: I'm okay - the worst hit areas were in central Nova Scotia. Where I live we had rain but no worse than a normal hard downfall. My son, however, lives in the most affected area, and his basement was flooded with about a foot and a half of water. The flooding of roads and bridges and structures has been widespread there; at one point there was four and a half feet of water in a mall. A river basically overflowed and ran down a road right into the front of the mall. There is no way in or out of the area where my son lives. High tides are keeping the water levels high. The hope is that they may start to recede tomorrow, and that roads will start to be passable again soon. For now, it's impossible to know what damage lies under the water surface. Thanks for asking - I've been too tied up with other things to blog and I didn't realize this was making the news anywhere but here.

jenny_o said...

P.S. to Doug: The worst hit area (which includes my son's residence) got 250 mm of rain in just 5 to 7 hours!

baili said...

reading it each word and line makes me feel for you dear Jenny . i think i completely understand how stressful is situation for you that makes your mom's problematic behavior for you .i am 52 and coping with some health issues and i can imagine cancelling your own appointments can be worrying for you who are not just a housewife but work at office .i am aware how sensitive you are specially after the loss of your life partner it is utterly kind and brave of you to stay in touch and stand her stubbornness dear Jenny!

i appreciate how kind neighbors your mother has who inform you at right time and you can reach before things get worst .
i really wish may she has understanding to comprehend how difficult she is making life for you .but as you said she is not in her senses (gently speaking) nor she has urge to do so because of her tough nature or disease probably sadly.
thank goodness you have loyal and kind brother who keep in touch and do what he can to share your burden .

i hope the family doctor issue resolves and your mom will be sent to care home so she can live peacefully and so do both of you .may be it was not necessary if she was in her senses and would have cared about her children's issues as well .
thank you so much for sharing your heart with us dear Jenny !
i am always here with you !

jenny_o said...

baili: I just found that I never replied to your comment on this post - I am so sorry. Your comments are always so kind and generous. I do feel lucky that my mom has such good neighbours and that my brother supports my choices and tries to do what he can to help. There has been no resolution of the problems with Mom yet and I am feeling very drained and tired. But it does help to realize I have kind friends like you around the world, and also to realize that other people are in the same situation even though I don't know those people personally (I subscribe to a couple of Facebook accounts on caring for people with dementia). Thank you for reading and sending hugs, baili - I'm sending you the same :)