I dreamt about my Mum last night, and the fact that she was on her own.
Sometimes my dreams are so real (I had a couple of ESP experiences in my teens), we act upon them, and today was such an occasion.
We arrived after about 3 hours to find Mum on her own, and my sister on holiday in Spain.
First and foremost, I have no objection whatsoever to my sister having a break.
However, the circumstances are not impressive.
Seven frozen dinners were in the freezer, but Mum seemed unsure of how to operate the microwave, let alone understand the cooking instructions.
Her medication wallets were on the table. Today is Wednesday, and Wednesday’s pills were still secure in their pocket, but there were three pills loose on the table together with an empty glass.
Mum’s breakfast bowl was clean, and her cup still had an unused tea bag in it.
Mum told us my nieces and a neighbour were going to visit during the day to look after her for the week my sister is away.
Hubby and I spent the next hour putting big labels on the frozen dinners, and explaining how the microwave worked.
We left our phone number taped to the phone on the piano in the hall and the one upstairs in Mum’s bedroom.
The neighbour was at work, but I spoke to her husband who confirmed that she would be going in every day, as were my nieces. He didn’t realise we didn’t know Sis’s plans.
I left a note in the pill wallet explaining what we’d found and asked someone to call me.
We left as late as we could, promising to ring Mum as soon as we got home.
When I rang, my great niece answered the phone. She said my note had been found and that my niece was going to ring me this evening.
Oh the enlightenment.
Even her daughters are not impressed with the way Sis has handled this, and do not believe (as do the rest of us) that Mum should be left on her own for a week.
Apparently, they had asked Sis to hold fire on her holiday until they could get time off, and both were under the impression that we had been asked to look after Mum while she was away but couldn’t as we were ‘too busy’.
It had been casually mentioned around Christmas/New Year for a break in April or May. We said of course we’d help out, but she’d have to give us some notice.
In short, we weren’t asked, and only knew of a pending holiday through Bro as she never raised the subject again. Had we known her holiday dates, we could have sorted something out.
The plan is that my nieces are going to take it in turns to go in and cook Mum’s tea every day. The neighbour has promised to check on Mum first thing in the morning to make sure she’s OK, takes her pills, and has some breakfast, then will go in again later in the evening just before she goes to bed.
I appreciate what they are doing, and have said so.
I emphasise I do not have a problem with my sister having a life, a holiday, a boyfriend, anything she wants to do or who she does it with.
But it is obvious I have no value to her as a sister, family member or ally in Mum’s care.
She seems to get some deviant kick out of hurting me, and I remember years ago her always trying to pick a fight in front of her friends to make her look good until I stopped rising to the bait.
I haven’t forgotten either that it was 12 hours before anyone told me of my Dad’s massive heart attack in 1996, or the fact that he’d had one years before that I knew absolutely nothing about.
I can’t help if I don’t know, and if she’s not going to tell me, that’s her problem, not mine.
I am so sorry you had to figure this out through a dream. It would have been much simpler all the way around to have contacted you. Being the full time caretaker isn’t easy but when you sign on for it, you have responsibilities. I’m glad that the nieces and neighbor have kicked in to help out.
I appreciate the strain of being a full time carer, and Sis is lucky to have a friend in her neighbour to help with my nieces. I am just so upset at not being told or given the opportunity to help out ourselves.
Can’t figure it out. You would think that the more help the better.
Your guess is as good as mine. I spoke to Other Brother today and he had offered to have Mum stay the week with them, but Sis didn’t get back to him. According to my other niece, Mum didn’t want to go, nor is she interested in Respite Care. Seems to be a Catch 22 I’m afraid.
Awww…hugs. our mothers are golden.
I’m so glad you had that vivid dream and acted on it – I wish you didn’t have this difficult situation to deal with, but at least this time, you seem to have worked things out as best you can under the circumstances.
I’m keeping both of my brothers informed, and have spoken to both nieces, who both have my number now (it hadn’t been left with either of them).