Thursday, 22 April 2010
My work and my recent introduction to my own mortality reminded me of many a conversation with my Mum. Ever since I can remember she has always said that if she gets dementia or alzheimers she doesnt want to be a burden and I was to put her straight in a home. There has been no negotiation on this, that's how it is. It became more of an issue since my parents split a couple of years ago. She is determined to not to live we me or have me care for her at all. A year or so ago she wrote me a letter instrructing me what to do in the event of this situation and what her wishes were, and I then brought up the topic of my wishes. If I want to care for her surely I am allowed?!?! She refused and said I had to promise, to which I smugly replied she wouldnt know if she lost her mind so I could do what I wanted; not the most mature approach I grant you but I found the whole chat a little odd as she is perfectly fit and healthy and not even near the category of old. When I received this letter I was both touched and slightly unerved by the whole prospect and tried to gain some perspective and support from a friend of mine and her boyfriend (man-friend really, boyfriend sounds so teen and unstable!) I was staying with them for the weekend and brought the subject up with them. They both know my family well so I thought I could talk to them openly about it. I started to tell them about the letter and how my mum didnt want to be a burden if she started to 'lose it'. I told them about the letter and that she had told me what to do if this happens...My friends partner cut in and said not to worry, that he was there and would sort out the whole thing. Now this was a little odd! He and my friend had three parents between them and for him to volunteer to start helping me with my mum was very kind. I said thank you and the topic was left. The next day the conversation came round again to the same topic. I made a joke about lining up parents to put them in homes and not to prematurely send my friends parents away into a nursing home.......then there was silence. I appologised and said I was joking, he said home? I had no idea how he was lost with this link in the conversation.....until I found out where this misunderstanding had come about. When we talked the first time I hadnt actually said the words nursing home. Bizarrely, and to this day I have no idea how this came about, he thought I wanted to have her euphanased, put to sleep, put out of her misery. This was what he meant when he said he would take care of it! This was even more worrying that the help with the home! I am still laughing now! God forbid the day came when my Mum had one of these sad afflictions and I picked up the phone and said to my friend, "it's time"....I think she is safely tucked up in a nursing home when actually he has sent round a man in a balaclava to "take care of it". I am just glad that I found out when I did!!! Naturally I told my Mum at the earliest opportunity. She found it as hilrious as I did, safely confirming that for now nothing had changed and she was still the same Mum I knew and loved. I just know if my friends partner ever calls round, I doubt she will be answering the door!