Wednesday, December 06, 2006


My sister has 30 years of nursing experience under her belt, that's hands on experience not University training. No class room teaching can replace years of observation and experience. There is always something new to absorb and add to knowledge. She found this yesterday when talking to the palliative care nurse who has been giving lectures on pain control and personality changes in cancer patients and how to manage these.

I've always had trouble with describing my Mother as having the beginnings of dementia because the symptoms were never quite right. We knew about the confusion, mild, for twelve months before the cancer was found. Yesterday the nurse asked if our Mother has had a complete personality change or was it simply an exaggeration of her normal personality.

Bells, whistles, tooting horns and fireworks. This was it, not dementia, although that might come, but an exaggeration of her personality. The controlling, manipulating personality we've always dealt with but which was mitigated by kindness and compassion. Now we can deal with it. Everything that was her before, is now blown up out of proportion by pain and struggle and tinged with bitterness that my Father isn't there to help her.

We'll use the tactics we've always used. She will call me an uncaring bitch to my sister. My sister will tell her she is a controlling bitch and walk out. Mother will ring me to tell me what a cold bitch my sister is and I'll be back in favour. After a few days I'll tell her that my sister is in pain with her back and had a dreadful day with a patient and sympathy will flow. Order restored.

Not that she's not shitty about my not doing anything about Christmas lights but at least this morning I managed to get through to her about not changing anything in the house to keep her there but safely. She probably forgot 10 minutes later but for one moment she saw sense and admitted that it was only for her last Christmas. This might be a small breakthrough in finally letting us, not control her, but control her surroundings so she can stay where she is.


Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing how a manipulating person knows just how to make everyone dance in circles time and again.

I'm glad you have an understanding of her exaggerated self and why.

My mum is also very controlling and I just refuse to do it anymore and I told her so, although I don't know if it would be that easy if she relied on me so much.

Try and have some time off once in a while, you deserve it, good daughters always do.

(Good music, wine and pictures of naked men are in order!)

Zoe xx

BwcaBrownie said...

Give her a glass of champagne to take her medications with ... oh fk subtlety - just get her an intravenous drip and attach it to a wine cask ... and have the champers yourself

JahTeh said...

Like I didn't have enough trouble I went and installed IE7 and now I don't recognise my computer. I just got used to the old stuff.

I haven't been over since last Monday and I'm not going til next Monday but it doesn't matter because she doesn't know how long it's been anyway.

BwcaBrownie said...

My Aunt really really slaved to care for her mother at the end. Daily walking a good distance from her family home in the same suburb, handling shopping laundry and all the organisational things.
I visited her mother/my GM one day and mentioned Aunt.
My GM said "oh her - never see her!"
If you could keep a picture in your mind of your mum at her peak of life, it might help. X X X