Dementia,  Family,  Personal

Dementia, My Nan and Me


“Rebecca is trying to ruin my birthday by stopping people coming to see me”

One simple sentence, untruthful but hurtful and has completely got under my skin. Nan said this to a neighbour of hers on Monday. (Her birthday was Tuesday)

The fact is it couldn’t be further from the truth. Monday mum and I did a food shop of party food, with the intention of people coming round. As morbid as it sounds we don’t know how many birthdays any of us have left and I’d like to think I was doing the best I could to make sure Nan had the best birthday ever! I am not sure why this neighbour felt the need to tell me this whilst we were at Nan’s celebrating her birthday, but I can’t change that now.

What it made me think (other than feeling hurt) is what a bitch dementia can be! I have been to Nan’s everyday the last few weeks, I’ve made sure shes taken her tablets, had clean clothes, me and mum makes sure she has food. I have taken her out, I’ve done everything I could and yet it was still me trying to ruin her birthday.

As hurtful as that comment is, I can’t be angry with Nan. People ask me what keeps me going and seriously I just don’t really know. I think in part the memory of my granddad keeps me going. He’s the only link to my love of the construction industry in the family and he is my hero. Whilst I don’t believe in much I truly believe that he is looking down on me. He has been gone almost 20 years but he is still my most important person, my grampy bill! And whilst I know he wouldn’t expect me to look after Nan, I know he’s proud and I know it won’t last forever too. That’s not meant to sound morbid again,its just the fact of life.

What really niggles me about the comment is the fact I didn’t deserve it. There are people in the family who haven’t bothered with Nan since long before she went into hospital and to me they are the people I feel Nan should be aiming her anger at. I mean I want to be aiming my anger at them. As well as them I want to aim my anger at the interfering people who think they know best but always disappear when it comes to clearing up the mess. Then, the best thing about it all is I am made to look like the bad person!

Nan’s comment has hurt me, thats a fact and I am not going to deny it. But it won’t stop me carrying on what I am doing because I know in my heart it is the right thing to do whilst we fight to get the care that Nan needs, yet says she doesn’t. I learnt along time again that the right thing is sometimes the hardest thing you’ll do but it always gives you the greatest rewards, and leaves you with a clear conscience.

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