The Dementia Diaries
I am going to start a new post on the blog, discussing what life is like looking after my Nan who has Dementia. It probably (knowing what I am like) won’t be the most active of series and the stuff I discuss might be after the time in which they happened but I think that it is important to discuss what dementia is like from both sides for my nan and for the people who care for her.
7:55am I roll over, the alarm had gone off an hour ago but I am really struggling to get up at the moment. Look at the phone “Nan – 5 missed calls” – The last one was just five minutes ago.
“Well at least if somethings wrong its only just happen” I think.
Before I have even had the chance to ring back the phone rings again
“I need a doctor” – (Honestly I am not sure I can put up with this before I have even properly come too)
“What wrong nan?”
“I can’t get up, well I went and had a wash but now I am in the chair, I havent even had breakfast, come up now”
“Nan I haven’t even got out of bed yet”
“I need a doctor my breathing is bad”
“You sound ok Nan, just take your inhalor but you do have the number for the doctors if you want to ring them”
“I don’t have the number”
“Yes thats it”
“No nan, you just read the number you know what it is. But if you can’t ring I will get ready soon and come up and sort it for you”
I want to scream into my pillow, on one hand I am extremely honoured that Nan relies upon me like this, but on the other hand please just someone give me a break.
Before I have even had my morning cuppa Nan is back on the phone
“I have rang and someone is coming”
“That brilliant, good, well done Nan”
“I told them you are my lovely girl and this will help you have one less thing to worry about won’t it”
How could I have ever been mad with her in the first place for stressing me out before i’d even been awake ten minutes? Guilt kinda sinks in, she can’t help this – but then I can’t help it either. We are all human, dementia or no dementia.
Visting Nan in the afternoon, the doctor had been and nothing was wrong (this wasn’t unexpected). However Nan is more than displeased by this fact. Her breathing is wrong and apparently the doctor wanted mum and I to go and get her some medicine. We were in the wrong, the only thing I could work out was that it may have been suggested that Nan needed some over the counter cough medicine. How can we know for sure? We can’t really – whats the best thing to do? Seek out advice.
This afternoon Nan rings to tell me shes had some bad news. My uncle has to move house – hes been given notice by his landlord. Nan panics he won’t find anywhere in Town. I tell her I am sure he will ,but I know nothing , I know nothing about houses, I know nothing about anything.
(Just saying but having a degree in building surveying this does slightly amuse me)
However, now I am on the phone to a woman panicing about something that neither of us have any control over and it is going to be my responsibility to keep her calm. She isn’t going to turn elsewhere, shes going to turn to me. I am flattered she trusts me but I am trying to do my coursework, how do I handle both? Can I handle both?
Where do I turn?
Our goodnight phone call is swift, she sounds tired. I’m tired. I tell her im off to bed too (at half 7) I feel like I could but more coursework needs to be done.
Got to keep going.
Got to keep working.
Tomorrow is another day, what will it bring!