Last night we made a breakthrough in finding where my Mother is. Adam had been trying to get information from the NHS but had failed to find her as according to the Aberdeen records department she had been discharged several months ago, as to where she had gone they couldn’t say. We were left no better off, but from what my brother had told me in December, she wasn’t going to be able to go home again, so how we were going to find her in one of the thousands of OAP homes out there, we had no idea. Adam said he was willing to download from the Web the phone numbers of all in the area and just sit and call them, but as I pointed out that could take months on its own. We were left with only one option, to contact Brain and get the information out of him somehow. Following my desperate wait for news of Mum all the way through December and never getting an answer at any time when I phoned, day or night, nor any response to any messages I left and of course no reply to my letter, it wasn’t going to be easy. Adam said he would try, just as I had found there was no reply, so he left a message and all he said was “This is Adam in Glasgow can you call me back either tonight or tomorrow evening please”. The message was designed to get a reaction, as we both said, hearing that if he cared at all he would be on the phone expecting bad news about me.
It could only have been about half an hour and phone rang, Adam took the call initially. We had talked it through and Adam was happy to do so as he knows just how difficult I find calls like that, well let’s be truthful, calls of any sort. My brother is a rather explosive character, don’t get me wrong he is normally a nice guy, but he does fly off the handle at the drop of a hat and even the slightest step into confrontation and I also loose it, not in temper, but I burst into floods of tears and a total stuttering mess. When you have questions that need answering and points you want to make, well falling apart doesn’t help in any way. They spoke for about 15 minutes, Adam had answered the call in the kitchen and stayed through there while each side updated the other as to what was going on within our own families and he gave Adam, Mums new address. Once Adam was sure that he was going to stay calm, he came through and asked if I wanted to talk to him, I felt somewhat cornered, which started my stress levels to rise and by the time I said hello to him, the stutters had started. I don’t know if Adam had said anything to him, but I did and I warned him that I don’t deal well with the phone in the hope that he would remain level and would just talk to me, rather than shout. I suppose we spoke for about 10 minutes, long enough for him to take me through exactly what happened to Mum in June last year and how she landed up with one broken hip and the other one chipped, the hospitals she had been in and how they found a home for her when the doctors said she would never be fit enough to ever go home again. It was totally clear from what he said that Mum is still Mum, she still bosses everyone around and still has no concept of the fact other people have lives to live, although they will do what they can for her. Physically her body is falling apart, age has taken all control and function away from her, as it does for all of us eventually.
The home they have found for her sound really quite nice, she has actually only been there 5 weeks not months, so she is still in the trial phase, the decision if it will be her home for life, well that won’t be made until next week. The Scottish government picks up the personal care bill and she has to pay the other £320 a week, so once her home is sold the pure cost of being old is going to eat away at everything she has. It really doesn’t pay to have savings of any sort if you live in the UK, if she had been penniless she would be paying nothing, other than part of her pension and she could have treated herself to a much better life than she had, just because she thought she was doing the right thing. Now that I know where she is, I am thinking of writing her a long letter, bring her up to date with my life and explaining that it took six months for anyone to tell me she had even had an accident and it has taken yet another 4 months to find out where she is now. I am also going to see if I can send her some flowers or something longer lasting to brighten up her room and hopefully add some nice scents to what I can imagine is a rather musty environment.
When you live several hundred miles from your family it can always be difficult to know what is going on, but for most it is just a case of taking sometimes out and going to see them. Once you are housebound that option is gone and if you have a family with whom you have a fractured relationship with, it is really easy to land up unable to find out the truth about anything. Since my teens my relationship with my family has always been difficult but that’s often what happens when divorce splits everyone up and on different sides of that split, but one thing until now that we have always done is keep each other up to date with major events, I feel really hurt by my brother over the whole situation. Just as we did 2 and half years ago when we last spoke, he ended the call with saying we really have to keep in contact more often, well I tried and yes I understand that he has a family, a job and our Mother to care for, but he could have picked up the phone in response to my messages in the past, he could of answered my letter, or he could have just called for a chat during the day on his day off, so far he hasn’t. I know from what he said to me and from what I found out later he had said to Adam he has no understanding at all of my health, he just doesn’t get it at all, but unless he was here to see me or he read some of this, I doubt he ever will.
For me, well I am content now, I just needed to know what was happening and to know that Mum was still alive, even Adam was worried when he phoned that that was what he was going to hear and he was going to have to tell me. Now though I think he would call me if Mum died, he isn’t going to call for that chat, or even answer his phone, but he will let me know when the inevitable happens. I do feel isolated from all of them and yes I would like to have seen my Mother once more, but that is never going to happen. Unfortunately, the future for many people may well be what is happening to me right now, the more people who leave the places they were born, the more people will find themselves isolated even from their families by their health, with absolutely no way of changing any of it.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 14/04/12 – Bucking the trend
Sometimes we sit and dream about nothing. Yes, we do. Think about it. How many times a day do sit looking for the next word that is needed in that email you are righting, then finding that you aren’t actually even thinking about that, you’re just starring into space or you screen, as blank as the space you are meant to be filling? Now ask yourself again. I bet you have just found an answer you didn’t expect, don’t worry we all do it.
I asked you to think about this for a reason, can you imagine doing that 100, 500 times a day. Not being able to find words in mid sentence, not just when you are writing but speaking. Then add in a new problem, you start to stutter every 9th or 10th word and while you are trying to get that word out, you……