Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Not Like My Mother

My mother's not used to being ill.

My grandmother - her mother -  wasn't used to it either.  She never got colds.  If you had a cold she'd be all "Oh, don't worry, you can give me a kiss, I never get colds."  And she never did.  Not ever.  Not once.

She was still out doing the gardening till she was over ninety and finally died at ninety three, from I'm not sure what - - all her component parts all giving up at once, I think.

But suddenly, my mother, who is eighty-eight, is ill.  She got a cold nearly four weeks ago and just hasn't shaken it off.

She had a chest infection, and had two courses of different antibiotics, and the cough got better but actually she's feeling worse.  She's not really eating.  She's not even gardening.  Today I don't think she's even been outside.  This is really, REALLY not like my mother.

She's very cheerful, because her gentleman friend is really looking after her and keeping her spirits up.

Last Friday she had a chest X-ray and on Monday she got the results.  She has fluid on her right lung.  The GP was rather mystified by this and decided to refer her to a chest clinic.

Now then, Mum and her gentleman friend (who is considerably younger than she is and totally "with it" mentally) rather got the impression that this referral would happen very fast and indeed it has been marked "urgent" by the GP.

But it seems to have been put under the legal definition of "urgent" which is for when cancer is suspected (I don't think - though I don't know - that this is the case with my mother).  So this legal definition of "urgent" is "within two weeks".

What that means, therefore, is that she has fallen off the edge of the GP's treatment (because they are baffled) and not yet been picked up by the hospital.  Meanwhile she's drooping around, being cheerful, but getting weaker.

Tomorrow we're going to ring the doctor and ask for a home visit.  She's been out several times to the doctor and I want to draw their attention to the fact that she's eighty-eight and she's ill.  They need to know that cheerful-but-droopy is not how my mother normally is.  They need to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, before it gets to the stage where they have to admit her to hospital, because she has a phobia of hospitals and being in hospital would not be - to her - conducive to recovery.

This is my mother, who likes walking on the hills and swimming in the sea and gardening and I'm just don't want them thinking "Oh well, she's eighty-eight, no wonder she's ill."  I'm not having it.


Blogger Jennytc said...

Getting home visits for 80+ year olds is a nightmare, as I can testify re my Dad. These are the people who have given most to our country in one way or another and yet are often treated shamefully. I hope your mum's treatment gets sorted out soon, Daphne.

9:31 pm  
Blogger Helsie said...

No, you need to take action right awaqy because any fluid on her lung need to be banished as soon as possible. "Put a bomb under them" as we say in Oz, Daphne.

12:50 am  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

It is good that your mum has a daughter on her side who is very conversant with the inner workings of healthcare. Not all old ladies have such support. As Helen suggests, you need to get bolshie which should be second nature for a communist's daughter!

1:21 am  

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