Now, to write about Peggy, aka Margaret Douglas: January, February 2002
Back to mater 2002 Date last edited: Friday, October 16, 2009
 

January, and Going wobbly, and Going walkabout
February, and Devils' Pains, and Whoosh, in the car, and Fracas with the Health System including the Civic Hospital.

January 2nd: Everything was closed yesterday, except for some coffee bars and restaurants. Nothing extraordinary at home, other than being called despicable!! Of course, lots more of the usual. Soccer was fine, if only they could place the unending series of advertisements at a better point in the games. Today, one day less to wait for the Psycho-Geriatric services to appear. That will be tough for Dad, no doubt. The Amber Garden is closed for two weeks. We shall have to eat elsewhere, possibly Maxwell's on Elgin, this evening. Report to follow!!

January 3rd: Well, she was worried about going there too early, she worried about how long it would take us. Nervous Nellie? Then, she was distraught because the salad contained leaves and such that were too large for her single top tooth. Although she was quite pleased when I took the plant life she offered me. Yet, when the second course, a fusili pasta, came, she was delighted. "The spoon they gave me was for this sauce, because it's really nice sauce", quoth Mama. So, a good evening, until she muttered to me, as we were approaching the front door of the apartment, "You must like living on the top floor". Ye gods and little fishes. Later, she opened my door, to see my bare feet poking over the side of the bed, (as I watched Cold Squad and read a depressing Alice Hoffman book, with bad luck everywhere in its story). However, Mum never spoke a word, for a change: Still in, I suppose, a good mood, since she has decided that there is nothing wrong with Maxwell's, so far.

January 4th: Nothing much, except that Dad said to me that he thought that Mum is sinking fast: told him that I had bought lots of furniture for my girlfriend and had put them in my apartment on the top floor. She had also asked Dad to buy their apartment, because six others had been bought in the block. According to her, and, naturally, not true.

January 6th: Saturday evening, at Maxwell's, I had to surreptitiously tell the waiter that mother is expecting the chef to have a meal for her, since . . . They were fine with that, although she raised her eyes towards heaven when the waiter, good guy, told her that because she really liked it last time, she was having the fusili again. Actually, she said that the Portobello mushrooms were really good, and took the special Irish coffee in her stride. 

But, today, she went bananas at both me and Dad, because I was a stupid bugger and didn't know what apartment I had on the top floor! Pressed herself on me, staring at me, vicious mien, and then angrily, and heavily, swung her hand bag at the wall. Raved at Dad, telling him she was leaving him. Rushed, dressed for their trip to the Mall, out, and Dad followed. And I saw them drive off in the car a little later. Oh, boy, oh boy. 

January 7th: Sunday was bad, really bad. Get out, get out, get out. Walking around downtown Ottawa, evening. No one around, heartless, cold. 

Today, Monday morning, she woke me up. Told me that my boss was calling her, telling her that he had lots of work for me to do. Etcetera. 

However, what has really affected me is asking Dad how he felt. His response: Tired, really tired. I would like to go to sleep, and sleep for ever. Now, if that isn't a sign that he would prefer to die, I don't know what is. Hanging on for Peggy? If only I could release the pressure, by leaving the apartment. But, he would still have her increasing dementia to deal with. She raved on at me on the sixth on her psychic abilities. How all these people know about me being a liar, and a bugger, and. When I asked her who these people were, they were, precisely, figments of her imagination.

When I remarked to Dad that next Monday, 14:30hrs, is the visit, he asked how we would broach it to Mum. Well, I feel that two professionals are coming, and they should know how to obtain their information, how to make an assessment. And how to introduce themselves, and control her inevitable outbursts? 

January 8th: Last night: Dad tells me she put on the kettle. What for, he asked? Coffee, says Mum, for Lynn. Right, Lynn is in Auckland, isn't she? No, she's here in one of the apartments. 

This morning, she tells me that I am trying to harm my sister. Also, that I have bought an apartment in this rental block: That the manager has an apartment for me and that he has paid for it, so that I can have my new girl friend with me.  Then, once I am dressed to leave, I watch her washing up the breakfast dishes. Get out, she shouts at the wall, bugger, get out, stupid fool. I wait, she never turns away from the sink, so I leave. 

(I saw Mylvaganam today, but I didn't see my daughter Katharine, which I wanted to, because it is her seventh birthday. And, I couldn't phone her in time.  Should have gone to Montreal. But . . . . how can we keep going with mother's rapidly increasing deterioration? And, no luck for me on the job front, which exacerbates absolutely everything. There are Globe and Mail articles on depression for three days this week, although today's isn't available on the Web, for the first article see the Millstone page. Interesting, but depressing, and that's not quite a joke!!! One of the things I am somewhat disturbed about is the fact that one of my long lost friends has told me that he has suffered considerably with depression. His wife is still, although he admits astonishment, with him, although I suspect that he has had better financial luck than I. Mine wife is not, and that, I think, tells a tale of modern mores, compared with those but thirty years ago. Admittedly in different countries).

January 12th: Stares at me when I came in with my laundry. However, whilst watching Newcastle beat Leeds (3 - 1), came in with a cup of coffee, again with coconut biscuits, and lastly with an article about life coming from asteroids, which friends from Vancouver had sent her. Quite friendly, and allowed me to hug her and give her a kiss. The opposite of behaviour of late, which is very pleasant. The only thing was that every time she came in she remarked that I had asked her, via psychic ability, for whatever she carried. 

January 13th: I left early, to walk to the Fergus, just a few blocks south of the canal bridge on Bank. Mum was up, and when I said I was off, told me I was going to see my girlfriend. Hardly, since I was off to see Southampton v ManU, and Arsenal v Liverpool. Lots of folk there: fascinating to see that the blind support of certain teams has crossed the Big Pond.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day.  I do hope something worthwhile develops (from the PsychoGeriatric Services at 14:30hrs).

January 14th: Well, I had a chat with the two professionals prior to us walking up to see Mum. The psychiatrist talked to Mum, and then the Social Worker. 

Conclusions: Peggy is almost certainly psychotic, has some short term memory loss, and is otherwise fine cognitively. We will have to see what else, because there is certainly dementia to some degree. 

Mum agreed, yes agreed, to see Dr Rambert for blood tests (no doubt it will be a note to take to a clinic: Dad, or I, will have to take her there). Further to that, we will have visits and/or phone calls on a fairly frequent basis to determine if Mum is being taken through the system to determine her physical and medical condition. Thus will be discovered whether her problems have a medical rather than psychological basis, or a combination thereof. 

The conclusion concluded that she does not meet the threshold to be hospitalised, and that is fine. Not that it stops Dad from being worried about his own condition and his impending meeting with the consultant about his legs (January 18th).

Well, this was a good start, and I was pleased with the conversations that were had with Mum, who surprised us by being jovial throughout. And also with the chats that I and Dad had with the Psych staff.

Mum, when they were gone, said that she didn't need blood work, but we'll see, because when the phones are repaired I will contact Dr Rambert, our GP. 

January 16th: Dad was asked what he was doing in the apartment yesterday evening. Mum wouldn't talk to him for a considerable time, although she allowed him to say goodnight. She was fast asleep at half eight this morning, and Dad and I had a chat about things. He is so worried about his impending meeting with the consultant. Told me that he has always worried excessively. I wondered whether he should obtain medication to calm him down. Nowadays that is eminently possible, nicht wahr? Perhaps a job for the PsychoGeriatric caseworker? 

January 17th: Everything going wobbly
Firstly, last night: mother was accusing Dad of seeing his girlfriend upstairs. She now talks to me, but not to Dad. Volte face enorme! Secondly, wouldn't go to the restaurant because they were going to poison her. When we returned, maintained the anti status towards Dad. When I mentioned Michelle and Katharine coming she was adamant in her usual way about M's dislike. Came past my door twice and opened it and waved her fingers oddly at me, also accepting that I would be staying the night. When Dad went to bed, she opened the door with her hair net and a glum face, saying "He is going to bed, he's not going upstairs to his girlfriend. Bugger."

This morning, I phoned PsychoGeriatrics about Mum's refusal to go to the doctor on Friday. This because she has decided with her "chats" to Rambert, Dad's girlfriend, the Psychogerries, etc., that she has had her blood test already. And is fit, and knows what her body is like, ad infinitum.

Today, I drove Dad in the snow to Walkley to have his driving licence renewal and test. He passed, but will soon need new glasses. We returned to find Mum still in her anti-Ray state. When I gave her the thumbs up, that Dad was successful, she said the healers had already told her and what present did he bring for his girl friend. "Pack your stuff and clear out", quoth she. When I asked her if she had had any phone calls she admitted that a woman (this was Michelle) and a man, and that he was the one who came to visit the other day, had phoned. The PsychoGeriatrics had asked her to go to the doctor, but she told them now that there was no need. Then she told me, after irritably making Dad a coffee, and wandering into their bedroom, and back to me, "that Dad is a really good liar, and didn't I know that, and don't tell Dad what I have told you: that I was really happy here when Dad was away, when I had a good, long chat with that nice Dr Rambert." 

Well, I told her that we had driven past the indoor football marquee (Lansdowne Park, Bank Street) and that is where I play each Friday evening. Told her about the air pressure necessary to keep it up, and that BC Place was the same. Now, she could understand clearly what I was talking about. Cognitive certainly, psychotic absolutely. We have to decide whether we need a Power of Attorney rather quickly now. When I told Dad that he needs to get out, for example going with me to the Fergus Inn for English Premier soccer on a Sunday morning, he said that he worries more when he isn't there with her. Worrywart extraordinaire.

When I left, both said goodbye, and Mum went off to sit in her chair, and glower and complain: she is certain that she has me convinced about Dad, and also certain that she is perfectly sound in mind and body. 

January 18th: Another very strange day, yesterday and last night. 
1. Raving at Dad, accusing him of making me lie for him: that happened when he was passing my room and I was asking him about the Guardian crossword, and talking about the soccer for Saturday. He was far from pleased with her behaviour: becomes irritated at her, visibly. He asks her where does she get this idea from, and what on earth, etc. She sits in her chair and laughs, rather cackles at him, as if he were totally stupid. He laughs back at her, sarcasm personified. I listen and hope that this death spiral can be halted.
2. It was Michelle who called yesterday morning, not Dr Gobessi, and Mum was not happy to hear from her.
3. Michelle called this evening to tell us that she would be up to Ottawa on Saturday, at 14:00hrs at the Coach Station: car is doubtful. Will go back at 21:00hrs. Naturally, Mum and Dad talk to Katharine, and, when I put the phone down, Mum tells me that Michelle hates her and is trying to turn Katharine against her. But, she says, Katharine knows that, and is a real dear and loves me. Right on, Mother Dearest!!
4. Mum very friendly with me, actually came before she retired, as I was reading in bed, to give me a hug, and, laughingly, wonder why I was lying there with my glasses on. Not that she needs glasses, forsooth! What was that book doing in my left hand?
5. This morning, Mum comes in as I lie there, waiting to arise and shower. She looks at me but says nothing. I look out and she is waving her arms dismissively towards the kitchen and goes into the bathroom.
6. After I have dressed, Dad comes in and asks me if she woke me up last night. She hadn't. Dad then says she knocked his bed around 06:00hrs and tells him he should have gone up to his girlfriend. Why didn't he help his girlfriend, because she was in trouble and the police and the ambulance came. And, apparently, she thought that I had gone up to her apartment to help. So she told Dad, anyway.
7. I tell Dad that she has transferred her affection to me and remind him that this was the kind of behaviour I was suffering from her previously. We shake our heads, and I tell him that I will be back by 13:00hrs to take him to the specialist this afternoon.

Well, at least some good news: we waited at the Hospital for Dr Brandys, Dad as nervous as could be. The examination and the reading of the ultra-sound report resulted in a No Operation Necessary declaration. Dad will have to undergo self medication by means of exercise. This means walking until it hurts, resting, and carrying on, for an hour. Always remembering Dad's age. What it will do is build up the secondary arteries to replace the main blocked femoral and popliteal passages in both legs. Not totally replace, but it will improve on his 58% efficiency level, if he maintains his regime. Don't doubt he will try. 

As could be expected, Dad was very happy with this news, having had awful nightmares about bedpans!!

Talked to Mum about this when we returned, and of the fact that Dad's bruising can be halted by only taking a child's dose of Aspirin, rather than an adult's, which is what Dad is doing currently. 

So, good for Dad, concerning his legs; but bad for him since I seem to be the blue-eyed boy, in Mum's opinion. How long will this last? She was telling me about the girlfriend fainting because she had been told that Dad had died. Mum had been receiving messages: Mr Dickins, Mr Dickins, Mr Dickins, Mr Dickins .  . .   . . .  

Was surprised to see that Dad had come back. She saw me, as I told her that Dad was happy, and then asked me who was that over there. It's me, said Dad, I don't have to have an operation. 

Later, when she said that Dad would be buying some new glasses, for reading and for driving, she reaffirmed that she needed none, when I suggested she also obtain some. 

Enough, soccer beckons, as does food and a coffee. Later, like most of my aged contemporaries, I will take a couple of Advil, to relax the joints, ready for the nonsense. Roll on tomorrow, when the beast and the beauty arrive from Montreal, thus spoke the oracle.

January 20th: Becoming worse. "Talking" with Katharine about how she is being badly treated by Michelle. How Michelle is thrown out of her home because she is not being nice to Katharine. Telling me that they weren't coming yesterday, and that she has had enough from Dad, how she has never been happy. Telling me not to go to the Bus Station because they had told her that they weren't coming up. Then, when they appeared in the apartment, Mum was smiling and playing with Katharine. She would talk to me, but barely to Dad and not, if she could help it, to Michelle. 

Mum is packing things away, because she says that Dad has given her a week's notice in the apartment. Has removed most of her toiletries from the bathroom. Won't allow Dad to help her with her bed, because he would pollute it. Asks me, after we returned from dinner, whether the girlfriend, his, not mine, was at Maxwell's Restaurant. 

And, so it goes, she is constantly distraught and irrational. We will have to wait until Monday or so, until the psycho-geriatric services social worker can contact all three of us. Really, we have to get her into hospital, so that Mum can be properly examined, mentally and physically.  

January 21st: This morning Mum comes in, smiles at me, picks up some stuff she had left on the floor and goes out to dress. I was able to say goodbye when both sat at the breakfast table. Dad said it would be snowing. I said I had my hat with me. Mum gave me another big smile. And they both sat there, looking out of the window, saying nothing to each other. There had been arguments about hearing voices last night. Dad said he had never heard the spirits which Mum strongly advised he should be listening to: as if and when.

Last night, having come in at about 18:45hrs, these were the events I know of:
1. Putting things in her closet and on the floor. Then asking me if I'd seen her man. Did he give you my phone number? If I came in her at 3am will it disturb you? I asked "What for?". No answer. Then, "Dad won't see these things, my stockings, will he?"
2. Next time in: "Can you get up at 6 and go down to see him?" "Who?" "My man. Get dressed and go down, he'll have a surprise for you."
3. Later, "Have you gone down to see him yet?" This was at 21:00hrs.
4. Dad told me that she thought that during the day I had been upstairs with his "girlfriend". This because I get on alright with her, and she had made me a steak and kidney pie. I wish!

I will be trying to find a Justice of the Peace today. Could not find anyone of that description in the phone books. 

January 22nd: Came home, after watching the second half of ManU v L'pool. (1-0 to Liverpool. Missed the first half because I was with Mylvaganam). 

Dad immediately told me he had had a really bad day:
1. Mum packed, taking her stuff down via the elevator to 2B, and tried to go out into the parking lot. Dad restrained her from walking around. 
2. Again she went off, down to the lobby, with her bags, waiting for her friend.
3. When I am there, she comes in and tells me that she is off to 2191 Parkvale, which does not exist, because Lynn is there, and her friend. Dad keeps telling her to leave, she tells me. She has packed some odd clothing, and various sundries. 
4. She tells me that I have a new job and not to go to the old one because the owner wants to fuck me. Those were the words she used, and she has never, ever, said that word to me before. She said that he had had another man, and that I was next. She told me that Lynn had been here, that she had a new man, Peter having died some time ago. ( Lynn and Peter are in Auckland). Her thought processes change rapidly to fit any scenario. 
5. She is able to use news or information, for example Parkdale, where I took Dad for his examination. This information is then altered to fit her belief in the spirit world and her "ability" to talk to anyone wherever they may be. Her belief that Peter has died, that Lynn is here, and the other men in Mum's life are eminently wrong, but real enough to her. 
6. I phoned the Mental Health Crisis Service, explained what was happening, that we had had an email that included this service as an option to us. They sent one of their two teams to us. I, just to show them how irrational Mum is, agreed with her to go down to the lobby to wait for her friends. Unfortunately, this meant that the MHCS Psych Nurse thought that I was going along with Mum's behaviour and accentuating it. As I mentioned to GM, the PsychoGeriatric Social Worker, this morning, that was an incorrect assessment. I, and Dad, try to disassociate from Mum's meanderings, but she is bringing me into her sphere, these alternate scenarios in her mind, simply by telling me about how Dad mistreats her, and so forth.
7. The MHCS people had to threaten her to make her return to the apartment. Mum stated that there was nothing wrong with her and was critical of their presence. We eventually returned to the apartment, whereupon the Psych Nurse talked with Mum for some time in the bedroom, whilst Dad and I regaled the policeman of the duo with our concerns. Dad is worried about everything, and the pressure is rising for him. This was the first day where he had to forcibly restrain her.
8. The policeman informed us how to gain a Form 2, from a JP at the court house on Elgin Street, opposite Place Bell Canada Place! (Bilingual sign stupidity). It's easy when you know how. He agreed that the phone book is useless. However, it seems that we cannot guarantee that Mum would receive the treatment that she needs. There is a gross bed shortage. It is not good to be apprehended and taken to a hospital in the evening. Having a doctor produce a relevant form in the daytime is preferable.
9. The final words from Peggy were that she wasn't a criminal, thinking that that was what the MHCS duo were implying. She obviously isn't aware of her irrationality. Silly thing to say, I suppose, since the whole issue concerns her psychosis and dementia. The Psych Nurse would not tell us what she and Mum had talked about. I find this wrong, we need to know what transpires. However, this is a "swat" team and perhaps goes by different ground rules when compared with the PsychoGeriatric services. 
10. GM, the Social Worker from the PsychoGeriatric Services came in this morning and chatted to both Dad and I in my bedroom. He agrees that Mum is deteriorating, and does think that Dad should take time out, for example by going to the restaurant this evening. Ray would not be liable for any harm to Mum, should she leave, or knock on a wrong door, when he isn't there. 
11. If the system won't take her in, then perhaps she is not sick enough. However, my view is the stated lack of resources prevents her from being helped. If we can provoke, or allow an incident to happen, that might initiate hospitalisation. GM will inform his colleague psychiatrist, LG, of her apparent deterioration. 
12. GM said it might be good to have a woman Social Worker meet with Mum. That might allow Mum to talk with some freedom and less fear. 
13. It would be nice for these people to see Mum when she is in a paroxysm of anger. Not when laughing and giggling and agreeing to do something that she refuses to countenance once they have left the apartment.
14. It was noticeable last night that this sickness, be it dementia or psychosis, is affecting Mum deleteriously. She showed signs of distress. Close to tears, and she was teary earlier with Dad, downstairs. And then angry with him later on, in the apartment.

 She is the cause of her own situation, but that is involuntary, and she cannot be blamed for feeling so insecure. That she has latched onto me at least gives her someone she feels safe with: I know that that is a false scenario, but both Dad and I have to go along with her to dissipate the pressure as best we can. Although we both can be caustic with her, when the situation becomes unbearably ridiculous.

When Dad was having a chat with GM, the Social Worker, Mum told me that there would be a car picking me up in half an hour. It would toot it's horn. I would be going to a new job: Dad had gone up to see his girlfriend. I actually helped her make their beds. Also, as she washed up the breakfast dishes, she had a loud verbal argument with my "old" boss about his homosexuality, and she then said she wanted to go with me when the car came. I told her that I had to go down town first. She asked me to hurry back so that we could go with them. Patent inconsistency there, isn't there?

January 24th: Peggy still irrational, thinking that I should be at this new job, with this new man, but she talks to me and waved when passing my door. She had thought I had stayed at the new place overnight. I don't know how she can relate a new job to a place to sleep.  Of course, she wouldn't go to the restaurant last night. And, when we returned, the apartment door was unlocked, which we had heard her lock behind us. And, she had taken her jewelry box out of one of her bags that were in my room and placed it on her dresser. What is that a sign of? At any rate, Dad said, "So far, so good, today."

January 25th: Peggy yesterday refuted Dad's statement. As soon as I left, she dressed in her going-out suit. She packed a large bag and others, and berated Dad all day long.

The other matter is her increasingly poor personal hygiene. She smelled after wearing that suit all day. She needed a shower, but she puts used clothing on each morning. Her oral hygiene is inevitably poor, because of the state of her gums and teeth. Plus, she cannot see what she is doing: the long facial hair to the right of her mouth is a case in point. 

Also, the night before last she wore a hair net, and complained that her head was wet when she arose. She thought that someone had poured water over her head. Not true, I showed her that the hair net was a shampoo cap.

In the afternoon, Susan from the MHCS made a follow-up call. Dad spoke with her, and he eventually got Mum on the line. During the conversation, Dad heard Mum disparage him. She said that most people thought he had charm, but she knew what he was really like. And other stuff. 

When I returned, to find all these bags and coat on my bed, I called in Dad, and he gave me the message to call Susan. I left the apartment and drove down to the Library in Dad's car: telephoned whilst in the warmth of the building. 

Talking with Susan, the Psych Nurse, of the Mental Health Crisis Team, I told her that when I returned this evening it was to an abnormal situation. Usually, angrily, Mum will cook the evening meal for the pair of them. This time, I saw her in a suit, and them eating a bougt pizza. Susan wondered why I thought that abnormal, given that this would be something she would often do at her home: I responded that this was an abnormality for this household. When I first moved in, she would cook for all three of us, but it soon became impossible for me to attend. 

Furthermore, Susan admitted that the MHCS is not associated directly with the PsychoGeriatric Services although she had worked with their psychiatrist, LG, previously. She said that LG was a really soft spoken, but highly competent psychiatrist. I mentioned that she had kept Mum in good spirits and laughter when they met, but had not elicited what Dad and I receive when she becomes a raging termagant. Susan reiterated that we should not feed into Mum's behaviour. I reassured her that we do not in fact do that, but that by adhering to this attitude on Thursday, my father had felt so ill that he suspected he was close to a breakdown. He has high blood pressure, and his head had been hammering all day, and his chest had hurt, whilst dealing with my mother.

I had to put up with the usual chatter from my mother. They are coming to take us to Parkdale Avenue. They have told me that there is a new job for you. Lynn is there. 

There are no rational replies to my questions: Who is going to poison you at the Restaurant? (First The Amber Garden, now Maxwell's). Who is coming to meet you? What job have they got for me? Where do I sleep? Where do you sleep? Where has Lynn been staying? Why has Lynn not come here to see us? When did Peter die? Where do you think they call from when they phone you? What floor is Dad's supposed girlfriend living on? (It has been the 21st, then the 6th, now the 5th). Why can't I hear Dad tell you to leave the apartment, if you tell me he is constantly telling you that from his chair? If you tell me Dad has divorced you, why haven't you signed any papers? Where is the solicitor? Why haven't they talked to you about why Dad wants a divorce? Who are all of these people that I can't hear? Why do you stare at the ceiling when you talk to these people? Why can you talk to anyone, even if you don't know who they are?

It goes on, and when she comes to answer the questions, she always comes up with a differing answer to one she may have provided earlier, to suit the circumstances of the moment. 

It is clear that she is completely irrational, but has the intellect to alter circumstances to suit herself. We can never have rational conversations about any other subject, unless it happens to be on the TV, or in the paper that I am reading from. She cannot see clearly: cannot see the snow or rain clearly. She harangues Dad about lack of friends, but will never make the effort to remedy that problem.

She was quieter this morning, and said that if I wouldn't go with her, since I told her I had to go down town, that she would leave when the van came. First, she had said it would be here for ten, then, when I returned after taking Dad to the bank, she said it was coming at noon. If I weren't there, she would go on her own. My parting shot to Dad, who is worrying incessantly, is that she probably won't go shopping for groceries with him today, but he must go on his own. The roads have been cleaned up, after this morning's snow. It is very slippery under foot. 

I phoned GM, and gave him a summary of yesterday. Both GM and MHCS have mentioned Justice of the Peace involvement. Dad and I do not know what is the best course of action. We feel that the Psychogeriatric services, maybe if GM can initiate visits by a nurse, may enable a system of  medication for Mum. Primarily, we need to have her medicated, so that she can function to the best of her ability. 

Her short term memory problem can not be solved. That is part of her dementia. We have talked about what to do at weekends, and that if we use a JP, we have no way of knowing what the Hospital Emergency Services will provide: an assessment that releases her, or places her into perhaps a longer period to have her properly medicated. GM told me he would phone this afternoon. I have mentioned to Dad that he should feel that he can speak the truth to GM, no matter if Mum is in the background. I will email GM immediately to ask if he can have LG also read what I have, admittedly verbosely, placed on this page in the last couple of days. This is a cri de coueur from me about them both. Dad has been so tired in the last few days, and, as I have mentioned previously, incessantly worrying about all things that may pass. In my opinion, he worries about a lot of unlikely happenings, but I have no control over that, except to ask him to go to Dr Rambert for an assessment for an anti-depressant, or something similar. Little chance at this moment: at least he passed his driving renewal, and is going for new glasses next week.

January 25th: Well, Dad managed to take her to the store: but she wouldn't buy anything related to her needs, including food, since she was adamant about leaving soon. The cases full of clothes are still sitting in my room: so, what is she wearing?

Today, Saturday, Mum wanted me to take clothes for Lynn. Told her that there was no place to take them to, and again, that Lynn was in Auckland. Also, Mum was on about someone in my room last night, and that the police had been here to take that body away. Both Dad and I almost smiled at this. He, thank goodness, is obviously a little better. 

He told me that GM will see us either Monday or Wednesday next week, the last days of January, with the melting snow. Strange days, indeed.

January 27th: Lynn phoned last night. I wonder what Mum made of that? We went to Maxwell's since Mum had decided to go there to see if they would try to poison her again! 

Attacking Dad about her jewelery (which he has placed in their joint safety security box for safety: she was going to take it out into the street with her bags) and about loss of her combs, and other things. At all times, as Dad agrees, she is barely able to converse, and mostly everything is a denial of what anyone has said. Today, she was, by turns, virago and quiet. She berated Dad, but gave him soup after he came back from his walk, and then started into him again.

Mum seems to have accepted my constant presence, although she thinks that I have not slept there at times. The oddest mix of consciousness, blaming everyone, not believing that she is ill. As I have mentioned, just how should she be self-aware?

January 28th: Going walkabout. "You're dreaming, I only got up to pee twice last night", Mum to Dad, when she looked like death with tiredness, at quarter to eleven this morning.
To me, before bedtime last night: "Come with me at two in the morning. The police are taking me to where Lynn is." Before God, raising her hand up, "there is a new job, a management job for you. Haven't you heard from them? It's true."

At twenty to two this morning I was woken up by Mum pushing me. "Come on, we're late." She had dropped her pajamas on my chair, had dressed in her suit, that desperately needs cleaning, and was upset that I had not taken the suitcases down. She was adamant that the people were outside in vans, even when I showed her the street was empty. Mum kept asking me to come with her, but after my repeated denials that anyone was there, she said that she would have to go on her own. She eventually took her handbag, leaving the other bags in my room, at my request, and left the apartment. She went down to the front lobby. I put a pair of shoes on and went down in my nightshirt. "They aren't here, they must be further up the street." "Mum, they are not here. There is no one here." "Well then, they must be asleep." I left her and went up the stairs, as she turned round to go back to the lobby again. Apparently having heard a voice again. A little while later, as I watched from the apartment door, she came up in the elevator and returned. She undressed in my bedroom, put her pajamas back on and went for water. Dad appeared whilst she was doing that. "Were you awake for all of this, Dad?" "Not for all of it." I gave a summary, Mum came back with her handbag, muttered at Dad that she was thirsty and went to bed. At 3:30am she returned to my room to return her handbag. I had been awake thinking around the problem. What, is this to be a regular event from now on? This morning she told Dad that she was tired, not having slept. I told Dad that she obviously sleeps on normal nights, because she would not otherwise be tired today.

Left a message for GM, PsychoGeriatrics, at 02:30hrs. 

Today on CBC, news that the overweening Liberals voted in the roll-back of union contracts in BC. The loss of support for clients in the Health Care System will be endemic. Idiocy: swingeing tax cuts, 9/11 problems, lumber supertax, bureaucracy cut backs, including prisons and courts. No money for the educators, so that the future of the Province is shortchanged yet again. What absolutely blinkered, soulless behaviour by the BC Legislature. Ancient cut and be damned theories, whereas Keynesian economics are resurgent elsewhere. And Vancouver's hockey arena became totally full of teachers on a one-day walkout. Tomorrow, other social and similar workers carry on these illegal demonstrations that show democracy in action.

January 29th: Back to square one: "you'll be late for your job, I've just talked to them." That was this morning. Yesterday, Mum denied categorically that she had been out of the apartment the previous night. 

After Dad had gone for his daily walk, he came back to find that Mum had emptied all her bags, and put their contents back in their places, possibly. Come her retreat to bed, she opened my door and waved, coming in to give me a goodnight kiss. Cyclical behaviour, Dad worrying what will happen today, how she will tolerate going to a restaurant tomorrow. And how to arrange medication.

Not that the story of a donkey, alters one's belief in the basic idiocy of mankind. That was in today's Globe and Mail, about a poor soul who was a dissident and torture victim under the yoke of Taliban extremism.

January 30th: Yes, indeed, back to square one it is. Woke me up by prodding me this morning. I remarked to her, several times, that "here we go again". Later, she yelled at Dad that "Paul doesn't care about anyone, and that he (me) yelled at me", spit, froth. This in her vituperative, Maori mask face; vicious, vicious!! 

January 31st: The usual: you're really late for work!! The meal at Maxwell's met with her negative statements about everything. We'll try a proper vegetarian restaurant on Saturday. Dad told me that he was really glad that I was around because she has been so anti-everything. Even at the store, Dad said she contradicted everything he chose or asked about. Wearing him down, undoubtedly. 

February 1st: "Your boss wants to know if you're up!" That this morning. On Thursday evening, her thoughts were on the evil sister that I have. Yes, according to Mum, Lynn is being taken back to New Zealand because she has been cursing Mum all day long. Both Dad and I rolled our eyes at this latest twist. "Can't you hear her cursing me?" quoth Mum, which I confirmed I could not do. "Well, if you were in the kitchen, you could hear her all the time." This with a smiling visage, several times, as I read and watched the news from around the world. Oh, to be a politician, to feed at the trough, to argue incessantly about minor, totally unimportant breaches of conduct. Meanwhile, in the real world, the overpopulated world grinds inexorably towards the demise of homo sapiens. Well, not this week, I suppose.

February 2nd: Gripe, gripe, gripe. What are you doing? Going out. Ray, he has stolen my money, he's going out to spend it! 

In yesterday's Globe and Mail: escherichia coli and salmonella may cause Alzheimer's disease. And at the BBC. Information: e. coli in depth and from the EPA. Click here for salmonella.

Of course, forgotten that Dad told her he put her jewelery and money into their joint deposit box. What will happen tonight, when we try a vegetarian restaurant. Can't go here, because Dad won't like the food? That has been her constant complaint.

And, when we went there, Mum never ever stopped complaining about the decor, the food, of never being told anything, of denying that she has ever been told where we would like to go. Denying that Maxwell's does not offer much in the way of vegetarian dishes, and that the chef always knows what she wants. "Oh, well, we'll go back to the Amber Garden." " But," says Dad, "you always complain that Ascha is about to poison you." "Oh, no, it's the evil spirits, that's all."

February 4th: "Don't come here again, you can't get up!" Right, I have been awake since seven this morning. Thinking about all manner of things. Not just Mum last night: "My Mum and Edith (Dad's mother) were told by Ken (Dad's brother) not to go up, because they were going up to a higher plane." Really? "It's just like these men to try and stop them, all the men try and stop them going up. "Just like Ray's Dad, I know him, he's the same. They are horrid people and Ken doesn't want Edith to leave him." All this, late evening, while standing in front of me, and grinning and laughing. 

February 5th: Dad said to me: I wish you had been here today, I feel terrible. She has been absolutely horrid. That was last night, just before I cleared off for the evening, to watch quarter final action of the Africa Cup, at a friend's place. Crept back in at around midnight, and escaped her attention this morning. I have emailed GM at PsychoGeriatrics, to ask for a meeting. Necessary, I feel, because Dad is suffering badly from all of this. If she is in the kitchen, or elsewhere, and unseen by Dad, she talks to her spirits. I can see her nodding her head, and looking upwards. Chattering away, incessantly. Mum told Dad his girlfriend had cooked him a steak and kidney pie. When I was leaving, Dad came out to shove the rubbish down the chute. "Do you know what she just told me? She said Paul would have liked that meal." Apparently, this was somewhere on the fifth floor!! Here we go again. Her behaviour goes in cycles.

February 6th: Paul, it's nearly 8'o'clock, said she, poking her head round the bedroom door. Mum, I know what time it is, having not slept well, as usual. 

However, Dad will have to creep out on Friday morning, to go up the road and meet with GM. I will be there, too. One more step.

Yesterday, at my pshrinks meeting, I reminded Mylvaganam that Mum was a vegetarian. He reckons that she may well have a B12 deficiency. This is common with vegetarians, and can cause mental problems. Another reason to have Mum into hospital for blood work.

Went to the Amber Garden restaurant this evening. Mum her usual misunderstanding self, although she may have "forgotten" that Ascha was supposed to want to poison her. At least Mum gave her a hug as we left.

February 7th: Again, we try to converse, but her determination to relate everything to her fantasies prevents an easy conclusion to any discussion. She did understand the Newsworld showing of Mme Fabienne Brin meeting with her kidnapped daughter. Her estranged husband, Marc Habib Eghbal, caught in a seat belt violation (of their daughter Sara) somewhere near Truro, NS. And, Mum comprehended my statement that they may have found people, at a farm in Port Coquitlam, suspected of the murder or disappearance of fifty women from downtown, eastside Vancouver. 

Dad is off to compulsory aged driver education this afternoon. I will be off to an interview. Mum cannot comprehend why I would be doing that, especially since my "boss" is asking her where I am. 

In the evening, she was quite playful, and incorrigibly childish in her humour. Sad, but that's what it takes to keep her in a good mood.

February 8th: Today, both Dad and I were due to meet with GM, of the PsychoGeriatrics. Dad was not feeling too swift, so I went off to the local hospital's cafeteria for the 10:30hrs deadline. 

GM and I had a talk about many things. What was significant is that the PsychoGs will try to arrange, together with the Public Trustee, having Dad &/or I empowered with an ability to have her hospitalised in the Geriatric Ward. This would enable a full range of tests for Mum. 

Another idea is to have a nurse visit the apartment, with all necessary tools, to take blood samples from Mum. This would quickly offer a picture of possible deficiencies in her system.

And, what about this: Dad and Mum have both been in the health system for years: In Canada since approximately 1969. Dad has been paying dues up to his retirement. Maintains their Canada Health cards, usw. So, what basis in law have we, since Dad is suffering, mainly caused by Mum's behaviour, so that we can insist on treatment? The system is collapsing following monetary cuts in all parts of the country. But, lack of money means what? That those who have paid for care therefore have no rights to it, just because certain politicians and economists and fellow travellers have screwed up the country's finances? But, really, can we not insist on proper care? Peggy Dickins needs a full service, both physical and mental. Blood tests might ameliorate some of her behaviour. There may be a way to produce dental and optical work and thereby improve her wellbeing in several ways. Not only that, Dad's blood pressure would be improved, because his stress levels would decrease. 

Why can't we argue that these two need help from the system? Why can't I insist that it must happen? The answer of course, is that people die of lack of resources all year, in all provinces. Kept on waiting lists until they drop off dead. 

Oh, and my interview yesterday was lots of fun, but nothing followed. Too bad!! It was a quick negative response, so, either I was totally unsuitable, or they found someone perfectly adequate this morning. Not to worry, just ensure that when wearing a suit, one makes sure to have one's fly closed!! That's what I discovered as I changed apparel back at home! 

Feel a right twit, just like an Arsenal supporter (read Nick Hornby's brilliant book, Fever Pitch: Penguin 0-140-29344-2).

February 8th: At the Amber Garden: Mum thinks Lynn is evil, Peter is dead. Spirits have told Mum that she will be attacked. Doesn't want Lynn to come to Ottawa because of her thoughts against her. When one's mother comes in and tells you, smiling, that there are two new spirits inside her (pointing at her rear end and her chest), what does one do, except say, Yes, Mum, but I'm watching the football (Association Football to all you North Americans).

So, when Lynn phones on Saturday night, what would one expect? At first, Mum would not come to the phone. Dad eventually persuaded her to come and sit next to it. Hallo, and silence. A little later, as she warmed up to Lynn's voice, she laughed at what was going on and chatted with Lynn. How does Dad cope with this? Who will she attack next, and how long will that last? If I treat her childishly, she responds, and tells Dad that I love her. How long will this last? Doesn't complain all of the time, any more, about me sleeping there, but still thinks I have a house somewhere else. That is a clear sign of mental instability, or simple damage to cells and synapses. 

February 12th: Mama: she has now started asking me to leave the apartment at night to meet outside with my "boss". This constant cyclical behaviour is becoming tiresome. First me, then Dad, then Lynn, ad nauseam, with different emphasis on whatever clicks together inside her head. The PsychoGeriatric personnel have the ball in their court at the moment. I am waiting to hear about the visit of a nurse. If Mum became intractable, it would allow us to have her hospitalised, n'est-ce pas? Seems obvious to me, but then, I only live in close proximity!!

Lynn and Peter and, I hope, Sarah and Bren, should be here for Dad's birthday on July 9th. Perhaps I can grasp hold of my other darling daughter, Katharine, from Montreal, for that day. Wouldn't that be lovely. Not likely to happen again, is it?

February 13th: Alzheimer stays away if mind stays active? That would be nice, but too late here, wouldn't you say? Mum has definitely not been mentally active for at least three years. The time spent in Ottawa, and complaints about having nothing to do, and no friends. Well, they haven't any, except for me close by and Lynn by phone. Dad goes out, and, for example, is friendly with his barber, Tony at Ludy's, on Laurier Street, a block away. But, that is only once a month at the most frequent. The problem with moving to a strange place and being aged and less active. They tend to react well to the waiters in restaurants, but that is friendship on a very transient basis. Hardly meet anyone else. I have asked Dad to come and watch the soccer at, for example, the Fergus Inn, but he won't. That's natural, since he loves his wife.

February 14th: St. Valentine's Day. Ottavio Cinquanta, head of the ISU, who had been sitting next to Antonio Samaranch, the corrupt previous Olympics Supremo, denies that there is any need to do anything about the Olympic Pairs fiasco. Mother does seem to understand this scenario.

However, last night, at the Amber Garden, Dad whispered to me that he was really cheesed off with Mama. 

The cause? Well, Mum complained that this meal is the same as what the chef gave me last week. Grumble, grumble: why is he giving me the same thing, he's telling me that he has something special for me. 

Then, when she is asked to choose her dessert states again that the chef knows. The waitress is at sixes and sevens and messes up my order. Mum said that if she had a choice she would have fresh fruit salad. I whisper this to the waitress. It arrives and Mum is upset with it, stating she expected something with chocolate, and that she hadn't wanted the salad. Ches, co-owner, grabs the dish, and rushes back with a load of chocolate sauce dripped on the fruit. She laughs, and eats it. Bloody nonsense, all around. Dad is becoming very weary about all of this. I wonder when we will receive the next action statement from the PsychoGerries. 

This morning it was snowing and Mum said everyone is out walking in it. So? She expected me out, it transpires, so I went!

February 14th: Devils' Pains: Mum was suffering from serious pains yesterday and this morning. I overheard Dad saying, at dinner time, that if she feels poorly, with these pains, she should see a doctor. No, Mum replied, it's the devils, what can a doctor do if the devils are doing it? He was really angry with her. Naturally, she was adamant that she was in the right.

I talked to her, and managed to quieten Dad down somewhat, and asked her where the pains were. She, crabbily, told me that the devils were spiking her in her abdomen, but wouldn't, couldn't explain to me what I was asking her about.

She was constantly vomiting into the kitchen sink and the toilet. The smell was horrid. Her breath was rank, even after she rinsed her mouth. Dad reminded me that we have been worried about her rotten gums probably affecting her digestive system.

Dad has the flu or a bad cold, and no wonder that has happened, with his immune system under such pressure. So, that was a worry, too.

Early this morning, she was up and drew the curtains. I spoke to her when she finally came out to dress in the dining area (which she does every day). 

She told me and pointed to certain areas on her body. Some pains come in by her kidneys, these are strong steady pains, it seems. She also mentioned that she has knifelike pains coming in lower down and up from her groin. She showed me where they were, and it looked like it was in the area of her uterus. Broadly speaking. The devils are putting needles in, she thinks. Now, she did this without seemingly caring that she was dressing in front of me. An indication of the severity of her suffering?

Oh, and I should add that she told me that she had pains in her head, across her forehead, and that she could hardly see out of her left eye. This was yesterday evening. She said her pains were there over night.

Now, all of this sickness has been reported before, as well as, today, diarrhoea, which she admitted contains black parts, which, to me, is blood. She told Dad this when he asked her if she was fit enough to go shopping with him.

My conclusion is that her belief about devils is clearly endangering her health. I will immediately be emailing GM of the PsychoGerries, and will try to contact Dr Rambert, the male family members' doctor. This situation should enable someone in authority decide to have a Nurse come in, or, much better, to have her hospitalised. 

However, the response, by email from GM, and by two phone calls to Dad, is that we still will have to call an ambulance for her, if this situation continues. Other items are in the offing.

But, and this is very clear, now that I have discovered what Mum is doing, when she tries to wipe away the devils from her body. She made wiping motions from her abdomen this morning, but I mistakenly thought she was doing arm exercises. Now that I have seen her do this, when she admitted that she had been in pain all day, I spoke with Dad, who then said that he has seen her do this for a considerable time. Something in the region of a year, because he can see her motions reflected in the TV or other glass objects. 

Time, I believe, that we call an ambulance. If she is in pain when I return from indoor soccer this evening, or is wiping away again tomorrow, I think we will have to try for the ambulance service. She will be in total denial, but how else can we deal with someone who transparently, and honestly, believes that she is possessed by devils. Takes one back to the Middle Ages, doesn't it?

Today is the day that Princess Margaret, 1930-2002, was cremated and buried with her father, King George VI, at St Georges Chapel, Windsor. She was buried fifty years to the day after her father. 

And, minor key, today the Pairs skaters, Sale and Pelletier, were promised their Gold Medals, but the smell still pervades the air. What will happen with the Ice Dancing? And then the gymnastics in 2004?

February 16th: She was rotten last night, and in pain. She told Dad repeatedly that these male devils would be gone overnight. That they would be wiped away. Funnily enough, she was a little better this morning, but still looked awful. 

Dad remarked that he has been trying to have her teeth fixed for over ten years. It could have been for free, because of his superannuation from his time in education. She has told him that the higher beings, such as she, will cure her of her bad teeth, of her poor eyesight, and of her abdominal pains. She admitted to Dad that it hasn't worked so far.

We have decided that if this sickness rears itself again, we will force her to hospital. Wait until her becoming sick after the Amber Garden this evening? Or, until she raves at Michelle hating her on her visit with Katharine for lunch tomorrow? Time will tell.

In the Amber Garden, she was totally confrontational except when leaving. Nothing was right for her.

But, and this is what made both Dad and I angry, is what happened on the drive home: I heard something in the back, where Mum always sits, even though I ask her to sit next to Dad, in front. I thought it was Mum, as usual, talking to herself. It was not. Mum got out the car and strode purposely away. I checked the seat belt and came away with a hand reeking of vomit. She had been throwing up in the car, using her paper hankies, and then letting it flow down her coat. The seat belt was covered in the stuff.

Dad and I caught up with her at the elevator. What did you do? I had mucus, said she. Why didn't you yell at me to stop? What do you think you were doing? Can't you tell us what happened? You wouldn't have said anything, would you?

We got into the apartment and showed Mum where the stains were on her coat. Dad filled a bucket and wiped it off as well as he could. Then, Mum having come out of the washroom, after Dad yelled at her to wash her hands, asked him if he had looked in the pocket. Sure enough, vomit therein.

Mum was adamant that there was nothing wrong with her, that it was the devils acting upon her. Later on, and this is the clincher, I asked her if she was in pain. No, she said, I'm fine, it's just the devils attacking me, wipe, wipe, wipe. So, clearly, even when she says she is fine, the devils are acting. Conclusion, she is in constant abdominal distress.

February 17th: After I had cleaned the car, I come back and hear Mum say Michelle is not coming, neither is Katharine. Oh, Michelle has just left, she told me. Katharine isn't coming. Michelle is in Ottawa, and has gone to fetch Katharine, because she is hateful. Yada, yada, yada.

Good lunch, after Michelle came in, nearly an hour late, because of snowfall, and said hello to Mum.

Mum: Katharine's not here, is she? 

Of course, she wouldn't come to lunch at Maxwell's with us, as is usual, but was happy enough when Michelle went shopping, and Katharine and I played around, until my wee girl tired and fell and hurt herself. Michelle came back then, and all became right with the world, of Katharine. 

Yet, this morning, the same conclusion: I am fine, says my mother, it's only the devils attacking me. 

February 18th: Had a chat, over the phone, with GM, PsychoGerries, and it may be that something will happen around Thursday of this week. If Dad or I call an ambulance, unless Mum agrees to go, fat chance, it will simply go away, and we will have fruitlessly caused more entropy. We hope, therefore, that whatever the PsychoGerries are planning, because they are au fait with the general deteriorating situation, that transport to the proper facility will occur. 

Last night, I overheard Dad trying to have Mum gag herself so that she could vomit up whatever was making her nauseous. Did not work. 

If I happen to talk to her, and it is clear that she currently finds me sympathetic, she will admit to the "devils". If Dad asks her, she tells him she feels fine and there are none of the male miscreants hanging around. 

Dad told me, and I wish that we conversed more about this, that Mum has vomited over the carpet on her way to the bathroom at least a few times. Never tries to make it to the receptacle.

Obviously, little by little I am finding out more and more of what has transpired. Given that Dad has always hated going to see a doctor, he is carrying over his propensity to forget, or ignore, the salient facts when it concerns Peggy Dearest. 

February 19th: Chooky, chooky, choo! If I say that to her, she retorts similarly, and everything is fine. Dad thinks I am nuts! Anyway, perhaps being omnivorous is better. 

Fracas par excellence.
February 24th:
The 112th anniversary of the birth of my paternal grandmother, Edith Downing, who would marry Ernest Frederick Dickins. 

That's the only nice thing about today, apart from another medal in the Men's Hockey Final, of whatever colour (GOLD!!) in the game coming up this afternoon in Salt Lake City. This is the last day of the Winter Olympics of 2002.

Last Thursday, I was emailed that LG of PsychoGerries would arrive Monday, late afternoon, to form Peggy. Then, either I or the police would take her to the Civic or the General on the following morning, Tuesday 26th February. 

She was her usual mistaken self, until Friday night, Saturday morning when Dad told me that she had not slept. She had had pains in her guts continuously, and looked like death. She has lost weight, and has a thin face, totally unlike her round face of two or so years ago.

I knew that the MHCS service would not start until 3pm. So, at about 4pm I phoned them from a call box. I told them the story, that she was due to be formed and that she was in dire straits. They told me they would be at the apartment soon, and would phone when on their way. I quickly drove home and waited but a short time for notification that they were indeed coming. I spoke with Greg and John, the particular team that arrived, stopping them in the corridor, and showed them the email that GM had sent. They were in agreement that they should immediately take her to hospital, especially after sitting them with Mum and have them experience talking to her (spirits, higher beings, devils, pains, etc).

Unsurprisingly, she wouldn't go with them and an ambulance was called. She had immediately "locked" herself in the bathroom, thinking they couldn't get in. Given that she has a propensity for just pushing the door, when I have locked it from the inside, I knew that the catch was faulty! She put up a real struggle just for the Paramedics and the MHCS staff to take her through the apartment door. At one point hooking her left leg on the open door. It took four people to gently pick her up and put her on the stretcher positioned in the corridor.

While she was being taken away Dad was extremely upset, naturally enough. He was in tears, at times. She was, however, sitting up on the stretcher when she was put into the ambulance: that indicates that she had calmed down a little. 

It was a horribly stressful time. It was nice of both Greg, one of the MHCS workers (John was out with the Paramedics) and one of the Paramedics to be so nice and understanding. The Paramedic's statement that she would be well taken care of was not, unfortunately, borne out by events.

They took her to the Civic, and she was given a quick medical. This showed that she has a urinary infection, but apparently little else. Good news. 

Before we went off for a meal, before Lynn called from Auckland, Dad had become so relieved that something practical to help her was being done. So was Lynn when I phoned her just after Mum had been taken off. Dad was happy until we were phoned at 8pm and told by Greg, MHCS, that it was possible that she might very well be sent home. They still hadn't seen the psychiatrist but she was "lucid". Greg said that I might have to come in to plead our case to the hospital staff.

Unfortunately, it took until just before 2am Monday before a psychiatrist eventually appeared. This was after a second MHCS team, that had taken over to sit with Mum, had been let go by my appearance at about 11.45pm Sunday. They had phoned me to come in to talk with the psychiatrist, to plead the case, but primarily to allow them to go to other work, should there have been any. I took printouts of these web pages, that I had printed out ten days ago. Not up to date, but enough for an adequate picture.

It was admitted, in an earlier conversation, with one of the MHCS people, that there were good and bad psychiatrists at the Civic, on duty at any given time! Not that I didn't suspect that from previous experience with the BC system. And that she was apparently lucid, which might prove to be a problem. Lucidity does not preclude one having a mental problem. She is good at categorically denying what she has previously done. Is it primarily poor memory, or other factors? Thank goodness that I have written a fair amount down. She cannot deny the theme of these pages, mainly because Dad has been a prime witness.

The psychiatrist never gave me his name, and Mum was in total denial about anything, query or statement, that was mentioned. She raved about, and at, me, especially about what gave me the right to having this done to her. (Note that she hadn't had a meal, or adequate liquid intake). He gave her some cognitive tests which she passed. She has intelligence, of course, but she is also seriously ill, being psychotic and demented.

He asked Mum what brought her here, and she couldn't tell him. He asked me, which I had to tell him in front of her, about Dad's worries earlier in the day and what transpired after my phone call. The psychiatrist also made me say, again right in front of her, what I thought was the matter with her. Fundamentally, I said that I thought that she was psychotic, demented and physically sick. This happened after he had a chat with her when I was out of the holding cell. She wouldn't talk when I was there. Naturally, she was highly offended by what I said, and by discovering that I had written a lot about her on the web. Furthermore, I thought that my speech would aid towards having her admitted. It was obvious that the decision was on a cusp.

I was, especially because of what happened later, highly displeased at having to state these facts, and I wonder if that was ethical behaviour on the part of this particular psychiatrist. I don't recall the PsychoGerries or the MHCS having told Mum anything similar. 

One example of Mum's history is her eyesight. Expecting the Healers to cure her. What she told the psychiatrist is that spectacles are expensive. He agreed with her. Nothing mentioned about the ten year history of Dad asking her to get some glasses. He could easily do it on his superannuation, as I have mentioned previously.

The psychiatrist had almost decided to keep her, but went off to confer. He came back, telling Mum that she should agree to come in on the PschoGerries timetable; to be assessed. She was not at all happy about that, although he explained that it was a multi-disciplinary affair (mental, physical). Inevitably, I can only expect to have the police come to take her up to the Civic, presuming that she will be returned there on Tuesday. 

The psychiatrist told us that they were overstretched and that they really couldn't take her in immediately. We were told that we should keep to the original timetable. I would have done so, had she been OK on Saturday morning, until Dad appeared so distraught. When she looked so sick. What else were we to do? This was an attempt to help her.

What has happened here is really upsetting. What a waste of everyone's time, especially for the MHCS staff, sitting on their thumbs. Pray tell me what happens in an emergency rail or road disaster? Doesn't everyone suit up then? 

What is this, ageism? Lack of funds? Inefficiency? Ineptitude? We have been dropped into a worse mess than existed prior to my phone call, solely because of my having to tell Mum what I thought. Rats, rats, rats!!

Mum was, finally, given three sleeping tablets, half of one to be taken each bedtime. (I discovered these were anti-psychosis medication.) She did take that medication when we returned this morning, and was still asleep and snoring when I left to come and write this, at about midday Sunday. She put the prescription for her infection in her pocket when an aide rushed outside as we were leaving to give it to her. To give it to her, that's right. Someone barely in control of herself and in a really bad funk. 

Mum was muttering in the car, after huffily refusing to put on my jacket. It was cold and she complained, but was her usual contradictory self. 

When I took her in Dad was awake. She began to shout, storm and act out: Paul has said all this about me, how dare he, how dare he write all this down, he never talks in this house, you and he must talk together about me. In other words, she was behaving exactly as she denied to the psychiatrist that she ever did.

Dad, this morning, had huge dark patches under his eyes, and he was as worried as I have ever seen him. He didn't know whether to have his breakfast on his own, or what to do about anything, including an oil change for the car, whether they would go out later, what time of the day to waken her, you name it. 

I suggested he allow Mum to sleep out this medication. If she was woken up before the pill lost its efficacy, then she might be overly drowsy or otherwise affected for the remainder of the day. Normally, she never sleeps that well. This might do her some good. He expects her to be totally ratty.

Rats?
Rats? That's not the half of it. I came back to a firestorm.

Mum accuses me of wanting to put her in an asylum. She is frightened that I want to murder her with a knife.  She has accused me of lying about her, of putting lies to paper. She says that I have never spoken to Lynn. She says that she has just spoken to Lynn and that Lynn is coming here to sort me out. She says that the police and everyone know that I am trying to put her away for ever. She is raving at Dad about why he allowed me into the apartment, when I am doing my best to lie about her to everyone. (Where did I sleep?) She says that I have no right whatsoever to talk to her, to have any kind of conversation. She says that she has a right to blame me for everything that's ever happened. 

(This reminds me of Alphonse Helders in Vancouver: he could talk rationally to his Mental Health Worker at the Clinic, long enough to be approved for another fortnight and to get his prescription. The MHWs were so surprised when I was present at a meeting and made him react in his NORMAL manner. Someone who walks around his apartment without going to the toilet is at risk. He would just shit as he walked and tread it into the carpet. I wonder if he's still around? He was a very nice guy, good pianist among other things, but . . . . )

This is pure paranoia, poor thing. Dad said that he is so angry about that psychiatrist, that he would have kicked him in the teeth if he had asked that of him!!

This woeful descent into paranoia and stress happened because that woefully, perhaps forgivably, overworked, but certainly inept psychiatrist made me blather on about all that everyone else has known and approved of, but until that moment had kept from Mum fundamentally for her own protection.  I had to talk to him about emails, URLs, and so on. Wasn't there another way he could have coped with this? He went out to confer with a colleague, but he wouldn't do that just with me, beforehand or at any other time. Can you imagine what Mum went through just listening to this? She is paranoid, her illness should not be exacerbated.

Latest
There may be a chance that a phone call tomorrow to Dr Gobessi by the MHCS staff can bring up the time of Mum being hospitalised. Unlikely. 

I had to take that phone call when Dad was out to get her prescription. Not a pleasant conversation, with Mum listening and raving in the background. The usual nonsense when I put the phone down. Absolutely bloody nonsense. 

The only good thing of the day was that Canada won the Men's Hockey Final, 5-2, playing against the USA. Neat game, and then the utter bedlam in the streets of the country, immediately after we had beaten Canada's 11th Province!

February 25th, Monday: The visit of Dr LG of the PsychoGerries late pm resulted in the following:
1. What we thought of as sleeping pills was in fact an anti-psychotic. Wasn't told that at the time. Just that it was something to reduce anxiety and make Mum sleep.

2. A seven day form notice for having Mum admitted is extant. Will have to be redone when, or if, not hospitalised within that period.

3. No real hope that having Mum taken in would result in having dental or optical work instituted. Low expectations were advised for use of the Health System (note honorary capitals).

4. Will see if the anti-psychotic works whilst Mum is at home. Mum told LG that I have a vivid imagination, (but LG told me that she believes what I have written). 

5. According to LG, Mum may have had a fairly decent medical, and that may suffice for the moment. So, if nothing else, Mum's terrifying trip into the maw of Ontario's Emergency System will result in having her infection cured.
6. If Peggy fails, or refuses, to take the medication, then LG will reinstate the form.
7. My theory that endangerment includes what has happened to Dad's state of mind and body is fallacious where the law is concerned. The relevant Act is purely to do with protecting Mum's rights. Excuse my hollow laughter.
8. Finally, we were told that calling the Mental Health Crisis Service was, repeat was, appropriate. And, that we should do that again should further incidents occur.

There should be a call to us from GM tomorrow as a follow-up. Mum won't, of course, speak to me: I am a horrid person. I knew that for years!! Given my mental state I am glad that I am on meds, and, if it is affecting me like this, God knows how all of this makes Dad feel, too. Here is a reality check, politics and sport. 

A Zimbabwean soldier keeps watch Monday, February 25th., 2002, during a rally for President Robet Mugabe in Harare. Mr. Mugabe ridiculed criticism of the treason charges filed against his chief opponent. Photo: Alexander Joe/AFP

February 26th: "I don't talk to people who smile at me, who've tried to put me in an asylum" quoth Mater as she trotted away from me with her nose in the air. As far as I know, there was no phone call from the PsychoGerries, and, I don't think Dad was handed a copy of the form. Should Mother prove intractable, Dad might need them before the seven days are up.

Dad said that Mum has told him that I am banned from the restaurants we use, because the waiters don't like me. He also said, which I agree with, that I didn't think quickly enough on Saturday night at the Civic. Mea culpa. Yes, I should have resisted replying to what, with hindsight, were plainly inappropriate questions. Spilt milk.

We picked up Mum's anti-psychosis prescription, and it is for one pill per evening, prior to bedtime. We shall see whether that produces an improvement. 

One other snide comment from me: why, if there was no hope for obtaining dental and optical improvements for Mum, were we not told that at any earlier meeting or by email? Her dental condition is parlous, it must be poisoning her. As I have noted before, she threw out a partial plate that she had had for years, but very nearly all of her other teeth are now blackened stumps. Tra la, tra la, la!!

Short-track speed skater Marc Gagnon shows off his three medals, two gold and a bronze, to media and fans at the Calgary International Airport where Canadian Olympic athletes arrived in Calgary from Salt Lake City Monday. Photo: Mike Sturk/CP

February 27th: "When did you come in? When did Dad let you in?" And so it goes. Dad's trip to the optician was a failure because he had vision problems, which he described as a stomach upset, and will return tomorrow. My view? Stress.

February 28th: OK, enough. Today, as she walked from the kitchen, with Dad in the background: "Good morning Mr Dickins, or Mr Whoever you are!!" Last night:
1. At the restaurant: Amber Garden. Ascha said, "will you have the potato pancakes, you haven't had them for some time, now."

2. Mum agreed.
When the dish came, Mum said that she's never coming back, because the chef screwed up her order yet again. She didn't want this dish.
3. Moaned at Dad when he tried to have her take her medication. She was nasty at him for looking at her when she was taking the pill. Said that she didn't need medication.
4. Had dessert and then came a glass of non-alcoholic wine. This doesn't taste like wine, quoth she. 
5. Dad said that it was indeed German non-alcoholic wine, but she couldn't comprehend that alcohol was tasteless.

6. Muttering in the car on the way back. Then, crowing on about the full moon.

7. Told Dad, when we had left the car, that she had enjoyed her meal and categorically denied that she had said that she wouldn't return to the Amber Garden. 

Frankly, I feel that my idiotic acceptance of the Civic's Psychiatrist's request for information was yet another of those quick but poorly argued decisions that I am prone to make. Mum is plainly losing her touch with reality more and more quickly. But I could not make that purported professional accept that situation. And I accept blame for that.

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