to write about Peggy, aka Margaret Douglas: May, June 2002
Back to mater 2002 Date last edited: Friday, October 16, 2009
May at the top; followed by June
May 4th: Saturday, when Arsenal scored two fantastic goals and beat Chelsea. Sad for Desailly, who played his heart out, but good for the Gunners. Next come ManU for the championship, Wednesday, 8th May.
But, Mama is her usual wonderful self. Totally committed to moving upstairs, and asking me occasionally where on earth the movers are. Given that the buildings nearly opposite have been removed, we can now see the sunset. That was what Mama managed to show me, after I had told them both that it was really beautiful, Friday evening.
Plus, father, going to bed, and I hear him laughing uproariously. Mama is telling him, abruptly, that she will divorce him now, because he always is present in the bathroom whenever she needs to go!! Well, I never!
May 5th: Saturday evening at the Amber Garden, horrid time. Mama was a totally nasty, contradictory termagant. Nothing pleased her, neither the food, the journey, the husband or the sun. Carping on about everything. Upon return to home, this scenario continued. Mum made various rude comments to Dad, and was tiresome in the extreme.
Never said a word to me this morning, Sunday, until they were about to go to Carlingwood Mall. Then, she deigned to ask why I was not at work, and then, when realising it was Sunday, she asked me to join them. No, thank you, quoth I. Do you wonder why not?
May 6th: Yo yo, that's what it's like these days, with Mama. Down yesterday, saying she has had the knives in all day and the night before. Now, today, sweetness and light.
I changed the rims on Dad's car, putting on the summer tyres with the set of rims they're on. Mum asked me what the red thing was, which turned out to be the hydraulic jack. That item saves unconscionable time.
I reffed last night, for Mario, for his 17 year old players and sent off the manager of the Royals' Rec team, for two yellow cards. Nasty referee, eh what? Fun to have some exercise away from the apartment. Dad needs rest too, and should appear at the Fergus for the Manchester United v Arsenal crunch match for the English Premier on Wednesday. But, he doesn't like to leave Mum at home for any period of time. Sad that, he's wearing himself down, although with Mum's humour this morning, at least he was grinning about things.
May 7th: I had to phone GM at the Psychogerries today, although I found he was back from Spain and on visits, and then away for the rest of the workweek.
The reason? Mama totally nutbar today and last night. Dad told me that she woke up wet and told him that the devils had poured water all over her. Couldn't believe that she was merely sweating.
On and on she went about the movers coming in. When, this morning at around noon, she told me they were about to go out, she asked me whether I was working. When I remarked that I was going out later, she asked me if I would stay for the movers. Then, when I said that there was no free apartment, that I knew of no free apartments, that I hadn't booked movers, she flew into a rage.
Dressed for outside she told Dad that the movers were here somewhere. When Dad told her this was not true she turned into the witch she becomes and harangued us both. She told us she hated us, and that we hated her. Then, she brushed me aside and went for the outside door. Dad tried to stop her, pushing at the door as she tried to open it. But I told him not to: it's a help, is it not, for us to have her misbehave. She went off somewhere.
I immediately phoned both GM and Dr Rambert without any luck. Dad then went to the mailbox and came back with the latest ambulance bill for the previous aborted hospital escapade.
Then, I went searching for Mum and found her at 2B, the parking level. She had gone there and had to wait in front of the elevator doors: no keys. She told me she'd been out for a walk, but this isn't so if she can't get back in, is it? She then, in the corridor on our floor, told me I had bought an apartment. Not so, quoth I. She turned and looked upwards, saying "Owner?" Turned herself round, told me that she hated me. That she hated both Dad and I, that neither of us loved her, ad bleeding infinitum.
Back in the apartment Dad queried her about raving on about moving. She screamed that he didn't care about her and the devils, and acted out by wiping off an iron rod in front of him, telling him that he doesn't love her, because otherwise we'd be up at the 20th. level.
So, Mum is totally gaga, but not. After all, even when raving at me in the elevator, she could tell the guy, waiting at ground level with a refuse dolly, that the elevator would be back quickly.
When she was out Dad and I chatted: I mentioned that the medication is only for her psychosis and not her dementia. Nothing, as far as I know, works for dementia, other than catatonia inducing pills. The psychosis medication, said I, should, in time, help her paranoia, and any other fears and delusions, at least to some degree.
As a related topic, I mentioned that Celexa works for me, and tends to help children if depression is diagnosed early enough. Celexa would improve memory for children, but in cases like mine, it will ameliorate memory only a little. I indeed have memory problems: if I try to remember texts too strongly it tends to put me to sleep!
Anyway, I shall try to phone Dr Julian Rambert this afternoon, and doubtless will return home this evening to find nothing has changed. This is affecting Dad, because when I left, when he was writing out the ambulance cheque, he said that he was still shaking inside from this episode.
He needs help as much as Mum does. Last night I watched "Innocents", a documentary on PBS about paediatric nonsense by doctors in Bristol Infirmary, Avon, UK. Most unpleasant.
May 8th: Dad signalled that Mama was a little better today, but she spoke nary a word to me before I left on my daily search for work, and usual site update. Dinner at the Amber Garden was reasonable, except Mum could not understand why she was drinking orange and soda rather than wine. When told that she consistently dislikes the sweet or the dry, she denied it. How many more charades? Then, at the end, she sipped her latte, saying that this at least took the horrid taste of the food away. Never, ever satisfied. Of course, when Ascha or Chess show interest in her, she is all smiles, which promptly return to frowns when dealing with the two ancient males in the household.
May 11th: On the final day of this season's Premiership League, Mum is what? Last night, disturbed at my being in my bed, thinking that I was upstairs on floor 20, where I've bought an apartment. Let's see what this evening brings at the Amber Garden.
What it brought was the usual comments and nauseating repetition of stupidity. What, did I say that? Yes, both males are, at times, totally frustrated with Mama's coruscations.
May 17th: Well, the Amber Garden meal two nights ago was interesting. Very embarrassing to have Mum out with her brown moustache. Well, it isn't a moustache, but it is caked on powder makeup. It looks atrocious.
This morning I asked her how she was. "I am fine", said she, wiping away a devil surreptitiously.
May 20th: Victoria Day. Harrumph, what? Anyway, I know there's a Yo-Yo Ma around, but perhaps Yo-Yo Mama is appropriate, given her vacillations of mood, memory and behaviour. At the Amber Garden, she barracked me about my hair falling down on my forehead: As if I could stop that without cutting it completely off.
Told Dad the other day to stop going to the toilet when she wants to. And then he told her to go and wash herself. Immediately, the usual excuse of being washed by her peers twice a day. Oh, me, Oh, my, it's just the little ladies going by, or other words.
May 21st: Mum poked her head around the door late last night. An apparition, indeed, with the plastic hair net in place. No wonder she sweats. Well, the reason was that she wondered why I was there, because someone had told her I had left. Night, night, quoth both she and I.
This morning, everyone was woken up by the blasting and accompanying siren on the site opposite to us. They are removing stone lying against the underground walls of the apartments adjoining the site. Must be wonderful for their respective inhabitants.
May 24th: Mum is a little better tempered, but still as crazy as ever. Dad is, to my mind, weakening in spirit. However, I think that now spring has sprung that there may be an improvement all round. Dad has had pains in his upper left arm, bad enough that he mentioned visiting the doctor. A day later, of course, he had changed his mind.
Mum thinks that I am being sexually harassed by my boss at work. Given that she also asks me when am I going to work, one can determine how much she lives in the gooseberry tree.
May 25th: Mum is waiting for a teacher from Dad's school, Jericho, to drop by from Vancouver, to pick up a bath rug that is sitting on a chair. Dad had found it, somewhere, and just dropped it prior to storing it elsewhere. Mum did not believe that I would open the door, if Dad had removed himself from the apartment. This person is coming for the mat, she ranted.
May 26th: Last night I listened to Mum's conversation to Lynn, still in NZ, where she rambled on about being Spanish. Dad, jocularly, reminded Lynn that the Armada had dropped off lots of Spaniards in Good Queen Bess' reign. Whereupon Lynn remarked that Mum didn't really look Spanish. Good grief.
Today, as they left, I sang out the hunting horn humming. Mum reacted, as she does towards anything childish. She relates to these attempts to keep her humoured.
May 27th: Fetched Mama's last refill under Papa's orders. This is the last one, so we will have to have the medication prescription renewed. Probably at LG's prospective visit in June. What is wanted here is an appropriate decision regarding Yo Yo Ma's future. What's likely to happen is anybody's guess, especially with Yo Yo's increasing inability to separate fact from fiction. As my friend, Dr George, has said, I am not qualified to treat Mama, and neither is Dad. Given that she is so difficult to handle at times, does she need a home soon? What, what, what to do?
May 28th: Wanted me to eat half of her banana sandwich. OK, said I, surreptitiously hiding it in the trash. Mum's not terribly clean, although she tries to be. I've seen her wiping down the kitchen and bathroom. But, go in there afterwards, and see what the poor thing has missed.
Dad told me that she had a bad day with pain yesterday, Monday. When I asked her how she was, when she asked me how was I, Yo Yo said she was fine. But her eyes told a different story.
Today, I go for a physical at Dr Jude's surgery, and will open a discussion about Mama.
May 30th: Weird times, indeed. Dinner time at the Amber Garden will temporarily cease during July whilst these sympathetic, nice people go to Poland to see their relatives. Usual rubbish about food. Not only that but, when discussing the maitre d' absence, we wondered where to go, especially when Lynn et al are here. Mum, of course, reiterates that Peter is dead, and, anyway, Lynn isn't coming. Later, in the car, the bet about Lynn's arrival carries on, and then tempers flare between M and D, because Dad cannot see the flowering tree that Yo Yo is gawping at. And so it goes.
Today, had an email from Dr George, referring me to Neil Russell, who may be able to help us regarding Mama, mater, Yo Yo, Peggy und so weiter. I'll call him today.
Oh, and Dad started laughing because, this morning, I was in pain! This, after a night of agony following a muscle problem arising from cleaning my teeth. True, I tell you!! Better now that I have taken some ibuprofen. Did the crossword early this morning, and was then awoken at 0700 by the machines thumping away in the site opposite.
Later in the day, circa 1300, I spoke to Neil Russell. Very interesting conversation. What transpired is a possible remedy for Yo Yo, and for Dad. Not only that, but maybe some help for monsieur, moi, the depressive of yore. But, not a joke, it would seem that I have been too competent when dealing with the system. I can cope, therefore send Yo Yo back. If she were to be dropped off, with someone saying they didn't know where she lived, then there quite likely would have been an intake. Then, she would have been diagnosed, very likely with a Cat Scan. This, in my view, would have shown brain damage, of some sort.
June 1st: Bad times last night, after coming "home" from soccer. Mum had a bad day with the pains. And then Dad had to spend time cleaning up her vomit. As he was doing that, I happened to peer around the door and saw Yo Yo throwing up again. Dad came out and she denied doing what I had seen. Typical. Then there was a row about the devils that are everywhere and are going up her nose and into her stomach. Dad told her that she needed to see a doctor. Yo Yo replied that the Doctor knows what is wrong with here. There's no need, therefore, to see him at all. She reiterated that she was well, it was every external force committing itself to harming her.
And, the tale of the previous afternoon: "that man is looking for you again. The one who is horrible and loves you. You're not going to see him at work are you? Do you want him to find you? He's the one who has been here before. Don't you pull your blind down? He can see through the curtain. (As if, we're twenty odd feet up.) He has climbed up and looked through your window. He did, he really did." At bed time, about 2300 hrs., "He's gone up to the top floor looking for you. I wish he'd stop talking to me all the time!!" As she left, she muttered "You're in trouble." Well, yes, but not how you think!! Then, she opens the door again, " I've got my water". Huh? "Why don't you go to sleep upstairs, with him?" This in her sweat hat, that plastic thing that causes her to sweat all night. And her BO was strong.
June 2nd: Meal at Amber Garden, and later, was fine. Except for the table manners, and then the silly questions. I helped a friend from soccer move an office, and when I told Mama Yo Yo that I would be returning to clean up and shower, she asked me why I couldn't use my own place. Little does she know, it is my dearest dream to move away from here.
June 3rd: As the World Cup trundles through this month, Mama is in her own world, increasingly so. What else is new? No logic, whatsoever, in her statements and beliefs.
June 5th: Mum watched the Queen's Jubilee show on my TV early on Tuesday morning, the 50th anniversary of accession. Great show, and highly interesting at times. I have taped it all, even the canadocentric portions. The show kept Yo Yo Mama interested for much of the day. Nice to have that happen.
Couldn't keep her cool though, because she was criticising pater later on.
June 7th: Yesterday, she was a terror. Dad said that when he laughed at her for telling him that I was talking to her from town, she turned on him. She was extremely vituperative, effing and blinding in a very rough and ill-mannered way. He hold her that she should behave herself and not talk like that to him. She just told him to get lost.
When I arrived home, I went round and asked her how she was. She was sitting there holding her stomach. Yo Yo replied that she was having pains from knives in her stomach and sides from the devils. This behaviour lasted all evening.
Then, this morning, I was up early because I watched England beat Argentina. Nice that, given Hernan Crespo had called the English players imbeciles. Anyway, when I went to check on them at breakfast, I heard her tell Dad that she couldn't eat her beans on toast. She was as pale as a ghost. Dad helped her back to bed, very slowly, and he tried to have her go to sleep. However, it's like talking to a wall. There is rarely any rational response.
Sad, but we were to see Katharine, my youngest daughter, and Michelle tomorrow. Mater's illness stops that. Except that, Michelle phoned when I had just come in: hadn't received my email since she was still at work. I had, sotte voce, to advise her to check the email for the reasoning: mama dearest was close by.
When I asked if Yo Yo Mater was feeling alright again, she replied that she hadn't been sick at all. Dad had "forced" her to go to bed, and it was the proverbial evil spikers of renown. Dad, returning from his walk, asked if I had postponed the visit. After telling him that I had, he said that was a bit sad, since she, Yo Yo, appeared to be back to normal. Whatever normal may be.
June 9th: Yo Yo brought in the half of a banana sandwich that she always leaves. Seemingly accepts my presence, at least these days. On the other hand, and this persists even after Lynn calls and tells us, Yo Yo states that Lynn has told her she is not coming. Again, again, and yet again.
June 10th: Now it's something new: lions are attacking her. Dad told me that Mum awoke and saw a lion bounding towards her from the bedroom door. She complained to Dad yesterday evening that this was happening. Otherwise, so Papa remarks, she had had a good day. What gives here? Medication distortion? Or, merely the advancing degeneration of her brain? I am not to know, am I?
Not that she is completely unaware, either. There was a Hydro van outside, painting the road and sidewalks pink. We don't know what for, but if it is anything like the row during weekdays from the site opposite, it will put her over the edge, methinks.
June 13th: There was total nonsense yesterday prior to visiting the Amber Garden. Mama, looking in the mirror, said that the devils had put that dark stuff on her upper lip. Rubbish, it was powder she applies to cover the hair that is growing there, plus the lines appearing everywhere. She told me she wouldn't go, because the devils were making her ugly. I wet a napkin and attempted to remove some of the excess. Dad went in and removed more. She said that it couldn't be removed, because it has been there for years. That part is true. She has had this development because of her relative blindness. Finally, after much hee-hawing we managed to get out of the apartment. Naturally enough, the meal was its usual meandering through her bitchiness and the machinations of the owners to keep her happy. Yet again she refuses to believe that there are two female chefs, and that Lynn is coming to see us. In the first error, Yo Yo said that it is always a man who tells her what her food will be. And, secondly, when told about Lynn, Peter , Sarah and Bren she says that she will leave the area. "I'm not cooking for all of them." As if that was what they expect. Not, especially with her sense of hygiene.
June 14th: There was a phone call from Neil Russell that Dad answered. Matters arising will be discussed with Neil when I have a chance. Dad doesn't want to put Yo Yo in a home if he can help it. But, my thoughts are how do we use the system if we keep denying them a chance to help? One day in the next few years, either will die. If it's Dad, I really don't think I can cope with her. If it's the other way, then it's easier. Dad is stubborn, and has, in fact, symptoms of my problems. Tiredness affects us all, especially because of construction noise, seemingly unending.
Mama, the Yo Yo, again suffering from pains in the gut this morning, and this is, once more, Friday. Not again, one screams. Dad has no idea if this is purely mental, or a combination. Not only that but Yo Yo thought this was Wednesday, and asked if I was to miss dinner tonight.
June 15th: The comment from Mama about England scoring three goals was positive. The response to the news that Katharine and Michelle were coming up this afternoon was negative. Enough said!
June 17th: The visit of LG was delayed by an hour, and LG said that she "had no time" to check these pages. So, I, as usual, met her in the lobby and discussed what I thought was going on both with Mum and with Dad. The actual progress meeting went as expected, with Mama not wanting to have visitors, nevertheless she answered the questions put to her. She put up her usual defence that it was everything external that was affecting her. And talked about devils and knives and being really healthy.
So, not a bad meeting, but it seems that Dad will have to rent a sitter if he needs time off. It is unlikely that Yo Yo would be regarded by the system as being sick enough to have anyone in to look after her on a regular basis, from the geriatric services at any rate: although LG admitted that Mum had quite poor hygiene. She could smell her.
Now, yesterday was interesting. I came in latish and was beckoned over by Dad. I couldn't because of prospective horrors if I didn't visit the toilet. When I came out, I went over and asked what was up. Dad said I should ask Mama what had happened. She said that she couldn't remember anything, so I said did something happen at the Rideau centre? No, she said, and Dad then said that they never got there. What, then? No car, they had had a crash. When going east in town, they had stopped behind a people wagon at Slater and Kent. The light turned green, the wagon moved off and Dad proceeded into the junction, whereupon they were hit by a Golf running a red. Two witnesses behind them gave evidence, and the lady driver will be charged. It was her husband's new car, which he needed for work. She said he would be livid. Oh, really?
Nothing untoward with Ma and Pa. She had a bump on the head, but nothing else. He was OK, but today, when we sorted out the insurance and went for a rental car (free) he was very weak. Seemed a bit better later.
Nasty for him, he's had the car, a Corolla, since 1986, when it was two years old. It's in immaculate condition, but now it's a wreck. I drove out and photographed it this evening in the 2001 Corolla he has been given until a decision on repair or scrapping has been made.
It will be expensive for him to replace, given that the car will be evaluated at less than it's really worth. Not what Dad wanted at this time of his life. He thought, and I agreed, that the car would last several more years. At least until he decided to retire from the terrors of conveyancing himself. his hearing is going, and he does not move his head round to check corners and junctions.
June 18th: The visit of LG was OK as far as Dad was concerned. Not so, for me. Dad wants to keep Mum safe, and to be with her, even as she deteriorates. That's commendable, and a normal reaction. However, I was dealt platitudes, and my opinions discarded. Maybe I am too kind.
However, I am increasingly frustrated with the system and its inefficacy. The PsychoGerries may be overworked but they certainly seem to cover their workload and nothing else. What I mean is that I cannot see them improving my parents' status in any way within any reasonable time frame. If I have to care for them at any time, I am ill prepared to do so. See here for my current condition.
June 20th: The day before England v Brazil, as if you cared. The day we went down and said goodbye to Dad's old Corolla, removing all the personal pieces. The day that Dad was, as usual, tired out. The day that, once again, Mum told Dad that the spirits come down twice a day to clean her. No wonder she bloody well smells. At least Dad is fetching her new prescription, which doubles the dosage. And obtains a money transfer for buying a replacement car. Hope he makes the right choice. I have offered to help, but maybe he would prefer to do the choosing alone. Not a problem avec moi, hein?
June 21st: The day England lost 1-2 to Brazil, and Seaman let in a goal that was very reminiscent of one scored by a guy called Nayim, a few years ago. But, to return to real matters, Yo Yo left a wad of urine impregnated paper on the bathroom sink. Ugh! And, later, apologised for asking me if I was watching the football, and whether I was going to work. Tra bloody la!
June 23rd: Thunder and lightning due this afternoon. There was a little of that last night, when Mum put the phone down, not realising that it was Lynn. Dad yelled at her for being silly and phoned Lynn back. My sister is due here at approx 15:45 on July 4th. We shall pick her up. Interesting times acoming. When the oldies retired to bed, I overheard Dad telling Mum that she always makes things difficult. That nothing she ever does is simple. That she never accepts responsibility for anything.
Oh, and a messenger appeared on my bed, as I lay reading. It was a fairly large hunting spider that I saw out of the corner of my eye, and hastily blew onto the floor. I never kill spiders, knowingly, because they tend to eat the lice!!
June 24th: Not another time! Mama mine is starting to leave wads of urine soaked napkins in the bathroom. Of course, it is not she doing it! Plus, having not opened the bedroom window after the storm of yesterday evening, she was soaked with sweat this morning. That was not her, it was the devils. And so it goes. Dad is off today to pick up a cheque, and go from there to buy a replacement car. Money, money, money.
June 29th: Yesterday, Dad had constant rows with Yo Yo. She won't give up her barrage about me being rich, etc., about Lynn not coming, and Peter being dead, and all the other rubbish. Gave Dad hell even though this was a good day for him, receiving his new car. This is a secondhand Toyota Corolla, 2001 model. Clean, nice car. When I returned from soccer to tell Dad how the car ran, he remarked on her ill-humour and the fact that she gives him hell when taking her anti-psychosis medication. Also, he wonders about her iron pills. He thinks they are unnecessary and could be a factor in her frequent gastric problems.
Lynn and Peter arrive in Vancouver today, and when Dad reminded me of that this morning, Mum just looked sour and disbelieving. This is accompanied by the usual disclaimer about spirits and ghostly talk.
June 30th: Had a
phone call this morning, telling me that she would be here tomorrow, not later.
Who? Sarah, my first born, and her man. Great, and then to discover what Yo Yo feels about
meeting them. Dad was, of course, worried about where they would stay. But,
circumstances prevent home help, as you may have gathered. Madame Yo Yo is on a
normal curve that is as
strange as can be. I don't know what transpired at the Amber Garden last night,
because I wasn't there. Had a prior engagement, that I wish I had never
attended (a moving job that was not well planned).