to write about Peggy, aka Margaret Douglas: March, April 2002
Back to mater 2002 Date last edited: Friday, October 16, 2009
March 3rd: Last night, Mum spent over two hours in the toilet, apparently constipated (from approx 20:30 to past 23:00hrs). No care that others needed the resource, even if Dad kept reminding her of what she was doing. Lynn phoned, Mum answered, Dad asked me, as he left the toilet, whether I wanted it, but Mum crept passed him and returned to the throne.
She is friendlier with me, oddly enough, than after last Saturday's contretemps. We spoke with her at the Amber Garden, and told her that she would either have to see Dr Rambert consistently or have Dr LG deal with her, which would probably mean hospitalisation. She has tentatively accepted that I should phone Dr Rambert and take her to him for an original meeting and then possible continuous care. That would be a way around our impasse, wouldn't it?
Going back to the Fracas, Mum told Dad this week that she pretended that she wasn't feeling pain when she was examined at the Civic. She was holding her stomach at the Amber Garden yesterday evening, and telling us it was the male devils working on her as usual.
What, pray, should we believe? We believe she has something wrong physically in her abdomen, but we can't determine what it is. It seems to be separate from her urinary infection. She still tells us that she does not need medication, but is being forced to take it by Dad, each evening. She thinks that when this batch is completed that she won't need any more. She was disabused of this notion, but how likely is it that she'll comprehend the necessity of it?
March 4th: It would seem that that time spent on the toilet on Saturday evening, straining mightily, has resulted in tearing of her anus. She is in such pain that she cries when on the toilet. Of course, she thinks it is a devil with a knife. But then, after talking about the Rambert visit, she now thinks that five men will come from the doctor to remove the devil with the cutting utensil. She told Dad she has to move away a flap of skin so that she can cleanse herself. Oh, dear!
We have a doctor's appointment for 14:20hrs Tuesday. Mum wants to know why I will be taking her, and Dad replied that it's because I know the doctor better. Basically, Dad needs time off to have a walk and relax a little.
Dad gave me a note listing her medications, which I will pass on to Dr Rambert.
My shrink Mylvaganam phoned this morning (relating to my call at the weekend to his voicemail) and told me to be an adult! I wasn't worried about that, it's just that I wanted an opinion about that Civic person. Was not given one, except that if I wanted to complain, then I should go to the College of Physicians and Surgeons page and so forth.
If one accesses the Civic Hospital web page, one is told that phone calls cannot be answered with the attendee's name. I cannot, therefore, easily determine the attendant psychiatric doctor's name.
Mater mine is going to the toilet standing up. This means that both Dad and I are cleaning up after her, simply because she is blind to what she leaves behind on the toilet seat and the carpet. She wants Dad to take her upstairs to his other apartment, so that she can leave the lower level spirits, that are attacking her behind, behind.
March 5th: The Doctor, the Doctor! But yesterday: why is Paul taking me to the doctor? Today, as I drove her there: "Dad never talks to me in the car, like you do! And at home, he just sits and does his crossword." Well, I can sympathise with both parties, having witnessed both sides.
The visit was a success, and tomorrow may be as good. Dr Julian Rambert told me that he told Mum that it would be nice to obtain her blood type. Therefore, we will drive to a clinic first thing, before she has eaten or drunk anything.
Was very friendly with Sophie, Julian's wife who part times as receptionist.
Strange, too, that after bringing her home, she came in and asked me to show her my winter hat. She put it on, and laughed in the mirror. I asked her to show it to Dad, but she said he wouldn't laugh. I persuaded her to go around to him and, of course, Dad laughed kindly at her. In consequence of this, you can assume that she is fond of me again, unlike her recent threats to hate me for ever. Dr Rambert agreed that she shows definite signs of dementia, especially when she told him that she constantly talks to him and to Sophie, his wife. Over which ether?
March 6th: A lot of effort, crossed wires, as you might expect, but we eventually reached the clinic. Then, Mum could not pee in a bottle. This will have to be done at home tomorrow morning, and I'll take it away. The usual stuff came out, Mum and her chat partners, that arrive after anything significant occurs. "They say my blood is really pure, never seen blood like that." And so forth.
Dad was upset, mainly because he waited for Mum to return before having breakfast. Dad really likes his food, and ructions arrive if his needs aren't met. Hence a row developed when Mum told me her bottom was coming out, and Dad was unaware of this, and was cleaning himself up prior to going to the Mall. She swore at him and his temper blew. Ah, well, it's Guardian Weekly day, and the crossword will calm him down.
Dr Rambert will phone once the results are in, and then we'll see if anything is amiss. On the physical end, that is.
March 7th: Delivered the bottle to the clinic this morning. Mum asked me if my missing work would prove a problem. She laughed when I said that nothing happens when it concerns looking after her. One needs to prevaricate somewhat with Mama if peace is to reign.
March 11th: Decent weekend, Mum was her usual totally consistent, anti-everything self. Dad admitted to me that she has never been anything but contrary for all the time he has known her. However, as I have said before, not long ago: if we treat her as a child, she will react similarly and everything, almost, is tickety-boo.
March 13th: Dr Rambert phoned Dad yesterday. The tests gave Mum a clean bill of health concerning blood and urine particulars. As I have mentioned in the summary, Mum is always tired, sleeps poorly and is periodically troubled with her bowels and lower abdomen. So, is this mental in origin and equally well related to the way she overeats in the restaurants? We shall see, someday.
Dad told me that he had gone out for a haircut and then went for a walk. When he came back after about two hours, he said that Mum had become really strange. This frightened him somewhat, and he is even more averse to leaving her alone, now that he has become aware of what being alone does to her mental state.
At the restaurant, Maxwell's, this evening, Mum was as sour and non-compliant as we've ever seen her. Bitching and complaining about the food, the service, everything. Except, that is, when Bill, the waiter, gave her his full attention.
March 14th: I woke up with a migraine this morning. Naturally, I had to put up with Mum entering my room and continually commenting on when I was expected at work! Couldn't grasp that I had a migraine, and waved me off when she came in because she thought the doctor had told me I had a rash. I will be seeing GM at St Vincent's Hospital tomorrow at 09:30hrs. Need to talk about how to deal with Dad.
March 15th: "You have to go to work. They have lots for you to do." Yes, Mum, I wish. Went to the meeting, and we will have the prescription renewed soon, and maybe an increase in dosage. Also, we may shortly have an assessment made by the Ottawa-Carleton Community Care Access Centre (http://www.ccac-casc.on.ca) now that Mum has a doctor. We shall see what that brings. Possibility of having home assistance or at least help for Dad. He needs to have some spare time from this constant barrage of nonsense from mother mine. Not that the CCCAC will or can do much if their money isn't increased in April as is expected. It may be that I will take Mum down to the PsychoGerries for a periodic visit. Oh, happy days!
March 18th: Mater mine is sick again, physically. There are signs that she was vomiting into the bathroom sink. Plus, when Dad asked her if she felt alright she answered "No". Nevertheless, she waved bye-bye to me, as I left the apartment and strode into our latest snowstorm. Two days until the nominal start of spring.
March 20th: Mum came into my bedroom just before she retired herself and gave me some photographs to give to "Cathrine". She also expected me to give them to the "people" who were looking after Katharine, in Montreal.
This morning, I awoke with another, this time lesser, migraine. Mum can't understand what is the problem. (Anyway, before I left I put the tape in for the last of this round's Champion League. Currently, Manchester United and Liverpool are through from England, and we'll see if Arsenal make it in their normal only if other things happen fashion. Not that it mattered, Bayer Leverkusen won, so no matter what Arsenal did (0-1) they were knocked out)
When I came home after trudging in the wet, wet snow, Mum asked me if I had used a cab. No, said I. Then you're a stupid fool, quoth she. Later, after I had driven us down to Maxwell's, Mum had a Focaccia with salad, which she kept telling us had fish strips. Oh, that she would buy glasses and teeth!!
March 22nd: Mum was sick again yesterday. Pains in her guts, and inability to void bowels. Forgot within minutes that she had shown me a book that she had bought cheap at Benjamin Books in the Rideau Mall.
March 25th: There were signs on Sunday morning of Mater having vomited again. She never cleans up after herself, at least not adequately, so the stains were noticeable. Now, after last night's visit to the Mekong (Vietnamese) restaurant, I wonder whether Mum's background results in her desire to pig out whenever eating away from home. Comments about eating enough are common, and she often becomes sick thereafter. Just a thought. Note that Pick's disease is related to prefrontal dementia: results in abnormal behaviour. Not uncommon with Mother, what?
March 26th: Mater ill after arising and returning to bed this morning. Not common, but has happened before. Now, I have been reading the column about colon cancer in today's Globe and Mail. This was about Pamela Wallin's recent experiences. The list of symptoms seems something like Mum is experiencing. Here is one colon cancer site.
Symptoms of colon cancer:
These symptoms can also be caused by other problems, such as ulcers, an inflamed colon, or haemorrhoids.
Source: Canadian Cancer Society.
March 27th: Well, I have phoned the doctor, and will try to find out what we can about Mater Mine's periodic shenanigans. Particularly about the above mentioned cancer possibility.
Note that she has twice recently breached her britches. I mean that she has befouled herself. Yesterday was when she told Dad that she had done that, and then told him that because she was a higher being, they would send down and clean her. He admitted to me that he yelled at her to go have a shower, which caused her to laugh hysterically at him, as she is wont when anyone contradicts her statements, but did go off to the ablutions.
Today, she told me I am never around, that I keep myself in my room. Huh? And then, as I looked at her when changing my coat, she and I waved and pretended to do exercises. Mum must be treated as a child, if one is to maintain a relationship with her.
March 28th: Would have to take her to hospital for a test, should it be possible with her intransigence. Little likelihood, indeed. Dr Rambert would provide a chit for that, but . . . .
April 1st: What would you do? Dad asked her if she wanted to come out to lunch with us. Then, when that nasty person, who is still my wife, arrived with her daughter Katharine, Mum told Dad that he had never asked her to go. Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. Lunch was nice.
Now, the usual grinding journal of life here:
April 3rd: Mum was really sick yesterday. We wondered about calling for an ambulance. But, given our experiences last time, felt it better to wait until morning. Dad said that Mum had been vomiting all day.
She had her stomach pains, too. These, she says, are wires pushed into her by evil, weak spirit men that would stop if we would all go up to the empty 19th floor.
Mum is adamant that it is not she who is ill, it is the men. These evil spirits are being controlled by other, bigger men dressed in monk's habits along with hoods. All of this Mum states that she sees, after I asked her how she knew this.
Furthermore, when asking Dad why he was sending a card to Sarah, my first born, Mum thought it was the name of my wife. Not exactly no memory it seems, but recollections that appear from distortions in her brain cells. And, she tells Dad that although he wants her to keep her memories she doesn't want them, because her Mum, Elizabeth, is up there and can tell her everything about her own and Mum's life.
Today, she slept in. Still the same mental state, of course. Dad is really feeling the pain from having to put up with this physical and mental torrent.
April 4th: "I am sorry you were sick the other day, Mum." "No, I wasn't, it was those devils. I'm never sick. I never get sick"
"Are we going out this evening," she says. "I am not going to Maxwell's because only the manager loves me. And you don't know him, do you? The girls like me, but the waiters stop me having the meals that the chef cooks. So, you two can go out and I'll stay in and eat here."
April 5th: Father mine and I went to Maxwell's on our own. The staff wondered where the hilarious lady of the house was!! We told Mum that when we returned. Mum thought that was merely hogwash. Back to the Amber Garden on Saturday?
April 7th: What a laugh yesterday evening! The Amber Garden is Maxwell's according to Mum. She had no memory of the Amber Garden, hardly remembered the owners or staff. Cursed Dad for taking us to Maxwell's, which, according to her, had been closed down. Mum kept telling us that the restaurant was just like Maxwell's.
April 9th: Well, first time I could save a file, because there were problems with the service at AE etc.
Anyway, last night, I heard Mum and Dad talking as I lay in bed reading. This morning, Dad said to me, "As she went to bed, Peggy told me that she had just let my girlfriend through the door." Oh, dear, what can the matter be, two old (ladies), etc.
watching my tape of the funeral of HM the Queen Mother, Mum told me that she
loved looking at the sculpture in Westminster Cathedral, and at the soldiers all
dressed in their formal panoply. Great, moving performance, which, as you may
well know, had been programmed by Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon from years past.
April 10th: I walked into the apartment, yesterday evening and, immediately, Dad signalled that Mum was sick. All day long, complaining about her sides, face, legs. She insisted, again, that there was a free apartment, freshly painted on the 19th floor. She told me that Dad wouldn't let her go up there, and that he wouldn't believe that it was, as usual, not her that was sick, but the devils. Again, as he went to bed, she told him that his girlfriend was in the living room. This is repetitive both by me and by my benighted Mama. This morning, Mum could not eat breakfast, becoming sick every time that she tried to eat anything. Dad told me, again, that she refuses to try and put her finger down her throat to clear her catarrh. That was nice, to tell me that, as I was eating my cereal!!
What I did this midday, after they went out, was to phone both Greg McMillan and Julian Rambert. I left messages with Greg's phone mail and with Sophie, Julian's wife and part-time assistant.
Then, I managed to contact Doug, back from his trip to California. I wasn't cheerful, which I regret, but this is telling, especially since I am really tight for money and have no idea how to pay my domain, and other, bills this month. Never mind, three strikes by lightning and I will then win the $15m on Super7 this Friday, or the $10m 6-49 on Wednesday, tonight. Right!!
April 11th: Strange, but true. Mum was much better for a change at the Amber Garden. Jovial bunch of relatively young people at the next table may have helped. Plus, the dish she had for her entree was fine, in her opinion. Good, and relaxing for all two males!!
April 14th: If I don't lose my temper with Mama soon, I will probably burst with rage. Dad also has his ups and downs with controlling his behaviour.
Are we going to the Amber Garden, she asks. Sure, say I, I'll be back after picking up a paper. So, we go there, and then: the soup is too hot; this is not what I asked for (the entree, identical to last Wednesday) and what the chef made has been given to someone else; they gave me these two blocks (referring to potato outers of delicious vegetable inners, which she was delighted with previously); this is not the same food, and I won't eat it. It goes on, Dad has to suffer this constant barrage every day, and won't ask for the companion he can obtain for free, preferring to wait until a crisis appears. When, with sod's law, no one will be available because they have lost our file.
For the Friday and most of Saturday, Mama has been suffering the devils again. She cheered up for the visit to the Amber Garden, but it will probably return on Monday.
April 15th: As I lay in bed reading at around 23.30hrs last night, Dad opened the door and questioned me loudly about talking with him. This was to ensure that Mum heard that we had not, repeat not, spoken about him having a girlfriend. Plus, we are continually bombarded with questions about the feasibility of moving to the "empty" 19th floor of this tower block. Spirits not able to climb that high, as you may be aware?
Mum has been sick again overnight and during this morning. No proper food intake for breakfast, yet again. Her appearance is very poor, showing pain. Not able to see the hair on her face, that having spectacles would remedy.
April 16th: Noise from the opposite side of the street, as they demolish three buildings and cart away the remnants. Asked Mum how she was, and she said she felt fine. Except that her body odour was almost unbearable. Dad and I chatted last night on how to deal with having her checked out by a hospital, which has not been done for her physical ailments. Neither has it, frankly, been done adequately at the Hospital on Carling where we had that contretemps a few weeks past.
April 17th: Dad asked me to look in their bedroom. Mum has packed up all the ornaments, about 4k's worth, even if Canadian value! This because she insists that I have rented an apartment on the 21st floor. That's what she has been telling Dad. Now, when she talked to me yesterday evening she persisted in saying that there was empty space up there. No consistency between what she tells Dad and then what she tells me. She came in and watched a PBS programme last night. Said it was interesting and that his nibs never watches anything like that: therefore whenever there is something like that on the TV, I am to tell her so that she can watch it!! And so it goes.
How do we get her checked out for her stomach devils?
April 21st: Not the best of times.
This began on Thursday evening:
In conclusion: I was not happy that the psychiatric doctor, Huntington, would not visit, or use in any manner, the URL I offered her. This is the second time that, in my opinion, a psychiatrist has not performed adequately under the MHCS purview.
I am at a loss about what to do next. Mum is clearly losing her short term and longer term memories. Her recall is affected by other factors that she dreams up. We need to think about Power of Attorney, or of having the PsychoGerries become more active with her account.
And, significantly, Dad is becoming more and more fragile. Tottery, even. This constant, wearing behaviour from Mama is having a debilitating effect on him. I don't know how he takes it, it certainly isn't good for him at this stage in his life.
Dad tells me that Peggy is his wife, he has to handle it. Right enough, for folks of his, and perhaps my, generation. Not for the current generation and the current political circumstances, perhaps?
We have had good people produce poor results so far, largely, but not wholly to do with funding. Too little staff, improperly thought out regulations. There seems to be an impossibility to have someone, in an obviously parlous state, handled easily and adequately. Will there be a case for damages if my father dies because of this stress?
April 22nd: As the BC Health System is decimated, as the Pope and his clan of Cardinals dispose of the stain of paedophilia in the Church. Don't hold your breath on any account. Mum quieter than usual, has spoken not a word to me since Friday night. Actually, not having to listen to nonsense is quite nice.
addresses an assembly of U.S. cardinals on Tuesday in his private library at the
Vatican during a summit to discuss a sexual-abuse scandal affecting the U.S.
clergy. Photo: Arturo Mari/AP
April 26th: Well, mater has spoken and is a little more friendly towards me. Usual lost memory is the cause. Dad has had a phone call from the PsychoGerries, viz., LG, to advise we can expect a visit in June. This will be after LG returns from holiday.
April 28th: As I was watching the delayed game from yesterday, Charlton v Sunderland (2-2) there was a phone call from Katharine. She phoned to ask me to visit her next Friday. Not that Michelle, her mother, my separated wife, knew about this. Point of this is that both visited Ottawa yesterday, and we four went to lunch at Maxwell's. I took Katharine to the local park, as Michelle went off shopping. When, however, Michelle came back there was an astounding event. Mum actually replied to Michelle's hello and showed her the photos of Elizabeth, Mum's mother, and those of her two dead brothers. Friendly, indeed.
Now, although there is a lot that goes on about Mum being half Spanish, about when we are moving up to the 21st floor, and all the other stuff, it needs to be admitted that perhaps the medication is beginning to work. We shall see.
Today, with the driving snow, Mum said I would be silly to go out in this. It is Sunday, and I don't work. She forgets the ramifications of the modern world, where shift work reigns supreme.
April 29th: Mum is sitting at the dining table, head down, clasping her abdomen. Has been static for over 90 minutes, and may still be there now, as I write this. I left just before noon. She had a bad night, and was in tears telling me about it. Also, adamant that Dad doesn't love her because he won't take her up to the 21st floor.
Nothing can be done at this time, it seems. We both wonder if this pain is psychosomatic, after all, when being taken to the hospital, and when there, she perks up, is shown to be physically fit, according to blood tests and an EKG that is.
April 30th: Yesterday, went to Montreal on a goose chase for a friend from soccer. Seven hours straight, no breaks. Silly really.
However, when I returned home, at just after 9pm., Dad gave me the thumbs down signal that Mum had been really poor all day long. Then, this morning, Tuesday, the day that ManUtd should be ejected by Bayer Leverkusen from the Champions League, Mum told Dad to stay out of her kitchen. Then, when he was telling me this, Mum was peering round the bathroom door watching me. I waved at her, she waved back! C'est la vie.