I’ve ummd and ahhhd whether to write this very personal post. It seems disloyal to talk about my parent’s private life without their permission but at the same time this blog is about my life and their lives affect mine. When I Googled my situation it appears to be much more common than I’d realized so I’ve decided to mention it in case anyone else is having the same issue.
As many of you know, my Mum is terminally ill with advanced heart and lung disease. She’s hopefully not going to pop her clogs tomorrow but her life span is definitely shortened as her diseases are progressive. She can now do very little for herself and spends her days sitting watching the telly or reading. This is a choice, I hasten to add, because my Dad and I would willingly take her out but she’s never been particularly social and says she’s happy as she is.
She’s always liked a tipple but it’s been confined to a glass of wine with lunch and a whiskey after dinner, until the past 18 months when her drinking has spiralled out of control. She’s switched to vodka, because it just looks she’s sipping on a glass of water, starts at 11am and just keeps going. Each tumbler, I’d reckon, contains a double so by bedtime she’s probably had 6-9 shots of alcohol.
I’ve had to stop even trying to communicate with her past 5pm because she can’t even remember we’ve had a conversation let alone what was said. I’ve spoken to my Dad about it and he just holds his hands up and says “what can I do?!”.
I’m so angry with her. As if my bloody life isn’t hard enough, dealing with my Dad’s dottiness, my own health and her physical health, now she’s added yet another stressor to the equation. I loathe speaking to her when she’s slurring her words and is obviously drunk, and when she’s all merry and life is tickety-boo I want to explode especially as her alcohol-soaked good mood is making mine and my Dad’s life a misery.
Part of me thinks if she wants to drink herself to oblivion be my guest. Lets ignore the fact she’s on a dozen pills a day, most of which shouldn’t be taken with alcohol. However she now falls regularly, and has advanced osteoporosis, so you can guarantee at some stage she’s going to break a bone. Then she’ll spend weeks in hospital, where she’ll go into abrupt withdrawal and be really ill and my Dad and I will have to do the 60 mile round trip every day to visit her where we’ll find her distressed and crying. Then she’ll get home and be able to do even less physically than she can now, which means even more work for us. Plus, if she has another heart attack the medics aren’t going to be able to give her the correct drugs in an emergency if she’s got huge amounts of alcohol in her system.
I want to scream at her for being so selfish. She might be having a nice time but it’s no fun for the rest of us. She’s either snappy, moody and belligerent or she’s zen and everything in the garden is rosy. She’s forgetful, confused and disoriented and spends half the evening asleep. My mast cells thrive on stress, so all this makes me sick too and I’m ill enough already.
It’s pointless me trying to talk to her about the situation because she either just laughs it off or will just drink secretly when I’m not there. So I’ve made an appointment next week with her GP, who’s also thankfully my GP so knows us well, for a chat. Something’s got to change, because I’m so resentful and seething about the situation, and let’s not forget menopausally hormonal, that one of these days I’m going to snap.
I sometimes wonder what more life can throw my way.