I’ve had a brilliant week and all Dad-related. I entered a portrait I’d taken of him in the first Camera Club League competition of the season and it only went and won 🙂 I hadn’t even told him I’d entered it, because I’m new to photographing people so haven’t a clue what I’m doing, plus this year I’ve been promoted to the Intermediate League and face stiff competition from some really good photographers so didn’t expect to get anywhere and I didn’t want to disappoint him if the picture did badly. So my Dad’s face was priceless when I told him the news and to add icing to the cake I also got 2nd place with my photo of the Swallows:
Thursday was a big day, as my Dad was having his driving exam following his dementia diagnosis. It’s been 60 years since he took his last test and things have changed ever so slightly in the meantime! He had to do a written, oral and practical exam which took 2½ hours. And bless his heart he passed with flying colours 🙂 I’m not even sure I’d pass a modern-day driving test so he did brilliantly 🙂 This means he can continue on driving and we can all breathe a sigh of relief as there is zero public transport where we live.
Friday morning we got the results of his tests with the Older People’s Clinical Psychologist – in other words, we were finding out whether or not he has Alzheimer’s Disease. And he hasn’t – yipppeeee!! For now he only has issues with his memory, verbal skills and concentration so I’m just chuffed that his personality and behaviour won’t be affected.
It’s been an incredibly stressful year from our first seeing his GP with our concerns about his memory to his final diagnosis, but I can honestly say the NHS staff have been superb and really lovely people to deal with. They are going to re-assess Dad every 6 months as they need to monitor the progress of his dementia and whether or not it is developing into Alzheimer’s, but for now at least we can all relax *breathe out Jak* 🙂
I wish I could say I’d had a good week with my Mum too, but I’d be lying. As my readers who live with an alcoholic family member can testify, you constantly walk round them on egg shells. You never know what mood they’ll be in, how drunk they will be, how tetchy, whether they’ll think what you have to say is funny or have a go at you. Both my Dad and I let slide 90% of the shite that comes out of my Mum’s mouth, but every now and again she goes too far and I feel I have to say something. I don’t know why I bother, though, because it never ends well – my Mum can dish out criticism left, right and centre but can’t take it.
My step-dad has 3 Grandchildren who call my Mum Nanna. She has been with my Step-Dad for 40 years so as far as the Grandkids are concerned she is their Nan (and to be fair, they’ve seen a darn sight more of my Mum than their biological Nanna). My Mum took care of them when they were pre-school, was there for the birth of the eldest, and has always done everything a biological Nanna does including picking them up from school when they were ill and taking them for trips out. But when talking to other people she always says “I don’t have any Grand-children. My husband has three” which I find deeply upsetting. Her step-grandkids think of her as their Nanna – period. And if they were ever to overhear her saying she had no Grandkids I think they’d be really hurt. So I voiced my concerns to her yesterday. She was very defensive and said “well I don’t have any Grandkids!” So I tried to explain that although she doesn’t have any biological Grandchildren genes aren’t the be all and end all, and the kids think of her as their Nan but she got all huffy and was determined that she’d said nothing wrong, so I just left it. As I walked away though I heard her say under her breath “piss off!” and she’s still being arsy with me 24 hours later.
I swear to God there are days I just want to tell her to get stuffed. I wonder if she realizes quite how much I dread going to see her, what a cow she can be or how little fun she is to be around. She should be sodding grateful she has such a good husband, daughter and step-grandchildren all of whom visit her regularly. But of course she’s not. I wouldn’t care, but until 5 years ago she had absolutely no clue where her biological son was living as he hadn’t been in touch with her for donkeys years so even if he’d had kids she would never have even seen them! People are strange, and my Mum is stranger than most. The bonds of love have nothing to do with genetics.
I finally got my ESA forms finished and posted which is another weight off my mind. The form itself is 20 pages long, I sent 26 typed A4 pages with it and 6 supporting medical letters – if that’s not enough for me to qualify for a lousy £100 a week I give up! Honest to God, the hoops you have to go through you’d think I was asking for thirty grand a year!