It’s been a tough Carer week and yesterday I was so exhausted and stressed I didn’t know what to do with myself. For a start, my Mum has stopped answering the phone. Every day for a decade I have rung at 9am and spoken to my Mum, but now she doesn’t pick up and my Dad answers instead. My deaf and confused.com Dad. So I ask how Mum is doing and whether she’s slept well, to which he always says “yeah, she seems OK” which tells me bugger all. I spoke to him on Tuesday to get their shopping list for Tesco and I could hear my Mum shouting in the background “tell her we need eggs” and “don’t get any more of that squash it was vile”, in which case WHY THE FUCK doesn’t she just speak to me herself?! She knows my Dad is useless with anything like that for crying out loud. It’s driving me insane.
The new care package started on Monday. A carer is coming Mon-Fri to cook them both lunch and to give my mum’s lady garden a wipe and cream and some clean undies put on. So I’ve made a recipe book which contains menus for 2 weeks in advance, so the carers know what they’re cooking and I can get all the ingredients from Tesco when I do the weekly shop.
Monday they were having corned beef hash for lunch and I’d bought a tray of veg for that. But when I went in the fridge on Sunday all but 2 carrots had gone from the veg tray. I asked my Dad where it was and he said “it’s for the corned beef hash”.
“Yes I know, I bought it, but where is it?”
“I’ve peeled it all and chopped it ready for the hash tomorrow, so it’s just ready to switch on”.
Quite what the carer did for the other 29 minutes she was supposed to be cooking lunch I have no idea.
I also spoke to Mum on Monday morning who was hugely out of breath.
“Why are you so out of breath?” I ask.
“I’ve been putting clean pants on” she tells me.
“Er, why have you been putting clean pants on when the carer is coming in an hour to help you do that?!”
“I didn’t want to have smelly pants on when she got here” she replies, which is rather like cleaning up before the cleaner arrives.
Tesco always deliver between 10-11am Thursday morning and as they were having kedgeree for lunch I’d bought some smoked haddock with their shopping, but when I rang at 9am my Dad was up at Morrisons.
“Has he gone to pick your prescription up?” I ask my Mum.
“Well, yes, but he’s also getting some fish for our lunch” she tells me.
God give me sodding strength.
I spoke to her last night and asked how the kedgeree had gone. “Oh, it was delicious” says Mum “and let me tell you about the fish from Tesco. Your Dad was worried about getting all the bones out (why was he getting the fucking bones out?), but with that Tesco fish he didn’t have to bother because not only was it boneless it was also skinned – isn’t that brill?” like I wasn’t the one who’d bought it and chosen it purely because it was boneless and skinned!
I know it’s all new to them and they are so used to doing things for themselves it will take a while for it to sink in that someone else it doing it now, but it is frustrating. I have very little energy myself, so to spend loads of it organising everything just for them to do it themselves feels like a kick in the teeth and there are days I genuinely don’t know why I bother.
Thanks for listening to my little rant. No-one said being a Carer was going to be easy, but I had no idea it was going to be this hard, frustrating, stressful and unrelenting.