This morning I rang stepfather Richard to see why we were not able to Skype each other. Apparently he has been having trouble with his server, Talk Talk, who, he tells me, have promised to sort it out today. I shall try again in the next day or two as my mother, in particular, seems to draw a great deal of comfort from the visual contact. We are hoping to get them both down here for the day late in August. That is, as long as my mother, does not play up. The trouble with Alzheimer’s patients is that they can be thrown out by a change of routine. For example, last weekend they had both been invited to stay with friends in London, who very kindly sent a car, to pick them up. With their suitcases packed and in the hall, awaiting the transport, apparently, my mother asked about the suitcases and was told they were going to London. On hearing this she refused to move. Poor Richard, he had no choice but to telephone his friends and apologise in telling them they would not be able to make it. This is not untypical of an Alzheimer’s patient and one must have the greatest admiration for the carer, under the circumstances, it must be very frustrating.
In a telephone call today, I told my mother that they were coming down to see us at the end of August and told her that we do not want a repeat of the recent refusal. She assured me that she was really looking forward to it and when it came to it she would come willingly. Sadly, 5 min after this conversation, she will have forgotten every word of it. We must just hope, for Richard’s sake, that she does not refuse to get into the car, which we shall send for them. Any carer with a partner in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s has to be an absolute Saint with his or her patients stretched to the limit daily. Richard is certainly a saint, so far as I am concerned
‘My lovely’ took a telephone call from the Love film people who had previously asked if I was prepared to participate in a film on Channel 4 dealing with the topical issue of assisted suicide. When they made the original call to me. Alice had also spoken to the lady project director and made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that she was totally against our being involved in further publicity. Whilst being sympathetic with Alice’s reservations I told the Channel 4 people I would see them in order to discuss just what aspect of my blog they wished to use but by seeing them they could not take this as a commitment to appear in their film. This being understood the purpose of the meeting, which was originally scheduled for tomorrow, until the same caller rang out yesterday to say that they had decided against my participation.
Alice believes that they have been reading my blog on a daily basis and will have noted, over the last few weeks, the problems I’ve had with my breathing and simply did not wish to use someone who appeared to be severely ill, in making this film. So the scheduled meeting was cancelled.
My regular readers will recall that following the programme on the BBC, when Sir Terry Pratchett, who I believe is also suffering from Alzheimer’s, went to explore the possibility of using Dignitas in Switzerland. His quandary being that he can only go down this route. while he is still capable of making a rational decision. With Alzheimer’s. It is almost impossible to predict when that time will come.
Following the broadcast of Sir Terry Pratchett’s programme, (see entries for 22 February 2012 and 24 February 2012) I spoke to the producer and said that I thought I it was a pity that more time was not devoted to the alternative, the hospices. As I know little about such places other than a preconception that when you went into one, it was usually at the last stage of your life, when you would pass away painlessly and with dignity. I suggested to the producer of the original Pratchett programme that we should do a sequel which showed the hospices as an alternative to having to go to Switzerland to die. Certainly, the BBC did not reject the idea but on the other hand gave no undertaking, if and when, they might make such a programme.
After raising this serious topic once again, I think the reader deserves some light relief. I suggest therefore you click here for some of Frank Carson’s one-liners