The new norm
Up until the beginning of November last year, Mum was out every day. The 'confusion' was there for those close to her and able to spot these things, but it didn't stop her going out. In fact despite her mobility issues, she was like 'sh1t off a shiny shovel' using her three wheeler. One of the few benefits of her recent falls, hospital stays and time in rehabilitation is she now has a new three wheeler with go faster stripes. I look forward to the day when the charity shops of the area are once again targeted.
When Mum was younger she was shy and introverted, never liking new situations or meeting new people. Now she is a social butterfly and talks to anyone and everyone, she can 'talk the hind leg off a donkey' #NewNorm. Mum is able to recount stories or recent events that make you think that there is absolutely nothing wrong with her mental capabilities. In fact if you speak to her for 15 - 20 minutes you would think that she is still mentally sharp.
Mum is really convincing, until you realise that something she is talking about as if it happened this week, actually happened weeks, months or even years ago. Whats more I was actually present and she has completely forgotten that point.
Mums relatively new sociability and relaxed attitude (she just allows things to happen around her #NewNorm) has helped to keep her going and has managed to get her out of some situations without stress or worry. On one occasion when visiting me, #AssistedTravel failed and instead of getting off at Manchester Piccadilly to change trains, Mum ended up going to Manchester Airport and back again. Once the lady collecting Mum had finally found her, they called me to say that Mum would be an hour late. Mum was not worried at all and simply said "I do hope the lady that the man helped off the train at Manchester Piccadilly thinking it was me, was supposed to get off there". Then laughing "silly buggar, fancy putting her off the train instead of me". You can't argue with that I guess.
#AssistedTravel is brilliant when it works and has in the main worked very well for Mum and I. Recently though Mum let slip that on her last journey, she asked the train manager to go above and beyond his duties! What she actually said was "I needed the toilet so I asked 'the man' to walk with me to the toilet", fair enough I thought, Mum is being sensible, walking on a moving train is difficult enough as it is, let alone if you are not that stable on your feet. She went on to say "I got in to the toilet and the train was moving so much, I opened the door and said, you are going to have to help me. So he came in and took my pants and knickers down for me and then pulled them back up again when I had finished". My Uncle and I looked in horror at one another and then back to Mum, she said "Well, I didn't want to fall". I couldn't argue with that logic, but knew there and then that it was the last time that Mum would travel on her own. So a big thank you goes out to 'the man' that went above and beyond his duties for my Mum.
One of my cousins said to me recently, that the person going through these changes is often the one person least impacted upon. So whilst Mum is obviously having to adapt to her new life, it is those around her that are having to come to terms with the #NewNorm. I am lucky that I took early retirement a few years ago, otherwise I couldn't do what I am currently doing.
The #NewNorm can have financial implications that I didn't really anticipate. I have two micro businesses Permission To Relax - Reiki and SilvaFush Jewellery, I have had to close one temporarily, which isn't too much of a problem because I haven't really had the time to get it established due to the jewellery. SilvaFush is also 'treading water' for the time being as I can't keep calling on the services of dear friends to run events for me in my absence.
Additionally, I am travelling between the North and South frequently, so much so I don't really know where I belong at the moment, so the #NewNorm travel costs are mounting up. Don't get me wrong I do not begrudge Mum a penny, however these are financial implications I did not foresee.
I have found other #NewNorms more challenging to come to terms with, things such as; knitting my own scarf with Mums wool at Christmas so I had a Christmas present from her; watching someone I love with all my heart become more frail and vulnerable; and most importantly not being able to talk to my best friend and confidant in the same way I always have.
Good luck with your own #NewNorms and remember you never walk alone, even though it often feels as if you do.