Post # 16
It’s okay to say no. Why are they asking you to take her out? What’s the goal here? If it’s to reassure her that her home/pets are okay or something then maybe the best thing is to say no but tell her they’re fine. Maybe offer to bring her some items from home (maybe when you meet with the drs tomorrow) if it would make her more comfortable. If it’s just to get her out a bit and acclimated to regular life, what about taking her to a coffee shop near the hospital or even the hospital cafeteria? The limited amount of time you have … that’s reason enough. Tell her you only have limited time due to work and you don’t want your visit to be stressful/rushed … but you do want to see her and get her out of the hospital a bit … of course, I don’t know if she’d be agreeable.
Post # 17
sarosaro : Thanks for your response. I had a few long conversations with my DH, my sister and my uncle (mum’s brother) last night – they all said the same thing (it’s okay to say no) and said that they would have done the same thing in my position.
The doctor basically said that they wanted to “see how she went” out of hospital for a few hours prior to my meeting with them this afternoon. It’s basically an experiment to see how she reacts, what she does, etc. I also feel like I should note that I’m going into the hospital every 2-3 days to see her, as is my sister (we go on different days so she has someone coming in to visit almost every day).
After speaking with my sister and my uncle, I came to the realisation that the main thing holding me back from saying yes is that I just don’t feel comfortable taking her out of hospital at the moment. They both mirror my feelings and reasoning on this. Mum doesn’t want to be there (and has been very vocal about this) – I really believe that if I take her out, when it comes time to go back she’s going to refuse. What am I supposed to do then? Call the CAT team out again and have to go through the same thing as when she was admitted only a week and a half ago? And, honestly, I just feel that she’s not well enough – she’s still hearing voices and doing whatever they tell her, she’s still remembering things that never happened, etc. Taking her out of hospital would mean having to constantly keep an eye on her – I wouldn’t even feel comfortable going to the bathroom whilst she was with me. She has had very little improvement since being admitted to hospital and I just don’t understand why anyone would think she’s well enough to leave the ward at the moment, even for a few hours.
When I go to the meeting this afternoon, I plan to tell the doctors that I’m just not comfortable with this at the moment and why. I also plan to tell them that, in future, we really need more than a couple of hours notice – it’s not as easy as just turning up at the hospital to pick mum up, there are a lot of logistics involved. I feel it’s really unfair of them to expect that at short notice and that they need to be more respecting of my family and our time – we’re doing the best we can given the situation but we refused to be guilted into doing things we aren’t comfortable with.
Post # 18
I hope your meeting goes well today! I imagine that it will be useful for the hospital staff to know why you don’t feel that your mother is well enought to leave. Maybe that’s just the information they’re looking for.
Many people don’t have family members who visit them or who participate in their care. So I’m surprised that the hospital staff gave you the impression that you should do more. I hope they can address your concerns or even give you some insight into how to handle your mother. I don’t know what to say but wish you well in this difficult situation.
Post # 19
sarosaro : Thanks, the meeting went okay. It ended up only being with the registrar/psychologist as the psychiatrist (who is the ‘head’ of mum’s care) had something come up. My uncle and aunt (mum’s brother and his wife) were also able to make it, so it was nice not having to go in there on my own (I feel I get judged for being young and sometimes like I have no idea what I’m talking about, which is super frustrating).
We discussed what mum is like when she’s well versus how she was from the beginning of February versus how she was upon admittance versus how she is now. The registrar asked what our concerns were regarding mum going home – we outlined a few – and told us what they’re doing for her treatment at the moment. We also discussed what would happen should she not improve any further or gets worse. The thing that surprised us, however, is that he was really pushing for her to be discharged and mentioned this could happen as soon as a couple of days from now. This really concerns us, as we feel she is not well enough to go home yet – particularly as she lives by herself and cannot move in with either my sister or I at the moment. Us relocating to her home isn’t really an option either, plus she doesn’t actually want us to stay with her. He also kept pushing for overnight leave, but I told him that this would only be possible if we had advance notice (ie more than 24 hours) so that we could make arrangements for this to be possible so it’s off the table for the moment.
He did, however, push for some day release so I ended up taking mum out of hospital for about 4 hours. She came to my house for dinner and seemed to do okay in the beginning (was starting and engaging in conversation) but as it got later she definitely seemed to revert back (no longer engaging in conversation, staring vacantly off into space, etc). She did agree to go back to the hospital, but I think this was partly because the registrar made it clear that the CAT team would be called if she refused. I spoke with the registrar on the phone this morning; he has changed his tune a little since yesterday and said that mum will definitely not be discharged this week and it will be reassessed next week. He would like us to continue with a few hours of supervised day release (which means me or my sister have to be with her) whenever we have a chance.
I’m also surprised at the attitudes of some of the hospital staff – mum was telling me yesterday that there are a few patients currently there who have no one come to visit them. Even so, we are definitely made to feel like we should be dropping everything going on in our lives in order to accommodate what they want us to do (ie overnight release on a worknight). I tried explaining to the registrar in the meeting that my sister and I are both adults now with our own homes and families that need care also, so hopefully he gets that we won’t be at their beck and call all the time.