When I presented my condition to the Triage Nurse at our Out of Hours Sevice yesterday I couldn’t believe my good fortune. Within a few minutes there was a knock at the door and who should enter but Dr Sibtain the GP I had seen on the previous day. It made it so much easier when I went into his consulting room a short while afterwards.
Dr Sibtain knows us both well fom Clee Medical Centre, so there was no need to explain to him that Maureen has dementia. She had wandered away a couple of times along the way, and I had put the receptionist on watch so I could relax while I was in Triage. I am going to have to use some cards that a contact gave me to indicate to others that Maureen has dementia. It will only distress her if I have to go into explanations whilst she is in ear shot. After all as she often says: ‘she lost her memory once’. She remains in denial about her peripheral vision loss; expecting some magic glasses to appear so she will be able to get her driving licence back.
As always Dr Sibtains examination was thorough, and prescription of antibiotics followed. He is well aware of my reluctance to take tablets but we understand each other well. I will never forget his support in helping me to escape from a life-time on antidepressants. Just by chance I had stumbled on the work of Irving Kirsch who has called into question the issue of ‘chemical imbalance’ as a determinant for mild to moderate depression. His research proved that antidepressnats are only effective as a placebo for mild to moderate conditions. This led me to realise that antidepressants were not the solution: therapy was. Dr Sibtain referred me for the treatment I needed: Paul Martin (Practice Counsellor) provided the therapy.
Moving on from the hospital Maureen had a further difficult episode. Just by chance we bumped into Tracey our social worker. Maureen sought an explanation from me about who she was. Half an hour of difficulty followed, trying to explain Tarcey’s involvement in our lives. It culminated with Maureen asking me if I had called Tracey in: ‘because I was finding her difficult’.
I could write several paragraphs on what it took to get Maureen to bed. Abject confusion followed over medical advice to sleep in separate rooms, to reduce the possibility of passing on the infection. I began to wonder if she would ever settle down – she was clearly frightened about being in a bedroom alone. I think the fears of strangers getting into her bed are never far away.
Maureen is still sleeping. My nose continues to drip like a leaking tap. I hope social services are in touch very soon.