My mum and I were on holidays in Victoria last month. It was going to be one of her bucket list trips. To travel the Great Ocean Road. It started out stressful and ended stressful.
On the way to Victoria, the airport staff fucked up and forgot to board mum via wheelchair lift before starting to board other travellers. We had also paid for seats next to the window so nobody would have to squeeze past mum and hurt her legs. We ended up being placed on the two outside seats where a woman had to practically climb over us to get over to her seats. Seriously I don’t know how bad overseas domestic flights are but Australian ones are fucked with the amount of room given. Anyway the woman promised she wouldn’t be getting up to go the toilet and she kept her word.
As a wheelchair lift rule we have to leave the plane last and the woman beside us kindly stayed on board until we had to get up. Thank you kind woman – fuck you airport.
We got our hire car which was lovely and drove to our AirBnB. The place was beautiful and we were in great spirits although I was still VERY anxious because of such a big day as a carer.
Then there was a minor accident which I won’t detail here – it didn’t involve my mum. We were looking forward to being shown the sights by my best friend over the next week but the first thing on our agenda was for mum to see the Great Ocean Road. We left early and it was perfect weather. Mum was enjoying the sights and we were in our own little happy space.
As we arrived at the Twelve Apostles it started to rain. Fortunately we had brought an umbrella and mums wheelie walker. We managed to get to the first viewpoint which was a lovely experience for my mum but then it started to rain heavier. So I got my mum to sit on the chair of her walker and pushed her to the next viewing point. We were laughing and having heaps of fun regardless of the weather.
The rain started to get heavier so I decided that I better get mum back up to the tunnel where she would be dry. It was an uphill push but we managed to get there and still continued to laugh and joke around. The tunnel was full of tourists, like us, getting some protection from the rain. I made the decision that as soon as there was a light break in the rain I would have to get mum back to the car. When the break came, I went to push the walker but the first thing the wheels hit was a water grate and the walker started to fall backwards. I will never forget the look of terror on my mums face. I knew she was terrified she going to hit her head again.
For those of you who are not aware – my mum has a brain injury from a fall she had in 2013. That along with her cancer and frailty is why I am her full time carer.
Mum took a very hard fall – landing on her backside. To cut a very long story short she fractured her tailbone. The rest of the week was spent in our accommodation, with me nursing mum around the clock. My best friend came daily to bring us supplies, to help and to do anything she could to make it a bit better for us. I was a wreck as I was setting my alarm for every two hours through the night because mum could not even walk on her own. As you can imagine, mum was also a wreck coping with weakness and pain.
I ended up arranging for my sister to fly down so that she could help me get mum home. That was another stressful event at the airport and after an entire day and half the night, I was glad to be back at our own home.
Mums Dr confirmed that the pain relief schedule I had been using was good but added a bit more. This has made mum more ‘addled’ and after two weeks I have scaled it back. Mum is doing a little better but it will be many weeks before she is completely healed.
What this event showed me was that as usual things can go to shit pretty quickly. It reminded me that we are in control of nothing but it also reminded me that when the shit hits the fan, what matters most is who is going to be there for you. That can often be a very bitter pill to swallow.
I’m disappointed to say that very few people have offered any help or support. I am reminded yet again that since my dad died over three years ago – very few people have offered me help. There are many who claim to love my mum, they claim they care for me – yet they are words – empty words. When someone tells you they hear you, they see you and they feel you – if it’s not backed up by something tangible – then it’s really just talking shit.
So the result of this episode of life ‘turning to shit’ for me, is that I am releasing all of those people who are – well – full of shit.