wings and things

Out of character

on September 2, 2013

Anthony has begun to behave aggressively towards some of the staff at the nursing lodge, especially one new, young nurse. I haven’t met her yet (there are so many!) but yesterday the nurse in charge told me that he had thrown a cup of water at her, and that she is nervous of him.

I already had Anthony loaded into the car and was just waiting for the head nurse to give me his meds, when she told me this, and all my enthusiasm for Fathers’ day plummeted. I asked her to apologise to the new nurse and explain that this was totally out of character.

I wasn’t going to mention it to Ants on the way home to the farm, but I couldn’t help myself. He said he couldn’t stand them, the way they told him what to do and made him go to the toilet etc. Even though he was stuttering quite badly (a worsening problem), his furious frustration filled the car. All I could think to say was to ask him to please not turn into a cantankerous old man or the staff would hate him.

I just want to be with you, he said, as we pulled into the puddled driveway.

Ming bounced out of the house, all primed to help, but that willingness didn’t last long, so that upset me too. I just don’t understand how such a compassionate young teenager could turn into such an intolerant older teenager.

So both my boys are out of character. Yesterday, I felt like I was meeting two new, rather disagreeable people, who I would not invite to lunch again.

That said, I have now told them both that it’s about time they gave me a bit of consideration and that although I love them both, I don’t particularly like them at the moment.

They are both in shock – ha!

85 responses to “Out of character

  1. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    Dear me.

    Boys will be Boys, but I guess the nurse has good reason to feel fearful now (wondering what Anthony might throw next).

    Such a difficult situation, but I would have thought nursing lodge staff would be trained to deal with these type of episodes ?

  2. bulldog says:

    A tough decision, but your boys need to know the way you feel…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good for you!

  4. Helen says:

    Oh Julie, so much to deal with. I had a discussion with my mum the other day when she brought up a situation with one of her friends sick husband who has been acting similarly. Mum said to me ‘they go like that’. I don’t know medically if this is correct at all, but I said to her if you were being told day after day when to eat, when to get out of bed, when to bath when to go to the toilet, you would have absolutely no control over your life. No wonder some patients strike out. I have often wondered about this. It’s interesting to hear Anothony’s thoughts on this. I almost applaud them. My mum did not appreciate my opinion!!
    I also applaud you Julie for sticking up for you self with your boys. Your just as important.

    Helen xx

    • jmgoyder says:

      Every time i drive past your house I think of you (like yesterday) and now here you are! Coffee soon? I’m with you and am, of course, on Anthony’s side. I wish some of the nurses would couch their bossiness in some sort of conversation – alas some of them don’t. When I was a nurse I loved the elderly people who were grouchy because it showed a bit of spirit! I am terrified he will alienate the staff.

  5. paulaacton says:

    I frequently told my daughter that between 17 and 19 when she moved out we get on great now but sometimes I think we do need distance for them to appreciate what being an adult really means and to get to know us as people not just parents. Maybe you could take your lap top along next time you visit and introduce the nurses to the real Ant am sure you have loads of pictures and videos that illustrate the real him

    • jmgoyder says:

      Funnily enough I recently had a photo of him (when he was young and macho) blown up, framed and now it is on the wall in his room. Ants wanted it there and I am hoping it will remind staff that he wasn’t always like this.

  6. I think it’s good you spoke what was on your mind and heart…I think they needed it for sure… So hard for you (and them) right now… Diane

  7. Shock is good – now the awe must begin, awe for you and all you do

  8. bluebee says:

    You can’t aways be the one trying to hold it together – good for you.

  9. mimijk says:

    I agree with Lou Ann – shock and awe Jules, shock and awe…

  10. FlaHam says:

    Julie, My heart goes out to you, so filled with love and compassion, so willing to overlook (for the most part) the ill behavior of those you love because of what is going on in their world. You have the strength of superwoman, and the compassion of Mother Teresa. Both Ants and Ming knows this and test you on a regular basis, and both appreciate you more than either can say or demostrate. And your occasional kick in their butts, is a good indicator too. Take care, Bill

  11. annotating60 says:

    Jules, it could be Ants has those moments of clarity that tell him who and what his situation is but doesn’t understand i completely and is acting out in rebellion against his hoplessness and inability to be weho , inside, he still waits to come out and gfo home again to his former life.>KB

  12. tersiaburger says:

    Good for you! They needed to be pulled back into line.

  13. Rhonda says:

    I’m happy you spoke up. Sometimes it’s the only way Jules. xo

  14. Sorry to hear that. Like someone else said, the staff are trained to understand the frustrations of the residents (or should be). They know not to take it personally and know that is not necessarily the real personality of the person.

  15. Sonia James says:

    big loves n hugs Jules…don’t ever forget the gazillions of students u inspired to do better, be better and are better because they had u as a teacher/lecturer…I know I wont ever forget u xo

  16. Oh my goodness, can I commiserate with your last sentences, telling them to give you some consideration and that you loved them both, not particuarly liking them at the moment and then they are staring at you in shock. I have had some of those moments as well, and it really feels as if you are at the end of your rope. I think that you should applaud yourself for letting them know that there are definitely limits and they have crossed them. You are giving and giving and the balance has gone out of whack, they need to step back, even with their understandable frustration at their health issues which are beyond their control, and give attention to your feelings. I am sending you a lot pf positive energy and thoughts, hang in there Jules 🙂

  17. I like everyone’s responses to you. What encouragement. Good for you for speaking up to your ‘boys’ and hopefully they heard what you said. The three of you seem to be nothing short of warriors as far as I can see.

  18. Debbie says:

    Agree with annotating60. My dad had lucid moments of genuine anger and struck at the staff, too. Hopefully, the director at the lodge and the trainers have trained the staff well to anticipate those moments of the hopelessness, loneliness, and sadness the residents feel. Unfortunately, the staff don’t always exhibit patience and understanding, and the blame gets put on the resident who can’t help his situation. It’s a vicious cycle of blame between the family and the lodge and a tough issue for all. I’m truly sorry for this, Julie. At this time (and as it always will be) for your men, you are the rock-steady. Cry here to your girlfriends, your shoulders. We understand.

  19. I ‘Liked’ this post because I liked your last comment – not because I like what has happened to your ‘boys’. I hope things settle down again soon,

  20. Terry says:

    as the brain cells continue to decrease, the emotions and aggressive behavior appear more. I am sorry. I know this hurts and is confusing. Just remember he can’t help it and he would change it if he could. Al stutters more now also

  21. ksbeth says:

    i’m glad you spoke up for yourself and what you need, everyone needs that. i was my mother’s guardian after she was diagnosed with dementia and other issues and had to move to an assisted living facility. there were many ups and downs to say the least. it is not uncommon for the person to become agitated and angry about the situation, on top of the fact that things are changing neurologically and physically. with some medication and therapy, over times things became more manageable, but still a struggle at times. i hope you can find the balance. ) beth

  22. I continue to be amazed at how honestly your family communicates. I guess we all have days where we are ‘out of character.’ Hope things brighten with the coming spring.

  23. We have been having similar experiences with my mother-in-law. I feel for her because I know that she hates being helpless, but she is vehemently against people trying to help her. It’s hard to be gracious when you are embarrassed and frustrated!

  24. janeslog says:

    I can understand what he is telling you. Nurses are quite bossy and can talk down to patients and treat them as though they are a bit stupid. If they are not shoving pills down your throat they are taking enough blood to fill 5 small bottles or leaving you lying on a trolley in a corridor waiting to get an x ray.

    Nurses do have a difficult job, but many of them need to learn customer care skills. I would have a quiet word with the nurse in charge expressing Ant’s feelings as they may not be aware of how upsetting it is for him. Nothing aggressive – don’t go in all guns blazing.

    I wish I was living near you as I could help you out with this.

  25. A bit of reality therapy is not bad in between hugs!

  26. i don’t buy the boys will be boys, being ill does not give you the right to treat people with disrespect. glad to hear you stood firm. i know they love you and they need to take the knot out of their undies:)

  27. Ingrid says:

    Julie I tried to ring you but they said the phone is not connected – can you send me an email please or phone (mobile is 0411 256 144) … thanks

  28. There are times when we need to tell the men in our lives that they are acting like children and to act their age and get over it………….not so easy with Ants I know but Ming well sometimes a bit of a shock from mum is needed…………..

  29. Finn Holding says:

    Good for you Jules. It’s important that us boys get read the Riot Act every now and again to keep us in order and stop us misbehaving!

  30. I’m so sorry it has been so tough on you lately. I assume it’s the Parkinsons that causes Anthony’s outbursts of anger and frustration. I can certainly understand how he must feel. A big grown man being told what to do and when and needing the kind of care that he does. He must at times feel trapped by his body and his illness.

    I guess I can understand Ming’s upset as well. It must be tough to have to take care of your father instead of the other way around.

    But I don’t think either one of them understands the pressures you are under. It’s always up to the Mom to take care of everything.

    I send you thoughts of peace and gratefulness. Peace for you and gratefulness from your family to you. Wish I could be there to give you a hug. (((HUGS)))

  31. viveka says:

    Julie, I can’t for my life image what you’re going through, but I wish I could ease the disappointment that you have to deal with so often. One is not aware what he is doing, but the younger version is.
    You should just take him by the ear and tell him to show some respect to you and support you, as you have done through all the years with him. Even if I understand in a way why he can’t handle Anthony’s situation, is it time for him to grow up … at times, but this has so much to do with you too. Just, go and get them!!! You’re often in my thoughts.

  32. Tough love is tough sometimes 🙂

  33. i was just feeling today like I do not understand why it the wives, the moms who everything should fall to.
    You have the patience of some kind of angel Jules!

  34. adinparadise says:

    Oh, how difficult it must be for you, Julie. So many issues to deal with. Hugs to you.

  35. Fergiemoto says:

    Good reply, Julie, but it sounds like it was very frustrating.

  36. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    I bet that gave them a shock!

    God, I don’t know what I’ll be like in old age… I just don’t know.

  37. fgassette says:

    Welcome! Thank you for subscribing to follow my blog. I hope you are encouraged, inspired and enjoy the photos I take of life’s events as seen through the lens of my camera.

  38. My two cents worth is that the nurse should be more professional. After all she’s not a Sunday School teacher. Bah.

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