No sooner had I written that post about the panicometer then one of my worst fears was realised. Namely that mil would have a fall. Not only did she have a fall, but she did it at night and the wretched panic button which she's had for 12 years and never needed didn't work. On top of that she'd left the grill on. So she lay all night on the floor in her bedroom, which is where she managed to crawl to. On the bright side, at least she didn't burn down the flats and all the occupants therein. She was found in the morning by the carer, who was let in by one of the neighbours. Typically Friday morning was the only day in weeks that I'd managed to leave my mobile behind, so though I am the nearest I was the last to get the call. Given my current levels of anxiety this was a blessing, because by the time I found out what was happening the paramedics already had her in the ambulance and Spouse was on his way home. We then spent the day in Casualty with her, while bil and sil dealt with the flat. I laughingly joked at 11am that we'd still be there when it was time to do the school run, and of course that's what happened. Luckily the hospital is literally between the two schools. And as it happened we were booked in for a tour of the children's ward where no 4 is having her op. So hey, we could kill two birds with one stone. Always a bright side I find...
In a funny kind of way the fact that this has now happened has made me feel better. It's been a big fear, and it was all dealt with. Which isn't to say it hasn't been a stressful weekend. It has. Not least because on top of that, we had an emotionally charged social arrangement which had been making me feel like crap all week. The stress of mil's fall took the edge off that however, and I did manage to get through the evening without succumbing to the panic attack which hovered around the edges for the whole night. As Spouse needed a calming beer or two I had to do without my diazepam, and having coped allright with that I felt somewhat better the next day.
However, looking after an elderly relative on top of running a busy household isn't without its stresses, however much you want to do it. And on Sunday night mil suddenly announced she wanted to spend some time in a care home. Up until now she's always wanted to stay at home so it was a huge shock. Added to which we always wanted to be the ones to look after her, but it really isn't possible on a longterm basis. Spouse and I both hated the home that fil went to for respite care, where we felt he wasn't treated with the respect or compassion he deserved, so we were both angsting on Sunday night about the best course of action. Bil and sil looked into some local homes, and luckily there is a fantastic one on the way home from school. We went to look at it yesterday and sil and I both felt that she's going to get really good care there. The aim is to get her up and running and back to her flat, but really, if she had to stay longer, for the first time I don't feel worried about that. She'll be in a place where she will be treated with dignity and importantly there will be plenty of other people to talk to. We can come and go as we please, so I can bring the kids in after school, which will be wonderful not only for mil, but for them, because this whole thing is a bit unnerving for them all.
So for the first time in 13 years I can scrub no 2 of my panicometer. At least for the next three weeks I really won't have to worry about mil, because I know she's going to be all right. I can't tell you what a relief that is.