Mum was admitted to hospital 3 weeks after hearing she had terminal lung cancer. She insisted I didn't return but the doctors said it was time for me, as only daughter. Spent 2 weeks caring for her, "putting affairs in order" (GP's words), talking with specialists involved, helping her in any way I could, setting up open communication routes with everyone for when I returned to Japan.
After discharge, I fought on her behalf for her to stay at her beloved unit, however, four nights later we both came to the hard acceptance that she couldn't cope alone, even with daily nurse visits and services such as; shopping, cleaning, taxi, emergency pendant, pharmacy delivery, OT. By this time, pain management drugs, and her condition, were taking their toll on her cognitive ability which frustrated her, understandably.
Mum's relationship with her family broke down over the last ten years. While caring for my 84 yr old Japanese MIL, I worried about how my own mother would cope in her elderly years, so last year contacted her. I can't deny that I don't still hold grudges, which do flare up now and then, but for my sons' (8 and 11) and her sake, we tried to move forward positively.
This sudden visit, I met mum's best friends, Val&C and Graham&L. Val explained they'd been advised to set up an EPOA, so they printed one off the internet. We all agreed revoking the existing one was best.
I had reservations about Val but mum trusts her and someone needed to physically be there after my return to Japan. Val would visit daily demanding to know what I had done, doing, how she was to be involved. Her behaviour was erratic, rude, competitive, and upsetting. For mum, I bore it, and tried to get around her interventions even though I felt Val was using coercion on us by her constant verbal battering.
We printed another short form EPOA off the internet, where mum, Val, Graham, and I signed, with a very clear verbal understanding, I thought, with mum's consent, that I would deal with the health side, she the financial stuff, and Graham as a back up.
As I feared, mum was back in hospital a week after me leaving. The facility, that she loved, wasn't available yet. I was back in Japan, trying to keep in touch with doctors etc. and monitor mum's condition, skyping her every day via the ipad that I had gotten for her. Instead of news, I was hearing of Val's intervention. A horrible feeling of helplessness and frustration, so reminded Val of our agreement, but she said she was being a friend and they were approaching her as she was an EPOA. Eventually, I called her and got angry, asking her to stop. She was damaging the progress I had achieved with the Facility etc. with her calls, often to the wrong people. She hung up on me. A common tactic, like stomping away while trying to talk with her.
She obviously told my mum, though denied it, as my mother sent me a scathing e-mail saying not to upset her friends. Mum sent an e-mail to Val, reporting how she told me where to go. It was wicked, cruel and so hurtful after all I had done for her. Two days later she was transferred to palliative care. She skyped me, screaming and shouting how could I do this to her, is this how I wanted her to end her days. After calling the nurse, I talked with Graham, from Japan to Aus, to say she is very upset, please help her. Over the next 2 days, when I called, she was cold and nasty.
Mum was transferred to the facility, the one I'd worked so hard to get her into, the next Monday. I sent flowers and a card of love but have been reluctant to call or e-mail as her hearing aid bothers her, then she gets upset and angry again with me.
I told Val not to contact me again as I could not function by her "working together", as she put it. She responded in her usual manner, childishly. Threatening us with more work to get her off the EPOA and executers of the will, and reporting it all to mum, who by this stage is really deteriorating. Graham and I ignored her, hoping this would be an end to her meddling and upsetting. But, then she starts again, taking over everything.
Graham has been wonderful, calming mum down, helping both her and me get through this difficult time. Now poor Graham is getting Val's spiteful attention. Oh, and I'm being sterile apparently as I refuse to respond to her! Graham and I have been in constant contact, continuing to help mum both from my and his side of the world, working in unison so mum sees her last few weeks in comfort but his resistance to Val is wearing thin.
This woman's intervention is horrible but mum sees her as a good friend. I refuse to have contact with her or while she is around, which is most of the time now.
My family will go back to Oz in 3 weeks. Can I risk all of us being hurt by this behaviour. Mum said the other day she doesn't want the boys to see her, however, I feel it's Val talking, to get to me through my children. Grahams sadly tells me any day now.
Any suggestions on what I should do?