prunesquallormd: (Effy - Lost in thought)
[personal profile] prunesquallormd
- I had a somewhat heated conversation about climate change today. It was pretty much a case study in climate change denial - the other guy citing some recent statistic saying that average temperatures hadn't risen in the last decade, extrapolating it out to 30 years (I'm not sure how he did that, I'd pretty much given up listening at that point) and concluding that global warming obviously couldn't be a thing. He talked about how the majority of climate scientists were persuaded by the promise of extra funding to draw conclusions favourable to the received opinion regarding climate change, and at some point even talked about how the person who first argued that the Earth went around the Sun was 'poo-pooed' as some kind of example about how good science isn't about following the consensus.
I put my headphones in and stopped even trying to argue the point when he told me that I'd been brainwashed. Ugh.

I'm aware of how much impact natural inclination has on these things: I'm a left leaning, vegetarian, tree-hugging, pseudo-hippy, bleeding heart liberal type. I'm inclined to accept the very real possibility that people are screwing with the world and the climate. The other guy is right leaning, gas guzzler driving, pro-death penalty, and since I've been aware of his opinion on the matter (5 or 6 years or more) he's always been convinced that there's nothing to the idea of man-made climate change (though of course, he calls it global warming because then he can look at all these cold winters and say 'how can there be global warming ..?').
He totally missed my point about confirmation bias, mind you.

- I have to put my hand up and admit that, on this occasion at least, I was a little hard on my brother. I went to visit my mum last weekend for the first time since Christmas and her deterioration in those 8 months is shocking. To be honest, I mostly avoided talking to anyone but my nieces at Christmas because they're the only members of my family whose company I don't find painful these days. If I'm honest, mum wasn't in a good way then: I remember one time when she came upstairs 3 times in an hour to tell me there was some lunch on the table, the last time after I'd been down to eat it, sitting at the table with her.

On the phone, it's easy to miss the signs. I'd managed to convince myself again that she wasn't that bad, and that it was mostly the chronic sleep deprivation caused by pain from her arthritis that was affecting her memory and mental acuity (which it can, apparently). But of course, that's not helped by the fact that she doesn't remember to take the pills she has for the pain, because her memory is already messed up. Clive mentioned when we spoke a few weeks ago that the solicitor had been a little hesitant about allowing the power of attorney, and if we'd waited a few months more mum probably wouldn't have been mentally competent enough for it to be possible.

I'd thought that the 2 or 3 years of gentle persuasion on all our parts had made her realise that her memory was a problem that needed addressing but I was very wrong. She's worse than before - she actually got angry and tearful when I brought it up this time and said I'd ruined her evening and that the whole problem was her arthritis. As is the way of things, she's the only one who can't see it. Her short term memory is pretty shot, she's easily angered and far more emotional, and while her personality hasn't changed as such, the unpleasant parts of it are now unleavened by any awareness that it's necessary to hide the negative opinions you have of people, or to not make nasty comments about people standing within earshot.

Before last weekend I'd thought (despite my brother saying otherwise) that mum might be ok for a few years, and definitely be mostly ok to look after herself for a good while. I was very wrong, I think. If she's ok to live alone for a couple more years I'll be surprised. All this is entirely without the input of an expert, mind you. Problems with memory (dementia, Alzheimers, or whatever) seem to be hard to catch early with the situation as it is in the NHS because a doctor can only really offer help (or be aware of a problem) if the patient mentions it, and obviously the patient probably won't be aware of it. And unless he or she has a spouse there's no one who can force the issue until the problem has become so bad that the drugs that can slow the progress of the disease are far less use than they could have been.

I must admit to being pretty fatalistic about the whole thing. It's so frustrating. If it were a physical ailment (though it actually kind of is, really), no one would hesitate to go to a doctor. But as it is, a problem that I saw clearly at least 3 years has just been left to run its course, despite everything we've tried to do. Who knows what could have been done if treatment had started 3 years ago, how many more years the deterioration could have been arrested?
Oh well, no point dwelling on the what ifs, I guess.

- I just want to sleep. So tired!

- Love and hugs, all! <3 <3 <3

Date: 2014-08-22 11:27 pm (UTC)
heartonsnow: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heartonsnow
I am totally with you on the NHS won't do anything unless they themselves mention it thing. So frustrating.

I tend not to discuss global warming as I am not good at science so I have no clue about it!!

Date: 2014-08-27 11:18 pm (UTC)
heartonsnow: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heartonsnow
I do agree about pollution being a bad thing, definitely.

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