Some of you have asked how mother is doing, so I thought I would take this step away from all of the frivolity and do a little sober reality check. Mom took a sudden turn for the worse on Friday, September 8, when she suddenly decided to no longer stand up. She would lay in bed and weep and moan, screaming about people being in her room, etc. Erupting into hysterics whenever we tried to sit her up, we perceived what looked like panic attacks. This continued throughout the weekend, with me ending up in exhausted hysteria by Sunday night. We knew at that time that things could not continue status quo. It was decided that my sister – the human barracuda – should talk to the doctor. This woman does not take no for an answer. By Tuesday we had an antidepressant/anxiety medication called Serzone. This has seemed to calm her down a bit – she is no longer lying in bed screaming. She still will not stand. Wednesday we had a visit from the Home Health Nurse who immediately set us up with an aide, social worker and physical therapist. This is on a limited basis since Medicare doesn’t pay for long term care. The aide will help teach me how to take care of a bedfast (the proper term for this) person, like how to change sheets with a person in the bed – no easy task. The social worker is making recommendations to two organizations for relief – The Alzheimer’s association and some government agency whose exact title I can’t remember right now. The best was the physical therapist – although she said that mother may never leave that bed until she dies or goes into a nursing home – she is getting us a wheelchair and is recommending us to an organization which brings a doctor into the home so that we don’t have to struggle to get mother to her doctor. It means changing doctors, but it will be worth it. I am physically and mentally exhausted right now. I haven’t had a nap since Tuesday, a decent one since Monday. I’m running on adrenaline. I’m also in a bit of pain, all of the lifting and turning (we’re looking into a hydraulic lift) of mom, plus the cranking of the bed (only the head and foot parts are electric – to raise the bed you have to crank) is wearing on my shoulder – but raising the bed saves on my having to bend clear over to tend to mom. Soooo, that’s the 411 on the situation here. I’m hoping that things are going to start getting better – it’s too soon to tell how well the Serzone will work, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed on that one. I’m sorry that I haven’t been a regular blogger – I try to hit everyone at least once a week, but it’s hard some days to do any at all. Thank you for bearing with me – cyber hugs to each and every one of you who has supported me. I appreciate it more than you can ever know.
There was something interesting (and I mean that in a funny way) about the social worker - I said that mother was in stage 6 Alzheimer's and she said that there were only three stages. I replied that there were 6. She then told me that she had recently been at an Alzheimer's seminar where the speak was "that author who wrote the 36 Hour Day" and they said there were only 3. I countered her again. "Well, where did you get your information?" I looked her in the eye and said "The Alzheimer's Association's webpage." She just looked at me. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.