Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dr. Visit- Warning LONG

Mom's doctor's appointment was at noon, so we made plans to leave the house at 10:30 so we could get some lunch right before the appointment. Mom was up early, 6 AM at least. She was all over the place doing things, but not getting dressed or eating breakfast. She asked me what time we were leaving and I told her 10:30. I suggested she eat breakfast so she would be hungry again when we eat lunch. She agreed and proceeded to check her purse, look to see how much money she had, get a plastic bag for her robe (??) and wander over the house. Finally she started her breakfast about 9 AM as I left for the church to get in an hour with the secretary before we had to leave.

Got home at 10:10. Mom was mad at Dad. She asked me what time we were leaving and I said (again) 10:30. She said- "oh I thought HE was changing the time. I thought we were leaving at 10." Of course, she wasn't ready to leave.

Crisis- can't find expensive piece of jewelry again. (See It's Easter! ) This is the second time this week this piece of jewelry has "disappeared" Mom insists she asked me to put it in the safe. Didn't happen. I told her when we go on vacation perhaps we should put it in the safe (so she won't take it with us) and she told me she would think about it. Rushed all over looking for this piece of jewelry and finally told her we had to leave. She insisted I had it.  

Went for lunch. Mom wouldn't sit where I asked her to. It was noisy and the people behind me were having a good time, so I knew if she sat next to me she wouldn't be able to hear. She sat next to me and then got mad because the young people behind us were laughing loudly. She told me she shouldn't have sat by me.

I suggested she move to the other side of the table next to dad. One of the young women behind us, walked (hobbled) past our table. She had on cut-off jean shorts and a large walking cast on her leg. Mom thought she was our waitress and stopped her (poor thing almost tripped) and asked her if it was all right that she (mom) move to the other side of the table as it was too noisy behind us. Mom attempted to stand up and almost knocked the poor girl down. I grabbed Mom's arm and told her the young lady was not our waitress. After the girl had gone by, Dad and I told Mom to move next to Dad, that it was okay to do so.

The rest of lunch went okay. Left in time to get to the doctor on time and sat in the waiting room.

The Doctor A came to the door to get Mom and asked her if Dad and I could come too. She asked "why?" Dr. A told her he would talk to her alone first and then maybe she could invite us in too. She was gone a good hour and then came back out. She told us that Dr. A would be talking with us and that she would be seeing a lady for some testing.

After Mom went for the testing Dr. A called us in. Dad did a good job of explaining the changes in Mom and we both recounted incidents that concerned us. I had taken the forms the family filled out in to the clinic the day before and bless him, Dr. A had read them.

I was relieved when Dr. A said Mom probably has Alzheimer's with some frontal lobe involvement. (Note- we do not have the official diagnosis yet) Relieved, because someone sees the problems other than immediate family. He said Mom "covers well." She does. He said he can see why Mom scores high on the mini mental exam. He indicated he hoped to get a good test in to show how much things have changed since two years ago.

 The frontal lobe involvement means that the part of the brain that controls inhibition is affected. That came make a person impulsive. He asked if we are able to care for her in our home at this time. Dad and I both said yes.

That question actually shocked me. He may have seen the look on my face, because he explained there are certain stages that may cause a caregiver to have to "place" a loved one. He said Mom is actually in one of those stages.

He listed other things that will probably happen that may make us consider placement. Reality really hit home.

We talked about medication concerns, driving, money issues (excessive obsession with money and wanting to spend it), her talking about divorcing dad, and many other things.

I am going to have to take over the medication, the money and driving will have to be taken away. I asked about my leaving for school in July for almost two weeks and he suggested we get someone one to "take my place" and be here to do the medications etc. He said what we have to do is make our home into a mini Alzheimer's unit.

He also thought we might need to try some drugs to curb her impulsiveness. He is either going to talk to a psychiatrist or have Mom see one to get a prescription. 

Mom's testing lasted until about 4 pm. They made an appointment for her to return for the results. Unfortunately, the return appointment was set for my much anticipated "spa day" that Dad is giving me and I decided I didn't want to spend all that morning's hopefully relaxing time dreading a visit later in the day with Dr. A and Mom. So we changed the return visit for the 30th. 

We got home and Mom found the piece of jewelry. It was in the same place she usually keeps it. She just didn't "see" it. The piece of jewelry is now in the safe. And there it will stay!

We went out to dinner after prayer group and Mom told us a little about the testing. She said there were parts she refused to finish because she just wasn't interested. And other parts didn't make sense to her. She couldn't figure out why she had to name vegetables and fruits that start with the letter "C."
All in all dinner went fine.

Dad concerned me some though. I spent all day with him in the doctor's office waiting room. I knew his back was bothering him, but he never said a thing about needing something for the pain. And as soon as Mom got done with her appointment, he told her he needed some Tylenol extra-strength and she insisted we go to the pharmacy to get him some. Why didn't he say anything to me? He relied on her to take care of this for him! That cannot happen.

A couple of other things concerned me. I tried to call my DH and when I didn't get him, I told Dad that he was either still fishing, taking a shower or asleep in his chair. Dad said, "well he can't be fishing, its been storming all day." It wasn't storming. It wasn't even raining and the sun was out. I'm praying it was the pain that kept him from realizing what was going on around him.

1 comment:

Cher said...

Hi Mom,
Glad they finally agreed. I understand why he started talking about "placeing" her. Between the anger, the denial, the anger, and so on this is going to be tough and continue getting tougher... I love you and am here for you... praying for you all, always