Monday, March 28, 2011

Sucker Punch…

Took Mom to Day Care this morning and Dad to the doctor for a recheck after being in the hospital. Dad looks good- but when he was in the hospital and they did a CT of his abdomen, they saw gall stones. So now they want to have it checked further and have another test done and see a surgeon. He is not having any symptoms- so we were told they probably won’t suggest surgery until he has symptoms. More appointments. Yay.


Brought Dad home and then an hour and a half later, picked Mom up from daycare to take her to the doctor.


Her doctor was unavailable, so we saw a resident. The resident has a “real” doctor who follows up. The resident checked Mom out and changed the way she is receiving her asthma meds. He knew I wanted to talk to someone about nursing home placement.

So Mom went back out in the waiting room with my son and I went back in to speak with him about my concerns and how I need to stop being Mom’s caregiver. He had  me bring Mom back in.


He gave Mom an MME (Mini Mental Exam) I told him ahead of time that she will ace it. She did. She only missed three things.

Then he went and got the “real” doctor. She is a geriatric doctor. She came in- saw Mom’s test results and said:

Dr.-“You do not have Alzheimer’s.”

Mom- “I don’t?”

Me- “Don’t tell my Mom that.”

Dr.- “It’s true. There is nothing wrong with your Mom. She is fine.”

Mom- “I thought I was fine.”

Dr- That test you just took? That shows you are fine.

Mom- I just took that the other day at the… the…. the….place I go to. You know.. At the nursing home. The care place for grownups.

Dr.- The Adult Day Care?

Mom- Yes! They are very nice there.

Dr.- My mother goes there too.

Mom- Who is your mother?

Dr.- Lois.  She has Alzheimer’s. You don’t.

(Thinking I am at any moment going to hear:“You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the sign post up ahead, your next stop...The Twilight Zone!" )

Me-“What are you doing?? I’m here to get help. What are you doing? She was diagnosed by Dr. A. He’s a neuro-psychologist.

Dr.- He was wrong. My mother has Alzheimer’s and your mother is fine.

Me- Then you take her home for 24-48 hours.

Mom_ I told Dr. A I hope someday someone tells him he has Alzheimer’s so he’ll know how I feel!

Dr- I don’t see any reason why your mom can’t live in assisted living. She really doesn’t need any help.

Me- What? You’ve got to be kidding me.

Dr.- No- she and your dad would be fine.

Me- It would kill my dad.

Dr- You mom could probably live by herself then and be fine. Let’s get a social worker in here to help her find assisted living.

Me- I am not listening to this any longer!!!!

I got up and walked out. I left my mom. I was furious. Furious.

To make a long story shorter-

I called dad- he was distraught.

My son called my DH and he left work.

I went back into the clinic, but refused to go in to see the doctor. The social worker came out with my mom and told me I needed to make Mom another appointment with mom’s regular doctor and that she gave mom info on assisted living.

I looked at her and when she tried to hand me the papers I shook my head and said:

“No- I can’t do this anymore. I will not do this anymore. You have no idea what is happening here.”

She asked me to go talk with her. I did.

My poor Mom was so confused. She asked my son if I was mad at her. He said, “No- grandma, Mom is upset by something the doctor said.”

Mom said, “I don’t know what the doctor said to her, but she was very nice.”

The social worker is going to try to get respite care for Mom at the nursing home. She may be able to be gone a month.

My DH and I talked to the director at the day care and she is going to talk to the nursing home management and the social worker. She is concerned the other “doctor” may have written a new “diagnosis” for my mom.

Does a 5 minute visit with a patient  by a geriatric doctor trump a three hour evaluation done twice by a neuro-psychologist?

Can’t get another appointment with my Mom’s real doctor until May 18th! I may have to switch her doctor…


If you see Rod Serling- would you please tell him to stay away from me. I can’t take much more of this!




Cher said...

They shouldn't be able to do that. Specially since she had extensive testing done. And the family all filled out evaluations. It's like anything else at home is different then out there with other people.

Maybe if she does respit they will see everything and understand. The longer in respite the more likely for a. Slip.

Hopefully it will all work out.


Mary said...

MMSE is notoriously unreliable in early, and even mid stages of AD, but sadly many doctors do not know that. But regardless, for this doctor to make a diagnosis, based on comparing your mother’s behavior in a brief visit, to his own mother’s current condition is outrageous. He needs to be reported!

ingasmile said...

That is outrageous!! I haven't posted but I follow this regularly. I am so, so sorry you had to deal with an obviously incompetent doctor. What is wrong with people??

I am following because my Dear Grandmother in law also suffers. People believed her instead of me and they helped her to hire a lawyer and get rid of me after we had done all the paper work years ago for me to help her when the time came. She "hates" me now. It is one of the hardest things and I certainly can understand how you feel!

Hang in there.


Susan Higgins said...

Just what you needed to hear!!! Wonder why the Doc didn't take you up on your 24-48 hour offer to stay with your mom?

Hang tough... sometimes we have to fight the doctor know-it-alls.