Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Tales of Dementia.
My mom has vascular dementia. I always used to make jokes that she was demented. Now, it's true. Two years ago, we moved her into an assisted living facility when she started to forget to take her meds. Oh, and there was the part where we made her stop driving and took away her car, too (and I also proceeded to call every car dealer in the area and tell them "DO NOT SELL THIS WOMAN A CAR!"), because she had three wrecks in 3 months. They weren't bad wrecks, just the annoying small kind where she'd curb the car, kill a rim or rub the edge of the car on a post or something.
I normally don't handle her dementia that well. I have a lot of guilt about the way I handle stuff. But these past two weeks I have been Mary Freakin' Sunshine meets Deadpool (who, actually, in my humble opinion is the exact definition of Mary Freakin' Sunshine - not to be confused with Mary Sunshine because well, yeah). I've been having issues with her AL facility. I'm just going to leave it like this: I'm not happy. My mom deserves better and I'm pissed that she's not getting better than she deserves. NOW, since I went all Mary Freakin' Sunshine on certain people over there, I have been getting daily reports. I'm still 100% annoyed when people don't answer the phone and it takes 1/2 an hour to get someone to pick up, but yeah... it's getting better.
This afternoon, though, color me annoyed once again. NOW, let me preface this story with this statement: I know they're only allowed to dispense medication that the doctor prescribes, but this still annoys me every single time I have to deal with this. It's all a liability for them, blah blah blah.
Here's the story. My mom has a bad rash. This is a new rash that has nothing to do with the old rash that she had last week that I had to take her to the doctor for. This is a whole new monster. The nurse calls me and says "Hey, I think it's an allergic reaction." I respond with "Well, let's call the doctor." Nurse says: "I was thinking the same thing. If anything, we can get an order for Benadryl so she can take that and it will help." This was at 4pm. At around 7PM, I call to check on my mom. Mom has not had Benadryl. I ask her if she wants me to bring her some. She says yes please, I get in the car and head to the store to get some to take her.
I get to my mom's place, let myself in, no one is around and I head straight to her apartment. I give her the pill, help her into bed, tuck her in, pack some stuff for her Thanksgiving trip to my cousin's house and make a mental note of all the stuff I want to do in her apartment while she's gone (starting with the stack of mail by her living room chair).
As I leave (my mom was out before I ever turned out the light), I stop at the nurses station and give them the benadryl. They are like "Did the doctor call it in?" I answer "I have no clue. I just gave her one. She needed it."
I get they can't give her the pill because, well, liability. Or, as I like to say, reasons. But seriously?! It's annoying AF.
Dementia is a cruel bitch of a disease. I f-ing hate it. There is barely a shadow of my mom left on her good days. On her bad days (like these past 5 days) she is a fragile doll that doesn't know whether she's coming or going. The best way to describe dementia and a persons state of mind is like this: She see's a chair. She knows that she's supposed to sit in the chair, but she can't figure out how to. Alzheimers is she sees a chair, doesn't know what it is. My mom knows what the chair is and what she's supposed to do. She just can't connect the dots to get to sitting down.
I go through these spurts where I'm very understanding, all "it's the disease", yada yada yada. And there there are spurts, which usually end with me feeling absolutely horrible, where I'm like "What do you mean that you lost a $500 pair of glasses that we just bought last Tuesday?!" (True story. We also found the glasses after looking for them for 2 days.) Those days I get pissed at stuff that I know she can't control and know that I can't control but yeah. I have to get better at those days. The rest of the time, I try to look at the good. I try to realize (and yeah, it can be tough) that she can't help what she does. She can't help that this disease has a strangle hold on her. She can't help that her brain isn't what it used to be.
I will tell you one thing, though. I love my Mom. She's pretty damn awesome. I'm happy I still have her around.