Peace and medication

Today was a peaceful day… there were no home health care workers, and no appointments.

I thought it would be so much better with daily help, but lately mom gets so upset if someone else helps her in the morning that the emotional stress trumps the physical stress. And dad does not want to have to pay someone to be here, which is hard on me… he’d like to see the person working non-stop for the money we pay the agency (of course the workers get paid only a portion of what we pay) which is not really the point of having them here. It puts me between a rock and a hard place.

As long as both parents are doing fairly well, or only one is having trouble, it’s fine not to have daily help. Predicting when we are going to have bad days is impossible, and when the bad days come, I wind up out of my mind.

But today we have peace.

My mom has Alzheimer’s or some form of memory/dementia, early stages. She takes Aricept. I didn’t realize just how much the medication improved her memory until she went off of it for a period of time last year. At first, there didn’t seem to be any difference. But then, things went downhill in a big way. She couldn’t remember from day-to-day how to maneuver around the house. She was extremely confused about her surroundings, which could only be partly attributed to the fact that we were adding on to the house. There were many other, disturbing memory problems, and she did not see it. It was heart-breaking to watch.

We finally got her back on the medication, and the difference was… amazing. The doctor said she wouldn’t get back what she lost, but her cognition improved dramatically. She can now maneuver around the house, knows where her bed is, the bathroom… which brings me to the point of awe at what modern medicine can do. No, I don’t have my mother back the way she was 10 years ago, or even 6 years ago. The deterioration has been going on for quite a while, in tiny, almost imperceptible ways. But, had this medicine not been available, she would have required institutional care.

I fill the boxes today. So many medications. So many miracles. A blessing and a curse.

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