Wednesday, January 27, 2010

USC diagnosis


I took my Mom to USC research center in December for testing and also to sign her up for their research program.  It was a long day, but she did pretty well.  Everyone there is very nice and thoughtful.  I brought Allen's pumpkin bread and they asked her gazillions of questions...they took her blood and I filled out gazillions of paper work.  Jacki, my neighbor and friend gave me this fold up walker to keep in the car.  Thank goodness, they have very long hallways at USC.  Here are all the bags I carry around.  One with her stuff, her purse, my purse and a bag with all her paperwork.  And I don't even have the kids with me.  And I found out what a phlebotomist it....an individual trained to take blood.

Okay, so here is the diagnosis....Alzheimer's/Dementia.  No, great surprise.  I still felt like I would get more answers....The Doctor is very thoughtful.  I guess I'm trying to figure out what stage she is at.  You know... how far does this go....I can't seem to get the answers for that.  I know it goes to the grave, but when, how?  When is she no longer a person?  These are thoughts that go through my head before I fall asleep.  She suggested she was probably a 2 on a scale of 1-4.  Called her moderate.  MODERATE!  To me, she seems severe.  I mean really severe.  She can't go to the bathroom, she doesn't even know if she went or is going.  She doesn't remember anything form second to second.  She can't dress herself, take care of herself.  Jesus Christ, she doesn't even have any friends, and the memory she does have is all messed up and jumbled and erratic.  I feel frustrated too.  Then she told me you know it's a ....what's the word, deteriorating disease.  Right, I know.  It's going to get worse.  It's going to get worse.  So, I asked what does worse mean.  I do want to know.  Is that wrong wanting to know?  I don't want to fix her.  I want her to be happy, to be herself, I want her at peace.  I don't want it to get worse.  I'd rather it be over than worse....