Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The best-laid plans...

I wish I could say that the Doctors appointment went well, oh how I wish. But it didn’t happen that way at all.

It started off pretty well, and I was impressed with the new Doc almost instantly, but I wasn’t the patient. He asked her some basic questions, including why she was there, and she replied that she had no idea, there was nothing wrong with her. He asked more questions, and then so what can I do for you today.. and again she said I have nothing wrong with me. At that point John said Sheryl has dementia, and she looked at him with a shocked face and said “I do? Why didn’t anyone ever tell me that?”

We reminded her that her Doctor in New York had told her, which was why we have moved her, and that it had been confirmed by the neurologist. She laughed in a sinister way and said well it’s news to me…

When the visit was finished the Doctor asked John to stay behind, and that’s when things really went down the drain. She argued with the nurse saying that she ALWAYS paid her own bills and there was no need to bill the insurance company. She climbed into John’s truck and sat silently for a few minutes, and then asked who had her car keys. John said he did, and she held out her hand to him. He gently grabbed her hand and said I can’t do that, and that was all we heard the rest of the ride home.

Upon arrival at her apartment, she jumped out of the truck and told us there was no need for us to get out. John did anyway, and she slammed the door in his face. We came home to give her time to calm down, and he went back about a half hour later to give her the daily meds. She took the medicines, and then told him to leave. John said he understood she was angry, and asked if they could have a talk. She told him to leave, or she would call the police.

We called the Doctor, worried that in her state of mind she shouldn’t be alone, and he said he was afraid of that too but there was little we could do right then. He said that she was going to be a belligerent dementia/Alzheimer’s patient and there really wasn’t much we could do for her. She needed to be in a home where she could get proper watching after.

What is the expression, the best-laid plans?
We’ve failed, and now we have to start all over again.
We moved her down here so we could help her, and she refuses our help.
We provided her a lovely new home, and she can’t be there by herself, but she won’t allow anyone to be in there with her.
She won’t take her meds on her own.
She isn’t eating properly.

And despite all, we still love her, and we do care.... but how can we get her to understand that now?


  1. Hi Marge,

    My heart goes out to you. My Dad is in a nursing home with Parkinson's and Dimentia and there is no reasoning with dimentia patients. Their short term memory is basically gone and no matter how many times you tell them something they just don't remember. They act like they never heard it before. I will keep you and John in my prayers, I know what a difficult time and decision you are facing.


  2. Marge and John, know that you are in my heart and prayers daily. "Tough Love" is not just for teenagers, as we learned as the sandwich generation here at our house. It was a very carefully thought out decision to finally insist that my in-laws leave their home and move to an assisted living facility, with a dementia unit for MIL. And it took a good month for her to settle down there - the staff asked that we not have any contact with her during that time, so that she could re-pattern what memory she was able to grab. It sounds like you are at the same place we were, concerned about her safety. I'm sure that you have gotten good advice about what to do next; I send you courage to make those difficult decisions on Sheryl's behalf. and Marge...please keep writing about this in your blog....don't keep this bottled up inside...find at least one thing each day that brings you some joy, even a tiny bit.

    Liz in CT


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