Thursday, October 7, 2010

Diamonds and Stone

There's a John Denver song that contains the lyric, "some days are diamonds, some days are stone".  I'm singing that today because today my friends,  is a stone.

We've changed the dosage of one of Mummy's medications. This has meant that for the since Monday, we've been battling nausea.  While that seems to be passing, what isn't passing is an intractability in the patient.  I'm not sure whether the intractability is a side-effect of the medication or a side-effect of the disease.  Whichever the source, Mother doesn't much want to do anything that I suggest.  

Yesterday, I had to call her three times for each meal.  Today, I've already asked her three times to take a bath and we've yet to see any move to get to the shower.  The real trouble is that she doesn't understand why I have to tell her these things.  Herein lies the problem with the disease.  How do I say to you that if I don't tell you that it's time to bathe, you won't?  How do I tell you that if I don't remind you to brush your teeth, you won't?  How do I let you know that you're losing executive functioning capability rapidly and in the absence of such capability, you'll wear the same clothes for 5 straight days if allowed?

What no one tells you, nor indeed can they tell you, about this disease, is that in the earlier stages it's not the doing that wears you out as much as it's the struggle to get the patient to do.  I suppose when the patient no longer has the intellectual wherewithal to challenge the caregiver's suggestions things get easier psychologically (at some level), but so very much harder physically. 

My head is spinning.  Clearly, there have been changes in the two weeks that I was away.  This thing is like a freight train.  It just keeps moving.  All we can do is hang on for the ride.

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