"Kenny, I got to tell you something." "Yes Mam, what ya' need?" "You know my gray car?" I didn't know her gray car because she doesn't own a gray car, but I wanted to keep here calm. "Yes Mam. What about it?"
"There was some boy who wanted to rent it, or something, and he didn't bring my car back" Do you know him?" Again, I didn't know him or the car, so I said "Yeah, I know him. I know where the car is too. I'll get it from him and have it back in your driveway tomorrow, OK?"
"Thank you Kenny, I've been worried to death about my car all day?" I kissed her and left the hospital room.
Since Monday my 82-year old mother-in-law has had a break from reality. This was the first time she had recognized me in a month. I think this was only because my wife and her sister had to take out IVC (Involuntary Commitment) papers, and I drove her to the hospital and told her she would only be here a day or two.
Lies. Everything is lies when you deal with people with Alzheimer's. To my wife, having to have her own mother committed was the hardest thing she has ever had to do and the tears were flying. A smart mouth nurse felt the wraith of a redhead when she had the nerve to say to my wife "You want to just throw her off on us?" Of course not, but where's the recourse? What else can we do? She has fallen through the cracks.
As I write this, my mother-in-law is being tied down to a bed at our local hospital. She has finally gone off the reservation. The reservation where you need 24/7 eyes on you for every moment of everyday.
Wednesday, she disappeared walking and luckily a man she knew brought her to her daughters house. It could as just as easily been a bad man. Thursday she left out the back door and had to be hunted down. It took 2 hours to find her. My wife and her sister took her to the hospital, but they can do nothing for dementia patients. Nothing.
Yesterday, after being up all night at the hospital, her daughter left her alone for just a few minutes and she was gone again. She was found this time in a bad part of town, in the hot sun with a hurt foot. She had pulled all the kitchen drawers out and left walking again. She seems to have super-human strength at times. She refuses go to a nursing home and even with a letter from her doctor that says she is a danger to herself and others, the hospital can do nothing.
They said she had a urinary tract infection last night so they could keep her there. At 4:00 a.m. this morning she went nuts and they had to strap her down to keep her in bed and Terri is there now. No one, not her doctor, the nursing homes, the police or Medicare have a place for this wonderful woman.
Alzheimer's or dementia is not a sickness and it is not an addiction. Just because she can't be left alone for one second out of a 24 hour day does not mean she can be hospitalized. According to the doctor, even though she has both Medicare and Medicaid, it is fraud for him to admit her to a hospital without being sick.
So, she had a urinary tract infection that was cured last week that got her admitted. If they can keep her 3 days, with no restraints for the last 8 hours and if there is a bed in the over-crowded nursing homes that keep people physically locked up, maybe next week she will be safe from hurting herself or others.
Right now, she has bruises all over her body. She has been taking blood thinners so long, every bump is a bruise and walking down the hot roads and stepping in holes and off of curbs has her feet swollen. Yet, she can walk for miles without getting tired. She sneaks out like a thief in the night, thinking her family is the enemy and is holding her hostage. She wants to go home, yet she's in the same home she's been in for the last 25 years.
Doctor: How did you get here?
Her: My husband (dead over 40 years) brought me.
Doctor: Where do you live?
Her: With my mother, I have to go home. (she's 82, her mother died many years ago)
Doctor: Do you know what month it is?
on and on and on and on and on and on and one and on and on nothing is real anymore. Nothing is real and everything is a Lie.
This could very well be your future or my future or a loved ones future. What in the hell do you do?