Wednesday, August 31, 2005

47 Alzheimer's study visit & grandma

I had to take a ride down to New Haven last night to help my mom find the specific place at Yale New Haven Hospital where my dad had to go (today) for his first "infusion" of the experimental "vaccine" against plaque. So they are there right now; I believe it's an 8 hour thing the first time. Whew.

It's so frustrating to be around him; I can only imagine how frustrating it is to BE him. He is becoming more and more aware of his shortcomings, and he beats himself up about them.

I came by after work for supper. Basically my father was like, "why is she here?" and my mother explained (again) that she had to go to New Haven to figure out how to get to the hospital. He immediately freaked out "you can't go to New Haven tonight! Why didn't you go during the day?" (not so coherently). I explained that I worked until 5 so I couldn't go during the day, and my mom didn't want to go alone (basically going with my dad would be the same as going alone, since he wouldn't be able to help her with directions and the map). He was resentful that my mom gave me the leftovers to take home to Will (who's back in school, 4 nights a week as of this week). He refused to come with us to New Haven.

It ended up being really easy to find. Just a bunch of lefts off the highway, and there's valet parking. The whole trip there and back took hardly more than half an hour; my father was astonished at how quickly we came back. (There was no traffic at exit 1 which was why it was so quick).

My mom's been to at least 1 other office visit for the study. She hasn't asked me to go since they made it clear at our first meeting that I wasn't needed or wanted. Of course my mom can't remember half the stuff she needs to ask them or tell them, but whatever.

My grandmother is being desperate for attention and it's really stressing my mom. Since we've come back from vacation she's asked to go to the hospital 3x. She's got nothing wrong with her. She claims to have liver cancer (like her husband died from) and says she wants to die. So far, she's had an anxiety attack and some gas pains. That's it. No cancer. No internal bleeding. No heart attack. No stroke. (these are the things she claims to have had). I love my grandmother but it seems clear to me that she's doing it for attention. While we were away, she was fine. My mother thinks Grandma's back in her depression again, like a few years ago. She is at her wits' end. She has even suggested taking my grandmother into her house, but then grandma wouldn't be able to go to the senior center, which is her only activity...or my mom would have to drive her there every day, another stress. And to her daily church service. She won't drive herself hardly anywhere, just church and grocery shopping. I have more hours now at work, and I really need the money, so there's no way I can be a grandma chauffer. (however you spell it).

1 comment:

Esther Altshul Helfgott said...

Thanks for your posts, Gevera. I'm especially interested in learning about the vaccine against plaques and also appreciate your sharing the day to day issues that go along with Alzheimer's. My diary of My husband's Illness: Dear Alzheimer's is at