Wednesday, March 22, 2006

62 "Leave earlier" and delayed treatment

Wow, two posts in 2 days.

I stopped by my parents' yesterday to drop something off. I also made an appointment to take my surviving birds to the vet for their spring clipping. I'm down to four. Last Thursday night, Goober had a seizure and died. The full details are on my other blog. If I'm to bring more than one box of birds to the vet, I need help. And I have to bring 3 boxes--1 with Lance, 1 with Zeebo, and 1 with Hogan and Annie. They gave me an appointment at 4 p.m. on Friday. I told my dad I'd pick him up around 3, bring him to my house (where he will stand with his hands folded, fretting about how much gas I have in the car, how much traffic we'll hit and why we haven't left already) to wait while I catch my monsters, I mean my darlings, and box them up. Tomorrow is my husband's 35th birthday so we are also going out to dinner. All this extra activity of course completely confused my dad. "So I'll see you Friday?" "No, Thursday. We're having dinner. It's Willy's birthday." "Instead of Friday?" "No, I'll see you Friday also. Remember, we're going to the vet's?" "You better put gas in your car." "I will." "So I'll see you Friday?" And so it goes.
Something happened at his friend's store. He used to go every day for a few hours. Then something happened, my mom doesn't know what, and the owner said he didn't want anyone there for more than 2 hours a day. And now my dad isn't going at all. I probably should stop there and ask if he did something specific that caused Rick to tell him to stop coming or if he misunderstood or what. But maybe I don't want to know. The end result is that my mom isn't getting a single break from him. When I suggested taking him to the vet with me she practically begged me to.
This morning there was an article on about delayed treatment for Alzheimer's.
Stigma and denial can delay diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease for years, meaning patients do not receive treatment that could slow its progress....When spouses or other relatives who care for patients are concerned about the stigma associated with the disease, delay of the diagnosis averages 6 years after symptoms first appear...Any delay in diagnosis is a setback for people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers -- and a delay of two years or more is a serious and unnecessary setback.
I'll admit that probably we could have brought my dad sooner to the doctor's. But two years sooner? Yes, with hindsight, he probably started deterioating five years before. I remember talking to my husband about it, saying that when my dad hit 55 it seemed like he made himself old. He wasn't himself anymore. But who thinks of Alzheimer's then? At 55, you can slow down. It's not a crime.

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