|Jo Ann in the summer of 1952|
The one reality that I have come to understand is that you cannot reason with someone in the throws of dementia. You can really only listen and try to reassure that everything will be okay. That she is safe and will be taken care of. And, if she needs anything, we will move heaven and earth to make sure she has it.
After last week's "conversation" with her doctor, he did indeed go to see her. He did write orders for electroshock therapy (ECT). This was very frustrating because we (my dad and I), wanted to talk with him first to understand if this really was the right thing for her. She had ECT last fall and it did successfully bring her back to us for about 10 months. But...her mental state has been in a rapid decline. Plus, she is 81. We have been so torn as to whether or not putting her through this again is the right thing to do.
The nursing home has been in conversation with the only hospital in the area that provides ECT. It's an hour away, which is another consideration. It would be incredibly difficult on my dad...he is hell bent that he must visit her every day. But their visiting hours are strictly held from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM. Dad does not see well enough to drive after dark in a strange area. That may seem like a lame reason to consider not doing this treatment but...we have to consider both of them. Plus, there are no guarantees that this will have a positive impact on my mother's health or mental state. When you add this to the other concerns about the overall effect versus the potential outcome, well, there are big questions as to what the right thing to do for mom actually is. We were looking for her doctor to provide us some guidance...no such luck.
We have been waiting to hear back from the doctor that runs the unit my mother would be admitted into as to whether they will accept her for treatment. They take a look at a myriad of blood tests, xrays, etc., because the treatment itself is very hard on the body. I spoke with my dad tonight and he said, "I hope they don't accept her." My response was, "Dad, you have the power of attorney. If there's even one ounce of hesitation in your mind, we should not move forward with it. I can call them and tell them we do not want this treatment for her." He replied, "Do it."
|Jo Ann in March 2010, before|
she started to rapidly decline.
Tonight I have realized that my mom is really gone...she's physically here but...it's just a shell. I'm heart broken.