Saturday, May 23, 2020

The beginning…….

Getting diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease was needed. For a long time, I had been talking to my sisters about, how our mom needed proper care. She also needed to be properly diagnosed. That didn't happen until one day, I woke up to the cries of my mom! She wasn’t only crying, she was confused and she had forgotten how to get up from the floor. She had and still does have this horrible need to lock all three doors leading to her main entrance.
That day we didn’t have keys to her house. No, we didn’t call the paramedics or the fire department. You see all of this was playing out in Tijuana, Mexico, in my childhood home. My kids were with me that day. I woke up my son and asked him to call my sisters, that lived in San Diego, CA; to be more specific in Pacific Beach.

While all of this is happening I go to the back of the house, where there is a hallway and you can see my mom’s room through the window, she had it cracked open, I went ahead and maneuvered to have it open all the way. There she was, I started asking her what happened? How did you fall? Why don’t you just get up! She was still crying, not whaling as she had been, more sobbing like a frightened little girl. It was the hardest thing for me to see, it was heartbreaking, I just wanted to cry along with her.

I couldn’t do that, I had to keep it together for my two kids, 10 & 5 at that time. Let’s go back to how did it happen? She didn’t have a clue. Why don’t you just stand up? Because she didn’t remember how!, I kept telling her and it wasn’t registering. There she was, that woman that was a true force of nature, the woman that with one look could tell you exactly what she was thinking. My kid’s grandmother!
Thank god my sisters and brother in law finally arrived. They had to break, literally break the metal front door. Once inside the house, my brother in law had to pick her up from the floor. Because she couldn’t, she kept saying she didn’t know how to get up from the floor. Once she did, we went to the kitchen, my sisters, and myself.
My younger sister made her some tea, and she kept questioning her. My mom kept saying that my father that had passed away six years ago was at fault for all of this. The three of us were floored by this comment. To this day according to her, he goes to visit her and is the cause of all sorts of mischief and chaos that happens to her. That day, the day of the fall, as my Sister kept asking her questions, my mom kept referring to my late father being to blame for that, I was sitting across the room and found myself uttering “ But my dad died six years ago, what are you talking about” She stood up so quickly, that before anyone realized it, she was hitting me and pinned me against the wall and proceeded to make a good attempt to choke me. My sisters quickly got her off of me. I left the room she became extremely combative almost in an instant. My brother in law had to intervene to calm her down. We knew that we had to get a doctor involved to calm her down with meds.
She was not about to go to a doctor out of her own free will. Thank god! we were in Tijuana, I got a referral to a neurologist, within two hours my younger sister and I were in his office.
We proceeded to explain the morning’s events, asked if there was a possibility for him to prescribe meds to calm her down, without actually seeing her. Promised that once she was agreeable to visit him we would bring her in. Which we did. He gave us a prescription for good old Ativan. Sure enough, it calmed her down, too much. We kept our word and took my mom to see him. He ordered a ct scan of her brain and voila! Finally answers to many questions we had.

The frontal temple of her brain had small perforations caused by several undetected mini heart attacks, commonly known as TIA. She was not diagnosed with Frontal Temporal Dementia, at that time. That diagnosis came a few months later. It's not an easy road, it's full of bumps along the way. We will travel it together.

Be Prepared, Be Informed, Be Empowered.

I send you lots of positive virtual energy.

With gratitude-