Back in July, I wrote about our visit to the Memory Clinic at a hospital in L.A. It was one of the worst days that I had ever had. Well, today, we headed back for a follow-up... same clinic, same doctor. But, this time I wasn't expecting compassion or even common courtesy. In fact, I was expecting to put that arrogant doctor in his place. And, while the visit wasn't anywhere near one of my worst days, it certainly wasn't a good visit. I had to take my youngest daughter with me and she thinks that he calmed his attitude because there was a child present. I don't know if that was true. But, at least he tried to show some compassion this time. It didn't ring true simply because I've seen him before.
The visit was more about my behavior than Mom's. And that's okay. There really isn't anything left to do to change Mom's behavior. So, these are the things that he wants me to work on:
-I can't argue or disagree with Mom in any way. She's delusional and I can't win with someone who has no reality. I get that. I truly do. But, he had no answer for how I respond to her when the delusion changes within seconds. Whether I agree or not, Mom is agitated. In fact, it can be worse if I do agree. He just spouted off with why his method will work. His method used to work.
-I am supposed to use bribery. Yep, I'm supposed to bribe someone who doesn't have a measurable attention span. How do I bribe her when she cannot remember from one moment to the next what she is even working towards? Bribery stopped working about 2 years ago.
-And my favorite. If you've read many of my recent posts, you know that Mom is not sleeping well. She takes her sleeping pill, it takes a lot of patience to even get her to sleep and then she's up wandering within an hour or two. She rarely goes back to sleep. So, I asked the doctor for an alternative to the sleeping pill that she has been taking. His answer? Wean her off of it and give her nothing. Yep. This woman, who is the late stage of Alzheimer's, the same Alzheimer's that disrupts sleep, is suppose to have nothing to help her or us. I am to let him know at the next visit, 3 months from now, how it goes. Only when I told him that refuse to go 3 months without a decent night's sleep did he say that I can call in a month. When I asked if he was willing to go even a month without sleep, he said that I had to try it for 2 weeks and then call him. I will give it 2 weeks, and I sincerely hope he's right and that it works. But, if it doesn't I will be calling the morning of the 15th day.
As I said, he did try to show some compassion. He is concerned about my health. He gave me some phone numbers of people who can help me. And he recommended a book to read. So, I'm going to call this visit an almost waste of a day. Almost.