April 8, 2009
Elbert had a neurologist appointment. Seems all they do anymore is give him new prescription refills. I really expected a little more in the way of care but we am not getting it. Perhaps they are doing all they can but it just doesn't make sense to me. Things are getting much tougher for him, looks like the care from a doctor would be more intense.
The nurse asked a lot of questions as she usually does. "Are there any changes, any this, any that" She entered my responses on the computer. Yes, Elbert's memory is worse, No he is no longer falling... blah, blah, blah.
The doctor comes in, listens to his heart, has him walk from the chair to the door and back, all of 5 or 6 steps each way. So, what does he think that will do?
The wedding is looming ever nearer and I still don't know what to do. Should I take Elbert and risk his total confusion and my inability to concentrate on anything but his care? Or should I get someone to watch him? So, I asked the doctor what to do. 'Oh, he'll do fine. He'll be around people he knows and that will work out'. Okay.... we are traveling 600 miles round trip and will be surrounded by people we don't know. The doctors opinion was useless in my book.
Then, the doctor shakes our hand and says, 'I'll see you in a year. If there is a crisis or you need medicine call me'. I am thinking, 'Okay, buster, you are basically abandoning us. The medicine you are prescribing is just prolonging the illness so you decide you are out of here leaving me to deal with it all. I was ticked big time. Well, actually ticked wasn't the word I used but since this is public.. ticked will do.
That afternoon son Michael and I went to check out an assisted living facility. I came away from there knowing I could place Elbert there and be satisfied. It didn't feel like a nursing home because it is not. It was very clean, no odor and no noise. Everyone was clean and looked happy and well fed. But, it was private pay. I couldn't see how I could afford it. Two of the children said they'd help me but, the more I thought about it the more I knew that Elbert was progressed past assisted living. So, we agreed that we should visit a nursing home with an Alzheimers wing and see what they had to offer.
It's a heart wrenching decision, placing a loved one in a nursing home. I have dealt with guilt (which now I think I have come to terms with), I've worked for years to see he was cared for but I can't do that forever. Sadness fills every inch of me and yet in the back of my mind is a wee thought that the help I prayed for is within reach. Decisions, decisions...so many to make but I can do it.