Isn’t Having Dementia Enough?

shad_mom    shad_lynn

The above pictures are (1) of my son Shad with Mom back in the 80’s. (2) Shad and myself, also in the 80’s.

It’s been an eventful few weeks at my house. My son, Shad visited for the first time in a very long time. He hasn’t seen my Mom, literally in years with her living in CA and he in NC. I also have not seen him for a long time, so it was a very welcomed visit. Life responsibilities just seem to take over our daily routines and before you know it, years have gone by. Not sure why that happens more these days than in years past, but my guess is that today’s world is more complex and complicated. There’s just more to do in our daily routines which leaves little time for what is really important.

With the anticipation and preparation leading up to his visit this past weekend, I had also received a call from Mom’s primary doctor about  recent blood work performed. Apparently, her blood counts were very low and she is drastically anemic. Her red blood cells are “big”. I replied, you mean they are high, but he said no, they are big. He informed me that he would do a folate test which could be the problem, but he doubted that it was the problem. As predicted, the folate test came back normal and he informed me that Mom would need to see a hematologist. He gave me a name of one in our group and I made the appointment.

After seeing him, I was given the same information as her primary doctor gave me, but now he is advising a bone marrow test. I wasn’t at all sure that was a good idea, given her age and mental state but he said that if I didn’t follow through, that I had better get her “do not rescesitate” docs in order. With that, of course, I made the appointment. My son was in for this appointment but she was unable to tolerate taking the test and the doctor decided not to force her, again with her age and mental capacity. We were told that another extensive blood test would be performed to see if a marker could be seen so that he could identify and treat her….otherwise, she will probably need blood transfusions. The bad part of transfusions is that, they will only do them in a hospital and with her weak immune system, it’s almost sure she will get some bacteria while admitted…so it is a lose-lose situation. What to do?

He told me that we are probably looking at Supportive Care, meaning hospice. I can’t help but think that we’ve come all this way, and to lose her to some sort of Leukemia is just wrong. Her sister Lillian succumbed to Leukemia almost 40 years ago but I don’t think it was the same type. Her father was a bleeder, which also leads me to believe that there is some genetic blood disorder prevalent to the Sarter bloodline which can appear at any age. Of course, I am not sure, but it is what I am feeling from what I am seeing at this point in time.

Makes me wonder what kind of a cruel joke is being played on her. Isn’t having dementia enough for her to handle, isn’t having OCD her whole life a heavy enough cross to bare? Will she have to wait until her next time around to have a good life? I wonder. 

Just can’t see the silk lining in this situation. I can’t help but thinking..isn’t having dementia enough in a person’s golden years?


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