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Old 02-29-2012, 09:39 AM   #14
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: charlotte, nc, usa
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Re: Catheters, Oxy, and Dementia...oh my!

Sometimes we wish for something we really don't want and then wish it would go away when we get it. That is why I say that expectation are not always good for us. Yes, you did wish for their cooperation but what you truly expected was for them to act like responsible, intelligent, knowledgeable, caring siblings who would work with you. We wish for involvement but we expect the involvement that fall within expectations. After 15 years stuck in dementia land with three siblings, I can tell you that siblings are who they are. They are going to give you back "their" perspective and not yours.

I repeat that a POA does not negate your Dad's ability to give permission for himself. His dementia and hearing difficulties may or may not have been noted in the chart information the urologist had. Even if it was, Dad was there alone and they had to take Dad's word. Sad to say Doctor's do not take Alzheimer's or hearing loss into consideration as they should. Even with the rampant rise of Alzheimer's, I think much of the medical profession is very unaware of what that disease does to a person. There is truly nothing to sue over. They proceeded as they would for any other patient that came into their office that day.

As for the pain medication.... I do think doctor's over prescribe pain medication. Why did Dad need 30 Hydrocodone for a tooth extraction? For the life of me I never figured that one out. But they do leave the responsibility of taking the pills on the patient. With nobody there you Dad said ok to the prescription and had it filled. It's easy to know how many he took. The pill bottle the neighbor has will have a quantity on it and they can count the pills remaining. That is how I figured out Dad was over dosed on Xanax and how many Mom had given him. That is a story that might help...

We knew Mom was having problems but she had not been diagnosed yet. Mom brought Dad (who we knew had vascular dementia) to my sister's house for a Thursday night college football game. She was distraught when she got there because of something that had happened. We never did get all the details of that day which is common in dementia. They left after the game and drove back home. Friday she called upset because Dad was "misbehaving". So she called his doctor, got a prescription for Xanax, and had it filled.... 30 pills. 1 a day (1/2 at a time) was recommended but he could have 2 pills a day. Should have lasted at least 15 days. She said she gave him 1 on Friday. From there it was fuzzy but she swore she only gave them as prescribed. Then she called to say Dad had a stroke but the doctor's couldn't find it on the MRI. They had sent them back home from the ER. HUH? So I sent them back to the ER. This time they kept him for symptoms of unknown origin. During this time I am driving the 4 hours home. One of the first things I did was find that pill bottle and count the pills. There were less than 10 left in the bottle!! Dad had no stroke, he had a massive Xanax overdose that took 5 days in the hospital to get over.

The doctor's that prescribed the meds did nothing wrong. The ER did a complete work up but Mom had not brought the Xanax bottle and they had no idea he was taking it. They had him on medication in the hospital that was unneeded and did procedures that were unwarranted for his condition but they were working in the dark not knowing all pertinent information. They were even in the process of ordering rehabilitation for Dad!! Bottom line, the fault was in the fact that Mom and Dad should not have been left to deal with life alone. That is the day I stepped up, got the diagnosis before I left, and had in home care to monitor medication and other points. As tough as it was, it was my wake up call. With nobody there to help your Dad... this stuff is going to happen!

I had to smile because your brother's questions sounds like questions I have had before. What if Mom doesn't want this. My answer. Well Mom has dementia and therefore she is not capable of making that decision. Resistant or not, you never know how they will react. Dad didn't want to move but once they went to AL he was happy not to have "all that responsibility" on his shoulders. Mom on the other hand actually signed the admission papers (why I don't know but my sister did that) and immediately went into hysteria that lasted for months because we were holding her prisoner. Neither had memory of the before... only the moment.

I do understand the siblings all being on different pages. Been there and to a degree still there even though Dad has been gone almost 2 years and Mom is in late stage Alzheimer's. I am the boots on the ground person but I got a lot of advice about what to do. Much of the time I just say ok, do what needs to be done, and when the crisis blows over so does the anxiety on the part of the siblings. That is what you are seeing.... their anxiety, frustration, and guilt that they are not "doing". Not being on the same page and understand the situation causes them to strike out in all the wrong directions. They give you ultimatums that make them fell like they are doing something and smooths over their emotional turmoil. It doesn't help but being the point person for all this, one of your jobs is to ignore their emotional rants and do what is good and right for Dad Assure your brother that you will "Do what needs to be done!". You are not agreeing to do what he demands... just assuring him that you will handle it. Yes, I would remind them that Dad has dementia and therefore things get confused because nobody is with him... which leads to the fact that he needs to move. Use this to your advantage.

I do hope your Dad does ok and that you can get him moved to your location soon!

Love, deb