Friday, March 26, 2010

Hold that Thought...

Two posts ago, I wrote about cooperation, or lack thereof, vis-a-vis dementia.

As I'm now fairly surrounded with living examples of how dementia unfolds, it's become blatantly apparent to me about the "missing link" in all the noise out there dealing with Alzheimer's and dementia in general.

Anthony's noticed it too.

That link, the missing one, is all about cooperation.

If you aren't the type to go easily down the garden path upon instruction, then all the Alzheimer's blogs and websites and doctors' advice ain't worth nothing. There's just no helping you. You will go out in a blaze of glory (in your "mind" or what's left of it), which means, in reality, with a pathetic whimper.

Like any disease, especially mental illnesses, the cooperation of the patient is more-or-less required before medical and social intervention can assist.

Of course, when you are struggling with mental illness, are you likely to cooperate? Do you hear voices telling you otherwise? Are you paranoid? Can you even remember that you don't remember?

I think you see my point.

True story: a friend of ours just got back from visiting distant parents. She relates that they still live in their own home, even though the father is long-ago kooky with AD. He still drives: no one is willing to take away his car-keys. He doesn't recognize his son-in-law at all, or even his own wife at times. When he does remember that he has a wife, he calls the police to report her missing if she happens to be out running errands when he remembers her.

During our friend's visit, she discovered a loaded hand gun in his bed-side drawer. This unnerved her enough to take action, so she removed it, and called the police to surrender the weapon to them. Then, using the requisite sleight-of-hand maneuvre, she arranged for Pops to be out of the house when the police came to collect.

They gave her a surprise.

Police: "Thanks for doing this. It's very common. What about the other guns though?"

Our Friend: "Huh?"

Police: "Oh he's got more. That's for sure. Call us when you find them."

Our Friend: "HUH?"

Police: "See ya, and good luck."

She found them. Long guns, loaded, under the couch cushions.

So you see, this is the common reality of dementia. That Mr. Black, from two posts ago? He is not so common.

No comments:

Post a Comment