Archive for August, 2011

August 30, 2011

I’ve been away….

…..from my blog for too long. Here’s why.

My grandmother Rafi passed away in May. That was two months after my grandfather Dick died in March. The day he died my grandmother fell and was hospitalized. Being preoccupied with Dick’s passing we didn’t check in on my grandma that weekend and when the paramedics found her in her front yard she gave them her maiden name. That meant no one knew who she really was and they listed her as homeless at the hospital. By the end of the weekend a neighbor tracked me down and we ran over to the hospital to see her. She was banged up but okay. Long story short she had been going downhill for awhile and this was the beginning of her final moments with life. The next two months she spent going from a nursing home to 24 hour care at home to Sunrise, an assisted living facility we had been considering for my mom. She was there one week and then we got the call. My dad and I rushed over to find her passed away, comfortably, in her sleep. When he and the the man from the crematorium lifted her body she was still warm underneath. The man wore all black and took her away into the night. That was the last time we saw her.

And for my mom, her condition has progressed. She spent a few weeks in Texas with my aunts in June while my dad went to a wedding in Europe and we took the kids to my niece’s graduation in Indiana. Texas was a nightmare. My mom had come down with a UTI which caused her to hallucinate and she was out of her mind. My aunts took her to the hospital and the doctors there claimed her problems were from the anti-psychotics she takes. They released her several days later without having fully cleared up the UTI. My brother flew out to drive her back home because there was no way she could get on a  plane. He and my aunt Dianne made a very long two day journey from Texas to LA with a babbling, weepy, hallucinating woman in tow. I spoke with them several times on their long road trip and it was heartbreaking. When my Dad returned he was shocked to see my mom so out of sorts. He said for 36 hours she was in this crazy state of panic and weeping. Then she fell. She hit her head on the shower curb and passed out. My dad had her rushed to Cedars Sinai. She spent about a week there where they determined she still had the UTI and that is was the main culprit behind the paranoia. They adjusted her meds and monitored her and informed us they believe she has Fronto-Temporal Dementia, not EOAD. The final destination is the same, so the diagnosis doesn’t change much for me. With the danger she posed to herself, my dad felt it was time to move her into assisted living and she has now been at Sunrise for two months. Across the hall from my grandmother’s room. There are many stories at Sunrise so I will stop here and share them soon.