Took dad to his first appointment with the Geriatician yesterday afternoon. As we sat in the waiting room, waiting, for half an hour past our apointment time, dad asked me about 20 times why we were there or whether it was me or him that was seeing the doctor.
Excellent doctor. I will call him Dr Excellent. He spent an hour with dad, asking him lots of questions about his life, how many kids he had, his health, blah blah. Incidentally, dad thought he had one more kid than he actually does. Unless there's something he's not telling us....
Dr Excellent went through the standard 30-point dementia questionairre, 24 is a bad score. Dad scored 21. He thought it was February, Autumn, and had no idea what year it was. One minute after being given three words to remember, he couldnt recall them. Dr E. did a thorough physical check as well and pronounced the following: Physically, apart from a very slight heart valve murmur (which even I have) he is fighting fit for an 89 year old. Mentally, he has moderate Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Dementia. He has obviously had at least one stroke.
Thank you Dr Panda! I figured this out ages ago. Why does no-one ever listen to me?
And a big "stick that up your Hippocratic Oath Dr Fuckhead" to dad's former GP who said there was nothing anyone could do and it was just old age.
Dad will now be taking Aracept in the hope that he falls into the 50% of people for whom it is effective. Apparently it can help improve his memory, slow any further degeneration and give him a bit more spark, but only for 2-3 years.
FINALLY, after so long, we have a diagnosis.
My mother, upon being told this news and hearing that some of the side effects of the medication were potential nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea said "Great. I'd rather put up with his memory the way it is." I could have hit her.
In further whinges about the Fucked One: they have no cash in the house, and obviously cant get to a money store. The Plan was that I was going to take the piece of plastic to an ATM and get some of the readies for them. Great plan, if mum had actually managed to remember her pin number. Card rejected. She gives me another number. Card rejected. Well, I say, I'll just take this withdrawal slip and your passbook to the bank tomorrow and get some cash from your account, like we agreed this morning.
"No. I dont want to do it that way. I want to do it the way I want to do it." Despite the fact that this is not in any way possible. Refused to give me a reason why she no longer wanted Plan B. You know, the awful parent thing of "Just because" and "I dont have to give you a reason" and "I dont have a reason".
At this point I told her she was fucked. Hahaha. To her face! First time ever! Its so liberating!
Having exhausted all possibilities of a rational discussion with her about how she was going to be able to get some cash she said "I'll just get a taxi to the bank then and get it myself." Despite the fact that she cant actually get in and out of a car.
Fine. You figure it out. I feel like shit and I'm going home.
Care about dad being treated okay at home, which I'm not at all confident is actually going to happen. Time for revenge for past wrongs and all that...
The reason I'm so keen to get home help organised through Dr E. is not because I think that mum (when/if her hip gets better) cant help, its that I think she WONT help. She's spent so long ignoring what was going on right in front of her and actually admitted to me prior to dad's disappearance "I cant be bothered and I just go outside and potter in the garden and pretend its not happenening."
To quote Dr Phil: "How's that workin' for ya?"