It is Skunk PharmResearch’s policy to let patients tell their own story, but in the case of mom, as her daughter and 24/7 caregiver, I will speak for her. She is in the late seventh and final stage of Alzheimer’s and would want her story told.
Mom was diagnosed as late stage six when she came to me from Seattle four years ago. She was given six more months to live. She began displaying symptoms before 1998, but she wasn’t diagnosed until 2001, following her first husband’s death. It took that long to resolve other health issues and get her to a neurologist.
Just the thought of Alzheimer’s frightened her so, that we eventually had to trick her, to get her to a doctor for testing. Once tested and diagnosed, they put her on Aricept, which brought back cognitive skills, with slow decline for the next seven years while my step brother cared for her in her own home. Along with other western meds, this was her medical course.
When Mom’s Alzheimer’s progressed to the point that she became combative and personal hygiene became an issue, my brother planned to put her in a nursing home, but I quit my job to look after her. I moved her to Portland with me and took over her care, to focus on the quality of her remaining life.
For five months prior to her arrival, I immersed myself into learning as much about Alzheimer’s as possible, researching and joining The Alzheimer’s Association, as well as the Online Alzheimer’s Support Group, spending as much time as possible conversing with patients and caregivers alike, to prepare myself for the task.
When Mom arrived, besides being on five over the counter drugs, she was on three inhalers and a pill for asthma, blood pressure meds, allergy meds, anti psychotics that made her angry, anti seizure meds that made her delusional, plus three others I have no idea what they were used to combat.
We got her an OMMP card immediately upon her arrival. She had smoked cannabis recreationally with me for over thirty years, but never medically until she came toOregon. Cannabis was my only means of mitigating her despicable behavior (psychotic).
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