Dementia is the Devil

I am now convinced that dementia may be the most evil thing that can take over our bodies. And, there is not a darn thing we can do about it. For the last couple days, Grandmother has been doing pretty well. She’s been sharper mentally than she has been in weeks. And, then it just flips a switch and she’s gone. Praise the Lord, she was dismissed from the hospital today. Less than 15 minutes down the road, she asked where we were going. I explained that we were on the way home. “Home from where? Why did you pick me up to go for a ride?” Grandmother, we’ve been in the hospital all week long. “Hospital, I haven’t been in the hospital!?! Why would I have been in the hospital?” This conversation went on the entire hour it took us to go home. Seriously, two heart attacks, 2 IV’s, a heart monitor, an EKG, a stress test, and an arteriorgram and she doesn’t remember a single bit of it. She didn’t even remember the male nurse from today that she was sweet on, and was talking about having fried frog legs with. Not. One. Single. Bit. Of. It. Maybe it’s a blessing. Actually, for her I am sure that is a blessing. For me, it is an absolute curse. I seriously don’t know what to do.

Yesterday, I was convinced our extra day in the hospital was an answer to prayer, as it would qualify her for medicare to pay for 30 days of rehab. Today, I found out that wasn’t going to happen. Because she could take 30 steps unassisted, and because she lived with me, she didn’t qualify for any in facility care. The woman that can’t remember if she has just went to the bathroom, can’t walk across the room without falling down or losing her breath, and can’t remember 2 heart attacks and 4 days in the hospital doesn’t qualify for any facility nursing care. If I ever had any doubt that our system is totally screwed up, I got that confirmed real quick. I called different offices and facilities in KY and TN, all getting about the same information. Because I did what I felt to be the right thing, and allowed grandmother to move in with us, I have essentially disqualified her from ever getting any assistance. Basically, when it gets to the point that I can’t handle her anymore, I am going to have to drop her off at a police station or hospital and leave her alone, and let her become a ward of the state.

So, as we prepare for an exciting adventure in our lives, I am going to have to shell out $2700 from my pocket to pay for her to stay in a skilled nursing facility for 10 days. It isn’t so much about the money as it is about the system. I am saving the government hundreds each month by allowing her to live with us right now. And, to repay you for saving them money they say sorry about your luck.

All this to say I have made a pack with a friend that we will be Driving Miss Daisy and run over each other if we hit our 70s and get this nasty disease. In no way what so ever do I want to live like my grandmother is having to live. Being trapped in a failing body and not know who you are, what is wrong, and what you are doing is terrible. I don’t want to be this kind of burden on my children and grandchildren. So, my friend will just say she was picking me up for coffee and she didn’t see me and she ran me over. I will be eternally grateful for it. She’ll be old, blind, and crazy too, so they’ll just let her go and maybe take her licenses away. But, it’s a small sacrifice for a friend who’d do the same for you.


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