Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Alzheimer's Institute

I accompanied Elaine to the Alzheimer's Institute yesterday with her Mom.We entered through a shady entry with the biggest ficus trees I have ever seen. It was eerily quiet. We were 30 minutes early. You always have to start out early going anywhere in Phoenix, you never know what you might run into on the freeway.

The doors opened and we were ushered into the land of Nod. There was one man there, a very nice man who turned on the lights for us. He even brought us coffee. Elaine's Mom, ever grateful and right on cue said, "This is the worst coffee I have ever tasted...." Said me, "I thought it was pretty nice of him to bring it to us."

I have to say, it was a pretty impressive setup. They even had a library full of books and resources and computers you could use. Of course I was drawn to that.

Sitting there, we watched the staff start to trickle in. When you are with Joyce you can't be surprised at what might come out of her mouth. One skinny but well dressed woman breezed through in a flowing dress and tennis shoes. She must walk to work. Said Joyce, out loud....."That woman has some big feet." I don't think the woman heard her. Elaine always says, "Someday she is going to get me killed."

We all traipsed back when the Doctor called us out to go through the results of the question and answer session. I listened as he went through his routine. Not much was surprising or new. He was youngish, and very nice looking and had a kindly manner.

My mind was running a ticker tape of answers as he addressed them both. Inside I was shouting.

Doctor: How is the depression?

What does she have to be depressed about, she has two people waiting on her hand and foot. She has the life of a Diva right now. What about the caregiver? She is emotionally bankrupt and overdrawn?? What about our depression?

Doctor: Her weight seems good.

Of course her weight is good. Her daughter makes two and sometimes 4 meals a day for her, why wouldn't her weight be good.

Doctor: So there plenty of family and resources around to help out? Joyce said something to the affirmative. I wanted to laugh out loud.....

No, Doctor, you are looking at the one and only resource here. And she's running on empty.

I finally had to speak up and make sure that Elaine as the sole caregiver would get some help. He assured us that someone would be in contact within two weeks. Okay, then.

All in all I would have to say it was a positive experience. It is geared to the patient and that is as it should be, however one thing I would change is that the caregiver should also be looked at as a patient. Statistics have proven that many times caregivers develop their own health issues and even die as a result of giving themselves over totally to the one they are caring for. I think they would do well to include some time alone with the Doctor so they can talk freely about their own needs.

In the meantime, I am working on memorizing 1 Corinthians 13:1-7. God has His work to do on me......

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,  but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


  1. Testing comments....had some problems with blogger.

  2. Oh Lori- I am not ashamed to say that I am crying like a baby after reading this. My heart goes out to you all.

  3. I have no wisdom for this, but I see that you see it all so first-hand --- and you have such compassion. It makes me love your heart more -- what a beautiful thing beats in your chest.

    You are the best kind of friend to Elaine.

    Hugs. All around.

  4. are all so sweet. So much of the time I feel like an ogre. I constantly pray that God will help me to be kinder. Your comments make me want to cry, I was afraid I sounded harch and uncaring. Love you both....I am running on empty these days :-) But God supplys a fresh load of strength just when we need it! Lori


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