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Waiting's rant
Waiting for a cure
Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 5:33 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 295

This afternoon I was visited by a family friend from my mom's generation.  I've known him since as long as I can remember.  I saw him at his family's Christmas parties, swimming in the summer, etc.  When my mom was at the end of her driving days and moving into a facility a few years ago, he believed her demented accusations that I was taking away her freedom and her car.  I had the opportunity to set the record straight and soon enough my mom proved her situation on her own.
This man's aunts both succumbed to dementia and were in memory care for years.  
This man has his own demons and I don't judge him for not visiting my mom more often though they've known each other a long time.  He called for her today at the place she lived in a year ago, before her doctor advised me to move her.  When they told him she'd moved, he dropped by to ask about her.  I was fine with inviting him in, and giving him a brief update (how my mom went from field trip attending, talking, walking, and still enjoying her grandkids a year ago to being at the end of her journey now. The friend was upset by the news.
He asked me if I had any connections in a state that allows assisted suicide.  I told him I don't subscribe to that and the Lord will take my mom home when it's time.  (God, I wonder when that will be and I'm heartbroken by my mom's condition)
The man was surprised that I didn't, and was adamant that my mom is miserable and deserves that kind of mercy.
I am NOT judging his beliefs on the subject.  I am not judging his choices of how frequently or infrequently to visit a long-time friend, nor his choice today to not visit her now because it was too hard to see his aunt go that way.
When he left, he couldn't make eye contact with me.  I couldn't have him gone soon enough, though I didn't ask him to leave despite my frustration by his attitude.
Somehow I'm comforted that an old time friend intended to visit, spoke of long lost days, and was saddened that such an amazing person as my mom is coming to such a tragic and miserable end.  
Somehow I'm seething about the total picture today.  We had an amicable discussion more or less. But I feel kicked in the teeth right now.
Thanks for letting me vent.

Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 5:46 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105

I can understand your being upset by his visit and more importantly by his comments.  He didn't offer anything in the way of comfort to you, but rather re-lived his own unhappy memories of his aunt.  He made the visit about himself and not about your mom or you.  Plus he brings up an upsetting topic such as assisted suicide.  He's way off base for mentioning this, it was insensitive, he may not have meant it that way, but again, he seems to be thinking only of himself at this moment.


We sure do have to make like a duck a lot of the time and let the unsolicited remarks, comments, opinions roll off our backs.  Unfortunately, they seem to hit us at our most vulnerable of times.


I'm sorry you had to put up with this.  It sure wasn't what you needed.  What you needed was a hug and compassion.  Here's a hug for you {  }.

Gidget P
Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 6:04 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 62

You can tell this friend that even if you did live in a state that permitted assisted suicide it would not be an option for your mother.


I looked up the laws in those states becasuse I DO consider this a viable option for myself and was considering moving if I am ever diagnosed with a terminal illness.  With cancer, diabetes, heart disease and dementia running in a long line on both sides of my family, i'm pretty much resigned to it happening and have been preparing for the eventuality of it so my kids will have no doubt about my wishes and intentions.


But first you must establish residency.  Then you have to be diagnosed as terminally ill.  Then you have to formally let your wishes be known, and you must be of sound mind at the time.  Then you have a waiting period.  Then, once you are finally ready to do the deed, you must STILL be of sound mind, make the decision yourself, and request the prescription from the doctor.


No one else can make the decision for you - not your Health Care Proxy, Medical POA or whatever.  Just you , personally can make the rquest.  And if there is any question that your are not in full possession of your faculties it's a no go.


So if you have cancer you can opt out, but if you have dementia you must suffer until the bitter end no matter what state you live in.



Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 12:48 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18704

Thank you for this information gidget.  I may post a link from my board to this thread.

Iris L.

Jim Broede
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 2:11 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462

We all have our own ways of thinking. About life. About death. I try not to allow what others think bother me. Because they have a right to their thoughts. Just as I do. To each his own. That's my philosophy. -Jim
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 5:11 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431

People have weird ideas.  My dentist has said some things to me I wish he'd keep to himself (he's everyone's dentist for our family, basically).


But people fear this disease.  Who knows what this person is experiencing that makes him think he has dementia, too?  My dentist is really thinking about his own life ahead, and he's afraid of something!


I value life. I could say a lot more, but I know your feelings.  I have been so upset at the lack of depth people have, the lack of strength and fortitude when it comes to visiting people who need to see them.


But you're there, and you're strong. 


I like what KML says. Just the fact that he didn't give you comfort would hurt.  But - ''been there, done that.'' I am negative 20 in the ''getting comfort from others department.''  But I'm not sure how good I was when I knew others had these problems, too.   Partly because I didn't know enough about the disease.


As a Christian, Catholic, we believe no suffering is in vain.  You unite suffering to Christ's.  Not that you have to suffer, but - well, I can't even entertain certain thoughts. What this man did to you can feel like an assault.  I would certainly feel that way.  My point was, what is this man's faith background?  It does matter when dealing with some things how people look at issues.  you can have a common interest in birdwatching, or whatever, but when that common issue is gone - what then?  Sorry to rant, but I would have kicked the guy out probably.  Bless you for your patience and strength, especially since your mom is on a hard part of the journey.


This is why visiting is important, though.  just the presence of someone who was a friend can make you feel a little better.



Waiting for a cure
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 8:11 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 295

Thanks everyone for your replies.  The hugs really helped.

KML, you're right, he offered no comfort for me.  I mentioned in my post above he'd called my mom's previous facility planning to visit, and found she wasn't at that place anymore.  During his visit, he said he'd planned to visit her but learning her present condition, he said "There's really no point."    Yep, KML, it's all about him.  He said he couldn't stand visiting his aunt (he probably didn't visit either aunt much).  Fine, Mr., don't visit her.  Knowing what you're about now, I don't want you to bother her. 

Rose, thanks for your encouragement too.  You're right about a person's beliefs being relevant, too.  This visitor of mine....Jewish family but the two aunts he talked about, who died of Alz, were both Christian, Catholic also.  I don't know if the visitor himself claimed any faith. If a person who's actually experiencing dementia questions the sanctity of their life given the really cruel disease and the journey ahead, well, that's between them and their creator, and I won't judge.  I just don't don't handle well emotionally someone questioning the sanctity of life of me or my loved ones, when they know my beliefs. (this visitor knows, given the long family history....baptisms, deaths, holidays, etc).  


 I relate to your point about not having known what to say to others whose loved ones had these problems.  I hope your dentist can hold his tongue, though.  It's hard to walk away to put some space between oneself and the speaker of offending words, when you're in the middle of a tooth cleaning.  I hope something happens to allay your dentist's fears.  It's hard to live with fears of illness, as discussed in another current discussion thread.


Cheryle Gardiner
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 8:55 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 529

Iris L. wrote:

Thank you for this information gidget.  I may post a link from my board to this thread. 


Iris L. 

Iris, you may also want to add that in Oregon, not only are gidget's statement true, but the person MUST be able to administer the medication to him/herself. No doctor, family, or friend may assist. This was all enacted to ensure that it's the will of the terminally ill person, not the choice someone has made for them.

Yes, it means it's virtually impossible for a dementia patient to gain access, but it's also for the protection of individuals who are vulnerable.

More information, including the text of the statute, can be found here:  

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