Astonished. Astounded. I failed to see the logic. I was speechless, absolutely surprised at the request to bring in a psychiatrist for mother. I know. Without words. Mouth open for about two seconds. My mother will not talk to a psychiatrist, be they woman or man, especially man.
Mother does not trust the medical staff. Actually she doesn’t trust people. Now, more than ever, she does not trust anyone, even me. Mama is legally blind, but, she hears. A lot. The processing of what she hears may be off the wall, but, she does hear. So, perhaps, I should not have stood in the doorway of her room questioning the nurse about the request and again, why. Mother is on high alert. On guard for anyone who will start asking questions. She is refusing to talk, take her meds, drink or eat. Some days she partakes. Other days, nothing.
Traditionally, one sees a mental health professional to talk, to get to the underlying issues. The doctor asks questions. The patient answers. She will not talk to “strangers” about her private life. Five years ago, they tried. Mother, in her wisdom and distrust never answered the questions and she is not going to now.
I asked a lot of questions, listened, argued, and finally agreed to the meeting after speaking to Mom’s GP. One reason is to find out who made the diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s. What is her med history for the new doctor? Are there other drugs available to bring about an improvement? What are the side effects? What are the presenting symptoms now? Do they have a new label? A new diagnosis? So…as we await the reports, I now see the logic in the request. I have been able to fill the doctor in on mother’s history. The doctor is a very compassionate woman. I trust her.
It is rather like a medical detective story: the drugs, the diagnosis, which doctor said what, when did they say it, how did they arrive at their conclusions, what tests were given, and no, we are not going to have shock treatments. Now, that was astounding. Shock Treatments. Five years ago, a doctor felt shock treatments would bring about a change. Right! Beyond logic, giving shock treatments to a 90-year-old. Were the treatments to be an experiment? A “Let’s see what happens if shock treatments are administered to a 90-year-old woman.” At 95, things are not improving.
As mother’s advocate, I’ve kept a record of all prescribed drugs, the side effects, and any diagnosis. I’ll have to get my thick file out. I’ll be armed with facts and be listening and looking for the logic at the next meeting before making changes to mom’s care.