Thursday, November 6, 2003

A long boring story�.you were warned.

My mother suffers from manic depression. Totally treatable and manageable. As long as you keep yourself on an even keel. My mother also has high blood pressure, thyroid disease, diabetes and Parkinson's. Needless to say, getting her medication to sync with the lithium was quite a challenge but we had finally gotten a handle on it, we were even to the point where she was no longer shaking.

Part of the treatment of manic depression is the elimination of stress, so over the years I have slowly taken over her finances. I would pay her bills and take her shopping. I never told her when her finances were low and if she ran out of money I would just make some lame excuse for why I couldn�t bring her any cash. �The bank machine was out of order. �I left my wallet at work� things like that, then I would just give her cash from my pay check. I never told her how much her groceries came to, and if she insisted on knowing, I would tell her $100 less than what they really were. Things like this were small, but kept the stress levels down. How well you respond to lithium treatment depends on emotional and social factors in addition to physical ones, and lithium is the key to keeping her from going manic.

Well she became so stress free that she thought that she could do it all by herself. I put her off for a while and thought I could figure out a way for her to do this without stress, I was working on having her bills come automatically out of the bank, have a cap put on cash withdrawals, that sort of thing. I was hoping that she would just forget about it. But apparently the only thing that she did forget about was the wigging out she used to do. And stress is a funny thing, even when you are doing something you think you want, the fact that you are doing it all by yourself is stressful.

Anyway, apparently she has been voicing her desire to be independent to my brother. The one that comes by to see her once a month even though he drives by her house everyday. So he decides to encourage her (with, no doubt, the help of my other two brothers, the ones that swing by once a year to see their mother). �She�s doing so well.� not even taking into consideration why she was doing so well. Well I just freaked when I heard that he was taking her to the bank to get a new bank card. WTF is wrong with this guy. I marched over to my mothers and said, �If he thinks he can take over, more power to him.� gave her the bank card and walked out.

That was three weeks ago. So far she has bought out a couple of stores, taxi�ed all over town, and lost her bank card. Which was a blessing, I figured at least she wouldn�t spend all her money now that the bank card was gone. Wrong, I find out that she is borrowing money all over town.

And to cap it all off? She is totally flipped her wig. She is all over the place, talking a mile a minute, babbling about things that happened 20 years ago, one minute singing the next minute mad as hell all the while shaking from the Parkinson�s. Not sleeping, moving furniture at 3 in the morning and knocking on peoples doors at 7am. There she is, Miss Independent.

I am over there the other day and she is talking to my brother on the phone. Then she hands the phone to me, �He wants to talk to you.�

My brother: �What are we going to do with her?�

�We?� Oh no, he did NOT say we.

�We�ll talk later�, Oh most definitely!

Well when I got home I couldn�t wait, I fire off this email.

Subject: THANKS!

I just wanted to thank you boys for undoing what it took years to do. Your mother now has her "independence" and all that entails. Unfortunately what that entails is stress. And for a manic depressive*** that means your mother is now completely manic. You might want to call and get yourself a progress report. And add to the "manic" she has now (after just a few weeks) started shaking again from the Parkinson. Her medication is a balance, and it all hinges on the lithium*** doing its job.

I have taken her for bloodwork this morning, and with some luck I might be able to get her back to the way she was but then again, she might crash first.

You see their was a reason that I didn't let take care of her own bills, stress. There was a reason that I didn't let her have her bank card, she spends money hand over fist and then when she would run out she would eat peanut butter and crackers till her check came in again. I would never tell her how much her grocery order came to either. These things are to keep her on an even keel, not to "rip her off" or whatever you three were thinking(from how many hundred miles away, I might add). Being irritated with me for not bringing her something she wanted was easier (for her)than her being stressed out over having no money. Independence? She is 75 years old, that was her independence.

Next time you genius's have a great idea on how to HELP Mom, you might want to run it past the person that sees her every single day and has actually spoken to her doctor.

Thanks guys, appreciate it.


*** "A major step in the treatment of manic depression occurred in 1949 with the discovery that a simple chemical compound, lithium carbonate, would control the major mood swings of that illness. It behaved as a prophylactic, damping out future manic swings. Lithium is the lightest metallic element and occurs naturally in small proportions in much of our food. How well you respond to lithium treatment depends on emotional and social factors in addition to physical ones."

The bitch of it is? It is going to take me months to get her back the way she was, if at all. I don't� even know if I have it in me anymore. But I know that if I left it to those three rocket scientists, their solution would be to put her in a home. Forget the fact that she was perfectly fine, till they stuck their nose into it.

Men, can�t live with them, can�t shoot them in the face.

More�s the pity.

No comments: