Endgames

I was going to post an unusual journal entry from the train ride into Boston this morning but life happens. I'm an unhappy writer right now.
Then again, maybe there's no such thing as a happy one…

5:45PM Journal

I took the early train home tonight because I'm going see my mother. She's had a terrible day today. Alzheimer’s has once again reared its ugly head and lashed out at a woman too frail to fight the beast anymore. If I could see this invisible monster, I would fight it myself.
It’s a neurological possession of the highest order that can’t be cured by modern medicine much less exorcised by any religious order. Frustration is bubbling below the surface of my tired veins.
The phone call came this morning, a most inevitable call; a call that I’ve expected and in some small way have actually hoped for. I want this to be over for my mother. Her battered CNS has seen enough neurological decay for 10 lifetimes. She has suffered for long enough, God! Why the hell can’t you hear me?!
The nursing home said they found her in bed this morning totally unresponsive to any type of stimuli. A vigorous chest rub couldn’t wake her. They had her dead and buried until they searched frantically for some vital signs. She had a low BP, a bit of paralysis on the left side and pupils that were fixed and dilated. It was time for a phone call.

I’ve played out this final series of phone calls over and over in my mind but they never quite go the way I think they’ll go. I spoke with a nurse a few hours ago that had examined my mother earlier this afternoon. She thinks my mother suffered from a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack), a condition that deprives a particular portion of the brain from oxygen for a short amount of time. The TIA’s present much like a stroke with some paralysis and sometimes a temporary cessation of involuntary muscle movements that control bodily functions such as swallowing and dilatation of the pupils.
These little TIA bastards are sometimes precursors to what could be called the beginning of the Alzheimer endgame.
I don’t know what to expect when I get there tonight but I’ll pray that she knows I’m there. Maybe God can at least give me that. Then again, maybe not.
I only know that, for my mom, this is no way to live. Anymore…

~m

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