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Mom Update - 12/20/2008

Dear Friends and Family,

I have been sitting at my computer for the past hour, trying to figure out the most appropriate way to write this email. To be honest, I think I could sit here all night. I don't know the most appropriate way to write it, or if there even is one. I waited to write this email until I made it to Little Rock and was able to see my mom and have a better understanding of our situation. Over the past week to ten days the progression of my mom's disease has been tremendous. She became increasingly agitated and combative and was admitted to UAMS for an overnight stay. During her stay she was evaluated by a team of doctors from the Center on Aging. They determined the following:
- Evaluating dementia on a scale of one to seven, with seven being the most severe and advanced, my mom was rated as a six.
- At that point, the average time patients live is 6 months to two years.

It was recommended that my mom be sent to the Baptist Hospital Geriatric Psychiatric Ward in order for them to regulate her medication and get her combativeness under control (The doctor would not release her to come home because she was a danger to herself and others). It is the doctor's hope, as well as our family's, that we can get her behavior controlled enough to bring her back home with us. Once she is home, Hospice will come into our home to help regulate her medications. The average stay in the Geriatric Psych is 7-10 days. If they cannot get her behavior regulated with these meds, our next option will be a nursing home. 

So, these are facts, but how is my mom? Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw today when I walked into the ward. The last time I saw my mom was when you did - in the pictures that Ashley took. Her decline was so quick and drastic. She is not sleeping (caused by the Alzheimer's) which is causing her to be weak. She was hallucinating today when I visited her, and slurred almost all of her words. She became violent last night so they had to give her extra meds today, adding to her weak state. Tonight, I visited my mom with George and Eleanor. She was a bit more alert, but very tired. She asked George and me to take her home with us, which was heart-breaking. I keep having to assure myself that she no longer thinks as we do, she has crossed into a different place and what she says one minute she forgets the next.

How is my family? We are devastated and grieving together. Watching her suffer is unbearable. We are thankful we have no regrets and are able to rest assured knowing that she will be with the Lord when He calls her home. She has been ready to go to her Heavenly home for so long and has been so open about her Blessed Assurance. Right now we are praying she gets to see Him soon.

I love you all,

Mare

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