Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lambert Eaton Syndrome, Lyme disease and old age

At last, my sister-in-law, who has had difficulty talking and walking for 4 months, has a diagnosis. Lambert Eaton Syndrome. Diagnosis is thanks to the wonderful doctors at Dartmouth-Hitchcock hospital. This is a rare disease that sometimes precedes cancer but not always. Cancer, if there, is often diagnosed in the following two years from onset of the symptoms. Most likely Nora will not be able to drive again and will have to do physical therapy for the rest of her life in order to hobble around with a walker.

Part of the issue is Nora has no health insurance and no income. The burden of care rests on my brother. He also cares for my mom, but has had no time to go over and visit her recently.

Thus mom is feeling depressed and lonely with little human contact. Of course, services can be set up and when I was up there last August I ferreted out a number of services for Mom and Dad (who was still alive then) but most of them my folks refused. My brother is too burned out to seek out services and/or insist that Mom utilize them.

Years ago when Dad's mom was needing more care my folks sold their house and moved into my gram's house. They added an apartment on for Gram to live in. A nice little apartment with a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom and living room with a large window overlooking the pond across the street. My folks took over Gram's house, where Dad had grown up, and remodeled the kitchen area.

This worked for some years till Gram broke her hip and could no longer walk without assistance, at which time she moved into a nursing home.

Now, if I moved in with my mom under a similar setup I wouldn't feel so squished. What mom proposes is to squish me into Dad's vacant bedroom which is about 8 by 10. And dark. All my household things and craft work materials would be squished into a damp garage. Mom isn't willing to release any of the other space in her home to me. I can use it of course, but it will be her things and her way.

I haven't got the money to build mom an apartment. So, I'm thinking I need to say to her that I want some of the other space too. I want to unpack my handmade dishes, my books (move Dad's books from the bookcase and put mine into it) and so forth. If she doesn't buy this idea then that's that. I can rent my own place nearby to Mom or just let go of the idea of fixing Mom's loneliness and get on with my life. Or maybe there are other "or" options.

Meanwhile, my roommate is suffering from possibly Lyme Disease or maybe not. He can barely walk and is in great pain throughout his body. One minute he's lying in bed unable to move and the next he's driving from here to there, refusing my offers of driving him. This has been going on for several weeks or more. He's made 6 or more visits to the doctors, had a number of tests, had a number of diagnosis such as arthritis. But this pain can't just be arthritis.

I'm wondering about the fact that three people who are close to me can barely walk. I'm counting mom who makes it okay but is very slow and unsteady. Does this mean something???

Well, I don't know but knock on wood I'm okay.

No comments: