The downside to watching too many fictional medical dramas on TV is the advanced vocabulary that results. Doesn't help that I worked in the medical field for 2 years too, and retain that information like a sponge, for some reason. Was talking to a friend last night whose mother is in the throes of early Alzheimer's and who had plenty of "issues" already before that diagnosis, and I found myself saying:
"so have the doctors given her a diagnosis of munchausen's or is it just her hypochondria advancing with her illness?"
"is it anorexia or is she forgetting to eat?"
"so, they can't really tell if her symptoms are psychosomatic or physical manifestations of stress, but it doesn't matter, because it's obvious that therapy is desperately needed there that neither of them are getting.....and I watch too much TV...."
It makes me sad, because her father isn't the type to seek out therapy, and it's obviously becoming a necessary thing. Occupational/vocational therapy in the medical field has nothing to do with careers/jobs; it's about learning or relearning day-to-day tasks, maintaining the ability to do for yourself. It's also obvious that they're not treating her stress well enough; she should be medicated more and be in talk therapy to deal with the effects of her diagnosis, to learn to deal with the symptoms best she can, instead of being frustrated every time it dawns on her that she's mentally impaired. I can suggest these things, but it's up to them...and that brings me to the perspective point of this post.
Lil Sis and Mom are in Ireland. Sounds like it's been an amazing trip. Mom's 70, Lil Sis is 28. Lil Sis and Mom are both properly medicated (this is true, but tongue still planted in cheek as I write that)...but Lil Sis is exceptionally bright and Mom, well, Mom's sharp, but she's flaky around the edges, and she doesn't always listen well. She's also hearing impaired, wears aids, but doesn't like them. So Lil Sis loses patience with her, and I have to remind her that allowances are necessary, that's it's not necessarily Mom's fault when she misses things, but we have to work with her. Mom's lucky that we are available to act as support for her, and she doesn't lean on us too much; these 5 years without Dad, she's certainly gained independence.
I won't ramble any more about this...it's just after talking to my bestie and hearing her recount her folks visiting, all I could think was "there but for the grace of God." I guess I understand why her folks choose to go through life with blinders on certain situations; the mother's home life as a child was fairly Sybil-esque (and that's not me being witty). But I thank the gods for the perspective between the two, and I pray I can continue to provide the level of support to Mom that will always ensure she's safe, healthy, cared for.