It was fairly easy for me to tell when Mom had been inappropriately and/or overly medicated.
She was either “asleep,” or her whole demeanour changed, and/or she simply couldn’t say what she wanted. When I say she couldn’t, I mean in a physical sense. Getting her words confused and talking gobbledygook was one thing, that was a “natural” brain to mouth communication short circuit of some kind.
But slurred speech and the inability to clearly articulate words that could be more or less understood, even though they may or may not have made sense, were different things entirely. They were drug induced, and it was easy to know when she was medicated and when she was not.
On August 10, 2016, a week before she died, it was clear Mom had been given more drugs than usual for some unknown (to me at least) reason. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to tell the difference.
Here’s Mom and I conversing on August 9:
Now listen to her speech the very next day (August 10) when, even though I’m able to decipher her meaning, the effects of the increased medication are unmistakable:
Now compare this with her capacity to speak two days later, on August 12:
I could deal with the aphasia. I could deal with her thought processing challenges. I could deal with the stuff associated with Alzheimer disease and the resulting dementia.
But I couldn’t deal with my mother being inappropriately medicated, neglected and abused in the multiple ways she was. Sometimes it was just too much for me to witness on top of everything else. After the experience of August 10th, I couldn’t visit on the 11th. I just didn’t have the strength to do it, so I stayed away for both our sakes. I’m so grateful I did because it gave me the wherewithal to be with her for five of her last six days.
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Image copyright: christingasner / 123RF Stock Photo