August 31, 2014

Thank God for Ativan

A little more or less makes all of the difference in the world.

On a day when my mother does not have enough of her anti-anxiety medication, the world is ending: everything is awful, people are trying to harm her, she cannot laugh and she cannot see any light in life, at all.

On another day, with the proper dosage, she is cheerful, accepting and sometimes even humorous. I notice on these days, that she has more difficulty speaking and slurs many words as she speaks. Sometimes, it is difficult to understand what she is saying.

Still, overall, we prefer the slurred speech and cheerful attitude to the other option, the person I refer to as Mrs. Verderame or Eeyore, the depressed donkey from the Winnie-the-Pooh series. Mrs. Verderame was our neighbor when I was growing up in Chatham Green. She was wrinkled and bent, mean and scary-one of the grouchiest and unhappy people in the world. My mother often reminds me of her.

I suspect that MY AUNT does not approve of the use of Ativan for my mother. But, MY AUNT is not the person responsible for meeting my mother’s daily needs: talking to her, spending time with her, answering her nighttime calls, moving her, waking her, shopping for her, cooking for her, feeding her, toileting her, cleaning her, washing her hair, dressing her, wheeling her outside, checking on her, and attending to every detail of her health and well-being.

I am thankful for the effects of this medication. It makes the difference between possible and impossible.

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