Friday, August 08, 2008

Hope v. Reality

In the face of worrying situations, I've never been one to just sit around and hope that things turn out okay. I'm not a big "hoper." Oh, I have hope, but I don't often go around relying on it.
I don't wish on a star, I don't just say a prayer.

I'm more comfortable diving in. Problems with friends, family, money, health, home, car, and sometimes just chance encounters: Grab the bull by the horns, and get about finding a solution. Chop-chop! Don't just stand there!

And sometimes, I know, that the solution is to accept that there is no solution. Where some cross their fingers and hope, hope, hope, I find it easier to prepare myself for the inevitable: I'm not going to win the lotto. My son is going to Iraq. My mother has Alzheimer's.

My mother has Alzheimer's.

She was diagnosed 7 years ago, at the age of 59. I've noted before that numbers are gone for her. Numbers are a huge part of one's life: how many meds do I take? What time do I take them? I have no money! Do I have any money? Is it 6 in the morning or 6 in the evening? How do I dial a phone number? What is the date? How long is 6 weeks away? Is it tomorrow?

Lately, I pick her up to find her jeans, even her bra on backwards. Her shirt is inside out, and she wears 1 blue sock and 1 easter sock. She calls, panicked, with chest pains. I race over to find her smiling in the doorway with her purse: "I feel better! Where are we going?"

I blogged, a few weeks ago, about problems I had getting proper treatment for her at the doctor's office. I didn't tell you that I later stomped my feet and demanded that the doctors review all of her records.

The doctor did.

And the doctor called me back.

My mother.

She may not have Alzheimer's.

My mother has a classic triad of symptoms pointing to something else entirely: "Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus."

It's excessive spinal fluid. It causes dementia, and is often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's.

It is treatable. Some symptoms may be reversible.

On Wednesday, we see a neurologist.

If ever there was a time for hope, prayers, or wishing on a star, this is it.

There is no grabbing a bull by its horns, or changing the direction of the day, Wednesday.

Hope is terrifying.

I've discovered this, in the last few weeks: you can't always control what you hope for.


Hold my hand.

It's probably nothing, you know.

Wouldn't it be something, if it is.

I cannot imagine.

But still.

I do.


  1. will be sending you every ounce of my good-thought energy, hoping for a miracle for your mom. This would be most amazing turn of events...

  2. My heart is in my mouth for you: I'll be thinking of you all week. As a loosely-related but lighter tale of hope: we all thought my grandfather was going deaf, pretty much since I was born (29 years ago). Last year he went to the doctor, had his ears cleaned out by some sort of suction machine and now he can hear clear as a bell. Miracles happen.

  3. Anonymous7:29 AM

    You have my hopes and prayers..June in Florida

  4. Lori, I'm hoping and praying and wishing on all the stars for your mother.

  5. I remember you speaking of this to me some time back. I am so glad that you stomped your feet and had the drs review the records. Waiting for Wed will bring many emotions, Im sure. I will be thinking of you. Big hugs to you. I love ya.

  6. I'm praying, as always! I'm hoping and crossing my fingers and toes and anything else that will cross. I'm also believing that you will get an answer, a for sure answer. So, at least you know one way or another what's going on with your mother.

  7. Wow! Doctors not reading the damned records has been a complaint of mine for years. Your recipe for dealing with tough times is a good one. Let's hope this turns out to be a pleasant surprise. (Well, okay, more than pleasant -- unbelievable.)

  8. Anonymous5:26 PM

    Hello Lori: Hope everything works out! Send my love to your Sister and my Aunt. Richard

  9. Wishing you the best and keeping all things crossed. Hugs.

  10. stfarmer9:05 PM

    I hope you have one less thing to worry about after Wednesday. I know this has been on your mind for a while.

  11. Anonymous12:54 AM

    Fingers crossed for you, Lori.

  12. Wow - there's hope. That's wonderful. DO keep us posted. You know that all of your loyal readers are thinking of you and your mother!


  13. Sure hoping for the best for your Mom...

  14. My fingers are crossed. Here's hoping...

  15. Yes don't put all hope into it but if it is what they say, won't it be a wonderful thing. I will be praying for her.

  16. Wow...

    Hope is the fabric on which we cling when in a situation like this.

    You know you have my positive thoughts that this is what the doctor finds to be true!

    Best of luck to your Mom...and you.

  17. As you say, and as it's said in the movie The Shawshank Redemption..Hope...Hope is a dangerous word...but sometimes hope doesn't have to be used as a belief... I believe hope can be a moment of action by a person who does "believe" in hope but also has the vision to exercise it...and in this I refer to your actions of stomping your feet and consider other diagnoses...Hope...This time hope is spelled " Lori ". Best of luck, as I extend my hand to hold yours.

  18. Hey hey, everyone. Thanks for your suppportive words. I feel like you'll be in that waiting room with us!

  19. WOW...WOW....this could be amazing.....hoping all goes well. Positive vibes!!!!!!!

  20. Well, itsn't that some back-handed good news?

    Positive thoughts and healing energy coming your way. Praying for the best possible outcome for all.

  21. I'm hoping for you....I know how hard it is to deal with a parent with dementia---no matter what it is caused by...

  22. My heartfelt prayers coming your way too..

    Waiting for that 'Yay, My mom is cured!' news after the neurologist visit on wednesday.


  23. totally fingers crossed, holding my breath, sending thoughts, prayers, and ... HOPE your way!

  24. I'll be wishing and thinking and hoping and praying right along with you. Anxiously awaiting the update. Will you know immediately? or will you have to wait for the test results? I can't wait!!

  25. Hope, faith - whatever you choose to call it. I will be sending it in bushels your way.

  26. Its not often I read a blog that has moved me so much, having a mother of 89 myself.
    All my prayers be with you.

  27. Again, thank you everyone for your kind words and support. Amazing to have you all beneath my wings.


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