I wrote, back in August, about my Mother's Alzheimer's, and a glimmer of hope that she had something else altogether. Since then, I've taken her for MRIs and blood tests. It has been 2 weeks since we met with the Neurologist for a follow-up: Alzheimer's it is, or as close as they can diagnose. "Severe atrophy of the brain," he told me. The last MRI we had indicated "advanced" atrophy. We've graduated to severe. Rats.
We discussed medication. There's nothing out there, really, that will help this. I asked him, then, about the medication she's on, Razadyne. It costs $182 a month for this one prescription. 1 pill a day, $6 a pill.
Have I mentioned that my Mom lives on Social Security? She has health insurance. She has Medicaid. And still this 1 prescription alone takes up roughly 1/5 of her annual income. (Oh, and she has 5 other prescriptions, but let's don't get me started.)
Razyadyne, then, Doc: Is it doing any good?
Probably not, he told me. The effects are most likely minimal, and not changing the quality of her life in any way. She scored 8 out of 30 on the test he gave her that day. He said she may score a 7, without the Razadyne. In essence, she may or may not be able to name the season, or the day of the week.
"It's up to you," he told me, about continuing onthe Razadyne. Each family feels differently. Personally, he said, "Skip the Razadyne and put the money towards good food or something she enjoys. Cable TV, books, movies."
This has been a torturous decision for me. Man, when you only have 8 points left in that little head of yours, it kind of seems like every one is kind of precious. If I take her off the meds, it may not affect her, but what would it be like, at this point, to have even slightly more deterioration?
But is coming up with the word "Autumn" worth $182 a month? Isn't Meals on Wheels, or a few field trips with Adult DayCare organizations money better spent?
I just paid for the next month's installment of Razadyne.
I am strongly considering skipping it, next time around, and watching her closely.
I can always put her back on it, yes?
Ow, my head.