Monday, August 16, 2010

Update on Sunday's post / sick and dying news: they gave him anti-biotics and attribute these to knocking out the bacterial infection, thereby the fever and thereby he's able to ingest liquids and food again because he is able to swallow. It is relieving to hear this though it only puts off the inevitable. "Of two minds," whether to keep him going or let him go. I feel relieved because I don't have to think about it anymore today. I feel embarrassed, amongst some, because I was so upset over the weekend.

One of the hard to explain realities about Pick's disease is the on-going, non-finite nature of disintegration, and his now, 5 year long stasis in a vegetable like state. It's been almost twelve years since diagnosis. On average, when a person is diagnosed with a form of dementia they live seven more years. It's been almost twelve since he was diagnosed. How does one die from dementia? Usually from a bacterial infection, like pneumonia, which the body is unable to fight off because parts of the immune system have shut down. Or the brain eventually loses its basic motor functions, like that of swallowing. Because he was relatively young upon diagnosis, and because of the nature of Pick's disease, attacking some different parts of the brain than say, Alzheimer's, he manages to keep going.

Part of me is proud of this kind of fortitude, the idea that I'm descended from these genes, the kind that fight with other patients and try to escape from institutions. The rebellious and difficult kind. Another part of me would like for the ambiguity of his situation to be over. It's a sunny day in SF. It's been getting incrementally warmer over the last four days. On Saturday I saw the movie "Inception" alone, at ten in morning. I highly recommend this as a way to see movies. I thought it was pretty good. Smart and well made and beautiful. In the afternoon I spent time with a friend who has gone though similar situations as the one with my dad. Nothing feels better than being understood.