Wernicke encephalopathy. This is my mother’s second bout with the disease in its acute form. She’s been placed in a nursing home while she rehabs. According to my brother, it has been an experience similar to her episode in 2000 that duped me and Mo in to moving down to Tampa to rescue her. That was a failed attempt and it forever changed my relationship with my mother. Sometimes there is nothing you can do for the chronically ill.

For those who have never seen the end stages of an alcoholic life, I can attest to the decreasing quality and severe emotional and physical pain. And that’s just for the survivors of the alcoholic. The alcoholic herself has her own hell to live in and a fate that seems irreversibly inevitable. But this doesn’t seem to deter the alcoholic. Her denial has so completely altered her life philosophy that fate no longer exists. This includes the fate of the survivors.

One of these days she will die. Of course, so will all of us. The only difference is that we know we’re going to die. I wonder if the same can be said of the alcoholic.

6-19-06 UPDATE: After further research on the ‘net and some back and forth with my brother, WE is probably not my mother’s condition. It is more likely chronic hepatic encephalopathy. More info on that can be found over at Wikipedia.

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