HOPE – OR CLUTCHING AT STRAWS?
Alan’s Neurologist was becoming increasingly concerned how rapidly he was deteriorating. I had heard about a drug in Europe which although ostensibly used to treat skin cancer was showing promising results with mice who had Alzheimer’s. His Neurologist had never heard of this, but when I showed him the documents, he immediately wanted Alan to be given access to it. Since the drug’s primary use was dermatological, it could only be prescribed by a Dermatologist. Right there while we were in his Office, the Neurologist called Alan’s Dermatologist, and told him it was Alan’s last hope. The Dermatologist had never heard of the drug, so we went back home, I printed out copies of the reports and then drove Alan down to the Dermatologist’s Office. He promised he would read it through and get back to us. Alan was exhausted, so to cheer him up I took him into a Dunkin Donuts for his coffee and Boston Creme. While we were sitting there eating, the Dermatologist called to say he had written a prescription for the drug, and it was waiting for us at Reception. We were only five minutes away from his Office, so I drove back to pick it up, and on the way home dropped it off at the Pharmacy. By the time we got home there was a message to say our Insurance Company was having a problem covering this drug as it was so expensive – $500+++ per pill, and the dose was 4 a day. After many phone calls back and forth, I was ready to pay this myself – this was my husband’s only chance of hope. Alan and I were very friendly with the Head Nurse Practitioner at our Neurologist’s Office, and finally, after numerous conversations she made the comment that the efficacy of this drug for use with Alzheimer’s was completely unknown, as was the dosage, and it could actually make him a lot worse, or even kill him. The Neurologist was going back to India for a vacation, and if I started to give Alan these pills, no one knew what would happen – I could even kill him!! I have to tell you, that was even more stress, I felt I had to make a life saving decision…. in the end I realized I was clutching at straws. I never did hear anything else about this particular drug, so I’m assuming that it was just another hope that fell by the wayside; and I am just so thankful, that Brenda took the time and trouble to spell it out to me in real terms. When you feel so helpless, and desperate you will try anything. From the beginning of his diagnosis I had been giving him turmeric, coconut oil, ginger, cinnamon, cumin & black pepper and we had always eaten lots of leafy green vegetables.