Mary Ellen Seth Mary Ellen (Hauck) Seth

First post: Jul 8, 2017 Latest post: Jul 16, 2017
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Please contact Mona ( if you wish to visit/call. Mom's communication skills are deteriorated.

On Tuesday, June 20, 2017, my beautiful mother was diagnosed with Frontotemperal Dementia with Primary Progressive Aphasia and Parkinsonian affect. I start with the diagnosis as I am not sure when it all

FTD is a progressive, terminal condition.

It attacks the frontal lobes, vision issues are the first sign. Mom complained about not being able to track perripharally with her eyes in 2013/2014. With Mom, it next attacked her speech. Always well spoken, her speech became more and more halting. Still working, she chose online courses. She switched to part-time in the Fall of 2015 and retired in 2016.

The summer of 2016, Mom has severe back pain from what ended up being a pinched nerve in her neck. The second weekend in October of 2016, she under went a neck fusion surgery. Often with neurological disorders, there is a point of stress that kicks the disorder into full gear. This is not to say the surgery caused the disorder, it just made it apparent. After the surgery, Mom spent 4 weeks at the Sholom Home Rehab in St Paul.

A week before Thanksgiving of 2016, she was released to home. Milan and I arranged for Home Health Care for 8 hours a day. We thought this would be temporary, however Mom never seemed to recover. Her mobiliity continued to decline. She relied on a walker to walk and needed assistance get up from a chair.

In March of 2017, Mom and I started to consider assited living facilities. Milan came to town at the end of March to look at assisted living and was there when Mom had her first fall---requiring a trip to the ER and 6 stitches over her eye. At this point, both Milan and I realized that the house was no longer safe for Mom and were waiting to an availabe assisted living apartment.

On Good Friday of 2017, Mom fell there in her bathroom in the middle of the night. She laid on the floor for several hours until her caregiver Leah arrived at 8 am. At this point, I arranged for Mom to return to Sholom Home Rehab until alternate living arrangements were made.

Sholom Home worked with Mom again on her Mobility issues. After a couple of weeks at Sholom, it became appartent that Mom would need a higher level of care. My brother (Milan) and I (Mona) scrambled to find a care facility that would be able to handle Mom's level of care in a dignified manner.

We got extremely lucky and found a spot for her at The Waters of Highland Park (located three miles from my home). She moved in just before Mother's Day.

May and Early June were filled with transitioning, Mom into the Waters of Highland Park, her beloved pup Willie to Ann Arbor to live with Milan and Mona preparing Mom's house for market. Fearing we missed something, I phoned an old friend in Devnver who happened to be a gerontologist. I discussed with her Mom's mobility issues and medical history and she suggested we see a Geriatric Psychiatrist to check the dosage of her anxiety medication.

I made an appointment with a Geriatric Psychiatrist with a Neuroscience Background. He reviewed 5 years of Mom's Medical records and did cognitive testing and examined her. He spent 2 hours explaining the diagnosis and and answering our questions. It was a heartbreaking afternoon.

Mom's condition is terminal and she is on a downward trajectory. We look for the gifts we have. She can still recognize us and communicate (haltingly) with us. She can enjoy our company and we can still enjoy hers!

Because Mom is so progressed, her speech, executive function and mobility are impaired. She still has her memory and can recognize and have very halting conversations. She fades a bit everyday....

Mom enjoys visitors, even if it is for 20 minutes. If you want to see her, please contact Mona.

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