I just got an example of how the Alzheimer mind works, even in the earliest stages. My daughter's FIL has been diagnosed with AD. Right now his wife, Jenny's dear MIL, is in the hospital up in Michigan for a biopsy of a brain tumor. FIL was told to call us, here at home or at his daughter's or son's work place as soon as he 'knew anything". He didn't call and didn't call (and the surgery was at 7 AM) so finally his daughter reached him.
The news is bad, and everyone is upset, but asked why he didn't call us he replied ''"you said call as soon as I knew anything. I don't know anything, so I didnt call."
You can see how a partner with AD fails in the basic ways of caring for the other person - communications do not get across as meant.
Meanwhile we hope something can be done to help J's MIL who is a lovely person. The diagnosis is not in, but already nerves have been damaged just tryng to get a tissue sample for the biopsy. She may come out of this with a numb tongue, and other facial areas, - and this isn't even the treatment for the tumor yet. We are all saddened and worried.
My prayers go out to Jenny's in-laws and the entire family-especially her MIL. This is a very scary time, I know.
My sister goes this Wednesday for a biopsy of her lung. So far that doesn't look promising either. Whether they say it's definitely cancer or not (one doctor says it might not be after all), she has a huge mass in there that is most likely not operable due to it's location and my sister's other health issues. She also has diabetes, a bad heart (she has several stints and the mass is near her heart) and emphysema.
So Jenny's MIL will go right next to my sister in my prayers.
Strange you should post this about early AD. I posted to Wannabe this morning about my dad's early AD stages in regards to her mother with early dementia. They can seem quite normal and still get very confused. And still we ask why.....
Lots of biopsies going on. My breast lump surgical biopsy (taking the whole lump) is Thursday. I should know the results by Friday afternoon or Monday. The lump is probably benign. If it isn't, then I don't want to do anything further until I know if it's anywhere else in my body. I might choose quality over quantity of days if it was a poor prognosis.
My focus would be on making the changes in living situation and expenses that would be feasible for hubby to handle without me in the future. Actually, I'd like to make those changes anyway - but hubby doesn't want to give up things... But things do change whether we want them to or not. I am kind of concerned about the possible diagnosis because of how poor I've felt in the last couple of years. I don't know how much is stress and how much is from some other condition.
I was kind of shocked when I saw that hubby's neurologist 1 year follow-up is coming up in December. It doesn't seem like a year has passed since we began noticing problems. I am glad though that I haven't seem much decline in that year. More difficulty finding words - and some isolated confusion episodes - and some anger issues - but overall, not that much change. I don't think re-testing is in order yet (despite a dream I had in which he was retested and the change was significant). Funny though how stressful "not much decline" can be when those "isolated" confusion episodes make you anticipate what the future could hold.
Anyway, your family member's situations are in my prayers. n2e
Jenny's MIL got the biopsy done. Unfortunately the tumor could not be reached from the nose/throat as they had hoped, so they cut through her face. Now her tongue is partly paralyzed, which will be permanent, says the doctor. She keeps biting it at night. Maybe she will get used to it and stop doing that. Her face is very swollen. The results of the biopsy will be found out at her next appointment, Thursday.
Meanwhile her husband - the early Alzheimer patient - did not think he did anything wrong by not calling. He doesn't understand what all the fuss is about, his wife seems fine to him.
Last summer he was with the family at a lake, everyone was busy doing something else and he was asked to 'watch the children," my 2 grandchildren and his other 3. He 'watched' them all running towards the lake. It was way too cold for swimming, we were only there for a barbecue and to be outdoors. His wife yelled at him "I asked you to watch the kids!" "I am watching them," he said. (watching them from a distance, running into water ... ages at the time 3,3,5, 6, and 6.)
He didn't associate 'watching them' with doing anything to prevent them from getting wet, or drowning!
This is the faulty thinking of an EARLY AD patient. I therefore feel very worried when people say "My Mom can still help my Dad, she is only in the early stages," or "my Dad wouldn't cause a driving accident, he only drives near home, and he 'knows' ...." The question is what would they really do, what do they really think? Do they have any sense for danger?
Yet, I fully understand that you can't suddenly separate them from the real world and start treating them like a child. It is really a huge dilemma for the families. As soon as doctors diagnose AD, they ought to hand out booklets of information as to what you have to do and how to do it. But they leave it up to you, and each family does the best thay can.
Update on biopsy: results inconclusive. No cancer cells were found in the tissue extracted, but they are not sure they got into the actual tumor. These cells may be from healthy tissue near the tumor. What a mess. Now this poor lady doesn't know what do do next, allow an operation to get into the actual brain (craniotomy) to get at the tumor, or assume the results are correct and there is no cancer? What a dilemma. This is a 71 year old lady whose husband has early Alzheimer symptoms as well as early Parkinsons.