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Old 07-19-2008, 08:24 AM   #1
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New Here - First Post - Question about Collateral Symptoms

I'm having difficulty researching information about collateral symptoms of AD. For example, my 80 year old Mom (who is about Stage 6 AD) is wheezing, has frequent urination, has a constant runny nose, has labored breathing when sleeping, and has non-pitted edema in her legs. Yet, her doctor doesn't seem concerned about these symptoms and has suggested to me that these are merely her long-time allergy symptoms that are worsening due to the humid weather. Because Mom refuses to take any medication (including her hypertension meds), he has not prescribed anything to relieve any of her symptoms. Of course, she seems to worsen with each passing day. Perhaps I'm being a drama queen, but does anybody have any experience with managing these collateral symptoms - or - based on your personal experiences, does anyone know if these "allergy" symptoms are typical in AD patients? I'm sorry for the repetition if this topic has been discussed elsewhere, but I'm very frustrated and running out of patience.

 
Old 07-19-2008, 11:35 AM   #2
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Re: New Here - First Post - Question about Collateral Symptoms

I'm not a dr, but I've never heard of these symptoms being collateral to AD. They could be related to aging or might simply be other medical things going on with your Mom at the same time as the AD. For ex., a diabetic can develop arthritis but arthritis is not collateral to being diabetic.

As you point out, though, treatment of other medical issues becomes much more complicated in an AD patient. An AD patient might refuse medicines, might have an inability to swallow pills, could over-dose or underdose, may be unable to report symptoms or pain, etc. It becomes a medical puzzle. The runny nose might be allergies, a sinus infection (the labored breathing when sleeping might tell a doctor if there's a connection) or something else. The frequent urination might be due to a urinary tract infection or a bladder infection.

In my experience, some medical care providers are less proactive when treating the elderly, particularly elderly people with a terminal disease (AD). When my Mom was in hospice and developed a bad cold, for ex., she was not prescribed any treatment to relieve its symptoms. My DH has arthritis of the spine, but the doctor indicated that DH would probably refuse medicine and wouldn't do exercises anyway. I don't know if that's the situation you're encountering with your Mom's doctor. If so, you may need to straighten this out to see that her symptoms are being addressed.

 
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:44 AM   #3
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Re: New Here - First Post - Question about Collateral Symptoms

Does your Mom refuse to take the meds because why? Is is because she can't swallow them? Or does she have an aversion to medicine in general? Is she competent enough to refuse meds?

If she were my mother, I would have herr at a different doctor that would take the time to truly find out what is wrong with your Mom and treat every single thing that is wrong, as opposed to chalking it all up to old age or what ever he feels is the catch phrase of the week. Your mother deserves to be healthy. Every single issues deserves to be treated until is disappears. You are your mother's only advocate-remember that. As the old saying goes...it's the squeaky wheel that gets greased...

 
Old 07-22-2008, 06:07 AM   #4
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Re: New Here - First Post - Question about Collateral Symptoms

I am with IBake on this one. Find a doctor that doesn't just gloss over the other symptoms that your Mom has. They all have medical reasons and are not to be ignored because she has dementia. My Mom is now short of breath and wheezing but that is because of three bronchial episodes this winter, two of which ended in pneumonia even though they were treated. She has leg edema but it's due to weight gain and her diet. This is being addressed. Their inability to control their impulses, improper diet, not wanting to take meds, and other factors make it more difficult to deal with their medical issues but that is no reason to just give up on them. Mom went through a period that she could not swallow her pills so they were crushed and added to applesauce, yogurt, or anything else that we could get her to eat. For a while Dad thought we were trying to poison him and didn't want to take his pills but they slid down with ice cream. Now they both take their meds when they are handed to them. Then nonunderstanding doctor's are a thing of the past and a great geriatric physician sees them monthly. Even with mom's rants and dad's sundowning I know their medical care is the best we can provide. So keep searching for those answers.

Love, deb

 
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