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Old 09-15-2011, 08:14 PM   #1
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Should I be worried part 2

First all Thank you to everyone who replied to my last thread. My Mom ended up having all of her test this week. They called and said her CT and Ultra-sound were fine. I think that is bad news, from what I've read this week. If there was some thing maybe there'd be something to fix. I don't know for sure. It has been a very hard week. I have 4 kids so it's hard taking Mom to all the appointments. Next week there are 3 more appointments, check ups with other Doctors that she has forgotten about and I remade. Doctors she needs to see. One of them she goes to once a year, she hasn't been since 2008. Another Doc that she cancel the app last sept, didn't make another app.(that one is every 6 months) I can't remember myself what happen with the 3rd doctor. There been so many. I guess I have to look at it like, She will be going now and not missing any.

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Old 09-16-2011, 08:05 AM   #2
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Re: Should I be worried part 2

You don't need to worry... just be proactive in getting her the medical attention she needs. As for nothing being wrong... that is basically how they diagnose dementia. They look at the symptoms, rule out everything else, watch the progression, and then diagnose.

With Dad, he has cardiovascular problems for years. Three heart attacks, 5 bypasses, stints all over and they last stint was in a bypass. He also had PAD. If the blood is not getting to the legs then there is probably limited flow everywhere... including the brain. He had cognitive decline but it didn't follow the Alzheimer's pattern. That lead to his Vascular Dementia diagnosis.

Mom on the other hand had a perfect cardiovascular system (no kidding her heart cath was basically clean) and no other medical problems, taking no medication. She does have a strong family history of Alzheimer. So her symptoms lead to the dementia consistent with Alzheimer's diagnosis.

There is no test that can be done to diagnose dementia at this point. There are cognitive test that can pinpoint the cognitive decline but nothing that can tell you why. It's such a dark area in medical diagnosis.

Yep, you are now the one in charge of medical appointments. Try to consolidate as much as possible and find one good physician to be her general physician if you don't have one. You definitely need a clearing house for all that is going on with her. May I ask what her other medical issues are?

Hang in there. Not knowing what is going on is difficult but hopefully you will get what you need to explain what you are seeing At least when you know you will be able to formulate a plan!

Love, deb

Old 09-16-2011, 08:26 AM   #3
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Re: Should I be worried part 2

Hang in there Liz. You're doing great - really

Old 09-16-2011, 08:30 AM   #4
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Re: Should I be worried part 2


I would suggest that you just hold on to one good family doctor who understands dementia even if it is not clearly diagnosed yet. Sometimes if one gets diagnosed too early, I believe it has no trace. My FIL just happened to be diagnosed when it was visible that he was sick.

You should only see one speicialist if she has a certain medical problem such as heart problem or bladder problem. Lots of chronic issues can be managed by a family doctor.
The GP can tell you when she needs to see the specialist if he/she feels necessary.

Seeing too many doctors only makes her anxious. Also older age makes it harder.
It is like a dilemma, like my parents... They like to shop for doctors but when it comes to treatments, they tend to stay away from it given older age (in the late 80s). The older they are, the less they want to be bothered by doctors.
The best treatment is medications. Major surgery and even minor surgery are not good for older people anymore. Of course, there is balance when it comes to minor surgery. e.g., hernia op. is good for my FIL and it helped in 2007. My FIL was 87 when he did it. I recalled that your Mom is not in the 80s.
Anyway, try to sort it out and settle with just one GP and one or two specialists. My FIL used to see a cardiologist but now the GP can manage it so he only sees the urologist every 6 months.


Last edited by ninamarc; 09-16-2011 at 08:32 AM.

Old 09-16-2011, 10:51 AM   #5
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Re: Should I be worried part 2

My Mom is 75. 10 years ago she had breast cancer. She has macular degenoration, Rheumatoid arthritis, Autoimmune hepatits, Bladder problems, the list goes on I just can't think of all of them. Today we were at the bladder doctors,That doc took her off of bladder control meds, for 6 weeks to see if that helps. I notice when I tell the doctor office that My mom's been forgetting, most of them start just taking to me and not even looking at my Mom. My Mom noticed this also. It's sad, she's not that bad and even she she were, she's still a person. I joked about it with my Mom a little today. It is sad. It makes me want to be a better listener with everyone I talk with.
I don't know how some of you do it with more then one person having this or being a care giver my yourself. I guess you have to deal with it. Liz

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Old 09-16-2011, 09:28 PM   #6
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Re: Should I be worried part 2

Liz, we do what we have to do Each of us deals with it differently but then again we all deal with it. My Mom is now in a facility. We tried to keep Mom with her Alzheimer's and Dad with his Vascular Dementia at home. Worked for a few months then fell apart. Part of the problem was that none of the sisters lived close enough to be there regularly. We put them both in Assisted Living and that worked for a while longer before it fell apart. Then they were both placed in a locked dementia unit. I lost Dad March 2010... and Mom is still there. The facility was amazing when I moved them in 2.5 years ago but since, with an administrative change, has gone down hill. I have three sisters but...Yep we just do what we have to do

Doctors... I can go on and on about the idiotic things that doctor do when it comes to patients with dementia!! Most of them just do not get it. The ones that do will tell you about their loved one who suffered from one of the various dementias. Of all the doctor's Mom and Dad have seen I can count the good ones easily. The wonderful intern at the ER who helped me with Dad when he had a brain bleed... but his grandfather suffered from AZ. The Senior Psychiatrist that treated mom's emotional distress... but his mother had ALZ and why he specialized. Then there are the ones that speak over the loved one with dementia which also annoys me. Or the ones that just tell Mom to focus a little more and she will be ok.... Or the clueless ones that walk up to you and say... "Your Dad is confused so we need to do a brain scan"... what part of Advanced Vascular Dementia do you not understand Doc!? Or the nurse that decides to put in an IV after a long day in the ER, during the sundowning hours, just in case Dad should become agitated. Yep, she agitated him to an extreme because he didn't want to cooperate. Yep I could go on and on... and wish the medical community had the awareness of this disease that we have

My Mom is also a breast cancer survivor

Hang in there! We will all make it through this disease!!

Love, deb

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