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Old 07-03-2012, 04:54 PM   #1
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Lucy update

July 3rd is finally here, with Lucy's long awaited doctor appointment. I was driving him to accompany her to the appointment when she called. Said she saw no reason for going and canceled it. Sigh...

I continued homeward. Good thing I did. I came home to find her unconscious on the laundry room floor. In the brief 20 minutes since the telephone call, she passed out without warning, and managed to severely fractured her tibia. She was also half naked. Ambulance transport to emergency. Now she is off getting her MRI while I am waiting in the room. Please, oh please find something definitive. I am so scared that all the tests will come back negative and we are back to square one. Her lower leg fracture, as x-ray showed, was a clean break with no nerve or vascular damage, and she should make a 100% recovery of her leg. But it will keep her from driving for at least a few weeks.

 
Old 07-03-2012, 05:30 PM   #2
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Re: Lucy update

This may be a blessing in disguise Luau. You will get your MRI and have a fail proof reason for her to go back to her doctor. Do not be surprised if you do not get definitive evidence of dementia from the MRI. It is rare that a MRI is going to show what you need. It is just one tool in a diagnosis. It is better if there is a previous MRI for comparison to show shrinkage since the last MRI. But this is the beginning of what you need. If the test do come back negative with perhaps minor shrinkage on the MRI... you know what your diagnosis is!

There is no telling what crazy antic she pulled to end up where she did with a fractured leg. You will probably never know. Just glad you continued home and it was a clean break that should heal well. Take it as a sign that her being home alone is not a good idea.

Not to mention it will keep her from driving.... and slow her down. Maybe you can catch up with her now Hope all goes well at the ER!

Love, deb

 
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:45 PM   #3
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Re: Lucy update

While we are in the ER, Lucy suffered another full blown seizure with loss of consciousness. It was very fortunate, if you can call anything like this fortunate, that she was in an ER bed with ER docs all around. Immediate tests showed normal blood glucose and okay electrolytes. So the seizure could not be caused by her diabetic condition and insulin reaction nor low sodium. CT scan was negative for major clots or bloods in cranial region. MRI not scheduled till morning. Her leg would not be set until these issues are corrected and the cause of her seizures and passing out determined.

Now I am getting very, very worried for her immediate health. I have never seen anything like this before from her. Sorry for ranting like this, but I am feeling very alone here. Just waiting. They are keeping Lucy unconscious, which is good. But I tried texting her sons, and nobody answers.... It's just me.

 
Old 07-03-2012, 08:55 PM   #4
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Re: Lucy update

Luau, Sorry that Lucy fell and had seizure... It sounds like she must have some serious illness. At least she gets to be checked by the doctors now.
I know how you feel - she may have some immediate need for medical attention and you wonder how to deal with it. Usually seizure comes with late stage of dementia. My FIL has not had seizure yet. It still could be part of dementia.
My FIL is now sick too and has oxygen now so it is kind of worrisome and you wonder if they can survive.
Praying for you and Lucy.
Maybe the kids are out for vacation for July 4th. Maybe the elder one will respond if it turns out to be more serious.

Hugs,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 07-03-2012 at 08:56 PM.

 
Old 07-03-2012, 09:31 PM   #5
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Re: Lucy update

Hang in there Luau!! It is not just you there but Lucy obviously had a guardian angel that is putting her in the right place. The seizure that is not connected to the obvious my be what eventually gives you the answers you need. Hopefully the MRI will give you a clue or they will figure out what is going on with her. Be sure to tell them about her recent symptoms!! The confusion, the slowed speech, the excessive appetite, getting lost, obsessions... may help them find a reason for all this. Seizures do happen in patients with dementia and it doesn't have to be in the late stages. The same brain changes that lead to the decrease in cognitive abilities also increases the risk of seizures. That is why the doctor's need to know of all the other cognitive changes recently.

Shame on the sons for not answering your text. The least they can do is answer and give you some moral support. Until then you are not alone... you have a community here that is pulling for you and Lucy!

Love, deb

 
Old 07-04-2012, 07:25 AM   #6
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Re: Lucy update

I can't help but feel this is a blessing in disguise. Sorry about Lucy's leg, but it will be a small price to pay if you are able to get a handle on her mental issues. I hope the hospital will be able to do a thorough work-up on your wife while she is "held captive" as an in-patient, and isn't able to cancel out of the testing.

I learn something almost every time I log onto this forum. My mother never had a seizure and I don't even recall reading that seizures were a normal part of dementia.

 
Old 07-04-2012, 07:42 AM   #7
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Re: Lucy update

Seizures are more frequent in the later stages of Alzheimer's, but can happen at any time. It is an electrical disruption in the brain which can have many causes... including damage from dementia. The frequency of seizures is actually high in Early Onset Alzheimer Disease (those under 65) than in Alzheimer's Disease... which fits Lucy.

There are so many individualized symptoms to this disease that I am not sure a book could list them all. I all depends on how the brain is damaged and the way the person responds to that damage.

Laua.... hope the new days has brought clarity and a better day?

Love, deb

 
Old 07-04-2012, 08:08 AM   #8
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Re: Lucy update

Quote:
Originally Posted by teteri66 View Post
I can't help but feel this is a blessing in disguise. ...

I learn something almost every time I log onto this forum. My mother never had a seizure and I don't even recall reading that seizures were a normal part of dementia.
It is not without a huge pang of guilt that I also feel the same way re blessing. I am cautiously hopeful for a better understanding on her condition.

Seizures is not usually associated w dementia progression until the late stAges. We r in uncharted territory here. Here you are assuming dementia is the driving condition that brings about seizures. I am wondering which is driving which. Could her frequent seizures be the driver w cognition decline secondary?

Sorry I am sound do clinically detached here. I think this is my emotional defense mechanism to allow me to continue making the best decisions.

 
Old 07-04-2012, 08:29 AM   #9
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Re: Lucy update

You make a very good point. You don't really know what you are dealing with. Is there a psychiatrist at the hospital that you can consult with? I've wondered all along if it was some sort of mental illness caused by chemical imbalances in the brain rather than some type of dementia.

 
Old 07-04-2012, 08:44 AM   #10
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Re: Lucy update

I have not heard that seizure becomes dementia. We are not saying she is demented for sure. Just saying that seizure can be part of dementia. I am not saying it is.
My late brother had seizure and it was totally a different problem and he had no dementia. It was brain tumor aftermath related. He had brain tumor in his youth and had some radiation treatment. Later in his late 30s he had got seizure for 4 years. His brain tumor was cured.
Sometimes it may be the nerve of the brain that is malfunctional but my late brother never found out exactly why.

Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 07-04-2012 at 08:46 AM.

 
Old 07-04-2012, 09:31 AM   #11
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Re: Lucy update

Luau, first I do understand your clinical detachment. It is a defense mechanism and I use it myself It is the way I get through those impossible moments. When you are out of the situation where you have to make critical decisions and have time to deal with the emotional, you then let the emotions catch up

You do have a legitimate point about what is driving what. There is truly no way of knowing what the root cause is until all the test are done and the doctor's come up with a definitive diagnosis. I will say the seizures and cognitive decline are both symptoms and not the root cause of her problems. You just need to find out what that cause is! For you and Lucy I do hope it is something other than early onset dementia... something that can be fixed!!

I know the waiting is draining... hang in there and I do hope her sons will appear to support you. Thank you for the updates. You and Lucy have been in my thoughts and prayers....

Love, deb

 
Old 07-04-2012, 11:44 AM   #12
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Re: Lucy update

Quote:
Originally Posted by teteri66 View Post
You make a very good point. You don't really know what you are dealing with. Is there a psychiatrist at the hospital that you can consult with? I've wondered all along if it was some sort of mental illness caused by chemical imbalances in the brain rather than some type of dementia.
Throughout this whole ordeal, many people talk about these mental conditions as if they are separate diseases. In fact, after a lot of thinking, I don't think there is a distinction.

From what everyone says, it seems that dementia is a group of conditions that you can define as having physical, or anatomical changes to the brain, either in deposits or in atrophy or some such. Yet, when one reads into the official definition of dementia, dementia is merely collection of symptoms in which affected areas of cognition may be memory, judgement, and problem solving, which, of course, eventually involves progressively larger portions of brain functions.

Psychiatrists talking about "mental" illness as opposed to some sort of "organic"-based illness. Yet, psychiatrists will freely admit that their "mental illness" do have a biochemical origin. Just because you cannot see an anatomical difference does not mean there are no physical abnormalities. Biochemical changes are on the molecular level and are invisible to pathological examination. Nevertheless they are still physical changes.

Ditto may be true for seizure type conditions. There are abnormalities in the brain, either on the molecular level or on the larger anatomical level, that disrupts normal brain function. As in the case of Nina's poor late brother, seizure activities can also result from physical altercations to the brain.

So it stands to reason that all these conditions are merely symptoms, with their root causes tightly interrelated. Often times, symptomic treatments are alike, despite different assignment as either dementia or mental illness. I guess what I am trying to say here is that perhaps discussions of dementia vs mental illness, and how seizure conditions may fit in may be merely semantic arguments. Teteri, I don't really mean to discount your point here, because I really think what you have said has a lot of validity and gives me much fruit for thought. I am just sitting around keeping my brain busy while Lucy is in surgery.

Last edited by Luau; 07-04-2012 at 11:48 AM.

 
Old 07-04-2012, 12:02 PM   #13
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Re: Lucy update

I don't think I knew Lucy was having surgery....

I understand what you are saying....I have just been hoping that it would be something similar to a bipolar disorder where there would be medications to deal with the symptoms, and right the ship, so to speak.

 
Old 07-04-2012, 12:10 PM   #14
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Re: Lucy update

Lucy broke both the tibia and fibula on her r leg yesterday at home, but cannot recollect how it happened. WE have been talking here almost exclusively about her mental condition, but the bones had to be repaired. It is quite a nasty break, but fortunately it was not an open fracture and they were clean breaks. The leg will heal well in time, but I am very concerned that the general anesthesia for the repair of her leg will really do a huge number on her cognition, especially when she is already very disoriented after her seizures of yesterday. Nevertheless, the operation is unavoidable if she is to use that leg again.

 
Old 07-04-2012, 04:02 PM   #15
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Re: Lucy update

There's a benefit in the fact that she's in the hospital, since they can conduct tests to try to identify the cause of the seizure. At the end of the day they may not have an answer, but at least you can combine all of your expected medical visits now and get them done at one time. Presumably she's under the care of a consulting neurologist now, in addition to the orthopedic doctor.

My spouse did have one seizure or fainting episode about 20 years ago, for which no diagnosis was ever reached. It seemed to be a one-time thing. About 8 years after being diagnosed with Alzheimers, he had a seizure, and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. He was given the full gambit of tests and we followed up with a neurologist. At that point DH's Alzheimers had progressed to the point where he was not able to talk much and was incontinent, and we were managing him with a combination of day-care and home-care.

The neurologist told me that that seizures are much more common in Alzheimer's patients. Since DH had only had one (possibly two) episodes at that point, he did not recommend that we start seizure medications due to the difficulty in properly managing those medications. In the last three years, DH has had 2 more seizures in the NH. They also have mentioned that they see seizures in Alzheimers' patients on occasion. Since he's not walking and a fall risk anymore, DH is still not on seizure meds. His mental functioning is clearly much worse for a day or two after a seizure event.

As far as her sons go, I'm not surprised. DH had grown kids who live in other parts of the country, who haven't been involved in his life since he was diagnosed. One stopped seeing him with the excuse of "wanting to remember him the way he was." The other came to see him about once a year and called a few times to ask me how he was doing. As the years have gone by, I finally stopped calling them to give them reports on his condition. They don't seem to care. They can call the NH, but don't. I don't bother speculating whether it's because they know there's no money there anymore, or whether there's some hidden hostility towards me and the fact that he had another family (although I met him after he was already divorced and always supported his relationships with them). Thank heavens that our kids have always been very involved with their Dad's care, since his older kids have disappeared.

I've talked to people over the years, and have heard similar stories from others about disappearing family members. Hopefully you have some family or friends who can support you, since you may not be able to count on her sons to step it up.

Last edited by Beginning; 07-05-2012 at 02:31 AM.

 
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