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Getting an overdiagnosis of stage


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Old 04-18-2018, 06:05 PM   #1
Janet02
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My 82 year old dad was diagnosed yesterday with moderate alzheimers. I know denial goes with this for family members, but we are scratching our heads at the diagnosis. My dad walks 3 miles everyday, plays tennis, does handywork around house. You wouldn't notice anything if you met him. The reason we pushed for the testing is because he has slight short term memory and sometimes repeats himself. We thought we would have him tested in case he was in early stages and can take medicine We were shocked. When I put in the moderate stage, he doesn't fit most of the symptoms and falls more in the mild stage. They gave him meds for moderate to severe stages. his license will even be taken away. He drives everywhere fine. We all as a family feel it is overdiagnosis of stage. I am confused how they determine this with computer testing. He said some of the instructions he was given during test he did not understand.

We will get a second opinion as other than forgetting something here and there and repeating himself occasionally, we want to make sure this is the right diagnosis. The stage seems off, from what I read. He said his license will be taken away. What right do we have if we feel he is a safe driver? He drives everywhere no problem.

I personally feel he was somehow overdiagnosed. He has not had any scans so that is next, but we want to go elsewhere for another opinion. Is there any rights if we all feel as a family he is a safe driver or is that it, we go for testing for this and his license is gone?

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Old 04-19-2018, 08:27 AM   #2
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Dear Janet02,

YES, do get other opinions! You can fight this.
Go to a regular, but older more experienced doctor OUTSIDE of that medial group. Medical groups always support each other's opinions.

Don't settle for that. There needs to be cognitive tests, perhaps a brain scan. Don't let your dad be railroaded. Your father may have a vision problem rather than a cognitive problem. Not blaming you but I would NOT take my parent in for possible Alzheimer unless he became an obvious danger to himself. You may have to fight this, now.

What I would do is also take him to a naturopath and ask for suggestions of how his diet might be changed and what can be taken to aid mental clarity and brain health. He may need to cut back or cut out sugars and candy. That can really slow cognition.

Don't get me wrong, I know dementia; my mother had very clear dementia, would not know where she was, did not recognize family members, would make the same remark about one thing many times in a row, not realizing she already said it, forgot how to wash her face, how to wash her body in the shower, etc. THAT is dementia.

Just so you know, there is no prescription that really works against dementia. There are diet changes and brain puzzles and so forth that aid cognition and brain health.

Of course, make sure dad is safe.
Please let me know what happens.
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:52 AM   #3
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Re: Getting an overdiagnosis of stage

Thank you for replying. I truly wonder about the testing. My dad also has a hearing problem. He said when he was tested, books were put in front of him and he did not understand. He also doesn't use the computer much at all. It was on the computer. I am no good at taking tests like that. I am at a loss. We don't know what to do from here. I do believe the moderate stage diagnosis somehow is related to his hearing, sight and also answering questions off the computer. As for his diet, my mom cooks all healthy fresh food daily. They eat nothing but healthy constantly so I know change of diet will not help. We are so lost in this.

 
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:33 AM   #4
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Re: Getting an overdiagnosis of stage

Dear Janet02,

You're welcome. I'm so sorry this happened to your father; you're family will need to be VERY proactive on dad's behalf. Fight for your dad, now. Get the whole family together on this.

Make sure that future doctors are told that father has a hearing deficit, has no experience with computers, and doesn't read well, so that future doctor records get corrected. Don't be discouraged. You were just trying to be proactive. Most doctors believe people only go to a doctor because there is a problem for them to diagnose, so mention dementia and doctors will jump on it. They only know what they are told. It is just normal human nature.

Fact is, dad well may only need a hearing aid and glasses (or new glasses). He may also have cataracts, which can be removed. Be sure to get his vision and hearing checked and taken care of. That's great that he has a good diet.

You can do this...find out the reputation of doctors by checking Yelp, and do your own research on what changes can be made to help a normal person be able to think more clearly. When you figure that out patent it...we all want to know!

I will be praying for you and your family.
Love,
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Last edited by YaYagirl; 04-19-2018 at 09:36 AM.

 
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:31 AM   #5
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Re: Getting an overdiagnosis of stage

Thank you so much for taking the time to write me and your kind words. I so appreciate it. Going through other health issues and situations, I realize how much you have to educate yourself and this is so new to me. Something doesn't seem right. I read about a PET scan that detects plaque in brain. I think this may be a help. To me, the results of that would be more of a true diagnosis than the way it was done so far. I hope I can get to the bottom of this.

Thank you again.
Many blessings to you.

 
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:28 AM   #6
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Re: Getting an overdiagnosis of stage

I'm glad to encourage you, Janet.

Even if there is some plaque on the brain at his age, it may be so minor as to be inconsequential since nothing else has been checked (vision.hearing, etc). I think that the doctor jumped the gun with overkill and assumptions, myself. Is that doctor relatively young? It seems you were just wondering if there is something available to aid memory and the doctor assumed you feared for your father.

I find that whatever specialty a doctor has, that is what they look for. That's OK, but we need to understand that is what may happen. You may be able to unwind this.

God bless you,
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:12 PM   #7
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Re: Getting an overdiagnosis of stage

Can't thank you enough for helping to guide me.

You are correct. There were slight memory issues and we wanted to just look into it early. The doctors were about 40. My parents live in Fla and I in NY so I was not with them. If I can get them to go somewhere else, I will see to it I am there with them. They first went to neurologist and then she sent them to a geriatric neuropsychologist who did these tests. Then they went back to the neurologist for the report he made and the results. They were so upset at the results and asking questions and she told them their apt time had ended at 15 minutes and rushed them. Then she called them two hours later after she finished reading the report and told them his license will be taken away. He drives everywhere. I am never in fear of driving with him. He is prescribed a medicine for what I read is moderate to severe alzheimers and I am reading reviews that some people get more confused. I feel there is almost more harm than good now.

Thanks again. I will keep you posted.

God bless you too!

 
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Old 04-19-2018, 01:34 PM   #8
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Lightbulb Re: Getting an overdiagnosis of stage

I'm glad I can help in a little way. I wish I could do more!

Yeah now that the ball is rolling your dad does need to not drive till this gets resolved, and the keys must be out of his reach. Even if you have to say they are lost. You can explain that a mistake was made on your DL and he needs to wait till DMV fixes it. DO NOT wait for him to get stopped.

Your parents definitely need a doctor outside that medical group. Medical groups always cover for each other.

There is always the possibility that your parents haven't been reporting everything about your dad exactly right, so try to keep breathing, and be the steadying influence. You can also look for a senior legal advocate group in their area. You may need it. But stay hopeful and positive. This is not the end of the story.

I will definitely keep you all in prayer, and do please keep me updated.

Love,
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:49 PM   #9
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Re: Getting an overdiagnosis of stage

Again, thank you so much for your help and taking the time to write.

As far as him driving, he knows they took it away. He is upset about that, as he always drives. For now he won't. We definitely will go outside the medical group. In fact, we will not see anyone in the area they live or went. I am going to look into somewhere near me in NY.

I will definitely keep you updated. I am so appreciative for your input. I am still trying to process this.

Thanks again.

 
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:43 PM   #10
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Re: Getting an overdiagnosis of stage

That seems cognitive to me.
Yes, let me know what goes on. I will check your thread when I can.

Prayers and hugs,
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:51 AM   #11
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Re: Getting an overdiagnosis of stage

Again, thank you!

 
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:27 AM   #12
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Re: Getting an overdiagnosis of stage

Just for the record, I suggest looking up the side effects of the prescribed drug on www.drugs.com and maybe not be buying or using it. The side effects may be worse than his symptoms.
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:03 PM   #13
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Re: Getting an overdiagnosis of stage

I looked it up and there were some reviews from users of confusion within 2 days. I asked them not to start it but they did. Day 1 he is fine. I am working on finding a place for second opinion by me. I spoke to several people today, including a dr and they said this seems overkill, the diagnosis. I am so sorry this testing was initiated at all now.

 
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:09 PM   #14
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Re: Getting an overdiagnosis of stage

Hi Janet,

I agree with that doctor...that place seems abusive, like elder abuse. It might just be there to make quick money, not really help people. If Dad gets a clean bill of health maybe there is an organization that takes complaints and shuts places like that down.

That really was abusive. When things like this happen, I try to believe that it can be used for good....maybe this will all turn out to give your dad a clean slate plus whatever kind of help he might need. He could be low thyroid, for instance, or benefit from some word or brain games. crossword puzzles, etc. When you finally get some news, let me know.

Prayin'
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Old 04-21-2018, 04:54 AM   #15
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Re: Getting an overdiagnosis of stage

Thank you. We do notice a little difference in him, but not with the level he was diagnosed. But he lives a normal everyday life. I will keep you posted. Again, thanks for sll your time.

 
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