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    Old 01-11-2006, 06:52 PM   #1
    victorino545
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    Stupid Things Doctor's Say

    Yesterday I had to take hubby to doctor for a problem that was not related to his dementia. I always let the nurses and doctors know he has dementia. Well this doctor got on my nerves with his stupidity. First he says, you are so young (56 yrs. old) why do you have dementia? My husband looks at me and I said, from mini strokes, high blood pressure. He then comments about how much medications he is on (3) blood pressure (2) dementia (2) ashma. Then he pops the questions that I find most of them like to use "Who is the President, What day is it?, What state are you in?" My husband answered them, then doctor makes a comment that his memory seems pretty good. This just makes me so mad. What about all the other problems he has. Then my husband asks me later, "Maybe I don't have dementia". I expect non-professional people to have this reaction because they can look and act quite normal at times. But a doctor? Give me a break. Have you had this experience, how do you handle it?
    Diane

     
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    Old 01-12-2006, 03:51 AM   #2
    Martha H
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    Re: Stupid Things Doctor's Say

    Tes, Ii did have almost the exact same thing. Mom went to her GP for a general checkup. My brother had already spoken to him about odd things Mom was doing ... wandering away and not finding her way hme, burning pots, throwing out good food. The doctor asked her the 3 questions they use on the ultra mini short Alzheimer test. Who is the presdicent? What year is it? What month is it?

    Well, the president is on the news several times a day; it it not THAT surprising that he may be known even when you forget your granddaughter. That time Mom got the name right (although when she got home, she laughed and said, 'that doctor tried to fool me but I knew the right answer, the president is REAGAN!' ... This was in November 2004.)

    As for the year, she got it wrong, but the doctor said that's not so important, we all do that (????). And the month? She was not sure of that either. Yet, he said, 'of course you don't have Alzheimer's.' To us he said 'it's just old age.'

    3 months later she was there again for something, and again he did the same test. This time Mom got all 3 questions wrong. In February with snow on the ground, she thought it was Fall. She also said it was April. She didn't know who was the president.

    Now the doctor became very alarmed at the 'rapid progress' of her disease and prescribed Namenda. Actually she was just the same as before ... ditzy!

    Those quizzes are totally inadequate to prove anything. There is a longer version which has the patient counting backwards by 2s or 7s, which actually takes some thinking. That may prove something, but what? Some are more numerically sharp than others.

    The sad truth is that most dementia patients can fool 90% of the public 90% of the time, while the person livng with them is going crazy because they are suddenly living in Wonderland where none of the old rules apply!

    Still, I don't think it would have been good for Mom to be TOLD she had Alzheimer's.

    Love,

    Martha

     
    Old 01-12-2006, 05:28 AM   #3
    fourt9rkim
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    Re: Stupid Things Doctor's Say

    No kidding, Martha! I called my mom's doc on Monday - I never got to speak to him directly, but his nurse called me back a couple of times to get info. She called me back later and said they would call her and tell her they need to see her, that it's been awhile since she was in. Her appt was Tuesday. Dad went with her, and said all the doctor did was give her a calcium shot, because he said she was in a weakened state. I told the nurse that she would put on a very good show for the doc.

     
    Old 01-12-2006, 06:55 AM   #4
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    Re: Stupid Things Doctor's Say

    Hi All -

    When I took my mother to her long-time GP, he did a casual once-over and said to her, I'll see you in 6 months. I stepped into the hall to talk to him, requested a chest x-ray for a bad cough Mom had, and asked if he'd seen the 7 Stages of Alzheimer's page I'd given the secretary for him. He hadn't seen it, looked through the chart and found it. After reading it, he went back into the room and talked with Mom more at depth. He was alarmed at all she told him - completely out in left field! He did the chest x-ray, too, and her lungs were okay, but her bones were whispy (from osteroprosis) and not at all solid looking as they should have been. I had to point that out - the doctor just looked at the lungs.

    You're paying good money for the doctor's service, so try to be there with your loved one and don't hesitate to follow the doctor to ask your questions, to ask if he/she read the letter you wrote, or to tell the doctor you'd like to speak to him AWAY from your loved one. It's okay to tell a new doctor that tests are welcome to disprove an established diagnosis, but not to jump to a baseless conculsion and get everyone's hopes up, just because the patient is unusually young - and to speak in front of the patient is thoughtless, if not outrageous and mean. Sometimes we mortals have lessons to teach some doctors about consideration, kindness, courtsey, and common sense.

    I know it's not easy to be with your parents at doctor's appointments, but there comes a time when it's essential. You can offer to drive, then all of you go out to lunch. You can offer to be an extra set of ears, a steadying arm, or a purse holder. I told my bosses that I could not help asking for unpaid time off and a leave of absence (I was gone a month) because Mom needed me. A co-worker's parents lived in town and it was just a given that she'd be given the time off to be at all of their appointments. Ask your boss. Explain how things are unravelling and that you are needed. I hope those bosses will help and work with you as my bosses did.

    Good luck one and all! Barbara

     
    Old 01-12-2006, 05:06 PM   #5
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    Re: Stupid Things Doctor's Say

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by victorino545
    Yesterday I had to take hubby to doctor for a problem that was not related to his dementia. I always let the nurses and doctors know he has dementia. Well this doctor got on my nerves with his stupidity. First he says, you are so young (56 yrs. old) why do you have dementia? My husband looks at me and I said, from mini strokes, high blood pressure. He then comments about how much medications he is on (3) blood pressure (2) dementia (2) ashma. Then he pops the questions that I find most of them like to use "Who is the President, What day is it?, What state are you in?" My husband answered them, then doctor makes a comment that his memory seems pretty good. This just makes me so mad. What about all the other problems he has. Then my husband asks me later, "Maybe I don't have dementia". I expect non-professional people to have this reaction because they can look and act quite normal at times. But a doctor? Give me a break. Have you had this experience, how do you handle it?
    Diane
    Fortunately, I did not have this experience as my husband's doctor was female and very very on the ball. But, As a friend of mine said today, " The requirements for becoming a doctor is to be accepted to medical school. It does not mean you have to know anything to become a doctor. In fact it is impossible to know even a little about everything and gerriatric medicine is even more difficult because it has not been 100 years since people lived long enough to have age related dementia because the life expectancy on average used to be 60 years of age and people died of heart attacks and infections in the past before they became demented. The only diagnosable dementia was Syphillis and acting demented was anything that public society did not approve of.
    Now that society gives its approval to gangsta rap and many other things, true dementia is harder to believe than ever. The younger doctors have not lived long enough to see actual cases of anything because of the paperwork and the older doctors have lived so long that they have ceased to be amazed by anything much. Our dear Alzheimers family are caught in the gap with a fad diagnosis that can be caused by everything from diabetes to metal poisoning.
    A disease is a disease, and our dear loved ones do not want to be diagnosed with this any more than any one wants to be diagnosed with breast cancer or colon cancer and the soul knows a great deal more sometimes than the mind. I listen very hard to my precious Alzheimer's patient because he is not always in a state of Dementia yet and I want to savor each sane moment that he recognizes the president of the US, the face of his grandchild, or remembers that he has already shaved this morning. Also knowing that there is a name to his disease, makes him less frustrated when his memory starts to fail him as well.

     
    Old 01-12-2006, 05:48 PM   #6
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    Re: Stupid Things Doctor's Say

    Wow, Merimac -- I never thought about any of this, but it makes so much sense! I can't wait to discuss this with people at work. Thank you!

    The older I get, the more I see Doctors as ordinary people. As the years have passed I've seen even the ones that I thought were brilliant make mistakes. I've heard some really stupid comments too. Recently a young doctor told me that she thought an appliance in my formerly broken ankle had shifted to my foot (geeez, it's a cyst -- not the movement of an ankle pin embedded in bone. Even I could figure that one out). The podiatrist snickered when he read her referral. But I know they're just people and most of them try to do the right thing. They sure don't want to hurt anyone (if only because of the liability)...but sometimes I think they see so many illnesses that they lose sight of the patient. We're all guity of it. Teachers see so many kids that they can miss the one who is special. A waitress can look at that special anniversary dinner as just another steak medium rare. A repairman might not care that the young couple won't pay their utility bill if the washer can't be fixed in the cheapest way.

    Thank heavens for angels who make life better for other people, like the Mom of one of my kids' friends who brought food for my family when I had pneumonia at Christmas, or the nurse who did a good job collecting medical history and then tried to get the Doctor to take the time to listen. And thank heavens for the posters here, who provide so much help, friendship and warmth when we're feeling alone.

    Last edited by Beginning; 01-12-2006 at 05:50 PM.

     
    Old 01-13-2006, 12:54 PM   #7
    siren1024
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    Re: Stupid Things Doctor's Say

    This reminds me of a joke my OB told me when I was PG with my first child.

    What do you call the guy who finished last in his class in med school................
    ........................................ .................





    Doctor!!!!! LOLOLOL.


    I just really kept that in mind after an ER fiasco with my son when he was a baby. I don't think (even though many of them DO!) that doctors are all smarter than me and trustworthy.
    __________________
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    Married 09/28/2002
    DS born 07/05/2003
    DD born 3/24/2005

     
    Old 01-13-2006, 05:44 PM   #8
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    Re: Stupid Things Doctor's Say

    I have seen some Executive secretary's with the exact same attitude, and I've seen some 'check-out' chicks with the same attitude ... and ya get 'em everywhere people! LOL

    I was fortunate in the fact that my doctor knew I knew about medicine enough that I could walk in and say "I think it's this ......." and he would check and confirm or put another option in front of me. Together we would work out the best plan of action. But I've also had that same doctor tell me to go out and 'skip' to lose weight and cheer myself up when in fact it was my thyroid not working. It took 5 years and one of his partners to figure it out *sigh* It's nice to have somebody who can work with you.

    "Your charge is just getting old "-- is a frustrating statement, one I enjoyed proving him wrong with - - -

    And on the note of dementia:

    It used to be called 'senility' .. remember Aunt Gertrude? The one you were told in hushed tones not to go and ask her how she is? The weird behaviour of some of our elder population was put down to 'old age' and 'senility' whereas now it's got a formal name and a heap of facilities for these people to live in. What happened in the old days? The family covered it up and cared for the 'odd' person. And yes, old age was considered in the 70's, whereas now old isn't until the early to mid 80's ....

    How society changes it's rules to cope with the ever growing populaton and new diseases !!!

    Cheers
    Sally

    Last edited by angel_bear; 01-13-2006 at 10:28 PM.

     
    Old 01-16-2006, 09:07 AM   #9
    FLA.Racing20Gal
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    Re: Stupid Things Doctor's Say

    my husband has dementia and I go in with him to all appoinments and he said he wants me ther and I do answer some of the questions forhim because he cannotthen when they ask what he wrong I say bad wreck in 1966 coma 3 months and moter nerve damage then they ask him and we are in ther an huor or more with him expolaing all hisbroken bones surgeries etc and then forgets have the stuff so I now have a copy of all his surgeries and the daythey wheeled him into shands in gainsville in 1966 with his broken bones and hand it to them if they ask what is wrong with him. He does past some of the tests days etc months etc then come home and one son calls and abuot 3o min later the other son calls saying I am at his brothers house my hubby can sayhe is home allready where he just talked to the that one 30min earlier so yes they can fool people or get mad when you say how they are acting like I am not a dumb embosol etc and cuss too. oh well i am also glad I fuond this forum for he does have dementia and geting checked out.to see how far along
    Next to him i have suffred 2 heart atacks and wilbe 50this year only damage is my spelling sometimes folks . THis group will be a sving grace for me dealing withmy hubby and his forgetfullnness .
    His dad, uncle and grandad all had dementia by age 65 he will be 64 this may.
    Heidi

    Last edited by FLA.Racing20Gal; 01-16-2006 at 04:28 PM.

     
    Old 01-16-2006, 12:28 PM   #10
    BarbaraH
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    Re: Stupid Things Doctor's Say

    Hi Gal -

    You're new here, so wanted to say sorry your DH is having this trouble.

    Nice to have you join us and hope your DH does well.

    Welcome! Barbara

    Last edited by BarbaraH; 01-16-2006 at 05:07 PM.

     
    Old 01-16-2006, 01:37 PM   #11
    Martha H
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    Re: Stupid Things Doctor's Say

    Welcome to the club!

    As a fellow sufferer, I can only say that you will get a lot of understanding and help here. My Mom is an AD victim. She's now in a nursing home, but I lived with her for 5 years and often was at my wits' end ... writing to this Board and getting helpful and caring comments from the others helped me to get through it.

    Good luck to you,

    Martha

     
    Old 01-16-2006, 04:29 PM   #12
    FLA.Racing20Gal
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    Re: Stupid Things Doctor's Say

    Thanks Barb I just edited it.
    Heidi

     
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