Discussions that mention morphine

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia board

Shooz....fifteen years ago my father had surgery to remove an aneurysm of the aorta and was in the intensive care unit for 5 days after surgery, during which time the surgeon prescribed morphine for pain. After one day my Dad told my Mom and me that they needed to stop the morphine, that is was causing him to hallucinate. We told the nurse in charge, but they kept giving him morphine, doctor saying he needed it for pain control. Well, the day he was moved from ICU he went absolutely wild.....pulling iv's out, also the tube they had in his stomach, got out of bed and ran down the hall. He was hallucinating constantly and did not sleep at all for 10 days. A family member had to be with him at all times. After 15 days in the hospital the vascular surgeon was going to send him home and I asked if he was really going to dismiss a patient that had not slept for 10 days and dr. said sleep was not essential for physical health! Can you imagine him saying that?!!!! Anyway I went to the head nurse and told her that my family were people who did not sue but if Dad was sent home in this condition we might take legal action. The next morning the surgeon said Dad needed to stay awhile longer.....which turned out to be another 2 weeks. This is a long story but what I am leading up to is the fact that the man who left the hospital was not the same as when he went in. Dad had been building inspector for our city but after the surgery was incapable of doing anything. Within 6 months he was diagnosed with Alzheimers and his mental state deteriorated rapidly. He was not at the final stage of Alzheimers when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but he could not remember anything, did strange things (like shaving 6 or 8 times each day, opened the door and threw garbage on the garage floor and many other odd things). He never knew he had Alzheimers or cancer and died 4 months after the cancer diagnosis. I really believe the surgery for the aneurysm or the use of the morphine caused the onset of Alzheimers. It was a sad, sad time for our family.
In December 2000 we noticed my father was more confused and suggested he contact his doctor for an evaluation. His doctor prescribed Aricept and we noticed he was calmer and less confused. He was still living alone, driving, paying his bills, eating meals on wheels, etc. On June 30, he broke his hip. On July 1, we talked to him prior to surgery--he gave me his rolex and diamond ring, asked me to pay his bills because it was July 1, asked if we were staying at his house and asked me to drive his car. On July 1 & 2 he had morphine. On July 3 he had a sleeping pill and didn't wake up until July 5 with full scale dementia, hallucinations, screaming, attempts to escape, etc. He has never again remembered his home or car, his girlfriend of nearly 20 years, my mother (died 1981) or anything more recent than 1940. I've had him to 2 specialists---the first one diagnosed alcohol induced dementia (I keep wondering why it didn't kick in until the surgery); the second considered minor strokes (extreme left side weakness and certain mental abilities associated with right periotol lobe strokes) but the MRI showed no evidence of stroke only an increase in "white" matter. He is on no medication, has no depression or mood swings.
I am concerned about the genetics of Alzeheimer's as well as the link with anesthesia/morphine/sleeping pills. In fact, I am cancelling a colonoscopy because of my fear of sedation. My last surgery in 1995 affected my memory and cognitive abilities and I do not want to risk further impairment.
I have yet to find a doctor who will acknowledge the link to anesthesia, etc.