Dementia: The Start of Dementia

December 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm 5 comments

Things were different with our mother.  Most of them were so subtle that they could easily be missed. The conversations on the phone became shorter and shorter.  She did not seem to be interested in what we were doing or what her grandchildren were doing.  Something was not right. Our parents moved to Florida about fifteen years ago as retirees.  They were really living a charmed life.  Tennis, traveling, and going out with friends all the time, everything was going great for them.  Then it happened, things started to change. Our mother was becoming someone different. Our father was in denial, or maybe he just did not notice it.  We finally convinced him to take her to a neurologist. The diagnosis was that she was fine; it was just normal aging of the brain.  We were relieved.   But we learned that this was wrong and too often used to diagnose the elderly. What she really had was a neurological condition known as dementia.  As hospital and nursing home pharmacists we are well aware of the disease of dementia.
The loss of a loved one is very devastating.  Nothing is more heartbreaking than the loss of a child, but the loss of a parent, even when the children are adults is very upsetting.  Loss does not only mean death. It can be the loss of a parent whom you relied upon for her wisdom and caring ways.  It is extremely difficult when a parent can no longer offer you solace, and you sometimes feel like the parent instead.  Dementia is one such illness that takes the ones you love away and replaces them with a totally different person.

Entry filed under: Dementia.

Dementia: Getting the Diagnosis

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. twicetheadvice  |  December 26, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Please feel free to comment below.

  • 2. Gail Gerson  |  February 3, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Hi Twin Pharmacists,
    I am an identical twin, we just turned 60 and my sister was diagnosed last Feb. with Dementia. She had an MRI to rule out brain tumors or stroke and that did come out negative, but the Neurologist said there is a slight atrophy in her brain. It has been so up-setting for me and her family/husband, son & dhtr, but we have to deal with it, of course.
    The Dr. suggested for her to go to Columbia Pres. in NY to the Memory Center, but her Insurance doesn’t pay, and right now nothing is being done. I want to take her to another Neurologist. The other one did not do an EEG. It’s good to talk/write about it and I’m praying for my sister all the time.
    I’ll also be praying for your Mother…….Thank you…..Gail

    • 3. twicetheadvice  |  February 3, 2010 at 12:49 am

      Dear Gail, So sorry to hear about your sister, but it is vital to get a definite diagnosis because this disease does not wait. The faster medication is started the better are her chances for holding onto her memory. We can not stress enough how important it is for a patient to start treatment for memory loss. Read our article on “Getting the Diagnosis”. Please feel free to ask us any questions and keep us updated. Think of us as your dementia hotline.

  • 4. Gail Gerson  |  February 16, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Dear Ronda &Mindy

    Thank you so much for your reply to me about my twin sister, Linda. I am looking for another Neurologist for my sister and I do feel now that I must be in a hurry because of what you mentioned. She was put on Aricept last Feb. but started to get very dizzy and didn’t renew the prescription and hasn’t been on anything since.
    Our Pastor prayed for her this past Sun. and we’re looking to our Father in Heaven because “NOthing is Impossible with Him”
    God Bless the both of you for the work that you do.

    • 5. twicetheadvice  |  February 17, 2010 at 10:00 pm

      Gail, dizziness is a common side effect of Aricept. Sometimes by decreasing the dose it can help decrease the problem. Also, the manufacturer suggests giving the medication at bedtime, this might also help with the dizziness. Please discuss this with your neurologist.
      Mindy and Ronda


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