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11/28/2010 10:23 AM

alzheimers/dementia

overwhelmed47
Posts: 4
New Member

I am new to this support group but am desperately looking for some advice on how to determine if my mother has begun Alzheimer's or dementia, or a case of over sedation of anesthesia. Is there a difference????? She is 76 yrs old and had back surgery this past June. Ever since, she has been confused, anxious, suspicious, forgetful, repetitive, etc. Any opinions?

I have friends and relatives telling me to find a support group since my mother is sucking the life outta me, but I DO NOT HAVE TIME to do anything else in life. UGH...... HELP!!Dizzy

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11/28/2010 11:44 AM
tony36
tony36  
Posts: 1408
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Hi Ow and welcome to our group which you will find very supportive. I think you ought to find out first if your mother is labouring under medication that does not suit her. But AD is a possibility also as any change of environment or major trauma like an operation can catapult someone from mild beginnings of AD to a more advanced stage. So see first if the medication can explain her present condition. Remember that we are not medical people and you need to consult her doctors.

Tony


11/28/2010 11:47 AM
alznotwell
Posts: 1145
Group Leader

Hello OW47. We can certainly identify with overwhelmed, especially when we first suspected our relative had a serious problem. If descent into Alzheimer's (AD) is imminent, a serious medical procedure can precipitate a plunge that leaves us appalled at its suddenness. Have you had her back to the doctor to discuss her symptoms? He or she will likely refer you to a neurologist who can better identify her mental state. Yes, there's a difference between effects of over-sedation and onset of AD, and this certainly has the earmarks of AD, but best talk to a doctor for a diagnosis. We will be glad to help you with any specific problems regarding her care (and your sanity) that we can. It's good you looked us up. Keep talking to us. ANW

11/28/2010 03:13 PM
overwhelmed47
Posts: 4
New Member

yes i eventually got her to a neurologist. It was not easy since she claims the back surgeoun nearly killed her back in June, and any visit to another doctor or any medications would finish her off. The neurologist tried to put her on lexapro first to wade off the anxiety issues. She hid them, flushed them, and fed them to the dog!!!! anything in order not to take them. My dad and I almost went crazy. We decided it was a battle we would not fight with her. It only made her more suspicious and anxious.

I guess what i need right now is to figure out what's best for me. My dad has no funds to get her help, and its falling on me, along with my work schedule, 4 kids and 1 grandkid to care for too. I'm going crazy. I've almost quit answering her phone calls. Can't take much more...... ugh.... i miss my mom


11/28/2010 03:52 PM
alznotwell
Posts: 1145
Group Leader

I know what you mean about missing your mom...even as you are trying to meet this sudden demand on your time, energy, and nerves. My mom descended into AD when her husband died. For the first year I thought it was grief, and I was rather resentful that she should be so out of control and demanding when I had lost my only son to a motorcycle accident and two husbands, the second just weeks before I took over her care. I was struggling so hard to care for her while continuing to work it took me a while to realize she had AD and that she couldn't help herself. You are right, you must put yourself and your children first. If your dad cannot care for your mom, perhaps you need to start looking for a nursing home and get her on the list for admission so you will be prepared when the time comes. I don't know what state you live in, but you and your dad need to look into the Medicaid (not Medicare) program for monetary help for nursing home costs. It sounds like your dad doesn't have far to go before he will be eligible to receive monetary aid. Funds are very limited because of the economic downturn, so you should check into Medicaid soon, even if you are not ready to apply.

I laughed about the pills OW47. My mom did the same thing except we didn't have a dog. It would have been a very "mellow" pet if we had though, because she was quite creative at putting those pills everywhere but in her stomach. For a while there I think I needed calming down as much as she did, so I understand your anxiety. We want to help where we can. ANW

Post edited by: alznotwell, at: 11/28/2010 03:54 PM


11/29/2010 06:48 AM
Jsdaughter
 
Posts: 10
New Member

It is very easy to see the onset of Alzheimers/Dementia after surgery. My mom had a basic knee surgery, going into it mentally in early stages and coming out of it at a graduated stage with other issues. I was upset with the doctors who all seemed to let me know AFTER THE FACT that anesthesia can have that affect on Alzheimers patients. The forgetfulness and repetativeness seems all too familar. I would seek out her doctor to take the Alzheimers detection test, if you have not done so already. ( In my mom's case) Keep in mind that many of the doctors do not have enough training themselves in the disease and unfortunately it is up to the family to do the research. I have learned alot from the internet and this support group has been a wonderful source of information and support. I have only been on it for a week and I feel very lucky to have found it. I feel your pain and frustration, we are here for you.

11/29/2010 07:32 AM
overwhelmed47
Posts: 4
New Member

Wow, hearing your similar story gave me comfort today. May I ask what steps you've taken with your mom since her AD diagnosis? Med's? Doctors? Caregivers? What stage is she and who stays with her? My mom just called crying AGAIN, saying she can't live without me and she needs her hair washed!!! ugh... i have to leave for work. I live right next door but have so many other issues at hand. Dad's insensitive and wants to put her in a home but refuses to pay for it.

I would love to hear more of your journey.... if u can share....Dizzy


11/29/2010 08:36 AM
alznotwell
Posts: 1145
Group Leader

I began to get somewhat of a handle on the situation once I was able to put aside my own grief, worry and exhaustion and examine why my mom was so out of control. Even though she would not admit it, she knew something was badly wrong with her mind and she was terrified. That caused all that frantic, demanding, non-stop bad behavior. (You have not seen a temper tantrum until you have seen my mom throw one.) I began to try to keep our environment low-key and quiet. Especially I tried to stay calm and gentle when dealing with her. It helped a lot, but does she still misbehave many years later? You bet. The last time I was with her I tried to get her dressed for bed and she did not recognize her own clothes and refused to put them on. She finally threw herself into the floor and kicked the door and screamed until my BIL came in and got her up. She always behaves better for the men in our family, because it is ingrained in her that women take care of men and act nice when they are around. Try to be calm and strong around your mom even though you are falling apart because it makes her feel safer if someone seems to be in control. It is less trouble in the long run.

Since I was available, I cared for my mom for 12 years. When I broke down my sister took over and Mom has been with her for a year. She is almost 92 now. You don't really have that option because you have a family. It seems you must look for outside help. ANW


11/30/2010 03:43 PM
lovingyoungwife

Hello overwhelmed, Welcome to our group. I'm sorry that you are having to deal with these problems. I have been away for a few days and you have already been given some good advice/info so I won't get into any of that. Let us know how things go and if we can help with any information or advice.

LYW


11/30/2010 05:15 PM
4mygrammie
4mygrammie  
Posts: 85
Member

Hi Overwhelmed47, it seems as though once you get over the struggle of asking for help things do get a little bit better. The advice others have given you above is right on track! God Bless and I hope to see you here whenever you can stop by!

hugs

4mygrammie

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