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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 

Need a Virtual Hug by pandab on 27 February 2007 3:11am
I am in dire need of a virtual hug, folks.

In the past week, my father has started showing signs of either Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia. We have an appointment tomorrow with a Center for Healthy Aging run by our local hospital, and while I know we are unlikely to get a definite diagnosis, I at least hope to get a better idea of what is going on.

He has had memory issues for many years and has been going to this center for regular testing. Until now, while they've told him he does have an impaired memory, it was nothing to worry about, especially as it never progressed. Also, until now, I've not noticed anything odd about his behavior or cognitive skills, and even if I don't see him, I talk to him at least once a week every week.

When we talked on Sunday morning, however, I could tell immediately that something was terribly wrong. He was very emotional, though perhaps terrified is a better word. Even taking that into consideration, his speech was confused. He kept repeating himself as if he had not spoken the same sentence just seconds before. He called me by my brother's name and vice versa. He complained of becoming easily lost and disoriented while driving around the city. And my father doesn't get lost in our city. Most worrying for me, it took my father--the man who can perform even complex arthimetic in his head--three hours to balance a week's worth of transactions in his checkbook. I guess you'd have to know him to realize just how shocking that is, but to me, it shows just how much cognitive ability he has lost.

All this--and other things--has happened in the past week. It has gotten so bad that he gave his car keys to his lady friend to keep for him and refuses to drive. Again, for me, that is shocking. My father was a truck driver and has always prided himself on being a "professional driver." For him to admit he can't handle a vehicle is incredible. Still, at least, he was able to recognize it and take himself off the road.

My hope--if you can call it that--is the underlying reason for all this isn't really Alzheimer's but something perhaps more treatable. I hope we can find out something more concrete tomorrow.

Sorry for the length of my post, but this has really got me upset and I guess I just needed to vent a bit.

Thanks for "listening" to me!

Re: Need a Virtual Hug by Lounge Trekker on 27 February 2007 3:23am
You have all the love and compassion I can offer, Donna. Your life has made a turn, but you are staying on track. Be with your Father.

My suggestion is to have him live with you, or you with him, if necessary, until he can get past this. Reducing stress on him can only be good. Be prepared for this, and embrace the chance of sharing a home with him again.

It sounds like a very serious medical concern. However, doctors are only there to help. Your father is the most important figure in this, and he needs your help. Don't leave him to the doctors without being there.

Be strong in his time of greatest need.

Re: Need a Virtual Hug by sighthound on 27 February 2007 3:41am
I'm so sorry to hear that, pandab.

I take care of a relative with Alzheimer's so I know what a difficult problem it is.

But since your father got so much worse in such a short amount of time it may very well be something else, even something correctable. Sometimes chemical unbalances or even dehydration can cause those symptoms.

I'm crossing my fingers that the doctors will find that it is a problem that they can treat. Please keep us informed.


Re: Need a Virtual Hug by Caty on 27 February 2007 3:43am
Pandab, I wish you and your father all the best. I'm so sorry. Here's a BIG virtual hug from me: (((Pandab))) I'll be sending good vibes your way.
Re: Need a Virtual Hug by fairygirl48 on 27 February 2007 3:59am
My heart goes out to you, Pandab. *lots of hugs* I'll be keeping you and your dad in my thoughts.

Re: Need a Virtual Hug by tucsonmike on 27 February 2007 4:44am
Of course, you shall received virtual hugs from me Pandab. I do not have Geraldines experience in dealing with it, but I have had to deal with it at times.

Hang in there.
Re: Need a Virtual Hug by kazzzz on 27 February 2007 10:06am
Sorry to hear all this, hugs and creme eggs :)
Re: Need a Virtual Hug by Spursfan on 27 February 2007 11:02am
A big big hug ((H U G)).
Re: Need a Virtual Hug by Claz on 27 February 2007 12:40pm
Pandab, I've said a prayer for you and your Dad. Even if you have no religion, I'm sure it will help.
Lots of hugs,
Re: Need a Virtual Hug by johnnythemonkey on 27 February 2007 12:44pm
Best wishes to you and your family,Pandab.
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