Are these signs of Dementia or Alzheimers disease?

Posted by luv2spin @luv2spin, Jun 9 6:16pm

Are these signs of Dementia or Alzheimers disease?
Can you completely lose your short-term memory, but remember things that happened 40-60 years ago with accuracy if you have beginning stages of Dementia or Alzheimers?

Secondly, if you were asked to go to the mailbox (1 block away) and pick up the mail via car, yet 20 minutes later, when contacted by phone, say you are trying to figure out how to get home from a location 10 miles away because you thought you were supposed to go to the P.O. for the mail. When asked if you know how to get home, the answer is yes. You are reminded to pick up the mail at the mailbox and you do that all within 15 minutes or so. Could this just be a miscommunication or does this appear to be related to Dementia or Alzheimers?

These are 2 instances that I have had within the past 3 days with my husband. He was diagnosed with Parkinsonism in 2019, although, it wasn't definite. He does not have Parkinson's, which he was treated for 11 years beginning in 2008, but there were no changes in 11 years. He has slight tremors, is soft talking and shuffles occasionally when walking unless you bring it to his attention. I am aware that Dementia/Alzheimers occurs in Parkinson patients, however, he has several other medical issues, one being major issues with his heart. The only artery he has open in his body is his main artery. All other arteries are closed due to disease. He was a smoker for 70+ years beginning at age 9 when he lived on a farm. Surgery on his heart is very risky, so the surgeon has refused to do it unless it is an emergency. I am trying to cover all bases, however, I have been unable to locate any info on whether these 2 instances could be tied to Dementia or his heart issue. I would appreciate hearing if anyone else has had these kind of issues and if it has been related to Dementia or Alzheimers. Thank you.

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Hello, I can’t say that the experiences he has had recently are Dementia or Alzheimer’s. A Neurologist could test for these diseases rather than guessing what he has.
And about his heart, I would do the same – have him see a Cardiologist. I’m sorry I don’t have answers for you, but I do know doctors could find answers for you.
Prayers for you and your husband.

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My husband has been showing increasing signs of cognitive issues. On Sunday they are starting checking him out with an MRI – then following week he has an appointment with a Neurologist (I filled out a long question form the other day. He has good and bad days. We moved in with our daughter about a month ago as I needed help with him. Just discovered through phone calls to our number and emails that it looks like he is checking out senior living in TN – his birth State – we are in AZ.

One of my biggest oops moments with him is that he doesn't want to change his urine filled depends! This is a man who took two showers a day!

Some years ago we were at our granddaughter's wedding and he wanted to go back to the hotel early. It was five minutes away. Finally, 2 hours later, he managed to find it after seeking directions from numerous people (he couldn't follow their directions). I knew at that point we were headed down a hard road as it was so unlike him. I always got lost easily but he never did.

I'm with Janet7 – think getting things checked out well worth it.

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@juliec — Hi, J.

In light of your hubby's "shower history," I'm curious why he wouldn't want to change his briefs if they were wet??? What has he said about that? His reasons for this new practice on this may give clues on how to approach the prob.

Good luck!

/LarryG

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@larryg333

@juliec — Hi, J.

In light of your hubby's "shower history," I'm curious why he wouldn't want to change his briefs if they were wet??? What has he said about that? His reasons for this new practice on this may give clues on how to approach the prob.

Good luck!

/LarryG

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His being okay with wet underwear and pants give me one of the first clues something was really wrong. He claimed he didn't want to add to my laundry duties – which I kept explaining I was more than happy to do. He didn't want to wear Depends for a long time and he has to go a LOT day and night. Even with Avodart and Flomax it isn't controlled.

He is now using shower wipes, which are proving helpful! And he is using his walker full time since the ETM guys had to get him up. I think he is now terrified of falling. Robin and I are terrified of his falling!

So hopeful Mayo will be able to help – or at least we will know where we stand rather than just guessing. Fortunately he is looking forward to Mayo. Before he wouldn't hear of it. And, unlike other doctor/home health visits, maybe he won't do a 'showtime'. Hard to get help when you will do anything to prove you don't need it even when you know you do. So trying to get that across to him. Tomorrow is the MRI!

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Sounds as if you on the right path! My husband still needs an MRI as well because results are much clearer to see.
Good luck with his MRI.

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Hi @luv2spin, my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease by a neurologist and neuropsychologist about three years ago. He was always articulate, but I noticed he was forgetting a lot of words and making up new olnes to take their place. He also stopped playing chess, became less sociable and did not want to shower. I documented his behaviors and sent them to his doctor. He was okay with that. The doctor gave him a basic memory test, then he saw a neurologist for a more extensive memory test, and an MRI. He also had nearly a full day of neuropsychological testing (grueling for him). The diagnosis was Alzheimer's. There were also blood tests because certain vitamin deficiencies can mimic dementia. My husband's short term memory is pretty bad, but not completely gone, and he does remember things from his childhood. He went through a period when he did not want to shower or wash his hair, for a couple of years, but that passed, He broke his hip about four months ago. I had an accessible shower installed. I help him in the shower and now he enjoys it. His dispostion is good, he sleeps well, and the physical therapists at the rehab facility told me he is highly functioning. Fortunately, he never forgot to use his walker after his hip surgery and now is using a cane.
The incidents you described with your husband are red flags of something. Best to document them and let his doctors know. I resisted my husband's diagnosis, but I knew something was amiss before the tests confirmed it. It was one of the hardest things I ever faced, but I did come to terms with it. He gave up driving and handling our finances easily, and he's very sweet, so we have been fortunate. I wish you both the best. It isn't easy.

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Thank you very much for your response Teri. He sees the Primary Dr. in approx. 2 weeks, and I intended to let her know his issues because he needs a referral to see a neurologist. I would prefer he see a neurologist at the VA because they were 100% better than any that we have seen with our health plan, however, with Covid, it is not viable at this point with his heart issue. I have checked the symptoms for Alzheimers and Dementia several times and he does not appear to have any other symptoms other than his memory. The tremors, shuffling of his feet occasionally and low speech mimic Parkinsonism. I am happy to hear that your husband appears to be doing much better than some with this horrible disease. And you are very lucky that your husband gave up on driving and handling your finances easily. The driving may be much easier than the finances, and I agree. It is not easy at all. I go through doubts here and there because one minute he seems fine and the next, he doesn't remember what he did 5 minutes ago. I did ask him if he wanted me to label things for him and he actually said yes which surprized me, so I definitely will do that asap. I also wish you the best as well. Stay strong.

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Bill never handled our finances but he would buy whatever he wanted, knowing I would take care of the payment. But now he wants to buy things, like hearing aids, that he already has – over and over. I had to remove our PayPal account and change credit cards. And be very careful with Auto Pay.

Today he is going in for his MRI and is actually happy about it. I have a sneaking suspicion that he thinks it is for his back pain, which is chronic. His doctors warned him for past 50 years if he didn't exercise and only sat in his lounge chair that it would damage his body. You rest you rust as one doctor told him. He always had one pain or another that 'prevented' him from doing much. He rusted big time. He also used to do puzzles (he was great at the NY Times Sunday Crossword) every day and then gave that up.

Still insisting he can and will drive. I'm selling the car as I shouldn't be driving either as reflexes aren't as great as they should be for traffic. Our 2007 Town Car has under 54000 miles on it so we haven't been doing a lot of driving anyway!

Hope we get the results on the MRI quickly – I'm always impatient lol.

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@billchitwood

Bill never handled our finances but he would buy whatever he wanted, knowing I would take care of the payment. But now he wants to buy things, like hearing aids, that he already has – over and over. I had to remove our PayPal account and change credit cards. And be very careful with Auto Pay.

Today he is going in for his MRI and is actually happy about it. I have a sneaking suspicion that he thinks it is for his back pain, which is chronic. His doctors warned him for past 50 years if he didn't exercise and only sat in his lounge chair that it would damage his body. You rest you rust as one doctor told him. He always had one pain or another that 'prevented' him from doing much. He rusted big time. He also used to do puzzles (he was great at the NY Times Sunday Crossword) every day and then gave that up.

Still insisting he can and will drive. I'm selling the car as I shouldn't be driving either as reflexes aren't as great as they should be for traffic. Our 2007 Town Car has under 54000 miles on it so we haven't been doing a lot of driving anyway!

Hope we get the results on the MRI quickly – I'm always impatient lol.

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Hi @billchitwood, my husband's MRI, done about three years ago, showed changes in his frontal lobe.

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@luv2spin

Thank you very much for your response Teri. He sees the Primary Dr. in approx. 2 weeks, and I intended to let her know his issues because he needs a referral to see a neurologist. I would prefer he see a neurologist at the VA because they were 100% better than any that we have seen with our health plan, however, with Covid, it is not viable at this point with his heart issue. I have checked the symptoms for Alzheimers and Dementia several times and he does not appear to have any other symptoms other than his memory. The tremors, shuffling of his feet occasionally and low speech mimic Parkinsonism. I am happy to hear that your husband appears to be doing much better than some with this horrible disease. And you are very lucky that your husband gave up on driving and handling your finances easily. The driving may be much easier than the finances, and I agree. It is not easy at all. I go through doubts here and there because one minute he seems fine and the next, he doesn't remember what he did 5 minutes ago. I did ask him if he wanted me to label things for him and he actually said yes which surprized me, so I definitely will do that asap. I also wish you the best as well. Stay strong.

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My husband resisted the labelling idea so now I search the kitchen and the pantry looking for things he puts away in different places. That's a small price to pay for him doing the dishes. And since breaking his hip, he actually seems better, in terms of his mood and strength. Good luck with the referral.

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My wife's neurologist has said many times "if you have seen a 1000 cases of MCI/dementia/Alzheimer, you have only really seen ONE because each case is unique". My wife has had MCI for a few years but now she is forgetting many simple things. Her neurologist has said "MCI is related to forgetting but dementia is more about confusion" After 53 years of marriage, it's tough to see your partner slipping away. What ever his problem is, hold him tight and be thankful you still have him. Yes, guys can be stubborn and angry but if you have lived with him as long as you have, be happy you still have him and don't look too far into the future. take each day as it comes and enjoy it.

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@billchitwood

Bill never handled our finances but he would buy whatever he wanted, knowing I would take care of the payment. But now he wants to buy things, like hearing aids, that he already has – over and over. I had to remove our PayPal account and change credit cards. And be very careful with Auto Pay.

Today he is going in for his MRI and is actually happy about it. I have a sneaking suspicion that he thinks it is for his back pain, which is chronic. His doctors warned him for past 50 years if he didn't exercise and only sat in his lounge chair that it would damage his body. You rest you rust as one doctor told him. He always had one pain or another that 'prevented' him from doing much. He rusted big time. He also used to do puzzles (he was great at the NY Times Sunday Crossword) every day and then gave that up.

Still insisting he can and will drive. I'm selling the car as I shouldn't be driving either as reflexes aren't as great as they should be for traffic. Our 2007 Town Car has under 54000 miles on it so we haven't been doing a lot of driving anyway!

Hope we get the results on the MRI quickly – I'm always impatient lol.

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Good morning @billchitwood I wanted to wish you good things for Bill's MRI. I'll be thinking about you both!

Impatience can be good! When you feel ready, let us know how it went.

Strength, Courage, & Peace

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