“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” -Matthew 7:27
As a reminder, this series is going through the warning signs of dementia found at this link: LINK
Happy much-maligned Monday! This is going to be a great week, folks. Don’t give up before it has even started. 🙂 Let’s stick together through this thing and encourage as best we can.
Off we go…
Warning sign du jour: “Changes in Mood and Personality”. Setting aside the question whether dementia is completely different from mental illness, this topic is still super important as a warning sign of dementia…and other conditions. It is somewhat of a cause and effect issue because everyone’s moods would change (for the worse) if you suddenly lose critical memories and functions. I mean, that is a no-brainer. However, remember that seniors and their partners can be expert enablers/supplementers when it comes to health problems. They are masters at hiding conditions, sometimes out of fear of embarrassment and sometimes out of fear of losing freedoms (driving and guns coming to mind). However, a chink in the armor might be personality and mood.
I found these articles helpful (Link Link) as I looked deeper at this topic. Behavior/mood/personality can be a type of communication (especially as the disease progresses…). Sometimes…perhaps oftentimes, your loved one will not tell you what is wrong…what hurts, if you will. However, their personality can be the tell you need to figure it out. It sure is in the case of such conditions as UTIs, dizziness, sore feet/other places, and the like. Watch for changes in personality type too. Mom, fortunately for us, has stayed pretty similar to “herself” throughout her ordeal, but many of the Sweet 17 changed dramatically, even in the year I knew them. Once quiet as a church mouse, one lady in particular swore like a sailor, very loudly and uncharacteristically, especially late in her condition. This acting out shouldn’t be considered a personal attack or a blemish on their life lived…but instead an outgrowth of the disease’s ravaging their old self. It is very, very hard…possibly the most tragic part for many with the condition, to see these changes.
As with the other warning signs, if you see them, talk to the doc…and be sure their only consideration isn’t the before-mentioned mental health concerns. Giving a person with early dementia an anti-psychotic drug without exploring other conditions (dementia?) is irresponsible and may “help” in the short run to the detriment of the patient long-term. Remember, the window to give anti-dementia meds is very early in the condition and pretty short-lived. If you miss the window, like we did, you won’t have more opportunities. (Here’s to hoping the new drug trials prove fruitful…).
I am sorry you have to endure these changes. I would do anything to fight this dragon for you…but I cannot. Instead we all fight together for a cure, we serve each other, we help where we can, and we do all possible to someday #EndALZ .
Update: No news on mom. She seems pretty much the same…stable and happy. I get to see her Wednesday morning for a bit. I sure wish the COVID would go away…
Diet update: I lost 2 this week for a total of 75.8. I had been a little flat for a couple weeks, but am back on track now. I would like to lose 24.2 pounds in the next 14 weeks to get to 100 by my anniversary in early November. It will require consistency and effort, but I will get there. I would like to be to goal (190 lbs) by Valentine’s Day 2021 (79 more pounds total). That may be a little more challenging…but it isn’t a stretch goal if you don’t have to stretch…
Dad Jokes of the Day:
What’s Forrest Gump’s Facebook password? 1forest1.
How do you organize a space party? You planet.
What do you call an illegally parked frog? Toad.