Grownup Gripe: They’ve always been crazy but this is worse than them getting old and senile.
You probably know a lot about cancer but do you know anything about Dementia? Alzheimers? First off it’s not the same thing.
I didn’t even know that. I also used to think it only happened to old people until it happened to my Mama. She was only 60.
I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Don’t get me wrong cancer isn’t a walk in the park.
As a Pharmaceutical Rep, I’ve called on Pediatric and Adult Hematologists and Oncologists for years and my heart is especially crushed when I see bald little babes being wheeled around the floor.
It’s all horrifying!
I want to give Alzheimers and dementia more of a voice though because there’s no cure at the moment. It really sucks.
Both physical and mental illness can wreck havoc on a family unit. That’s for damn sure.
The way they progress however are very different in nature. The brain is a crazy thing.
Unlike the sudden radio active wave that hits you like a Mack truck after a cancer diagnosis, dementia is the exact opposite.
First off it’s hard as hell to get one, especially if your loved one isn’t exactly the gold standard of health to begin with.
We actually thought my mom was faking it at the beginning to get attention. She’d often act disoriented and get into the wrong cars in parking lots while shopping. We’d laugh.
That was just the tip of the iceberg.
My mom and I were tight, no matter where I was we spoke on the phone everyday.
If anyone knew something was off it’d be me. We’re almost 9 years in now. It’s been a slow progression and it never gets better.
Slowly losing each faculty has been a terrible thing to watch, especially with someone who was bigger than life before this. Just awful.
If you or someone you love is starting to do strange things take note. To at least get a jump on it look out for these things to try and slow the progression. Go see your doc.
Here are ten signs you should get checked for Alzheimer’s/Dementia
1. The incidents generally start out small. You put your keys in the fridge and have to look for them for hours before finding them when you’re going in for the milk.
You walk into a room and have no idea what you were going there for in the first place.
Are you asking the same questions over and over? These incidents start adding up.
2. Numbers and basic arithmetic become tough. Did you used to be a math whiz? Now you can’t even put two numbers together without blanking out at times?
Did you always do the bills and now they’re extremely difficult to manage? Ask for help so it doesn’t effect your finances early on.
3. The familiar becomes unfamiliar. You’re not just getting lost in rooms, now it’s in your car while going to your old haunts? Are you starting to see the red flags coming out?
If you get lost going to the grocery store or can’t even write a grocery list for that matter it’s not just old age memory loss.
4. Time starts getting very confusing. Are you having trouble keeping dates and with the general passage of time? You can’t keep up with your calendar yet it used to be full.
If ten minutes and ten hours feel the same go see your doc. You learned that long ago.
Particularly if you don’t even know what season it is, it’s time to get checked out.
5. Is your eyesight getting bad? Is it harder to read and gauge distances? Do you just think you need to get a new eyeglass prescription?
If colors are becoming less vibrant and difficult to contrast get checked. If people are looking at your once classic wardrobe a little cross eyed ask someone you trust.
6. Have you never been lost for words and now you can’t even finish a sentence? My mom was a huge conversationalist and our talks became confusing after a few years.
Mid sentence she’d stop and have no idea how to continue and she started repeating herself often. It was hard to follow along.
Are folks having trouble understanding you?
7. Are you there yet? Forgetting where you went can occasionally happen but if you regularly can’t remember how you got there or where you are something could be wrong.
Forgetting where you placed things really becomes a problem and when you start to think others are stealing from you the disease is most likely progressing.
My mom started blaming my nephew’s 8 year old buddies for “stealing” her jewelry.
8. Is your radar off? Were you sensible and used good judgement most always and now you’re throwing caution to the wind?
Good decision making has gone out the window and now your judgment is compromised. If these choices are getting you in limbo you need to check yourself.
9. Did you used to be a busy bee and now you’re pulling back? Maybe it’s because it’s hard to hold conversations or just hard to follow but keeping up with some of your favorite pastimes is no longer a priority.
If you’re isolating yourself because it’s hard to be in a group, see someone. Social interaction is important. Research shows the less you use it the more you’ll lose it.
10. Are you not acting like yourself lately? Have there been changes in your mood and personality? Your loved ones will tell you.
Confusion, suspicion, depression, fearfulness, and anxiousness may be part of your life now though you never had a problem with any of those things before.
When my Mom started getting bad she slept ALL the time, like 22 hours a day.
Obviously she was depressed but it made her feel good. You really should get checked out but at this stage of the game you do you. If it gives you peace of mind do it.
Who knows how long you’ll be able to?
The reality is getting a diagnosis was extremely difficult and took a long time.
Maybe that’s just our journey but you need to get a referral to a Neurologist (a brain doctor) and I’m not a doctor, not even close.
The Alzheimer’s Association has a 24/7 hotline. The number is 800-272-3900.
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