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How do you get them to the doctor
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LaRanchera posted:
My husband is 62 and showing definite signs of Alzheimers. After almost 2 weeks of constantly losing his balance and falling down (with some pretty significant injuries - but I couldn't get him to let EMS examine him), he is now showing new symptoms. He constantly mixes up the days, and thinks it is morning when he wakes from an afternoon or evening nap. He talks to non-existent people and talks to me about me in the 3rd person (he clearly doesn't recognize me). 6 or 7 times in a day he will get up stating that he is going take a shower when he has already taken one. He has forgotten how to run the tractor and even has problems with the TV remote. He seems to have no short-term memory, but recalls the past (although the stories are changing. He refuses to go to the doctor. How can I get him examined? Any suggestions or help would be much appreciated.

La Ranchera
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davedsel responded:
Hello.

I am sorry you and your husband are going through this.

Can you convince him it is time for a check-up? Perhaps you could call his doctor and talk to him/her about the symptoms. Maybe the office could call him and tell him it is time to come in for a check-up or physical.

I pray you can get your dh to the hospital for a proper diagnosis and effective treatment plan.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

-Dave
 
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cjh1203 responded:
LaRanchera,

I, too, am so sorry for what you and your husband are going through.

Dave's suggestion about having the doctor's office call to say it's time to go in for a checkup is an excellent one. My uncle had Alzheimer's, and when he was told he needed to do something, rather than being asked or reasoned with, he would usually comply without a fight.

He even quit smoking that way. Years of pleading and trying to reason with him only made him dig in his heels, but when the doctor said he had to quit smoking or he would end up in the hospital, he quit cold turkey.

You might try contacting your local Alzheimer's Association to see if they have other suggestions. Unfortunately, the situation you're in is extremely common.

Best wishes to both of you.

Carol
 
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LaRanchera responded:
Dave and Carol, thank you for your kind thoughts and good wishes. We had just been to the Dr 2 months or so ago, so I couldn't use the checkup routine. I was considering calling the Dr's office and have them contact Larry with an "irregularity" that they wanted to follow up on. But in a rare moment of clarity after a particularly bad "zone out," I finally told hubby that it was up to him whether or not he wanted to take care of himself, but did he consider the impact all of this was having on me - stress, emotion, lack of sleep, etc. After a short while he told me to make a Dr's appt. And it's a good thing. 2 nights ago he fell and had a seizure (or had a seizure and fell - I am not sure which). 911 wasn't able to convince him to go to the hospital, but at least we are going to the Dr on Tues. I've got my notes, pix, and a video, so let's hope this works out. Thank you for your support.
 
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cjh1203 replied to LaRanchera's response:
LaRanchera, I'm so glad to hear that your husband is willing to go to the doctor; no matter what the diagnosis, it will be a big relief just to know what you're dealing with.

Do you and your husband have legal documents drawn up, particularly medical powers of attorney? Since your husband has been reluctant to get treatment at times when he probably needed it, if you have his medical power of attorney, you can authorize treatment if he gets to the point where he's unable to make the best decisions for his well-being.

What you're going through is awful at any stage of life, but 62 is so young. My heart goes out to both of you.

Please let us know how his appointment goes.

Carol
 
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LaRanchera replied to cjh1203's response:
at this point, Carol, I don't have medical POA - just what is in our wills (DNR, etc). And at this point, I don't think he is ready (or competent) to make the decision. Depending on the diagnosis, I think that I may be able to petition medical POA based on competence - I am not sure how this work. I am SO looking forward to this appt to get some closure - I am just a little nervous about the Dr working with me. I may just have to ask him for a referral to a specialist - at least it would be a place to start. Thank you so much for your support - it means so much to be able to share.
 
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davedsel replied to LaRanchera's response:
I am also sorry you are going through this at such a young age.

I had great success by contracting an Elder Law Attorney Firm to handle all the paperwork for my dad. They came to his assisted living facility to meet with us and get all signatures. I have durable financial Power Of Attorney and a Health Care Proxy. The Elder Law Paralegal handled everything for about $400.00. All paperwork is filed with the county courts and is working out great.

I hope you come back and update us as to your dh's diagnosis. Praying for both of you.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

-Dave
 
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Judith L London, PhD responded:
Hi,

Sorry for the delay in responding - just got back from a vacation.

What a relief that you will soon see a doctor. Getting someone to cooperate by describing how hard it is for you is a great strategy -and all so true.

In my experience,the symptoms you describe may be due to the falls he had, especially if there was a head injury. The delusions are more symptomatic of a Lewy body dementia which have Parkinsonian features- a loss of balance and tremors.

Alzheimer's starts very gradually, not so suddenly.

Keep us posted,
Judy
 
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LaRanchera replied to Judith L London, PhD's response:
Judith,

No apologies necessary - this community has been very supportive.

We did make it to the doctor, and then immediately to the hospital, for the most unexpected reason! After I described the tremors, confusion, balance issues, appetite and eating challenges and finally the seizure on Friday night before the Tuesday Dr's appt, the doctor immediately tested his SODIUM, which turned out to be perilously low. He was hospitalized in an intermediate care unit with severe dehydration (unwillingly I might add) for 5 days while they tried to slowly raise his sodium levels, and most of the symptoms disappeared.

Now that we are back home, I am following the Dr's instructions to add sodium to his food, and he is taking the maximum dosage of Thermotabs daily.

So for now, we seem to be clear of the many symptoms that plagued him as he eats and regains his strength and stamina.

I hope that this experience will give others alternatives to consider before they go down the path I thought we were headed.

Again, my sincerest thanks to the community for their support.

La Ranchera
 
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cjh1203 replied to LaRanchera's response:
Thank you for coming back and updating us. So often, we hear from people initially and then never know what happens, and it's hard not to wonder how they're doing.

The episode must have been quite scary, but what wonderful news! You and your husband must be so thrilled to find out the symptoms could be resolved and that it's nothing so permanent as Alzheimer's.

Very best wishes to you and your husband. We love to hear happy news here.

Carol
 
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davedsel replied to LaRanchera's response:
Thank you so much for coming back and updating us. While it does sound serious, I am very glad your husband's health problems were diagnosed and treated. What an unusual (at least to me) situation.

I pray continued health for you both.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

-Dave
 
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Judith L London, PhD replied to LaRanchera's response:
Hi La Ranchera,

Great to hear that a correctable physical problem was causing his symptoms. I always recommend that people rule out all physical causes when dealing with dementia symptoms.

Dehydration, malnutrition, depression and infection can all produce dementia symptoms as you have discovered.

Hope all goes well,
Judy


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