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A week after i told my nan....

lensgirl

Registered User
Jan 14, 2020
24
Hi All

so its been a week since I told my nan the news that her initial memory test results were not good, which has resulted in some more questions!
She took it much better than I expected, however I'm not sure she believed it at first and she kept saying "but there is nothing wrong with me, I just forget things". I had to keep trying to explain to her that that is what the problem actually is! She was not best pleased about her not being able to drive, however she has taken on board that if she does and something happened it could be someone's job on the line if they hadn't said it is not recommended. I have persuaded her to give up her license voluntarily, on the basis that the consultant might say that she is OK to drive once she has had the full tests completed. I am going to make sure that does not happen though. When I sat her down, I said that if the DVLA looked at making the decision that they would look at her driving history, I know this may not be the case but I was concerned that they would say she can continue to drive. She thought her history was brilliant, and when I told her that she had had an accident last year she could not remember it or believe it so I definitely think that removing her license is the best thing to do.

She has already started saying that she is going to lie to the hospital and is expecting us to do the same, and correct nan if she gets something wrong when we are there. I have told her that the paper tests are completed and that they are now going to be taking pictures inside her brain to see what is going on and she then says "oh yes, it is bad in there". Once we know who her consultant is, I'm going to write to him and explain our concerns and the fact that when we go to this appointment she is expecting us to lie. We are trying to tread carefully in terms of not pushing her away, so I need the consultant to know what it is we are seeing without her feeling like I am "telling" on her.

I'm not sure if she has been hiding it well, but I certainly feel that in the last week she has got significantly worse. for the last couple of evenings she has kept getting out of bed and thinking it is morning. Its usually when she hears my son in the kitchen, or come home from work. She did it 3 times last night, and I was starting to consider a possible UTI its getting that bad, however this morning she knew that she had done it. Does this sound like normal dementia, or could there be something more going on? Last night she also walked into the living room to tell me that she was going to use the bathroom and had I booked an appointment. I asked her for what, and she just said that that wasn't what she wanted to ask me. she then used the bathroom, came back in and said "but I cant use my car". I asked her what she needed it for and she couldn't explain, so I just diverted her into the fact that her scooter is going to be serviced this week so she will be able to get out and about.

Last night she was also sick. She had had the hiccups all day apparently and threw up, without making it to the bathroom but the hiccups stopped once she had done that. I suspect it was because she says she didn't eat yesterday, again anything I should be concerned about?
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,002
Hi @lensgirl, in regard to 'lying', my mum did this when faced with professionals. She could sound pretty convincing but I'm sure the consultant will be used to that and ask questions that show things up. After one visit from an occupational therapist the two of us went out for coffee and mum said I think I said enough to get her off my back. Yes she did say she could manage various things on her own, and was honest about a few minor struggles, but the crunch came when the OT asked her what use used to do and she looked blank, and couldn't answer the question. Shortly before that the OT and I had been discussing our jobs and this was her way of including mum in the conversation. Mum looked like she'd been following it but obviously hadn't. If the question had been more explicit mum would have probably been fine, as at the time she remembered her job pretty clearly even if she was muddled over a few details.
 

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
559
When we went to the care home, for our first interview Mummy, then early stage mixed dementia, was asked questions by the CH manager, to get a view of her capacity, and Mummy was annoyed when my Dad and I wouldn't "help" her, when she didn't know the answers. It is difficult but lots of health professionals do understand and can read between the lines.
I had to level with my Dad, who doesn't have any cognitive diagnosis, that if he went on and on about how well both he and Mummy were at every meeting, we wouldn't get any help. As he was then her main carer, he did see the the logic of this.
There is lots about age and attitude, wanting to be independent and left alone, but no practical ability to live alone - this is what is so awful about dementia.
I wish you well.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
579
Hi @lensgirl, I'm pleased your Nan has voluntarily given up driving, especially as you had concerns. In terms of the assessment it is devised to uncover the true situation and they (politely) won't allow you to intervene on behalf of your Nan. It is likely your Nan will have forgotten in a short time afterwards. The thing to emphasise perhaps is that they may be able to help your Nan if they get a correct diagnosis which is the whole purpose of the exercise. It is totally understandable that she is worried of the consequences of not doing well - so to say they may be able to give you some medication to help improve things might calm her fears.

In terms of her increased confusion, it's quite possible that she has a UTI or a bug of some sort, which in my experience always increased the confusion quite a lot, or it could be a further progression of this awful disease - it is so difficult to know. Perhaps if she is still the same tomorrow take her to see the Nurse at the GP surgery to look her over (or take in a urine sample if they have already provided you with 'the kit') to rule out any other underlying causes.

It sounds like you are already doing lots to support and re-assure your Nan, it is a lot to deal with - stay strong, I hope you have good support around you. All the best.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
1,614
Dorset
When I accompanied The Banjoman to any medical appointment I very carefully made sure I was sitting just far enough behind him to enable me to indicate to the Dr. or nurse whether what he was saying was the truth or not. They always picked up on what I was doing so even though he had given me orders not to interfere or say anything, I was always able to get the correct message over.:) If they then asked me a question he couldn’t say I wasn’t allowed to talk to them. One time, after he had been being difficult, I walked in with him and said that I’d been told not to say anything!
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,076
Victoria, Australia
My husband's consultant always takes time to talk to me first on my own while OH is having his MMSE tests, blood pressure done. The consultant never mentions anything we have discussed so my husband has no idea of what I said.

When we go to the our GP (of very long standing) I don't usually say anything unless the GP asks me. But he understands that my husband has some confusion about his state of health and makes his own decisions.

These consultants have seen it all before and if they are any good, they will use leading questions and look beyond the the image the patient tries to present.