Concerned about my mom... :(

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by operlan25, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. operlan25

    operlan25 Registered User

    Nov 28, 2015
    6
    Athens, Greece
    Let me first say that i am grateful to join the community even if there will be no immediate need...i know it sounds puzzling but please bear with me and my case.

    Out of the blue i started having fear and bad thoughts about my mom developing Alzheimer disease. She had a head injury when i was 12 and now, after 23 years, a part of her cranium is still "open" due to the fact that they cannot close it because it might cause a some sort of a blood cloth or something. Besides that she was recently diagnosed with cataract and she removed her thyroid gland(?) couple of years ago. All in all she has undergone a lot of surgeries in her lifetime but was always ok in the end and she is always positive and fun character to be with.

    Now i am 35 and last Wednesday i returned from a trip and the second i visited her and she greet me the "bad" thoughts began. I focus on everything she says and see it with a negative view like a sign for Alz. She just turned 60 years old. Its like i hang from every word she says and see the negative in what she says. Sometimes it looks like she asks the same question twice, or she is a bit tired, or says the same thing twice (not that often) but her mind is sharp and clear as day. She remembers everything and does not forget almost anything. She is good with numbers and also has no problem doing any work round the house or drive or anything for that matter.

    Now taking into fact that about a month ago her best friend passed away (she was older) that took a toll on her and i could see the effect it had. But as always i knew that with time she will get over the grief. To make things worse i started digging through the internet and as usual i got deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. I am sure you all know how it is like. You see the list of symptoms and you think you recognize them on everything she says or does. I am sure mostly its probably from my head but i just cant get over it.

    Yesterday was the breaking point. I had her go through that test from Foodforbrain.com(?), where it tests your cognitive behaviour, and she received a "bad" score (about 34 and 37 was the lowest point for "medium"). Give the fact, though, that we are of Armenian/Greek origin so english isn't our strong point and the test WAS in english + she doesn't have the computer skills to be fast or anything + she has bad eyesight due to the cataract and increased myopia.

    None of that mattered to me, of course, because i thought it was the end of the world due to the low score. So as she was sitting i went to her and just broke into tears and told her how i felt. Of course as all mothers do she comfort me and told me not to worry. But the thoughts are still there. I honestly don't know what to do. My head started hurting and i am constantly depressed. I cry myself alone in bed, like i've NEVER-EVER done in my ENTIRE LIFE.

    I am now waiting eagerly for next week when she will have cataract surgery and we will also do an MRI for her old head injury. I plan on going with her and asking the Doc to run a test for ALZ or diagnose her somehow just to get my head in place, though at the same time i do not want to make her anxious and transfer these thoughts to her and make her start second guessing herself and also upset my father and my younger brother. My entire family/relatives to that fact.

    Please tell me what to do. I cant sleep properly, cant think, cant do my job or anything for that matter. She really is the world to me. I just can't fathom the thought that this happened to her because she is just a wonderful person and it breaks my heart to think that i might loose her before i REALLY loose her. I just want her to be healthy and live long and although i believe she is, the doubt is still there and it hurts. Psychologically i'm a wreck and physically this anxiety (if you can call it that) has manifested into chest and abdominal pains and hedaches of course.

    I imagine that most of this is probably in my head but i consider myself an intellegent (somewhat) person, not Einstein scale:) intelligent but you get my point , and so that puzzles me even more. Hope someone here can help me calm my thoughts or, through experience, guide me on what to do to ease my mind and really figure out if there is anything wrong with her.

    Thank you for taking the time to read through my issues. I know it's a long story but i just had to tell someone. I also posted on another forum but to no avail.

    Take care and god bless.
     
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    Hello there
    Goodness me you are having such a very difficult time, I am so sorry you are so distressed.

    You and your Mum have had very emotional journeys and to be honest all the way through your post you are answering your own questions :) You are worried about your Mum's health problems but you know they are under control and she has good health care, you are worried about her Food for the Brain score but you know that English is not her strong point (and my goodness I think that was a magnificent score given her background and also given the fact that she is grieving for a friend and she is being asked to do a test which perhaps she is nervous about - fantastic score. You are worried about her memory but you say she remembers everything (oh I so wish I did). You love her very much and she loves you too and you tell us she is a fun person - but you are worried and that is very real.

    Have you talked to your GP - perhaps if you took your post to your GP and explained to him how upset you are he would be able to help you. It is no good trying to diagnose anything from a distance but you do sound quite depressed to me and s/he will be able to help with this. The stress at the moment is going to affect both you and your Mum (and your memories too !!!) so finding really positive help would be a good idea. You won't be bothering the GP if that is what you are worried about and your worries are very real - the doc is there to help you sort it out.

    I really don't think it is fair to ask the doc to do a test on her to satisfy you when you say she has no symptoms - it is stressful enough for someone to undergo diagnostic testing if there are real concerns but to put someone through it when there are not would not seem the right way forward to me. She is going to have the cataracts done and that is stressful enough, she needs support and so do you. Before you ask anyone to do anything I would strongly advise you to get along to the GP as soon as you can with your post to us and then go from there.

    Do take care of yourself, you are important to all your family xxxxxxxxxxxxx
     
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,302
    Female
    South coast
    Hello operlan and welcome to Talking point.

    I can hear the fear and anxiety in your post. Was it you that did the memory test? All tests need interpretation - one test will not give a diagnosis. TBH the symptoms do not sound that bad - although I will not say that she wont get dementia as any of us could get it. I think that you and your mum need to go and see your GP, who will be able to chat to your mum and re-do the memory test. Even if your mum is Ok you sound very depressed and I think that you could do with some help, irrespective of what happens to your mum.
     
  4. operlan25

    operlan25 Registered User

    Nov 28, 2015
    6
    Athens, Greece
    #4 operlan25, Nov 29, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
    Firstly let me thank you for the swift reply. I am grateful that this community is so active!

    Secondly it is true, as you said, that i almost answer my own questions. But that didn't matter i guess. Even at that time i just couldn't help myself. Although she looks OK i still couldn't stop worrying, even now. Now i assume that GP is a term for a psychologist(?) or some sort of a doctor. Here we don't have a family doctor of sort. If you have something you just go to a doctor-any doctor-and describe your condition. And tbh i do not trust mind-doctors that much. The usual answer is go get a that medicine or do 10 more sessions to analyze further my "condition" etc.

    Lastly as to the fact that its selfish to ask the Doc to run a test for Alz to satisfy my own concerns, i agree 100%. Mostly because this will probably affect her and as we both agreed that this would probably transfer my anxiety/stress to my mum as well. But still this would not only ease my mind but also wipe any concerns whether she is inclined to have any sort of memory condition due to her head injury. So i might ask the doc to discretely devise a way to include, at least, some sort of diagnostic test without her knowledge. I know it doesn't sound right but i've read so much stuff over the last few days and seen to many corelations between cataract and alz or head injury and alz etc. that i think it might be good for her.

    Or in the end i might just try to, somehow, put all of this behind me and keep trying to enjoy rest of our lifes and create more memories and always hope for the best. Honestly, though, i would prefer having a solid substantiated opinion rather then try to forget everything and try to move on. Thank you and god bless.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thank you for your reply as well. No she did the test, i just explained to her some of the steps. I do agree that i sound depressed, mostly because i have been the last few days, and maybe i will consider the option of visiting a expert in the field to address my concerns but as i said before i do not trust mind-doctors that much. I think the best option would be to go once to a specialized doctor in the field of Alz and have a discussion, maybe try to see if my concerns have a solid base and then take it from there. Thank you and god bless.
     
  5. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    Hi there - GP is the term for your general practitioner - the doctor that you would normally see -not a psychiatrist :) Sorry to confuse you
     
  6. operlan25

    operlan25 Registered User

    Nov 28, 2015
    6
    Athens, Greece
    No problem. I googled it, dont know why i didn't before :)

    In any case yesterday i went out for couple of drinks get my mind distracted and it was good. Though today i started observing the same thing all over again. Your comments REALLY helped me get over most of my anxiety but the worry is still there. From what i observed today is that although she kinda says the same thing over again e.g. the entire family had lunch and afterwards the leftovers were in the table and she told me once to take them next door to the fridge and then she does something else and 1-2 min later she returns and says it again. Maybe it is because i didn't do it at that specific time because she is a bit energetic or nervous depends on how you look at it. All in all i don't know what to expect because you can see the logic in what she says or does but there are couple of things that scare me like the repeating question, which granted doesn't happen everytime, or rarely she gets distracted. Of course we live in Greece and with all that has been going on along with the pension cuts on my father and the condition our society is right now with people being depressed with the austerity they have couple of financial difficulties as well. I help, ofc, as much as i can but it has taken a toll. Add to that the fact that my father isn't a social person, almost never goes out and she only goes with her friends couple of times but mostly at home. I try to get them up but mum doesn't enjoy walking that much, she is nuts about dancing though :)

    Again i rant and i am sorry if i get tiresome but tbh this has never happened to me before even when she had the head injury and epilepsy episodes long time ago, when i was only 12. She is 60 and from what i read its a very delicate age and we should take precautions and be careful with everything especially her dietary plan. Also, not to forget, don't know if it is important but there is no family history on Alz from her side of gene tree. I'm still thinking on how i should handle all of this. Hopefully after the cataract surgery (which is not that complicated from what we were told-laser surgery dont in couple of minutes) i will see if there are any changes and then proceed accordingly. So much anxiety...i pray to God she will be ok.
     
  7. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    I don't know if this is any help at all but as I approach retirement :eek: I also repeat things - i have teenage children and so it is a necessity sometimes to repeat things often and sometimes very loudly :p - I think it may be a 'mother' thing and a 'distraction' thing. I would like to think it is not early signs of dementia :rolleyes:. It sounds to me as though you and your family have had a HUGE amount to cope with in the last couple of years and I would be amazed if it hasn't affected your lives in some ways. At lunch your mum was probably thinking of a 101 things or maybe even more - mainly about how to keep the family happy so I should relax and enjoy the company of everyone and take one day at a time (really important) and get the cataracts over and done with (I would be stressed about that alone) and then take a few weeks for her to recover and see how she feels then - meanwhile it sounds as though that time with friends did you a lot of good, can you take that opportunity more often
    Thinking of you all xx
     
  8. operlan25

    operlan25 Registered User

    Nov 28, 2015
    6
    Athens, Greece
    As always swift replies :) I want to say a big thanks to you because your words and replies have helped me in a huge way to cope with what i am going through. Yes we have been through a lot of things and yes i also agree that its a mother thing to keep repeating "orders" especially if you have a brother like i do - he NEVER EVER does his chores if you ask him once!!

    So i will wait until the cataract operation is over and then see where we go from there. Enjoy the holidays and try to spent nice times together. Hopefully all this is in my head and she will be fine so i pray to God for that everyday. And, of course, for having a community i can express my concerns and have a discussion. God bless.
     
  9. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    hahaha operian you did make me laugh - isn't it strange how those 'boys' (sorry to all the chaps on TP) are the most uncooperative!! I said something to my son FIVE times just after I posted to you - it was very simple -and he still didn't get it. The miracle of understanding happened when I took his phone away!!!! Amazing ;)

    have a peaceful evening and plan a few more evenings out with friends and keep posting - don't let those worries get to you, share them out xxxx
     
  10. Selinacroft

    Selinacroft Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    937
    Hi Operlan
    Sounds like you are very worried about anything happening to your mum after she has been through several health scares. Not sure how old your mum is but changes in hormones before, during and after menopause are a far more likely answer than early onset of Alz I would have thought. Speaking personally before I went on HRT my brain turned to squidge!
    I think perhaps a chat with your GP would be in order, not to ask for any tests for your mum who sounds quite capable from your description, but to chat through your concerns and allay your fears.
    I'm sure your mum will come out feeling a new woman after her cataracts have been done. Try not to panic and stay calm to be there and support her.
     
  11. operlan25

    operlan25 Registered User

    Nov 28, 2015
    6
    Athens, Greece
    Hehe yea i know that feeling...used to be like that and so did my brother :) Nowadays they focus so much on their phones they forget everything else...patience ;)


    Thank you for the reply. She is 60yo (this summer). Tommorow we will visit the doctor and i'll try to ask him a couple of things. Preferably without her in the room because i do not want to make her anxious. In any case one can try to be positive, pray and hope for the best!
     
  12. operlan25

    operlan25 Registered User

    Nov 28, 2015
    6
    Athens, Greece
    Update 1: She visited the doctor today and of course she didn't let me go with her. But my father did and he always speaks the truth. Outcome: she has to loose weight (it's something i forgot to mention before) and i guided my father into asking, privately, my own questions to the doc. Fortunately his assessment was positive. The only bad thing he found is that she has high cholesterol levels she has to loose weight or else she might also become diabetic. Now we wait for the cataract procedure (hopefully this week) and take it from there...at least some good news, thank god! :)
     
  13. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    Well that is excellent news - now you know that the doctor has no reason to be concerned and you can take one day at a time and support your Mum through the cataract op. She sounds such a lovely lady from everything you have said - good luck with the op xxx and have a good night's sleep tonight x
     
  14. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,302
    Female
    South coast
    That is good news, I do hope you feel reassured :)
    Im sure she will be fine with the cataract surgery
     

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