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Concerned

MrsTiggywinkle

Registered User
Nov 14, 2021
21
0
Hello everyone,
I thought I would join this forum and introduce myself. :) I do not have a diagnosis but I wanted to ask if any of the follo, Hwing experiences sound familiar.

Today I had trouble using a tin opener and was trying to catch the rim of the can between the little wheels but it wasn't working. My daughter and husband were there and my daughter said she would do it. I had forgotten that the type of can opener it is works by putting it flat on the top of the tin. We have had this can opener for years. Of course so many tins have a ring pull now, I hadn't used it for a while.

Recently I have had a couple of occasions when I have not realised where I was, or how to get out of a car park I had been in several times before. Both times my passenger at the time wondered what the matter was (one or other of my adult children). I said it was because it was dark.

It is very common for me to forget words, or the names of family members. There is a short silence while I think of it. Another thing that happens all the time is that my husband or one of my daughters tells me that they have told me something before and I really have no recollection. Also I mentioned Stephen Hawking in a conversation recently and my daughter said 'Mum he died several years ago'. Really?

About 3 years ago I went to the doctor about word finding difficulties and also misspelling words which is very unusual for me. Also saying the wrong word. I had an MRI which was normal and an appointment with a neurologist where he asked me to say as many words beginning with P and other things like that He said my results were average.

I have had a lot of stress in my life for some years now and someone told me that the problem with words and language may be down to that. I don't misspell things as much as I used to but I have had these other problems. Stalling the car on a roundabout several times is another thing I have done. Also falling upstairs!

I am sorry this is so long. I suppose I should go back to the doctor but I am thinking I'd rather see if things get worse.

Thank you for reading
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
6,328
0
N Ireland
Hello @MrsTiggywinkle and welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place for information and support.

The best thing to do in this situation is have a chat with your GP. Many treatable conditions, such as depression, stress, thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies etc., can cause dementia like symptoms so it's important to have a check-up. Please don't cause additional stress by jumping to the immediate conclusion that it's dementia. On the other hand, if it is dementia then a diagnosis may open up support for you.

Here is a link to a Society Fact sheet about the diagnosis issue. Just click the second line to read or print the document


Assessment and diagnosis (426)
PDF printable version
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,029
0
65
London
I believe it is normal to experience slight memory loss after the age of 50 or so, so I would not worry too much about these very mild issues.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,823
0
Victoria, Australia
My husband does similar things to you, certainly his spelling is now pretty awful whereas it was something he was very good at before. Your writing is very clear and lucid and you can certainly communicate very well which suggests that at the moment if there is a problem, it’s the best time to do something about investigating further. As Pete has said, there are many possibilities and it would be very reassuring for you to find out what is going on. It might not be anything major as something as simple as loss of concentration can be responsible for your lapses.

Stress will certainly interfere with concentration so don’t give up and don’t wait.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
76,043
0
Kent
Hello @MrsTiggywinkle

If your last test was three years ago it will do no harm to seek further advice.

The more you worry about yourself, the worse your symptoms will be and the advice from @karaokePete is sound.

Please continue to post. It`s always helpful to share your fears with others who have had similar experiences.
 

Eogz

Registered User
Sep 9, 2021
56
0
There is definitely no harm in seeking advice from your GP.
I'm a similar age and currently under the memory service, mainly to rule out Dementia, however there are still issues I am experiencing that are unusual and need to be looked at.
When I talk about them to people they often brush it off, the key is the change though and how you some time ago have changed till now.
Speak to your GP, write down the issues and let them know how it has changed.
Hope it goes well, don't be fobbed off by the GP.
 

MrsTiggywinkle

Registered User
Nov 14, 2021
21
0
Hello
Apologies for not returning to check the thread I started! I really appreciate the responses so thank you for taking the time to reply. I haven't been to my GP yet but I will soon. I need to make a list of things that I am concerned about so I don't forget anything or ramble on :)
 

try again

Registered User
Jun 21, 2018
441
0
My understanding is that scans can show build up of amyloid plaque and tau tangles that are hall marks of dementia, also vascular condition. Signs can be seen often many years before symptoms turn up.
However I am not a medic, it depends on the type of scan.
In any case worrying about it will add to your stress so the doctor is the best place to go, either to put your mind at rest or enable you to make plans for the future
 

MrsTiggywinkle

Registered User
Nov 14, 2021
21
0
My understanding is that scans can show build up of amyloid plaque and tau tangles that are hall marks of dementia, also vascular condition. Signs can be seen often many years before symptoms turn up.
However I am not a medic, it depends on the type of scan.
In any case worrying about it will add to your stress so the doctor is the best place to go, either to put your mind at rest or enable you to make plans for the future
Thank you 'try again' (I like that name!)
 

MrsTiggywinkle

Registered User
Nov 14, 2021
21
0
Well, I'm back again and rereading this thread I see that I intended to go to the GP again. Well I have done for something else (thinning hair which I thought should be checked out in case it was thyroid problems). So I had blood tests and only thing flagged up was vitamin D. So I'm now taking vitamin D supplements.

I am just posting again because yesterday a concerning thing happened.
To cut a long story short, I spoke to someone on the phone for ten minutes or more without realising I was speaking to Jane (made up name!) when I thought I had rung 'Jill'. There are so many things that are wrong about that.

It would take too long to explain the circumstances and how I even managed not to understand when the person corrected me when I said 'Hi Jill' and they corrected me and said it was Jane. I thought 'Jill' didn't sound herself (I thought maybe she is tired or recovering from Covid.....she hasn't had Covid as far as I know, but I did a few weeks ago and it really took it out of me). My daughter said I obviously was so sure I had rung 'Jill' (on landline, dialling the number from memory, having double checked the correct number with my DH) it was as if the evidence wasn't enough to override my certainty.

These are both longstanding friends from when we lived in another town and their numbers are the same except last 3 digits. We used to ring all the time, before any of us had mobiles. Also, they know each other. We all go back at least 35 years.

So, eventually I asked after the wrong husband! 'How's Jack? and how is is arm?' Answer 'I haven't heard recently (?!) 'I heard he had broken it but I don't know how it is now.' I confessed my mistake and we carried on with news of the correct relatives! The friend I should have rung was expecting my call as we'd arranged for a catch up.

It has left me feeling very strange indeed like my perception is all out of whack or I am inhabiting a strange alternative universe.

I really should go to the GP again but unlike physical ailments which I wouldn't hesitate to get checked out, I think they probably won't be able to diagnose anything anyway and my family will start to treat me differently and worry about me. Thanks for 'listening'.

I suppose I am wondering if anyone has come across something similar. I know my MIL mistook my husband's voicemail message as him being very rude and abrupt. That's not quite the same.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,190
0
High Peak
Hi Mrs T, the problem is much as you imagine. If, as you fear, you are in the early stages of dementia, it can be very difficult to diagnose. I do think you should see your GP and tell him/her your concerns. (Make a list beforehand!) But don't be surprised if the GP fobs you off and says you're fine.

It's good that you have had bloods done to check for other issues and everyone should probably take Vitamin D! Your GP may do a simple memory test, often referred to as the MMSE (Mini Mental State Exam) but it's very basic and won't pick up on any behavioural issues. One of the questions involves giving you a short name and address to remember, which the doc will come back to a few minutes later and ask if you can repeat it back. That's all very well but obviously isn't going to pick up any of the things you describe: stalling the car, getting lost in car parks and not knowing where you are, phoning one friend and thinking it was the other friend, etc.

Be prepared for the doc to say, 'Don't worry, come back if it gets worse...' What do your friends and family think? Have they noticed changes? It's worth asking and mentioning it to the doc if they have noticed anything. Please don't fear their reaction - they will support you.
 

MrsTiggywinkle

Registered User
Nov 14, 2021
21
0
Hi Mrs T, the problem is much as you imagine. If, as you fear, you are in the early stages of dementia, it can be very difficult to diagnose. I do think you should see your GP and tell him/her your concerns. (Make a list beforehand!) But don't be surprised if the GP fobs you off and says you're fine.

It's good that you have had bloods done to check for other issues and everyone should probably take Vitamin D! Your GP may do a simple memory test, often referred to as the MMSE (Mini Mental State Exam) but it's very basic and won't pick up on any behavioural issues. One of the questions involves giving you a short name and address to remember, which the doc will come back to a few minutes later and ask if you can repeat it back. That's all very well but obviously isn't going to pick up any of the things you describe: stalling the car, getting lost in car parks and not knowing where you are, phoning one friend and thinking it was the other friend, etc.

Be prepared for the doc to say, 'Don't worry, come back if it gets worse...' What do your friends and family think? Have they noticed changes? It's worth asking and mentioning it to the doc if they have noticed anything. Please don't fear their reaction - they will support you.
Thank you so much for your reply. I really appreciate it. I really must 'bite the bullet' and go back to GP. I was able to go private for the scan and visit to neurologist before, so probably I'll be able to do that again. Family members have definitely commented when I tell them something that I've told them before or ask them a question that I've asked before (I just say 'what was the answer'?) but apart from thinking that DH and I are under a lot of stress (I won't elaborate just now) I don't think they think of the D word. My hesitancy has been because I feel life will change immediately if I did have a diagnosis. I would be less confident because I wouldn't know when I was going to make the next mistake and how important it might be. Plenty of people are coping with all sorts of physical and mental limitations. It would just be a huge adjustment! (onviously!)
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
847
0
If you received a diagnosis of dementia one thing could change very quickly: your ability to go on driving. You would have to inform the DVLA which would either revoke your licence immediately or (probably more likely) require you to undertake a driving test which, if satisfactory, would allow you to continue to drive for a fixed period of time.

I don't know if you are still working. If you are, have you been having any problems at work?

Is there any prospect of you reducing the stress that you are under? If you're in a constant state of anxiety it's easy to make mistakes and forget things and it can be hard to think clearly.

Depending on your age, could the menopause be a factor? Many women complain of 'brain fog'.
 

MrsTiggywinkle

Registered User
Nov 14, 2021
21
0
If you received a diagnosis of dementia one thing could change very quickly: your ability to go on driving. You would have to inform the DVLA which would either revoke your licence immediately or (probably more likely) require you to undertake a driving test which, if satisfactory, would allow you to continue to drive for a fixed period of time.

I don't know if you are still working. If you are, have you been having any problems at work?

Is there any prospect of you reducing the stress that you are under? If you're in a constant state of anxiety it's easy to make mistakes and forget things and it can be hard to think clearly.

Depending on your age, could the menopause be a factor? Many women complain of 'brain fog'.
Thank you for your reply Violet Jane :) I'm 60 so post menopausal but I'm never sure when the symptoms stop!!

I also have a diagnosis of ADHD (inattentive subtype) but of course those symptoms have been lifelong. The diagnosis is fairly recent (I think it must have been after the neurologist appt because I would have mentioned it to him and I don't think I did). I did read that an ADHD diagnosis makes it more likely that you'll get dementia. I mentioned this to the psychiatrist (I have periodic checkups because of trying medication) and she said it was only one trial that found that so she didn't think it was that relevant.

I take medication for high blood pressure and the ADHD meds may have been raisng blood pressure, so I stopped taking those about 6 weeks ago, or more. Blood pressure has come down a bit but still higher than it should be.
Also on anti-depressants long term.

Re the stress. Briefly its mainly to do with our 17 year old who has 'complex needs' He went to a residential school for a term (with visits home) and then at the start of the next term he was permanently excluded. Eventually somewhere else was found (which was difficult because of the reason he was excluded from the first school) and after only a month he was permanently excluded again. Both of these exclusions happened in 2021. Since then there has not been a lot of progress despite a lot of meetings and reports etc etc. Its too complicated to explain here but he will not be able to live independently and at times has been aggressive and destructive at home (underlying reasons for this). He is monitored by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and he has Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (he is adopted) so they increased one of his medications, which made a big difference at home but not so much in the second residential placement. He has been let down in many ways, truth to tell. At least we now feel we can leave him alone at home for short periods, or allow him to visit local shop alone. Otherwise one of us would have to be at home with him all the time and that person is usually me! I don't work but DH does (thank Heaven for WFH!!

Thanks so much for your comments/suggestions. I appreciate it.
 

MrsTiggywinkle

Registered User
Nov 14, 2021
21
0
Oh and re driving. I have thoI ught about that. I thought maybe I should just give up anyway. We have good public transport where we live. Of course this would be a Big Thing but I would not want to be the cause of an accident, say. I wondered about an automatic or electric car (because of the occasional stalling) but I think that would only postpone the inevitable (if indeed a decline is inevitable). I can see now that a diagnosis is like 'how long is a piece of string'. Have you have heard of Dr Jennifer Bute? She was a GP but gave up before she had a diagnosis because she couldn't br sure she would be safe to practice medicine. She knew she had it for quite some time before anyone would diagnose her. :-(
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
847
0
@MrsTiggywinkle, you really have a lot on your plate with your son. It's not surprising that you are suffering from stress. I don't want to dismiss your concerns about the possibility of dementia but, equally, I don't think that the extreme stress that you're under can be discounted as an explanation either.

It's good that you have had blood tests done to rule out other conditions. That's very important. Is it worthwhile for you to push for futher investigations now? I don't know.
 

MrsTiggywinkle

Registered User
Nov 14, 2021
21
0
@MrsTiggywinkle, you really have a lot on your plate with your son. It's not surprising that you are suffering from stress. I don't want to dismiss your concerns about the possibility of dementia but, equally, I don't think that the extreme stress that you're under can be discounted as an explanation either.

It's good that you have had blood tests done to rule out other conditions. That's very important. Is it worthwhile for you to push for futher investigations now? I don't know.
Thanks so much. Yes perhaps a delay of 6 months perhaps would not be such a bad thing. We would hope that something had been sorted for DS, or at least we would know what the plan is. I just gave myself a fright as it were, with the mix up with the phone call. It was bizarre! Not usually awake at this time! Thanks again.