Desperately Looking For Advice Please.

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by SunnyGal, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. SunnyGal

    SunnyGal Registered User

    Jan 7, 2008
    1
    Lancashire
    Hi Everyone,

    I,m completely new here.I am desperatly looking for some advice as i realy dont know where to turn.I,m so sorry it,s such a long post.

    In brief,it,s my dad who i,m worried sick about.He is 72.In January 2007 he had a mini stroke (TIA) and was admitted to hospital for 5 days.Apart from slight slurring of his speech he did,nt seem to have any other major symptons but when he had a CT scan and MRI a mini stroke was confirmed.

    Up to that point he had been a smoker,had high blood pressure of which he was on medication and pyrosis (sic) amenia.He is almost 6 foot and within normal weight for his height.

    When he was released from hospital he stopped smoking immediately,was put on medication to prevent further strokes,daily aspirin and referred to the stroke clinic.

    3 months later he went to the stroke clinic,they said he was doing well,he had a small burst blood vessell that had caused the stroke but he did,nt need surgery and did,nt need to attend any further appointments.

    Now my dad has always been quick tempered,stubborn and bad tempered but he has always been a big family man with family always coming first and he,s never been afraid to show that emotion especially to me and my mum.

    A month or so later him and my mum went on holiday to spain,fine,and we then booked a family holiday to florida for a year later(now 3 weeks).

    Over the following months we started to notice changes but put it down to the stroke and giving up smoking.He started to get more irritable,spending more and more time in bed,withdrawing from us,he started to have memory loss at times ie we could just tell him something in great detail and at length and the next day he had forgotton it completely,he did,nt want to do anything with us but he still went to the pub as before twice a week for a couple of pints,he,s not a heavy drinker but goes to play pool,cards and a few drinks with mates.

    Soon he was spending up to 17 hours a day in bed and being more withdrawn,moody and irritable.My mum went with him to the doctors and they said they think he had depression and prescribed anti depressants.He was on them 3 months with no change so back to the doctors who prescribed others.A couple of months later he had gotton worse as the meds were doing nothing so back again to the drs this time he seen another GP.
    This GP said he was,ent depressed but prescribed prozac? another antisdepressant? He also went through all his other meds and stopped various tablets saying they were unneccesary and possibly creating side effects.

    Fast forward a few months and he,s a completely different person,but not in a good way.His symptons are as follows

    He,s so bad tempered,worse than ever before

    Aggressive verbally.

    Whenever we try and speak to him he doesent see anything wrong.

    His memory problem has not improved although he still drives and remembers where he is going.

    He starts arguments over the slightest irrelevant things.

    He is so suspicious of me and my mum.

    He has moved into the spare bedroom and acts as though it,s his little personal domain and hates my mum going in there (they were so close before)

    He has no motivation for anything familywise anymore.

    My mum lost her brother and sister suddenly this year and my dad acted as if nothing happened.

    He spends a lot of time in bed (sometimes 12-15 hours a day)

    When i go round to visit,sometimes he gets up and walks out of the room without saying a word and only comes down when i,ve gone.

    Refuses to go back to the doctors and gets very aggressive verbally when the subject is mentioned.

    Spends all day every day just sitting staring at the tv.

    Refuses excercise except a walk to the pub a few times a week.

    Has become quite paraniod about us.

    Seems to forget some recent events but can remember things from years ago.

    One minute he is in a terrible mood then the next day it can be like it,s never happened.

    I could go on but in short his whole personality has altered.And i,m so worried that there is a possibility of dementia or AZ as i,ve been reading up on symptons etc and he has quite a few,although not all.

    He,s my dad in body but not my dad if that makes sense.We went out at new year and he seemed to be his old self,getting up on the dance floor,making jokes,conversations but 2 days later he was back to the way he was.

    We are all due to go to florida in just over 3 weeks and honestly i dont know what to do.He wont say whether he wants to go or not,one minute he,s not bothered,the next uninterested.
    I know it sounds awfull but me and my husband are renewing our wedding vows and had arranged everything precisely and we,ve also paid for my parents.Now i know it makes me sound awful but i find it realy upsetting when he says he,s not bothered etc ,thats just not my dad.

    He refuses point blank to go back to the GP but will say every so often 'I know there,s something wrong but i dont know what'
    We just dont know where to turn or what to do and just wondered if perhaps someone has been in a similar situation or who could give their personal opinions on the possibility of there being something more serious such as dementia or AZ which i hope to god there is,nt but it just seems a possibility.

    Thankyou so much for listening to me waffle on.

    Take Care
    Kind TRegards Nickki
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,895
    Kent
    Hello Nickki.

    I`m sorry you are having so much worry about your father. It really does sound as if he needs further medical help.

    Could you write everything down that concerns you, or even print off your post. Ask to make an appointment with your father`s GP and show him what you`ve written. Then ask for a home visit.

    If your mother, as next of kin gives you written consent, the GP should be able to discuss your father`s condition with you.

    I hope this helps. Please let us know how you get on.

    Take care xx
     
  3. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    542
    Hello Nickki

    Welcome to TP.

    I agree with Sylvia. I think you should make a note of everything you've told us and drop a line to your dad's GP. Perhaps if you do this fairly soon, you might sneak in an appointment for him before you go to Florida? Perhaps your mum could say that they surgery called about his meds or something? Sorry, but we do have to resort to little white lies with this!

    There are other things that might be causing your dad's memory problems and I think they should be ruled out.

    Please post back again and let us know how things go. Especially your trip to Florida. I know it is heartbreaking when you've gone to so much trouble and there seems to be little interest on your father's part.

    Take care.
     
  4. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    That's not awful at all Nickki - sounds perfectly natural to me .... essentially you have 'lost' the man your dad was once .... Quite why this change is what you need help from the medics for .... it could be reactionary depression to the life changes enforced after his mini-stroke - it could be many other things, of course ......

    Just to add to Grannie G's advice ....

    If you can't for whatever reason secure an appointment, send it anyway .... the GP will then have a record of your concerns and puts some onus on him/her in terms of duty of care to his/her patient .....

    My understanding is that medical information is not even privy to next of kin unless the patient has themselves expressed their consent. I was lucky that my mother consented readily (during a joint consultation with her GP) as she acknowledged her memory loss meant she could not retain information anyway and therefore it was essential that information was divulged to me as she could not retain any information or instructions given ...... That could be tricky if your dad won't even attend the GP on his own behalf ...... 'Engineering' a home visit on some other pretext sounds like a good avenue to explore ....

    Finally, best of luck with your Florida trip .... it's rather special to think of people renewing their vows! :) Please let us know how you get on,

    Love, Karen, x
     
  5. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    Hi Nickki

    First of all I hope that you have a lovely time in Florida. It sounds like a great place to be in January.

    I agree with the others that it would definietly be best to either write or speak to your Dad's GP. Under patient confidentiality your Dad's GP need not say anything to you about your Dad, but just listen to your concerns. He can then engineer a visit/ appointment.

    It is possible that other conditions could cause these symptoms or it may be the start of one of the dementias. The problem is that in the early stage it is very very difficult to judge whether it is age, depression, another condition etc. which is why diagnosis takes so long. But it is important that the GP has full information. In early dementia a patient can present very well for a 10 minute appointment when their family knows that there is something wrong. The illness however stops a patient from generally believeing the problem as does the stigma that is still unfortunately associated with mental ill health by many of our parents' age. In the early days mum was happier to think that she had brain damage rather than dementia due to strokes for example.

    You may have to repeatedly deal with the GP. we found that phone calls did not work but when we wrote our concerns down, although Mum performed well in memory tests the GP was happy to refer her to the pyscho-geriatrician. (I think having something written on file with a timescale of incidences really helped)

    Good luck.
     
  6. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    Dear Nikki,
    You have had good advice from others which I can only echo. So please, come on TP whenever you want to - you will find help and support here, and a place to air your worries and concerns.

    In the meantime, I just wanted to send you some caring

    {{{HUGS}}}
     

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