1. AJay

    AJay Registered User

    Aug 21, 2007
    123
    Leics
    Hi all

    I came to crunch point yesterday after a very upsetting phone call to my Dad yesterday morning while I was at work - he was hallucinating quite badly and had no idea what time of day or night it was. The upshot was my boss overheard my end of the conversation and supported me through the subsequent tears, told me to get straight over to Dads, take my laptop and not darken the door of the office again until I felt more up to it bless his heart. He also told me that I had to make some very hard decisions very soon, he's experienced the same thing with his mother who has now gone into a home.

    So I rang Dads doc and surprise surprise he told me to go straight to the surgery where I basically spilt my heart out - Dad won't accept social care so I'm on my own caring for him and I'm finding it increasingly difficult to cope with him. He told me to take Dad into the surgery on false pretenses today so that he could assess his mental and physical state and start referring him to the mental health team. I felt truly guilty about this because I'm finally admitting that I can't cope with Dad any more.

    Off we trots this morning after taking an hour to get Dad ready, he kept forgetting that we were going and kept doing other things, and when we got there it was a different doctor asking exactly why I'd taken Dad in! So I asked him to do a health check on Dad which he did, he ignoring Dad and asking me all the questions like does he drink etc etc. The GP then looks at Dads notes and says in front of Dad that I'd said yesterday his hallucinations were getting worse. Dads eyebrows shot out of the roof and he started to get that 'I'm going to be awkward and aggressive when we get out of here' look on his face. The doctor just said to make sure Dad takes his Haloperidol regularly (despite me trying to tell the him that getting Dad just to remember he has tablets to take is no mean feat) because they stop the hallucinations (they haven't in Dad's case). I managed to distract Dad afterwards by driving him round to look at the floods and he seems to have forgotten what the GP said for now.

    Am I right in thinking that the GP was totally out of order saying that in front of Dad? I thought the whole point was to protect Dad, I know he hallucinates but I don't agree that telling him that what he goes through isn't real, could you imagine how that would make him feel when he's distressed enough by what he 'sees'!

    I feel like I'm back to square one, not that I ever got off square one in the first place. What does it take to have somebody who quite clearly has dementia assessed for some sort of help and extra care? Or is it just a case of the state having yet another unpaid carer and they're quite happy for it to continue that way!

    Yours ggrrrringly

    AJay
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,578
    Kent
    Phew AJay, what a lack of sensitivity from the doctor. I had to delete what I would have liked to have written.
    I`d make another appointment to see doctor No.1 again with your father, he sounds as if he has more knowledge of dementia.
    Full marks to your boss though.
    Love xx
     
  3. SusanB

    SusanB Registered User

    Jan 15, 2008
    155
    Hove
    Ajay,

    I'm furious just reading your post! How DARE the other guy be so uncaring and tactless. You MUST go and see Dr. no. 1 again with your Dad in tow (I'm sure you can come up with a valid reason!) and don't be fobbed off with any excuses...in fact, I'm confused as to why you went straight over to see one doctor and then got passed over to another.

    Your boss sounds like an angel. Thank goodness he can understand - my boss is also great about my Mum.

    Will you let us know what happens?
    Susan
     
  4. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    542
    Hi Ajay

    What an awful, awful time. I can't believe you got so close to seemingly getting something sorted and then ended up with a different doctor. From my experience, I think it's imperative that you see the same doctor and stick with them. I do this for mum and at least whilst admitting he doesn't know a lot about dementia, he is aware of her meds and how, over time, she is changing. Also, it saves me (or you - or anyone) having try and explain rather furtively ... difficult when person you are talking about is sat next to you ... exactly what is going on.

    I would pursue this and make certain that the surgery are aware of your situation. As if it's not difficult enough ... Doctor no. 2 sounds like he has the bedside manner of Dr Crippen!

    Post back and let us know how things are.

    x
     
  5. AJay

    AJay Registered User

    Aug 21, 2007
    123
    Leics
    Hi again

    I'm now sitting here with tears streaming down my face, Dad has just phoned to ask whether I'm going over to see him today because he's missed me, he's completely forgotten that I was over there. In some ways a blessing in disguise because he's obviously forgotten about what that GP said.

    I thought I was quite immune to what he's going through, obviously I've got a lot more compassion than I ever realised, I seem to spend some time each day in tears now. Every time I hear his frail shaky voice it seems to drive another nail into my heart. Just watching him standing looking for the birds in his garden upsets me. Oh dear, how depressing am I?! Shake it off woman.

    I'm definitely going to get on the phone to the surgery again tomorrow, Dad does not deserve this sort of treatment. I'll certainly post back.

    AJay
     
  6. SusanB

    SusanB Registered User

    Jan 15, 2008
    155
    Hove
    Oh Ajay

    I just read your latest post. What a sad situation for you, your words made me a bit tearful. I 100% sympathise - you get a funny feeling in the pit of your stomach, don't you and I bet you want to jump in the car and get over there at once!

    You're sure to do the right thing: Remember that no. 1 doctor sounds like he really knows what he's doing and will help you.
     
  7. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    Hello Ajay,

    This is awful.I read your post and was so upset by it..

    My advice-phone the surgery first thing and demand to speak to the practice manager..don't be fobbed off by anyone who answers the phone..make a fuss and demand to see the doctor you first spoke to..and complain about the other doctor's attitude.

    It's so tough having to do these things when you're already under stress, I know..but you are in the right.
    Your boss sounds really supportive-that's a plus..:)

    good luck...love Gigi x
     
  8. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    ((((hugs))))) You need them. That is the last think you needed.

    Unfortunately the GPs do seem to have little true understanding of the impact of dementia and the diversionary tactics that you need to take to get isssues dealt with. It really is the case that until you have actually had to deal with it then there is no understanding, and sometimes if they have dealt with it only one point of view!

    However as there is at least one useful GP in the practice I would phone and specifically ask for an appointment/ telephone consultation with him, explain to him what happpened and then move forward. I would also be tempted to write a complaint to the practice for a lack of communication as the GP you saw today should have been more aware.

    I had a shock when reading my Mum's practice literature recently to discover out of a 5 partner practice not one of them had an interest or speciality in dementia. I should have thought that guven the age profile of most practices that everyone should have at least one who has an interest in something that is likely to be afflicting up to 25% or more of their older patients. But you can't cure or alleviate it can you?

    Hope that you get a more sympathetic apporach the next time you manage to coerce your father to visit..or on second thought ask for a home visit.

    Love

    Mameeskye

    PS Sorry for my little rant!
     
  9. Doreen99

    Doreen99 Registered User

    Jan 12, 2008
    66
    Sheffield
    Hi AJay

    in your position, I think I'd have thrown something at idiot doctor no 2 - obviously a total ..... better not put what I want to say, might get told off.

    Yes, do get your dad to see the decent doctor, he's obviously in need of more help than you can give him. It's not surprising you're in tears, but it will actually do you good to have a weep, it'll help release some of the tension and stress.

    A friend of mine had a similar problem with her mum when it came to getting carers in. She was going to her mum's in the morning before work, popping in at lunchtime, then going again in the evening, to make sure her mum had eaten and taken her tablets. Then there was the cleaning, the washing and ironing, the shopping, etc. All while working, bringing up two teenagers and trying to have a life of her own.

    When the assessment was done, every time the assessor suggested help for something, mum replied, "Oh, I don't need any help with that, my daughter does it for me". Luckily, the assessor was good at her job and patiently explained that it was all getting a little too much for my friend, so my friend actually needed the help, not mum! Mum accepted this - despite refusing to believe it every time my friend had said it was getting difficult for her to cope.

    Anyway, her mum now has a carer going in three times a day and my friend can actually have a life of her own again.

    It's going to be difficult to get your dad to accept "outside" help, but you (and the doctor, etc) will have to persevere. You need to think of your own health as well, you won't be much good to your dad if end up in complete collapse.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for your second visit to the doctor.
     
  10. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,578
    Kent
    When it is said that all Alzheimers sufferers are different, they do seem to find similar ways of passing their time. One more shared experience. :)
     
  11. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #11 Margarita, Jan 17, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2008
    Reads like my story Doreen


    So they have not done an mental heath on your father , but doctor still saying to take his Haloperidol regularly, so doctors must know they something wrong with your father, so understand that the main issue is getting your father for assessment , assessment for what ? if they know they something wrong as in dementia , and all they offering you in the mean time is Haloperidol ? are they going to give your father better medication then what his on now ? when they done a mental heath assessment ?

    I am sure if you talk to a social worker, they can offer some support . have you spoken to one yet , about support for your father how he does not want to accept help , your finding it very stressful you have your job your own life, as long a SW knows your father is on medication as Haloperidol regularly. they can offer your father support at home , your post reads as it the home support is more concern . Doctors can not help with that even after a mental heath assessment only SW team

    Just my perception
     
  12. AJay

    AJay Registered User

    Aug 21, 2007
    123
    Leics
    Update

    Hi all and many thanks for your support and replies.

    Margarita, Dad was in hospital for a while a few months ago and social services got involved while he was there, they were very concerned about his dementia. They wouldn't let him leave hospital until a care package was in place - a care worker in first thing to make sure Dad was up, well and had taken his tablets, and a second care worker to make him some lunch, tidy up and leave him something for his tea. Dad quite aggressively threw them out after 2 days and the social worker although concerned told me that as Dad had refused care there was nothing they could do about it. I did say that I was struggling to cope particularly as I work some distance away, but although she sympathised, there was nothing that could be done.

    Dad was put on Haloperidol when he started to hear music through the night some months ago. Dad at that point didn't seem to be too bad in other ways, though looking back I think it's probably that I'd got used to his forgetfulness and awkwardness by then so I didn't raise any other issues with the doctor at that time. Incidently, it wasn't Dad's own doctor that I saw then. His own doctor on seeing me the other day has recognised that Dad is much more at risk so therefore wants to see the situation for himself, hence me taking Dad in yesterday. He's keen (or seemed to be) to get the mental health team involved, and feels that Dad may accept home care if the 'order' comes from him rather than me, he said that people with dementia often accept doctors orders rather than from their families. Where things go from there I don't know, I was hoping to find out more yesterday.

    I rang the surgery this morning to ask for Dads own doc to call me back and was told he's not in at all but no reason offered as to why so I've got to call back on Monday. Maybe he's ill. I was offered a call back from the doctor I saw yesterday but politely declined!

    Dad seems to be a lot stronger today and we've had quite a laugh over the phone, I'm working from home this morning but am about to head over there now. I think we're going to have a good afternoon.

    And Grannie G - it's strange about the bird watching, he's never been even remotely interested in them before. We bought him a bird feeder for Christmas which he was over the moon with and spends ages sitting watching the birds feeding.

    Love to all and so many thanks for listening, I'll update again on Monday at some point.

    AJay xx
     
  13. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    I don't blame you !

    Thank- you for taking the time out to explain , and on top of it all with your father, Doctor giving you the run around .

    I suppose that a good theory , as my mother did not want to go for some tests only when I took her to her doctor he said that she had to go , or other wise he telling me of, she went along with it and I had to keep reminding her what doctor had said , that I get the blame for it .

    Only suggestion for moving forward is next time , you make an appointment see your father doctor with your father , your going to have to ring the surgery in the morning of the appointment to make sure his they .

    Wishing you all the best with your father today .
     
  14. AJay

    AJay Registered User

    Aug 21, 2007
    123
    Leics
    Whey hey!

    Had a really good afternoon with Dad, he was in good spirits and was showing his wicked sense of humour again. I pottered around for him then took his dog out for a walk. we took a lot longer than expected due to trying to avoid muddy paths and deep puddles. Dad was in a total panic when I got back, he thought something had happened to me and was on the point of coming out to look for me! Bless him. I sat him down, made him a cup of tea and got him calm again.

    He then announced out of the blue that he's been thinking about things and wants to try the care worker again to come in and do his lunch!!!! Whether the thought of something happening to me has jolted him a bit or whatever was going through his mind, I got straight onto the phone to the social worker who dealt with him before. Dad agreed to the service over the phone, the SW said that because he was assessed a couple of months ago she didn't need to re-assess so we're waiting for the service to start again. Dad still seemed adamant about it even when I left him a few minutes ago to come home.

    So keep fingers crossed again, I'm going to make sure I'm there on the first day so it's not such a shock to him, make sure there's some really nice food in and just keep reminding him that it's going to happen. And if it works out, just knowing that somebody has seen him every day and that he's eaten something before I get to him in the evening will take loads off my mind. We can introduce more help gradually.

    Behind every dark cloud.......

    AJay xxx
     
  15. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    Well done Ajay! I hope this continues and the much needed support is accepted by your dad-you'll feel much happier about things too :)

    Not wanting to take the wind out of your sails..but do be prepared that it may not all go according to plan-we all would hope it will..and you are doing your level best to ensure it does. Alzheimers is so unpredictable..but you're on the ball and have won your dad's confidence which is brilliant.

    Your dad is so lucky to have you around...please keep in touch and let us know how things work out

    love Gigi x
     
  16. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,578
    Kent
    Well AJay, that was unexpected but very welcome news. Such a relief for you.
     
  17. AJay

    AJay Registered User

    Aug 21, 2007
    123
    Leics
    Thanks Gigi, I'm so hopeful that it will happen this time, I suppose because he's made the decision himself and it's not been forced on him. But I am prepared for it all to fail, I've not really got anything to lose at this stage if it does.

    Keep fingers crossed!

    AJay xx
     
  18. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    18,972
    Derbyshire
    Hello Ajay:
    I agree with Gigi completely and I think you have done well with your Father so far. I just hope it works well cos you deserve it.

    Your Father sounds much like my husband. Yes, he hears music and panics if I am not around soon enough. It is hard but I am so pleased he is agreeable to carers - that will make so much difference to you.

    Keep posting as we want to know how it develops for you.
    Take care Jan
     
  19. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    What good news am so please for both you you :)
     
  20. SusanB

    SusanB Registered User

    Jan 15, 2008
    155
    Hove
    Good good good!

    I can try to imagine you spending a lovely time with your Dad. Good memories for the future.

    I hope you'll let us all know what happens on Monday.
    Susan
     

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