Newbie intro - plus a bit of help needed

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Gromit, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. kiara

    kiara Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    3
    Hi Gromit,

    This is my first post so I'm a newbie too, although have been reading this forum for a while now. My dad was diagnosed with dementia in January 2005, aged just 55. His symptoms were exactly like the ones you describe for your dad, he always used to be so active, always doing something around the house when he wasn't at work. However, he has been forced to retire and had his driving license revoked and now he does nothing but sit in front of the tv and bark orders at me and my mum.

    He is in the early stages - he seems to be able to modify his behaviour in front of anyone who isn't a close family member so that they would struggle to find anything wrong with him. This is probably why we had so much trouble getting his doctor to take us seriously. However, after several meetings between the doctor and my mum, we were able to get the relevant scans etc and a diagnosis of dementia, although AD is not actually confirmed (possibly picks?).

    What I'm trying to say is try your hardest to get him to a doctor. You need a diagnosis so that you can plan ahead. Hopefully it will be something curable, thyroid, blood disorder etc but you need to know.
    Good luck with everything, I've been where you are now and fully understand the frustration and upset you must be going through. My dad has a stubborn Italian streak in him!!
    K
    x
     
  2. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Gromit, I just wanted to say ‘Well done!’ By the time I have got round to reading this thread and having chance to post, you’ve already achieved what you
    needed as a ‘first step’. Fantastic! Well done! And I hope we see the ‘up-date’ – and that it is good, constructive news for you all.

    Forgive me, if these quotes/ comments are now almost out-dated for you at this moment in time , but I pose them for other TP members too……

    we have been told there is nothing can be done unless he comes in himself

    I likened this to someone with stomach pains – imagine perhaps a suspicion of appendicitis – not immediately life-threatening if dealt with promptly. Imagine, one of us (as a carer/concerned partner/sibling etc) rang the (patient’s) GP surgery and explained the situation. GP says, ‘He must come in himself’. Carer says, ‘he is not willing/able’. GP says, ‘tough’ (sounds strong, I know, but that’s just how your message came across). Hours or maybe days later (in this scenario) you feel the need to go to A&E… for suspected appendicitis, yes, absolutely! For concerns about memory loss???????

    He was a little bit concerned about the ethics of getting my Dad to come in under false pretence, however, Dad hasn't been in for the……”

    Ask him to check out his Hippocratic Oath – and check his ethics!!!! Why feel anxious about a doctor? What makes him any better than you, me and 99.9% of the population other than we are not a GP? Went to Medical School? Whoopee dooo! Does that make him a ‘better’ person’ than you? (Want me to answer?);)

    Your dad is not going under ‘false pretence’! There are concerns which need to be investigated, what can be wrong about that?

    You know that, and you have been able to ‘manage’ a situation where your dad’s needs will at least start to be looked at…. All you are concerned about his your dad’s health – and that’s all the GP should be concerned about too – his personal ‘moral dilemmas’ he can take somewhere else – not your problem!

    So for now, well done, good luck and very best wishes to you,

    Love, Tender Face
     
  3. Gromit

    Gromit Registered User

    Apr 3, 2006
    187
    Edinburgh
    Thank you to everyone - totally amazed!

    Thankyou to you all - I wasn't expecting so many words of encouragement, and you have all shared so much with me.

    Dick - My mum calls my dad her "shadow" - I think since he stopped working full-time he's at a bit of a loss what to do with himself. Plus Mum is probably becoming his "crutch" and the more he relies on her the more he will likely follow her around. I like the term you used "stalking" - I'll tell Mum to pretend she is a star of the screen or pop star and Dad is her groupie!

    Kiara - Great to hear from another newbie and I'm glad you took the plunge too and added your post. Interesting that your Dad is able to modify his behaviour. I spoke to Dad on the phone today (he didn't pass it on to Mum like he normally does) instead he was his chipper old self, cracking jokes, asking questions, telling me what they had been up to this morning and where they are going this afternoon (he remembered everything!) - I came off the call thinking I have imagined it all. Hope Mum makes the most of it while he is having such a good day.

    So Italian streak is similar to the Yokshire stubborn gene then eh?

    Margarita - wow, can't imagine what my Dad would do if we had a consultant for the elderly see my Dad! Boy would I be in hot water! Well actually maybe not - 'cos he'll never know who set the ball rolling now will he! (getting the hang of this fibbing lark).

    Patti/Denni - Sounds like your Mother in Law is as stubborn as my Dad. Its that Yorkshire gene again - has anyone else noticed this pattern? Great to hear that you have such good medical support who understand the circumstances. And don't apologise - you didn't ramble on - you shared some insightful and very helpful experiences with me which are much appreciated.

    Tender face - thanks - I certainly feel hopeful - just cross my fingers that the Doc keeps his end of the bargain - however, depends if his letter works its magic and dad goes to the doc. Thanks for putting things into perspective - what is this weird power docs have - I deal with major clients everyday from MDs to CEOs plus I have the Partner's egos to deal with - no reason why I shouldn't keep my confidence when talking to a doc then eh? Ta for boosting the old confidence!

    Well it looks like we will be playing the waiting game now - until that letter reaches my parents and then we have the fun of trying to get Dad to go to his appointment.

    Thanks to everybody for all of your support. Whatever the outcome I will certainly keep this website in my favourites. So many amazing and wonderful people have come together in the face of adversity!!! How could anyone look at this website and not feel touched by it??!!!
    Big cuddles to all of you!!!
    XXX
     
  4. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    558
    Stow-on-the-Wold
    Thanks Grommit, after 70 years I have a groupie, what took so long and what is the function of a groupie?

    Hugs

    Dick
     
  5. Gromit

    Gromit Registered User

    Apr 3, 2006
    187
    Edinburgh
    Dick G fan club - sign up here!!!

    Dick, a groupie is a fan (normally of pop/rock bands) - and that makes you the star!!! I believe if you have a groupie (or no doubt in your case "groupies") then it is customary to have to wear a disguise (such as dark shades and baseball cap) when out in public!! Helps prevent being mobbed, unless of course that appeals to you!


    I certainly think you have had a groupie(s) for much longer than you think!!!

    Their function is basically to idolise and worship however this can be accompanied by being followed, harassed and can sometimes results in grabbing items of the star's clothing (whilst being worn by the star) or alternatively throwing items of clothing at the star (I'll let you ponder which items these may be).

    I have no doubt that you have many fans/groupies on this website (me included). Think yourself lucky this is a web-based fan club - it would be quite a scene if not!!!

    Cuddles from G.
    x
     
  6. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    558
    Stow-on-the-Wold
    Grommit - every night my groupie throws cloths, many of an intimate nature, at me which I then put in the washing basket. Am I misinterpreting these actions?

    Hugs

    Dick
     
  7. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Dick

    Knickers.

    Norman:D
     
  8. Gromit

    Gromit Registered User

    Apr 3, 2006
    187
    Edinburgh
    Groupie

    Dick - no misinterpretation at all! It would seem you certainly do have a groupie and qualify for stardom status!

    Norman - thank you for clarifying the item of clothing!!

    Speaking of clothing - my Mum now has to encourage Dad to change his clothes. Does he forget when they need changing or is he just being lazy? Anyway, my Mum puts out clean clothing for him as a reminder when he has been for a shower. Oh yes, he also needs reminding when he needs one too!

    This morning my Dad was going to go for a morning paper with my Mum, luckily my Mum realised she had seen Dad reading this morning - he had already been out and got a newspaper!! Mum's memory skills are certainly in tip top shape! thank goodness!

    Mum has noticed that he spends alot of time reading the paper during the day. I reckon he is one of the few people that actually gets his money's worth out of the paper (only perhaps because he forgets what he read earlier) - but at least this appears to be a bonus then.

    I'm going to my parents again at Easter (surely Dad must think it strange that I only visited from Edinburgh last week and I'm coming down again at the weekend?). Anyway, Mum reckons it perks him up. I'm taking my husband with me this time (second opinion and support) so we'll see how we get on.

    I'm on the phone with Mum about 3 times a day now - getting updates, plus Ithink it helps mum to talk about it (when he's not in ear shot! Hearing is fine then!). She always asks Dad if he wants to talk to me, but he's taken to saying "no". So only get to talk to Dad if he answers the phone.

    Well, I hope you are all well - my husband and I are going to have a dabble on the National today. I'm going to put a bet on a horse for my Mum and Dad too.

    No letter from the Doctor to my Dad yet requesting him to make an appointment - I'm going to give it until Wednesday and then chase it up (one week is surely long enough for the doc to act on the info I gave him?).

    I look forward to hearing from you again soon. And will continue to check out this website.

    All the very best - and if you are having a dabble on the National - good luck!
    Cuddles for everyone!
    G
    X
     
  9. Shakey1961a

    Shakey1961a Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    111
    Southport
    #29 Shakey1961a, Apr 8, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2006
    Just one thought - If Mohammed won't go to the mountain, bring the mountain to Mohammed.

    I other words if all else fails see if the Doctor would be willing to come and see you father in his own home.

    You could use the pretext that Mum wasn't well and the doctor suggests while he's there, that he could check your dad over as well. Doc could say it would save your dad coming in to see him.

    Just another thought
     
  10. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Gromit: I'm going to my parents again at Easter (surely Dad must think it strange that I only visited from Edinburgh last week and I'm coming down again at the weekend?). Anyway, Mum reckons it perks him up.

    I'm sure your mum's right. We tend not to question things if they make us happy!

    Gromit: No letter from the Doctor to my Dad yet requesting him to make an appointment - I'm going to give it until Wednesday and then chase it up (one week is surely long enough for the doc to act on the info I gave him?).

    Shakey: I other words if all else fails see if the Doctor would be willing to come and see you father in his own home.

    I wonder at what point an issue of 'negligence' could arise? (I don’t really like taking the confrontational stance myself) but I just feel so CROSS about your situation. I can’t believe that if a professional is made aware of a problem that they take no action – or are slow in taking it. I know you say your dad is a reluctant patient, but surely that must be the case for many people – and GPs surely should know how to deal with it themselves without you having to do all the coercing and running around….

    Look at the furore when people have reported concerns about children to relevant professionals who are ‘slow on the uptake’ with sometimes disastrous consequences! I don’t mean to be alarmist there – this is not a life-threatening situation but it is damned important! I don’t know how far a GP’s responsibility extends to his patients, but surely, however he comes about information about concerns (if not directly from a patient consultation) he has some duty to take action? Worth looking into – if just to make you feel more confident in your dealings with him without having to ‘throw the book at him’?

    I have realised again how very lucky I have been with my mum’s GP – another thread coming on….

    Hugs for now - can't wait to hear how you get on!

    Tender Face
     
  11. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    558
    Stow-on-the-Wold
    Unfortunately GPs come in a variety of shades like the rest of us, good ,competent, caring, careless and incompetent. It's a lottery.
     
  12. jennifer3

    jennifer3 Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    14
    lancs
    diagnosis

    Hi i am new user it is my husband that has A and Vascular dememtia newly diagnosed,to get him to docs. took nearly a year then our old dr. retired our new doctor is lovely and as in other letters i went to see her and she brought my hubbie in on the excuse that she had to see all her new patients and then he told her about memory loss etc.he now thinks she is great, which helps as i am his carerer now but the snag is i am disabled as well which makes life a bit difficult we will get a care plan when we see the dr at memory clinic in june after hubbie has a brain scan re. vascular D
    i do have one problem if anyone has any suggestions we have children between us both second marriage all kids grown up boys are helpful and one daughter but the other daughter will not accept that there is anything wrong with her father as he seems o.k. to her she only visits for a little while and talks about when she was living at home that is a lot of years since,she is a grandma think she is scared as A is in family. has anyone any suggestions to make the acceptance easier for her meanwhile we keep smiling or trying to. :)
     
  13. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    Hi Gromit

    I haven't been around for a few months due to "other" family health complications so forgive me if I repeat anything that may appear in other recent threads (yours is the first one I've read).

    Well done for taking that first step, I would be inclined to put lots in writing to the GP - it is then much more difficult to be forgotten/ignored etc! I wrote and e-mailed updates of Aunts symptoms on a regular basis and at least one of the GPs responded very well.

    I'm still hoping that for you this turns out to be a false trail and can be explained by another less lasting problem but if not then look on the trouble getting the GP to respond (with the excuse - can't unless he comes himself) as a little gentle practice for the same journey you will have to make with Social Services!

    Kriss
     
  14. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    Hello Jennifer3, and welcome

    I think the easiest way to make your husband's daughter realise that her Dad is ill, and will need help in times to come, is to try & arrange for them to spend some significant time together. Perhaps (as she has her own family) he could go to stay with her for a whole day, including overnight, if she can't come to stay at your house.

    If her other siblings are realising the true situation and accepting it, perhaps they can help her to come to terms with it. However, if they are not already close, she may not accept their opinions, so it's not worth forcing the issue. I'm not surprised she's scared (the whole bl***y disease is horrible) but whether there is truly an inherited tendency toward Alzheimer's is still debatable. No-one in my Mum's family have had it. Death's by heart attack and cancer, Yes - but not AD. She still has 2 siblings alive, 1 younger & 1 older; no AD there either.

    My brother lives in Australia, and it was only when he came to stay for a holiday with our Mum that he was able to see & believe what I had been trying to tell him. (Perhaps it was 'the way I told it'; obviously I didn't want to hurt or upset him when he can't contribute much help, long-distance). I didn't want to believe it either, come to that!
     
  15. sam.p

    sam.p Registered User

    Apr 1, 2006
    5
    Hampshire
    negligence

    Hi Gromit, I am not sure, but With regard to negligence I think that a GP has a duty of care when help is sought by your dad, that's not to say that there isn't a duty of care owed to your mum. I understand from your postings that you have already had the ethical debate, it is a real difficult situation. Trying to respect your dad's autonomy (which your doc has to do) whilst sneakily trying to perform a dementia assessment is a difficult situation. The doc can't really tell you anything either, patient confidentiality and all that. There are those that play it by the book and follow guidelines to the letter and then there are those who realise that guidelines are just that. Keep on trying, it maybe that your GP isn't confident about making the diagnosis, this is not unheard of.
    Best of luck
    Sam
     
  16. jennifer3

    jennifer3 Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    14
    lancs
    never thought i would be a star

    thought hubby following me around even have to keep computer in lounge so he will sit still if i am in corner on internet it will make life easier being astar with a groupie !:D
     

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