Tuesday, December 19, 2017 – This was posted on Facebook’s group Memory People on December 4, 2017 written by Rick Phelps who has had Early Onset Alzheimer’s for five years since he was 57 years old. His viewpoint as the patient makes everything he writes very special to me. My personal update is at the end of today’s blog.
On top of everything else a dementia patient deals with, along comes Christmas.
All the lights, the people, the noise, and the chaos. Most of you know, or will, that anything out of your loved one’s routine can cause all kinds of problems.
Christmas is out of one’s routine. Putting a tree up, having flashing lights, having lights that don’t flash, really doesn’t matter.
We do a tree every other year. This year we put a tree up. Although it bothers me, not to the point where I can’t stand it. Yet.
Just moving the furniture is dramatic to me. Where one of our front room chairs goes, there will be a tree this week.
Watching TV will be a distraction for me because there’s a tree in our front room. It’s out of the norm if you will.
Remember these things. The only thing good about my situation I’m still capable of telling what drives me crazy. Most family members know. Noise is a big thing this time of year. And yes, those lights.
I am not a Christmas Grinch, I’m sure your loved one isn’t either. It’s just that the holidays are extremely stressful on a dementia patient which will make caregiving extremely stressful as well.
What makes Christmas time worse? It starts for me about a week before Thanksgiving and lasts through January 2nd or 3rd.
That’s a long time for anyone to have to deal with anything. We got through Thanksgiving dinner. Our kids aren’t kids anymore. The youngest of the girls is eleven now and the grandson is ten.
We don’t have the running through the house thing anymore. So that‘s a plus. But even the adults talking can be challenging.
Imagine in our instance fifteen adults all having conversations at the same time, about many different topics. It’s confusing to someone who doesn’t have dementia.
I know this happens, and we want it to. Have family around during the holidays. But you have to be in tune with dementia patient’s needs.
Make sure there is somewhere you can take the patient to, a bedroom or something, where they can get away from the hustle and bustle.
I step outside. Just a few minutes outside usually is good for me to continue. Sometimes not so much. You have no choice.
You have to deal with this disease. It makes it somewhat easier if the caregiver or family members can read the stress on one’s face.
Certainly, we want everyone to have the happiest of holidays. But dementia doesn’t take a day off because it’s that time of year.
It never takes a day off. And that is the problem…
© Rick Phelps 2017
For support for this journey of dementia, join us at Memory People, on Facebook. We’ll walk this with you, each step of the way. You are not alone.
I am aware that there are not clear paragraphs below. There should be. I know how to fix it but the fix isn’t working. I’ll continue trying to get it fixed!
On a personal note: We went to Dr. Morgan yesterday to get the results of the 3 day EEG and EKG. I didn’t see the doctor but I saw the Nurse Practitioner. Not sure why I didn’t see the doctor because the NP went out of the room to consult with the Doctor a few times, so the doctor was available. That’s something I’ll have to ask about.
The EKG didn’t show any heart problems, yay! The EEG brain test didn’t show any of the type of seizures they thought the test would show. It did show some abnormality but I think she said it was not anything of concern.
I have to admit, the appointment became very stressful and confusing for me. I wasn’t my sweet little happy self. There were mean words coming out of my mouth and a good bit of crying. To go from my original doctor that I saw for 4 years diagnosing me with dementia (he was wonderful the first four years and only in the last year did I choose to leave him). It took me years to accept it and my constantly increasing symptoms had confirmed this diagnosis. Now to see a new doctor who has not reviewed all of the original test results and other tests I’ve had over the years. She doesn’t seem to know what medicines I’m already on which gives me concern and makes me doubt their ability to help me.
However, they want to rule out other things so I’m going to do this. If we can find some other cause of my symptoms, that is a good thing. I would love to find some other reason for my symptoms but being in limbo and not knowing is a rough place for me to be in.
I’ve always wanted to know what caused my dementia. Because the symptoms of dementia can be caused by many different things she wants to address the causes that weren’t originally tested one at a time. Since I’ve tried and am now off of the regular dementia medicines, if there is a medicine or other treatment that can help the symptoms I have I’ll be glad to try it! She gave me a prescription for medicine for the first possibility that we are addressing; I will be on it for the next month and then I’ll go back to see her. I’ll keep ya’ll informed as we go through any new phase of treatment testing.
I get no where trying to handle this myself so I’ve given all of this uncertainty over to God. He is my rock and will get me through whatever all this turns out to be.
I am still uncertain if Dr. Morgan is who I want as my ongoing neurologist If she can find something other than dementia, something that can be treated, she’ll be my favorite doctor.
Ya’ll come back now, ya hear!
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