Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Let me give some background on my father and his Alzheimer's. You have to understand he is in denial and we have chosen to allow that. He thinks he is just forgetting things as a natural part of aging. His father had Alzheimer's and had to go into a nursing home. On a regular basis he tells us he would rather die than have that happen to him. He has convinced himself the Alzheimer's testing was a routine memory test to find the right vitamins and drugs to help his memory. He has had some rough times, his first attempt at taking an Alzheimer's drug made him paranoid and he started having panic attacks. He was sure that the drug was giving him heart attacks to kill him, and he was accusing my mother of trying to get rid of him. That medication lasted 2 days.

A year later and a second attempt with a different medication lasted 3 days. He became totally delusional. He was somewhat argumentative, slightly combative, he had times of not knowing my mother, and he was seeing things and people that were not there. He ended up in the hospital to get back on track and do the evaluation if he needed nursing home care. All of the experts recommended admission but there were no openings until possibly the following week. We took him home from the hospital and that started my at least once a day visits. Back at home and with the latest drug out of his system he turned back into a man who was able to live at home for some time longer. As a matter of fact, he is better now than he has been for at least a year or more.

This is not to say the the new drugs for Alzheimer's patients are bad. Only an observation that not everyone responds to medication, nor can everyone take the drugs. He also can not take penicillin, but millions of people can and are helped everyday.

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