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my father's diagnosis
Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 10:15 PM
Joined: 11/22/2016
Posts: 1

Hi everyone, I just signed up to this website and am reading through a ton of the resources and posts on this message board.   My father just got diagnosed with EO Alzheimer's today.  We've suspected that he was slowly losing his memory for about a year now, but now it's pretty much official.  My father has been through a lot.  He was misdiagnosed with cancer about 15 years ago, started chemo, then found out later on he had renal disease.  He's been taking a multitude of medicines to battle that ever since.  I strongly believe that the cocktail of pills he's been taking all these years has led to this diagnosis of EO Alz.  My brother and I spoke with him briefly today to see how he's taking the news, and it's apparent that he's in complete denial.  He is convinced that his "slight loss in memory" is simply due to aging despite turning 62 later this year.  I assume this is a very normal reaction in the coping process, but wanted to see if the group can help confirm this.  Also, if there is any advice regarding planning, medication, helping someone with Alz, etc. please please please share.   This is all very new to our family and we want to take the right approach to helping him.   Thanks so much in advance.
Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 10:54 PM
Joined: 11/18/2016
Posts: 451

No one wants to be where they're at. He is not in complete denial because he knows  what's going on. It's his way of coping with this dreadful disease of which I'm a part of. Let him be for now , it isn't going to hurt him at this stage of the game if y'all drop the subject and try to enjoy the holidays as best as possible. I know that's what we'll be trying to do. When the dust settles maybe he will be ready to talk about it. If not, reach out to him showing him that he has all your love and support during this terribly difficult  time. Love on your daddy, and let him know that he is loved and not alone.
Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, November 23, 2016 12:56 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18713

Your father may be experiencing anosognosia, which is a characteristic of dementia that causes the person with dementia to be unaware of having dementia.  He truly believes he is fine, and sees no need for doctors, medications or changes in household routine.  If you read this article, you will learn more about anosognosia. 

There are many conditions and drugs that cause memory loss and that mimic dementia.  I hope your father has had a thorough evaluation by a neurologist skilled in the dementias to search for all these different conditions.  If he has had chemotherapy, there is a condition called "chemo-brain" that mimics dementia.

There is much to learn.  Please read the threads on the Caregiver board for more information, and also read  Read through all of the message boards.  There is much support here.

Iris L.

Mimi S.
Posted: Wednesday, November 23, 2016 8:54 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027

And if your dad is comfortable joinig us, have him do so.  He might not and that's OK.  right now he needs lots of TLC.