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I Have Alzheimer’s or Another Dementia
I was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment last June, I had been have problems for a while but did not know there was a name for what I was going thru. Over the years I have misplaced items a lot and become extremely frustrated looking for them. I have accused my husband and others of hiding them from me. They would look and find them in the same place I had looked. I have got lost for years while driving. One time it took me 3 hours to get out of DFW driving to Colorado because I kept driving around in circles. When I went to my Primary care doctor about another issue and I mentioned to her that at work I would find myself wondering what I was doing. I worked at a call center but I also had to have technical knowledge about the heat and air systems we sell. I would take incoming calls from our sales field, I would enter million dollars orders that were sent in through email or faxes. I had to correct problems or change orders while on the phone with a sales rep. I started having problems understanding the emails. I thought if I copied them and pasted to a word document I would be able to read it better. But I would have to read it over numerous times and hoped I had taken the correct steps to complete what the person in the email wanted me to do. I had gotten to the point that when I answered a call and had to take a message, I could not take the whole message and I could not remember what I was suppose to do. Over the years I had thought my eye doctor was giving me the wrong prescriptions. I have vision problems but they said the prescriptions were correct. A Ophthalmologist verified the prescription was correct.
Welcome to our online support group, Mutch. I am sorry that you have to be here, but I am glad you found this site. Many of us have a diagnosis of MCI or CI. My own diagnosis is cognitive impairment not otherwise specified, meaning I have several possible causes for my difficulties.
All the things you are experiencing are common for us. We forget, we lose things, and we feel disoriented. The main thing is to realize that we are at a crux--we can stay the same, we can get better, or we can get worse. The problem is, we don't know which, at this point. We try to help ourselves by engaging in lifestyle habits which we call Best Practices.
Some neurologists may decide to offer medications that help memory. My neurologist has prescribed Exelon patch, which has been helping me. I also take Namenda XR. I also take medications for hypertension and low thyroid and pain & inflammation.
Best Practices includes taking prescribed medications, eating the Mediterranean diet, exercising vigorously, stimulating the brain, socializing, getting good sleep, and avoiding stress.
I see that you are considering long term disability and are about to become 65. Your normal retirement age is probably 66, as mine is. You can discuss with your advisor if it would be better for you to proceed with seeking long term disability until age 66, or to go directly to early retirement at age 65. See if there would be any difference in the pension amount, and in availability of Medicare.
I was initially diagnosed as having depression/anxiety with my memory symptoms, and I was on antidepressants for about six years. I noticed no change with the various antidepressants. At one time, I fell into a deep depression. The only thing that helped me was reading the posts on these boards, and coming to a spiritual understanding of life and my place in the scheme of things. I have discovered that the outside world, including professionals who work with older adults, have nothing to offer us. Only our peers have anything to offer us, in terms of acceptance and living with cognitive impairment and early dementia.
I decided that, I might have dementia, but I am not going out like a victim. I will fight for myself, and make my life as fulfilling as it can be. I decided to help others dealing with this. There is hope. I call us Dementia Pioneers, because we are the first generation of patients who are actively treating ourselves with Best Practices.
As of now, there is no specific point that decides when a person jumps from MCI/CI to definite dementia. Do not get hung up on this. Work step by step to make your life easier. There will be difficulties, but there are compensations.
Please continue to lean on your fellow members for guidance and support. We are here to help each other. Please keep reading the boards, and keep posting, Mutch.
Mutch - please post again when you feel like it.
This is difficult for anyone. Wishing you lots of love and courage. For some people, knowing there IS a problem is both helpful and shocking. There is Life ahead, we all learn how to work with it in a way that suits us individually.
Iris. Your msg was uplifting. My husband is recently diagnosed withMCI. He is currently in denial while I am reading everything I can. I want to be prepared for what is to come and be a helpful mate. Your msg has inspired me. Thank you
I am sorry to learn about your husband's MCI diagnosis, Grace. But it is not the end of the world. It is possible that he is not in denial, but may have anosognosia. This is the unawareness of having a cognitive problem. It is usually a characteristic of dementia, but I suppose it can begin in MCI. Patients truly believe that they are fine, and see no need for doctors, medications or changes in household routine.
It is very important to search for risk factors and to treat them, and to start him on Best Practices.
--take medications as prescribed
--eat the Mediterranean diet with antioxidant fruits and vegetables and omega-3 fats
--continue to stimulate the brain
--continue to socialize
Also, he should get good sleep, avoid stress, and look into alternative therapies as desired.
Here is an article that explains more about anosognosia:
Thank all of you for your comments. It helps to be heard.
Worth the price and good for discussion between a married couple.
Living Your Best With Early Stage Alzheimer's by Lisa Snyder.
MCI may or may not develop into Alzheimer's. I my experience, at the same point, some get diagnosed as MCI and others AD. some doctors believe it's MCI as long as the person can somewhat function, especially if they can live alone. others fog by how much cognitive loss there has been. When it is significant and not mild, they give the AD diagnosias.
You will be experiencing a lot of emotions, Mutch. There will be some changes in your life. Please let us know how we can help.
Hi you all,
I am 80 years old, was diagnosed with MCI about a year ago. I still can drive, clean our Condo, wash dishes, and handle my daily chores. A Dr. Clapper (recognized as a mental expert) says that I am an early, early. I have tried twice to get on a double blind study run by Dr. Clapper, but failed the drug company's prodacal by testing too smart.
I take the Alz drug Galantamine 8 MG, and Malatonin the sleep aid.
I am very active with the Denver chapter of Alz and especialy go on their outdoor acttivies such as hikes.
My wife (of 50 years) is my care giver.
I am a SMILE MAKER for toysforgodskid.com and have worked with the Heather Gardens chapter where I live.
Welcome to our world.
The Denver Chapter is a very active chapter, I'm so glad you're involved. Someone else from the Denver area was on here a few days ago. I've no memory of her name.
The National Alz. has a drug match service. Maybe you'll qualify there. Call 1-800-272-3900. If you don't qualify as a person with the disease, perhaps you'll qualify as someone without.
Do get involved with Best Practices. Yes it's work, but it makes you very proactive.
1. Take meds as directed. I know nothing about the ones you take. I'm on Aricept.
2. Strenuous physical exercise three times a week, minimum. Sounds like you're there. You do want to increase your heart rate for a bit. Research has shown that this leads the brain to produce new cells!
3. Strenuous and varied cognitive activities, such as puzzles, learning a new language or instrument, writing you autobiography.
4. Mediterranean Diet. I also take Omega 3 and antioxidants.
5. Maintain or increase socialization. PWD typically do not like large, noisy groups. We must interact with others.
We're so glad you found us.
Welcome to our online support group, Lehman. I am sorry you have to be here, but glad you have found us. You sound like you are holding your own. You are already doing Best Practices. I like the idea of your making toys for children.
Please continue to read the boards and to post yourself. We are here to support each other.
Welcome Mutch and Lehman,
Mutch, I can relate to so much of what you've written about what lead up to your diagnosis. Do you have actual vision problems or is it related to the MCI? I have seen both an opthalmologist and then was referred to neurological opthalmologist because I scored so low in the visual testing on 2 neuro psych evaluations. Other than needing reading glasses it turns out my vision is normal and it is related to the MCI.
Your post is uplifting and an inspiration to us all! Thank you for sharing.