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Swing and a miss on medication
LittleRoseBug15
Posted: Friday, January 20, 2023 4:29 PM
Joined: 7/26/2022
Posts: 10


Just had to share/vent: I was so close to potentially starting a conversation about medicating my mom today.

We went for her wellness check with her PCP. I had written to the doctor ahead to remind her of the mild cognitive impairment diagnosis from Mom's neurologist. We're in the office with the doctor, Mom's not answering questions about dates because she can't remember, but things are fine.

The doctor askes if Mom is seeing any specialists, I confirm yes, and doctor mentions the neurologist. Mom hates her neurologist. Mom is now invested in the conversation. Doctor asks if the neurologist has given any medication and I respond with no. Doctor says that medications are something that we can look into. Mom comes in with a very pointed/unsettled "Medication for what?". Doctor tries to confirm with Mom that she'd seen her neurologist because she had memory concerns. Mom answers with a very pointed/challenging "Did I?" And the topic is dropped.

I know medications are iffy and may not do much (that's why the neurologist hasn't prescribed anything), but I would have liked to have that conversation with another physician and get their perspective. Also, Mom is still with it enough to really challenge anything that has to do with cognition. So, I guess, even if something were prescribed, getting her to take it would be impossible.

Thanks for reading and sending you all the best out there in care-land.


Ed1937
Posted: Friday, January 20, 2023 7:37 PM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 7010


Rose Bug, my late wife was an RN, and when she was first diagnosed, she refused any medication for memory. She had doctors try to give her the medications at least 4 or 5 times. She always refused them. I backed her decision. She never took any. I'm not saying your mother should not take them. You should work with her, and do whatever you think is in her best interest. That's all you can do.
Iris L.
Posted: Friday, January 20, 2023 10:57 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


LittleRoseBug15 wrote:

. Mom comes in with a very pointed/unsettled "Medication for what?". Doctor tries to confirm with Mom that she'd seen her neurologist because she had memory concerns. Mom answers with a very pointed/challenging "Did I?" 

 

 . Also, Mom is still with it enough to really challenge anything that has to do with cognition. 

 

Please familiarize yourself with anosognosia.   The PWD truly believes she is fine.  She sees no need for doctors or medications.  She could very well sound "with it".  You cannot deal with anosognosia directly, you will have to learn to use work-arounds,  which the members will show you.

Iris


Victoria2020
Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2023 6:57 AM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 1709


LittleRoseBug15 wrote:

Also, Mom is still with it enough to really challenge anything that has to do with cognition. So, I guess, even if something were prescribed, getting her to take it would be impossible.

 


Echoing Iris , it was really hard for me to wrap ~my~head around that just because our PWD sounds the same , seems like they are thinking things out and have a valid rational reason behind what they want or don't want to do/take etc    but their words  are still powered by their decaying brain.

At some point she'll probably say something so far afield, but still just like the way you're used to hearing her say something rational, you'll go "whoa" but by then opportunities may have been missed.

The "memory" drugs don't prevent or reverse but can delay , so up to you if you want to try to get her treading water or just follow the path.

I found my "whoa" moments came first from outside folks, my PWDs would describe an event and I'd discuss with that person or company and could hear in their voice their frustration and that the truth was very very different from what I was told in those old  trusted familiar voices. 


LittleRoseBug15
Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2023 2:04 PM
Joined: 7/26/2022
Posts: 10


Thank you for the responses everyone. I really appreciate it.

 

I definitely know Mom has anosognosia and I'm not expecting her to all of a sudden realize what's going on (this board has been really helpful in advice on that front and I am so grateful!). I've already had those moments of realizing that her reality is much farther off from the one the rest of us are living in.

 

So by "with it", I just mean that on the right day, Mom can call out a fiblet or recognize when something has been done without her knowledge. I think that's just the strength of the suspicion/paranoia that comes along with this situation, more than her reason still being intact, but it adds another challenge to a lot of the maneuvering we're trying to do.  

 

My struggle in this stage is the tension between "You as the caregiver have to step in. You need to take control" and "You need to just go with what she wants to do. Meet her where she's at." Where is the balance? What happens when keeping her peace means doing nothing about her cognitive decline because it's not a part of her reality?

 

 


LaurenB
Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2023 3:08 PM
Joined: 10/29/2020
Posts: 236


Have you considered calling the drs office to let them know about wanting to try medication (since you were just there)?  They might go ahead and write a prescription for you to try with your mom.  Additionally, I’d look for a geriatric specialist PCP.  these are drs who work with PWD more often and have a better understanding of dementia.
 
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