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Frequent Senior Moments Concern
RetiredGeek
Posted: Monday, December 24, 2018 5:34 PM
Joined: 12/24/2018
Posts: 8


Hi folks. This is my first post. I was recently diagnosed with Mild Neurocognitive Disorder and continuing evaluation for possible dementia.

I've been complaining to my wife and family about memory loss concerns for the past couple of years. It has been pronounced in the past 6-8 months. I realized that I now have 15+ senior moments daily and having issues spelling common words. I am a retired systems engineer and for 30+ years maintained an extensive tech/science vocabulary and mathematical skillset.

I feel like I have a fraction of the memory and cognitive ability I had 10 years ago. I have also developed severe writer's block and have become anxious and depressed in spite of Prozac and Wellbutrin.

I'm a little freaked out that the decline has become more pronounced recently (at least to myself). My wife tells me to chill out as we don't have a definitive diagnosis and I may not progress. I hear what she's saying, and I try not to worry. That hasn't worked and I decided to join this community today.

So, are there other folks like myself in this community? Is there a discussion board or different website that focuses on pre-diagnosis anxiety?

Regards and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year wishes to all.

 


Iris L.
Posted: Monday, December 24, 2018 6:32 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 15841


Welcome Retired Geek.  I am a retired pediatrician and I have been dealing with cognitive impairment for well over thirty years.  I have been on this message board for over nine years for the most part plateaued but with some changes this past year ( 2018).  

When I first joined, I was told that following Best Practices could improve my functioning and prolong the early stages.  In my case, I have found thid to be true.  No one can guarantee your stability.  After falling into. A deep depression in 2010, I finally decided that I would fight for my life!  I would do whatever it took to make things better for myself.  There is no cure for the dementias, but life can be made better, depending on what better means for you.  

My own diagnosis is cognitive impairment not otherwise specified.  This means that my cognitive issues are due to diseases other than the most common ones of Alzheimer's Disease or FTD or Lewy Bodies. 

 

I call us Dementia Pioneers because we are the first generation of patients who are pro-active in our own care.  There is much to do and it is not easy.  All the symptoms you describe are common.  You will have to make or find accommodations.  I am still making accommodations.

 

There are only a few of us posting now.  I hope that you continue to read and to post, RG.

Iris L.

 


Mimi S.
Posted: Monday, December 24, 2018 6:52 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7037


Welcome to our world, Retired Geek. I'm so glad you found us.

I have been active in the Alzheimer's community, locally, nationally and here on-lie. People with dementia I have met were not happy with the diagnosis but relieved. We knew something as wrong.

 

What was your process of diagnosis? Do compare with what is written by Doraiswamy and Gwyther. Ask your librarian to get you a copy of one of their books.

 

Iris spoke about the Best Practices life style. Here is a brief run down. Research has shown that each, by itself has an effect, but combining them has a multiplying effect.

1. Take meds, if so directed.2.

2. Vigorous physical exercise. The goal is to get the heart pumping, for a bit, at a higher than normal rate. Recent research has shown this build new brain tissue.

3

. Varied cognitive activities. You want to stretch your brain but not to the point of frustration.

4. Mediterranean Diet. No smoking. Little alcohol. 

5. Maintain or increase socialization. We need conversation with others but mot of us do not do well with noise or crowds.

Do stay with us.


MissHer
Posted: Monday, December 24, 2018 7:22 PM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2117


And please do check the side effects of those drugs. I know that Prozac can cause short term memory loss.  Merry Christmas to your family.
Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 12:02 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 15841


Thanks, Miss Her.  I'm sorry I did not address the depression.  Major depression can mimic dementia.  The depression should be treated aggressively with appropriate medication and talk therapy for at least six to eight weeks.  Sometimes treating a depression can improve cognitive impairments.

Iris L.

 


MissHer
Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 7:53 AM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2117


Thank you Iris, I appreciate your knowledge and willingness to advise us caregivers. 

God bless


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 2:10 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 15841


Now is the time to get affairs in order and to work on your bucket list, if you have one.

Iris L.


RetiredGeek
Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 2:16 PM
Joined: 12/24/2018
Posts: 8


Merry Christmas and thanks Iris L., Mimi S., and MisHer for responding.  

My diagnostic journey started in September, when my wife convinced me to ask our PCP about my memory and cognition concerns. The PCP recommended that I get an assessment for early stage dementia. I went to see a psychiatrist. He recommended that I go to see a licensed clinical neuropsychologist for a 3-hour memory and cognition evaluation. I went back a couple of weeks later to get discuss the results and get a copy of her detailed report. That’s when I received my Mild Neurocognitive Disorder (MND) diagnosis.

I had an MRI done in November 2017 after I conked out while riding an exercise bike and landed hard on the cement floor. We’re not sure how long I was out, but it was between 10 – 20 minutes. I had a cut on my forehead (likely from collapsing forward and hitting the frame or instrument panel), bruised shoulder and ribs, and a big scrapes on my right knee and ankle. I went to the ER and was admitted to the hospital for a couple of days to see if the black out was due to a cardiac event or a seizure.  

The neuropsychologist recommended that I my MRI reexamined by a neurologist for changes in the frontal lobe and have a new MRI done. I went back to the psychiatrist yesterday to get his take on the report et al. He had me sign release of information consent from my PCP and the hospital. He set an appointment for me to start therapy sessions with an LCSW who specializes in geriatric mental health issues including dementia. I will have a new MRI done in the near future. He upped my Wellbutrin dosage for depression. 

It would be great if Prozac side effects are contributing to my memory and cognition issues. It’s unlikely that it is that simple. I have been taking Ritalin and Prozac for 25+ years for my ADHD.

 I will read the discussion boards, pitch in if I can, and post an update.

 Thanks again, and Happy New Year wishes.  


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 2:32 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 15841


Medical tests are very important.  Often what is overlooked is how the patient is actually functioning.  There is more to dementia than forgetting.  An important early sign is having difficulty with handling financial affairs, such as paying bills.  You and your family may want to pay close attention to this area.

Iris L.


RetiredGeek
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 7:09 PM
Joined: 12/24/2018
Posts: 8


Thanks, Iris 

I just checked in for the 1st time in about 3 weeks. My wife has been handling our finances for 35+ years.   We have living wills, powers of attorney, etc.


Iris L.
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2019 7:43 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 15841


Retired Geek, you mentioned anxiety in your first post.  Anxiety reduces our cognition by half.  It will serve you well to learn anxiety-relieving techniques.  I myself use deep breathing to treat anxiety.  It is also very important to get deep sleep at night.

How are you spending your days?  Do you have plans for 2019?

Iris L.


RetiredGeek
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 8:49 PM
Joined: 12/24/2018
Posts: 8


Hi Iris,

I had my first session with a geriatric therapist last week. I will be seeing her bi-weekly. I described the anxiety attacks. She will be recommending stress/anxiety relief steps I can take. My wife and I are considering joining a Tai Chi class. Eons ago, I practiced Transcendental Meditation as well as Hatha Yoga. I guess it's time to resume meditation.

I abandoned my writing projects to rid self induced anxiety. I am caretaker for my wife during her new battle with breast cancer. The 4 drug combo of immuno and chemo therapy infusions she gets every 3 weeks takes a big toll on her. She has been disabled for 20+ years with severe chronic pain. I took over the housekeeping chores years ago. But I now take care of meal preparation and clean-up. We enjoy sitting quietly in our side by side recliners quietly reading.

Until 2 weeks ago, my daily routine was focused on reading medical/scientific journals about cancer cell biology with a focus on gene mutations. I typically read 2 - 4 journal articles weekly. I enjoy doing so and it keeps my mind well exercised. 

I tried to assume a couple of Yoga poses, but wasn't able to due to extensive Osteoarthritis and peripheral neuropathy. LOL

I'll let you know how the Tai Chi works out. 

Regards


 
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