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Hello Everybody, My first post.
Three weeks my mom (age 63) was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. She had been having some memory issues for the past year or so and got to the point where she needed to seek medical attention. She did a clinical interview and cognitive assessment - I have the test results, but not sure how to interpret them. She tells me she failed.
My mom lives in New Orleans with her partner of 25+ years. Both attorneys, however, mom has been told by her doctors to start a "phase out" plan with her job. I live in Atlanta and my only brother in Seattle.
Needless to say, this came as a great shock to everyone. I'm still trying to process this and feel like I'm grieving her loss even though she's still here.
I went to visit her over the weekend. She's not eating well and at times becomes withdrawn from the conversation in the room. Almost as if she lacks the confidence to speak or ask questions in fear of being embarrassed by something that was already told to her.
The doctors prescribed Diclofenac to help with symptoms. Not sure how that works. She also drinks quite a bit - I think she's using alcohol to self medicate. She basically sits out on her front porch all day long and after 20 years being a non-smoker, she started using some sort of e-cigarette. Also appears the evenings are worse. But not sure how much that is attributable to the irish whiskey intake.
My mother's mother also had Alzheimer's - and now I'm very worried about my own health - to the point of looking into a long term care insurance policy on myself.
Anyway, I wanted to introduce myself and my story to the group and see if anyone had similar experiences or any advice for a "newbie" just now entering this journey ahead.
Hi RCJ - Thanks for your message. My mom's partner is very supportive - but I also feel like she may enable some of the excessive drinking because she has also been drinking quite a bit. Her partner is definitely deeply emotional and saddened by all that's happening. And it seems like she is also self medicating these emotions with whiskey.
At this point, her partner will be handling the doctors appointments and care taking. I've been communicating with her partner directly on getting updates and just checking in on how the days go.
I think my mom and I are open enough to have those "long term plan" conversations. It's hard though. It's a hard topic to bring up.
Sometimes I feel like this is all a dream and I'll wake up from it and everything will be back to normal.
Thanks for the tips on youtube videos and the hotline!
Thanks HB -
I spoke with my mom's doctor yesterday. He was extremely nice and spent about 30 minutes on the phone with me.
I asked him about WKS. He said it was ruled out based on her blood tests - there were no vitamin deficiencies and he seemed very confident in the diagnosis of EO Alzheimer's.
In any case, it was good to establish a relationship with the doctor. He's offered to be a resource if I have any further questions or just want to talk about what's happening with my mom.
Thanks again, Kris