I'm taking my mom to see a geriatric specialist to see if their expertise can help with memory problems. She wants to be proactive about her memory. She sees some of the issues I see about her memory but others, only I see.
Some problematic behaviors are:
- using pens and pencils to clean out her ears
- going to bed really late. She says if she goes to bed early she then wakes up in the middle of the night and cant easily go back to sleep.
- not understanding that her primary care doctor wants her to taper off of Xanax and that she needs to do it slowly and carefully. She takes it before bed. As I explain to her the time to take it, she says she wants to wait until 1-2am so she can sleep deeply for the whole night. Sometimes when we talk about bit, she dismisses everything and thinks it is stupid to even take it at all. A few times, I have found the pill on her bedside table - a missed dose for the evening.
- When home health physical therapy was here, she would repeat herself a lot about pains and previous diagnoses from other doctors.
Wow, writing this out is just he tip of the iceberg and I feel overwhelmed. It's hard to document each thing that seems to be a little off and may be due to memory issues.
The clinic has a memory form that my mom filled out and I am filling out my own version because she can get defensive about what I observe, and I find it best to let it go rather than get into an argument over something that is impossible to reason out with her due to any possible cognitive decline.
I feel a bit stressed, I keep feeling my own sense of pressure to try to capture all of the issues I am seeing so that doctor can get the best picture of her memory. But that alone is overwhelming and difficult to pin point. Her memory is very good in general, but there are days when it is completely off and when her mood is difficult to deal with. She is usually a complete sweetheart, but at times she can pick on me and bully me. Generally, those times involve an ear infection or UTI or cold, etc.
Recently, her primary has put her on Zoloft and that already seems to be helping. Also, she has a referral for sleep apnea, which I very much believe she has based on her snoring and shallow breathing patterns.
Any advice or sharing of experience is very helpful. So far I have not been impressed with the mini mental exam, it has been easy for both of my parents to pass it, and my dad has been unable to pay the bills for three years. Obviously the test does not capture the depth or complexity of dementia. My dad has it and it is undiagnosed AND he's in denial. My mom at least wants to be proactive and protect her memory as best as she can.