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Is this a truly medical word or definition? It sure seems to explain our experience with our mother. She seems to have 2 or 3 bad days followed by 2 or 3 good. Then the cycle repeats.

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It could be deemed actressing or acting. The elder appears perfectly normal to someone rarely visiting them OR when they are offered, e. g. a Jaunt to the ice cream shop.
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joyful7, what your dad is doing is called show-timing. For a limited time they can pull all their resources together and put on a good show. The length of time they can do this becomes shorter and shorter and eventually they can't do it at all. They tend to be very tired after such an effort.
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Wow....I never heard of this either. Very interesting.
My 94 year old dad had some dementia and he would have good days and bad days. Seemed like anytime someone was visiting he was always good, wanting to give a good impression. It always surprised me. Especially in front of doctors, he was excellent! Good luck with your mom...
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Learning about this “fluctuating cognition” has been one of the most freeing revelations regarding my Mom and her combo of vascular dementia and LBD. It was tempting to think she was faking on her bad days and to lose patience. Still is sometimes. But it’s not faking. It truly is that the ability level changes. I liken it to a cog mechanism which runs smoothly until it reaches a place where there is a slipped or damaged cog. Another analogy might be a CD with a scratch so that it gets stuck in a bad patch. Luckily the body and brain seem to be designed to find a workaround and get back on track - even in the later stages of this cruel disease. Mom’s 99 now and just when I think I can’t stand it any more and need to get her moved to a NH, the series of good days kicks in and I get a bit of a break. So whether it is or is not a medical term, it definitely is a medical reality. Someone told me that on the bad days, it was important to talk about how “old Lewy is really acting up today, huh?” I’m sure it’s also confusing to the patient — my Mom will even say, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me - I should be able to do that.” Response: “old Lewy is being stubborn today. Let’s just let him rest and see what tomorrow brings”.
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STrange but it seems to come in three day patterns. My husband has LBD and I will be shocked when his mind seems to return, not his memory so much as his ability to think.
He will redo his food in clever ways and be able to distinguish parts of himself (moving his leg, etc). He once had a brilliant mind.
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My husband has LBD and if he has an outing or visitors one day he is asleep most of the next.
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It is especially prevalent in Lewy Body Dementia
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Our doc refers to it as "fluctuating cognition"
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