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My mom is 81 and had been doing pretty well with what I considered very minor alzheimer or dementia. We just saw her Dr. about a month ago and at that time she was doing fine. By fine, I mean that she had her memory issues but nothing that affected her daily living as long as I handle her money and medicines etc. She lives on her own in a small senior apartment and had actually been doing even better than normal.

Well, recently mom had some episodes of blood in her stool and I eventually ended up taking her to the hospital. They ended up doing a colonoscopy and putting a camera down her throat to check for ulcers, In the end they found an ulcer in the upper GI that we are now treating with meds. The problem is that since this happened she seems to have a lot less snap then she had before. I am thinking that the drugs used to put her to sleep for these tests have done something to her mentally. This makes sense to me because her Dr. had previously not wanted her to take Ambien or sleeping pills because he says they are not good for people with memory problems.

Has anyone else had this problem and if so do you think her memory will improve again or should I consider this permanent? Also, if this is reality wouldn't you think Dr's would be very cautious about putting someone under that already has ALZ?

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My mom actually loves going to the Dr. She LOVES the attention, in fact that is one of the reasons I have to watch her carefully to make sure she really has a problem before taking her to the Dr., so I don't think the Dr. or hospital is a particularly traumatic thing for mom, but I do think the anesthetics used had a big affect on her.
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I know that trauma, either physical as with your mom or emotional like suddenly losing a spouse can send an already delicate dementia brain down the drain fast. It would be nice if doctors took that into consideration before going all out with invasive surgeries etc.
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What could change her mental state?
~ The trauma of the ER experience.
~ The drugs used during testing
~ The drugs for treating the ulcer
~ The natural progression of the progressive disease (dementia)
~ An infection somewhere in the body, such as a uti

Will she return to her former baseline?

Maybe. It depends on what is causing this. If it is the natural progression of the disease, then probably not. Symptoms can be treated but the progression is not reversible. If it is one of the other causes then it is possible that as the cause clears up, her mental state will improve.

My husband has been hospitalized twice since his dementia diagnosis. Each time it took several months for him to return to his former baseline in terms of alertness, energy level, and general level of confusion.

Hope for the best; prepare for the worst.

Best wishes to you both!
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