Dad did relatively well over the holidays. Some of his better days were on Christmas and New Year’s. Sister flew in from NYC on Christmas Eve so it was nice to have the family together again. Dad was definitely happy to see Sister.
We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve here because Husband and I had to fly to his family’s house on Christmas Day. We opened up most of our presents on Christmas Eve and Mom cooked a delicious turkey dinner. Santa was very kind to everyone and we all had fun opening our presents. Dad received a lot of new clothes because he’s been losing so much weight that none of his old clothes fit him anymore. In two weeks, he has lost eight pounds. His lack of eating is concerning us all but he did eat well on the holidays.
Dad also received some nice digitally created photo albums from snapfish. I highly recommend this as a gift option for anyone who has mild to moderate dementia. I made an album of my wedding and Sister made one of our family. He loved looking at every single page and pointing to all the people and talking about this memory and that memory. He wouldn’t let anyone else touch the albums- just himself. He seriously loves them. We’ve also found that whenever Dad starts to slip a little in to Lewy land or gets a little panicky, we break out the albums and look at the pictures together. It helps calm him down a bit and focus on the family and his memories.
Dad wasn’t able to open all his presents on Christmas Eve so we saved the rest for the morning. Husband and I had a noon flight so Mom, Sister, Hubby and I awoke early while Dad stayed in bed- He wasn’t ready to get up yet. We opened up the rest of the presents, had Christmas breakfast together and then Husband and I left for the airport. While we were away, Mom and Sister did okay on their own with Dad… he had a few good days so that was a relief for us.
Here are some photos from Christmas Eve of Dad opening his presents:
For New Year’s, Dad was fairly good, again. He stayed up to watch the ball drop and wished everyone a happy new year. For the next few days, he’s been pretty good- not superb, but much better than his past ballistic stage so hopefully things are getting a little better. Now, he just needs to work on eating consistently.
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Posted in Lewy Body Dementia, tagged Blood Work, Dad, Doctor, Drugs, Fatigued, GP, Lewy Body, medication, Medicines, Namenda, Neurologist, Over-Medicated, Swallowing, Weight on July 28, 2008|
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We went to a new GP last week and he seemed to be pretty good. A bit old, but he appeared to be up on everything with Lewy Body and completely agreed that Dad was being over-medicated. In fact, he was absolutely shocked to see the number of drugs Dad was on. So, he’s starting to slowly ween Dad off of some of the medicines he doesn’t need. However, the more neurological/psych type drugs, he wants to let the neurologist deal with, which, I agree. The doctor spent quite a while with us and took his time to go over everything and discuss things with my mom. He ordered some blood work and a swallowing test since Dad is having so much difficulty eating and swallowing. Hopefully we’ll see what’s going on and help Dad get back to eating normally and gaining some weight. He’s looking awfully skinny these days and feeling so fatigued and lethargic. We just want him to get back to some sort of a normal resemblance of his old life.
We have an appointment with the neurologist in August, so hopefully we can go over a lot of issues and get some more unnecessary drugs removed from Dad’s system. We’re also considering adding the drug, Namenda, to see if that helps improve Dad’s daily functioning. I know he’s already over-medicated, but, this new drug could possibly improve his quality of life. We’ll discuss with the neurologist in a few weeks.
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Posted in Lewy Body Dementia, tagged Choke, Cognitive, Doctor, Drink, Eat, Eating, Ensure, Fear, Geriatric, Ice Cream, Lewy Body Dementia, Liquids, medication, Meds, Over-Medicated, Puppy, Speech Therapy, Swallow, Swallowing, Weight, Weight Loss on July 22, 2008|
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If you’ve read my previous post, Things Are Slowly Seeming Better, you’d know that Dad seemed to be improving. We were slowly weening him off of a “bad” medicine and it appeared to really make a difference in Dad’s behaviour and overall well-being.
Well, lately, Dad hasn’t been doing too well. He’s barely eating anything and his involvement in daily activities like getting the mail, taking Puppy for a walk, conversing with the family, etc., have tapered off. I think he still has his cognitive function but he’s having severe trouble with swallowing, and muscle control of his tongue and chattering teeth thus preventing him from being able to talk, chew and swallow. I can tell he really tries and I can see the frustration in his eyes. He wants to be able to speak correctly, communicate with his family and be active, but, he just can’t do it.
Whenever he eats and drinks, he makes these awful, painful looking faces. It hurts the family to see him like this and we are very concerned with Dad’s weight loss. He has maybe one or two bites of food at each meal and then he’s done. Sometimes he’ll even pretend to be asleep so he doesn’t have to eat. We don’t force him and just go with the flow and try to find other ways to provide him with nourishment. Even with liquids, it’s like torture for him. We give him Ensure, water, and fruit smoothies but even still, he doesn’t want to drink them. He used to LOVE ice cream and now he doesn’t want anything to have to do with it. It’s like there’s this fear that has taken over him and he thinks if he eats or drinks anything he’ll choke and die.
We’re seeing a new geriatric doctor tomorrow so hopefully he’ll be well versed with Lewy Body Dementia and able to get Dad back on track. We want to get Dad off some of his medication as he’s way over-medicated and possibly try a new drug. We also think Dad needs speech therapy and possibly a special diet plan until we can figure out his muscle control issues with his mouth. It’s tough trying to find good doctors and even harder getting Dad on the right meds. We have our fingers crossed for tomorrow.
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