Alzheimer's Diagnosis: Why Bother?
Ella Traver for ElderThink
If I think I might have Alzheimer's, what's the point in asking a doctor? They can't really tell if I have it and if I do, then I'll just have to live with it and so will everyone else. Besides, I won't notice because I won't remember.
Well, as it turns out the symptoms could be caused by something else that is treatable. There could be an arterial blockage interfering with blood flow to the brain, there could be a problem with medications or a combination of meds, and there are other serious causes for some of Alzheimer's symptoms and they are treatable. It could even be possible that all you need is some very specific vitamins. And there are very good tests now that can help identify Alzheimer's.
But what do I say to my doctor, or my spouse for that matter? Do I say I think I'm going batty? I get lost in my own house?
That's exactly what you say. Talk about what is worrying you. Ask for help and guidance. The sooner the better. There are drugs that work best when begun in the earliest stages.Taking them could add years to your independence and enjoyment of life. You can stay at home, and live your life just fine.
I just don't want other people to have to take care of me. I shudder to think about my children giving me a bath or changing my diapers.
If you have Alheimer's Disease, one day someone else will have to do those things for you. But not for a long while. More important, you will have a chance to plan with your loved ones. There are several years when you can have enjoyable times with family and friends. After that, on the average, someone will have to care for you for eight to ten years before you die. I'd say that calls for a plan.
It all seems so harsh and frightening. Last night I yelled at my husband. It was a real rage that just boiled up inside me. Is that part of the disease?
I know you are scared. But you need to know the truth, don't you? Your outburst might have been part of the disease, or could have been your fear and frustration pouring out. Make an appointment with your doctor, or ask your husband to do it. Take him with you when you go. He needs to know the truth too.
I really care. Let me know how it goes.