Saturday, April 16, 2016

My auntie Milly didn’t have dementia – she was simply dehydrated

Following his stroke, Fielding is worried that he still can’t get to the end of his sentences properly, but they sound all right to me. Out to dinner last week, he chatted for several hours non-stop, completing his sentences so fluently and perfectly that I couldn’t get some of my sentences in – particularly if I had to wait until the end of one of his, by which time I’d forgotten mine.

Even without a stroke, Olivia and I are finding it increasingly difficult to retain a thought in response to someone else’s sentence unless we can interject midway, which they call “butting in”, and resent because they lose the flow of their sentence, or their grip on some name or other, which was there blobbing around in the memory about to surface, but then never made it because of the butting-in person.

Olivia and I have learned to get at these lost-in-the-mist names sideways: “You know, what’s-er-name with the hat who lives next door to that woman, with the big thingy plant in her garden?” Then we have it. No names necessary.

But it’s very scary, because the disappearing words could signify not-very-early-onset-dementia, our biggest fear. Nothing scared my mother more than the thought of losing her marbles, not even cancer, and even a one-word fade-out would strike terror into her heart. And my Auntie Milly, perfectly fine one evening, had lost it completely by morning. “Alzheimer’s!” cried my mother, white with fear. But it wasn’t. Poor Auntie had a urinary tract infection, leading to “confusion or delerium-like state”, because she hadn’t been drinking enough.

As that was 25 years ago, I was bitterly disappointed to hear last week on the radio that dying people, and I suspect many elderly people, are still not getting enough to drink at home, in hospitals or in care homes, and their poor relatives/chums may have been needlessly terrified about Alzheimer’s when it wasn’t that at all, and the apparently dementing invalids had only needed more water. So I thought I’d better highlight the dehydration problem again and again and again …

Full Article & Source:
My auntie Milly didn’t have dementia – she was simply dehydrated

1 comment:

Betty said...

Thank you, this is important information!