Friday, October 16, 2009
I took Dad back to the doctor for a follow up visit. The changes in his medication seem to have had a beneficial effect and he's more responsive, his face is more mobile. The confusion, however, is the same, and will only get worse. The doctor is considering possibly changing his diagnosis of Alzheimer's to some sort of Parkinson's related dementia, even potentially Lewey-Body. Dementia is dementia, of course, and a change in diagnosis is largely important only on paper. The results are the same. There are a few drugs that will help in one type of dementia, while hindering another. With a Parkinson's related dementia, being aware of environmental triggers is apparently even more important than with Alzheimer's. The least little uncomfortable thing can spark aggressive or angry behavior. The reality of the sufferer being unable to express their discomfort or preferences is what I find the most sad. I've often expressed the opinion that true Hell isn't great pain or torture, its acute discomfort from one or more sources. Imagine nagging discomforts and how hard it would be to not be able to tell anyone about it. It's just one more aspect of what is happening to him that my mind ponders as I see my Dad.