Dementia, Medications, and Doctors

If you have been reading my blog for a while, nurse you know my mother was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago. Her doctor wanted to put her on a medication called Aricept. I was not thrilled about the idea, try but the doctor and my brother felt very strongly about it, cialis so I agreed. In the last couple of months, my mother seemed to be getting worse. Her personality was changing. She was becoming irritable and bossy. About a month ago, as we were taking a drive, she asked me who I was. I know I mentioned this on another post, but I mention it again, because that question really got my attention and got me to thinking. I was also told that she was not eating and had lost 8 pounds in one month. I took her to the doctor. First thing they wanted to do was give her another medicine, in addition to the one she was already taking for her dementia. She told me that she could be depressed and wanted to prescribe something for depression. I was asking a lot of questions, and it was obvious to me that she did not appreciate it. I tried to explain that she told me she doesn’t like the food. She ignored what I said, and ordered some tests, even planted the seed that she could have cancer! Heaven forbid we should use any common sense, or worse, listen to me!! There is a lot more I could tell you, but the bottom line is this, after I got home and thought about the doctor visit, I asked that she be taken off the Aricept AND the new medication that she prescribed. I told her that I did not think she needed any drug for depression. There was an article in my local paper last month. The title was, “For dementia, an uncomfortable reliance on drugs.” In a nutshell it talks about how the effects these drugs, and that they may be only marginally more effective than garlic was, against the Black Death in the 14th century. It also asks the question, why not admit the failure of the drug and spend some of those billions of dollars on more staff to hold the hands of patients and their families. It’s been about 3 weeks that my mother has not taken anything for her dementia. What a change I can see! She is smiling again. She makes conversation without me having to ask her questions to get her to talk. Look at her. She looks happy again. This picture was taken on Easter and she is still looking this good!


She was at my house for 6 hours the other day! She watched me garden, saying how she wished she could help me. We made dinner together. She peeled the potatoes, cooked them, mashed them. She made the cheese sauce for the broccoli. It’s wonderful to see her smile again.
Happy day

20 Responses to “Dementia, Medications, and Doctors”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Hi Carole,
    Good for you that you stepped in and took charge about your mother’s medication. I had to do the same thing when I was caring for my father too. No one knows your parent better than yourself, and you were realizing certain behavioral changes in her that you hadn’t seen before. You put that all together in your mind and figured out the problem on your own. You are a dear daughter to your mother, and she looks so very happy in the photo. You go girl!!! Take care my friend. Hugs, Kathy

  2. Ann Says:

    How wonderful that your mother is doing better. Sometimes the medication causes more problems then the disease. Perhaps you will be able to find a better doctor that listens. Good Luck, Ann

  3. Marilyn Says:

    Oh, Carole!!! Good for you!!! Your mother looks so much better! There is life in her eyes….like she has her soul back. It’s hard to find a doctor who listens…and the IDEA that they resent you asking questions is incomprehensible!….but unfortunately all too common. Take Care.

  4. Carole Says:

    Kathy, Ann and Marilyn, all of you left such thoughtful comments and I want each one of you to know how much I appreciated them! Bless your hearts!!

  5. Pamela Overmier Says:

    Carole, how wonderful that you prevailed! And your mom does indeed shine! Blessings, Pam

  6. Carole Says:

    Hi there my long lost friend! Great to hear from you and I am happy to know that you are still reading my blog, but especially glad to hear from you!

  7. Martha Says:

    Dear Carole,
    I am so happy you spoke out for your mother! I do not believe in the medications they tell you that “you” need, it is 99.9% of the time not going to help. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the doctor prescribed a drug for depression, Cymbalta, I told her I was not depressed, I hurt, well she insisted I tried it, I took one pill and it made me ill so I flushed them down the toilet. When I went for blood work the nurse asked if I was on medication, I said NO and told her what happened. She said it was a new drug that was out and that doctors will get a kick back and will prescribed the medications! I worked for doctors and attorney and saw the way things were done. I am so happy you did what you did! I did not allow them to give my mother medications either, she lived to be 95 and until the last few months of her life she was great! When you truly think about it the drugs are chemicals that will alter who you are. . .hence called DRUGS! Your mom looks so much better, she is glowing and looks so happy!

  8. Karen Woodward Says:

    Carole, My mother who has dementiawas put on the same medication. I have not seen any improvement actually she seems a little more confused each time I see her. When I told my husband ,who works in Elder Services and has a master’s in Clinical Psychology, he said that the effects of Aracept are usually marginal and it probably isn’t going to make any difference at all. Dr’s are too quick to prescribe medications and they should be doing their homework…if a drug is not having any significant positive effects on a dementia patient then why keep them on it ? Why…to cover their “arses” Continue to be your mothers advocate. You gut instincts are usually correct.

  9. Carrie~LoLaEnChAnTeD~ Says:

    Just wonderful! She looks amazing and happy to hear she’s doing much better! Must be like a ton of weight has been lifted off your shoulders!

  10. Covered Porches Says:

    I think she’s beautiful— You are lucky to have each other….

  11. karen Says:

    Oh, good for you. I recently had two bad experiences with a doctor pushing drugs that caused very serious side effects. Quality of life is hardly considered. You did just the right thing.

  12. Carole Says:

    Thank you Covered Porches, for your lovely comment about my mother. Yes, I do agree, we are very lucky to have one another.

  13. Carole Says:

    Karen, I am so sorry that you had some bad experiences with medication. I think we all need to be careful and do our own research when it comes to our own health. Thanks, Karen, I think I did you the right thing and I feel really good about that.

  14. Rachael Kinnison Says:

    HELLO Carole~ and your beautiful Mother! One can certainly see her spirit shining thru! It is indeed hard to be POSITIVE about any trip to the dr lately~ the more I take the children for them , or myself, the more I feel I am in company of a bunch of book learned idiots. WHERE has the family dr gone, who would treat the person as an entire living being~ that interacts with the world around them???? Everything is specialized now, if you have a sore throat, you have to go to a throat specialist, if your stomach hurts, they refer you to someone elce and so on and so on. They have all been taught the cure is in some magical pill that has been derived from a bunch of checmicals in a lab. pathetic. everyone knows the drs get MONEY from the drug companies for perscribing the BRAND NAME drugs….my grandmother had Parkinsons, and man she had an entire SHOE BOX FULL of perscribed medications….most of them for treating side effects of one drug or another….and you know, when she couldnt afford them anymore, and one time up and ran OUT and didnt take any for an entire weekend, just in those couple of days, she was SOOOO much better! When we switched pharmacys, the new pharmicist actually called my aunt and said~ HEY~ she should NOT be taking these medications together! And we got her taken off so many, and she was so much better. In my opinion, a good pharmicst is much more knowledgable(why cant I spell this word?) about drug interactions than most drs are.
    Im SO glad she is doing better~ and back to her happy lively self!
    xoxoxo rachael

  15. Carole Says:

    Rachael, your comment is unbelievable!
    Thanks for taking the time to tell this story.

  16. carole Says:

    Hi Carole,

    I finally got to read your blog and wow, your mom looks like her old self. I’m so happy for her and you guys at home.


  17. Carole Says:

    Carole, hi! I am so glad to get your comment! Thanks so much. See ya

  18. Christine LeFever Says:

    Oh my, medicine cocktail; that seems to be what most members of the AMA and their insurance companies rely on. Well, she looks so lovely in that picture. I’m glad you stood up for what your instincts told you.

    Long time no visit, and that includes many friends.

    Take care.


  19. Pear Tree Primitives Says:

    Carole, how difficult it must have been to watch your Mom decline on that drug! So glad she has you as her advocate.


  20. kelley Says:

    Bless your heart for stepping up and taking care of your Mother so…sometimes the Dr’s believe what the pharamceutical reps tell them more than what they see with their own eyes…
    What a lovely smile your mother has and love the light in her eyes…big hugs to you both…

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