Friday, May 17, 2013

Appointment Update

Yesterday my older brother took Mike to see his psychiatrist.  I always send the notebook with them that I keep documenting the daily observations I have made of Mike and how he is doing.  That way the doctor can see any patterns or changes since his last appointment.  Butch discussed the changes we have seen in Mike's cognitive abilities. The psychiatrist wants to work with Mike's primary care doctor to get a neurological work up done.   

I did some research and found that a person must show significant impairment in at least two of the core mental functions to be diagnosed with dementia.  Mike is showing impairment in four out of the five.  He has deficit in all areas except visual perception.
  • Memory
  • Communication and language
  • Ability to focus and pay attention
  • Reasoning and judgment
  • Visual perception
What we want to figure out is the cause and what treatment if any is available.  One thing the doctor agreed with is that it isn't Alzheimers. 

I think we are embarking on a whole new world of care for my brother.  My head is spinning trying to wrap around what comes next.  Right now I just want to slow down, get as much information as I can and then take each day one at a time.  My goal is for Mike to continue to live in his own home with support.  

One thing that may be available if he has a clear diagnosis of dementia is additional assistance through Medicare.  I don't know if it would qualify him for more in home help or not but I'm sure going to find out.   Even if it is just help with his medications that would save me $100.00/month.  Maybe later on we might be able to get additional help.

So, life goes on as a caregiver.  I learn more every day and especially just how much I love my brother.  I will do everything I can to make his life as good as I can. 



Olga said...

Mike is fortunate to have you on his side.

Patrick Leer said...

My heart goes out as we also stumbled into the 'dementia' era. MS Societies and even Patti's neuro resisted that there was even MS dementia on the other hand it was not Alzhimer's. Fortunately we have been blessed with tenacious primary care nurse practitioners and she started Patti on Aricept. Cognitvie symptom progression slowed and was confirmed over next two brain MRI, unfortunately in the long run all the combinaton of physical symptoms and cogntive symptoms brought Patti down. Now in the care facility era of living with MS sh is not only safe but has more rehabilitaion options than ever in home care.