Friday, June 27, 2008

Caregiving and Medical Treatments

As the primary caregiver for your loved one you are in a great position to know what works for your patient and what doesn't.
What works for one patient will not work for another. Medicine affects people in different ways. Many different medications were prescribed for my mother and most didn't work.It was about three years from the onset of my mother's symptoms before she was finally diagnosed and during that period nothing helped.

The internet has be a blessing and a curse for the families of Alzheimer's Disease patients.A blessing because it allows you to access information about the condition, its diagnosis and its treatment but on the other hand it gave scammers the ability to rob you because of the outlandish promises made in e-mail you receive promising miraculous results.

Don't be fooled there is no cure for Alzheimer's Disease. The important thing for you right now is to find ways to make the experience as positive and painless as possible for all involved.The medications that are prescribed only slow the process down, they don't reverse the disease.

In my mothers case because I did not know the facts from the beginning, I went through a period of frustration and impatience thinking that she was going to get better.
When I began to get facts from other caregivers who were taking care of Alzheimer's patient only then was I able to understand that this disease would keep getting worse and that is when I began to change my approach to things.

That is why its important to chat and share tips with other caregivers that are taking care of patients with like sickness .or disease, or those that passed that way before, you never know what you will learn.

Having realized now that things were irreversible, I began to look for ways to make my mother's life more comfortable knowing that things were going to get progressively worse.
At that time, I did not have access to the internet and I did not have the time to go to an internet cafe so I depended on the television for information.I used to look at the medical programs on Trinity Broadcasting Network and Christian Broadcasting Network to get helpful tips and so began a trial and error process.

I once saw a program on Christian Broadcasting Network on the effects of Monosodium Glutamate in foods on your brain, so I began to eliminate all foods with that product and I was rewarded for my efforts.

My mother who used to be agitated all the time was no longer agitated, so to find out if this was because of the MSG in the food, I began to cook foods again that had MSG in them and her agitation returned. So I stopped using foods with MSG completely.
ARTICLE-Your Brain's Biggest Enemy-MSG

I also eliminated coffee and anything with caffeine in it. After doing that my mother was able to go to bed at a decent hour instead of being restless and can't fall asleep. She was able to come off of her sleeping pills for good, her pills used to have her groggy in the mornings.
The coated aspirin which is supposed to be a blood thinner did not work for my mother either.

And as for her medications she used several different ones until I learned about Aricept(donepezil HCl tablets) from another caregiver.I spoke to my mother's doctor about it and thus began her use of it.

I am not here to promote any medication, I am simply stating what worked
for my mother.She used to be confused and disoriented most of the time but things began to settle down after that, her regular crying stopped, she stopped roaming at nights and slept through, she was more upbeat.her symptoms began to improve gradually until she reached the stage when not even the Aricept helped.

There is one thing I can say, for my mother, using the Aricept improved the quality of her life and so helped me as the caregiver because there were many behavioral problems that I no longer had to deal with.

So its all about understanding what you are dealing with and finding ways to help your loved one to have the best life during this time not because there is no cure you are going to give up on them, let them live their life as fully as possible.

1 comment:

ChickPea said...

Thank you for these insights. I suspect that my father-in-law's recent deterioration is now catapulting us into the 'Residential Care' phase of his life. It is a great joy that people are beginning to use the internet in this way to share experience and insights with others. Thank you.