Sunday, August 21, 2011

Clueless in Ruidoso (and everywhere else)

Sweet Sadie (She's sleeping, that's why!)
I am ticked and annoyed.  My mother just called.  No, I'm not ticked that she said they were on the way to the ER with my father.  His arms and legs were tingling.  He thought he had a pain in his left arm and chest.  She then called and said they were not going up, but meeting Alicia for lunch. 

I'd read somewhere about tingling in the extremities being a symptom.  I know restless leg is.  I started looking up physical symptoms of Alzheimer's.  Well - try finding a list.  There isn't one.  There are lists of body systems affected.  There is information about behavior.  There is information here and there.  You can find end-stage physical issues, but that's not much good early on, not much good at all.

The list of cognitive symptoms is everywhere. I found an idiotic piece that exercise may delay onset.  That's a total crock.  My mother has kept APR very active.  I can't imagine anyone would be so pathetic and manipulative to try the exercise gambit.  In fact, WebMD's information on Alzheimer's is the least helpful and far less accurate than other sites.  The bottom line is there is no one single list of physical things to watch for - early on.

Early physical symptoms that may appear before the mental symptoms:
Difficulty getting up out of a chair
Difficulty getting out of a car.
Difficulty getting up from a table.
Constant feeling of being cold.
Difficulty walking and maintaining balance.
Changes in urinary habits.
Recognition of scents and odors.
Hand grip

So far, this is my list. I keep looking for additional things.  I think there is a great disservice to people, not to have a list like this.  APR's early symptoms were more physical than cognitive.  If we had known to put these symptoms together with the constantly lost wallet (he was always losing things, so that never bothered us), etc. maybe we could have caught things earlier and saved a heck of a lot of trauma.

I never became truly disturbed until last December when I noticed that he could not do certain math problems the way he once did.  That's when I knew we had a real problem, but never thought of Alzheimer's.  It's quite obvious that we are at the first stage, and have been there for at least a year.

All rights reserved, SJ Reidhead. 

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