Friday’s Cogitations

Well, we’re slowly on the mend. The Dr. prescribed antibiotics and prescription cough syrup for Pam, Chad and me. Fortunately they seem to be working. I have a little more energy than a few days ago. The extra sleep helps too. It’s ironic. I’ve always tended to prescribe antibiotics only when I felt someone truly needed them. Now scientific evidence supports this practice. Guess I was on the right track and didn’t know it. And here I am, taking antibiotics……..go figure~

I’m curious to know if others with LBD and dementia notice that they seem more sensitive to physical illnesses than normal. Even a cold makes me feel much worse than when I was younger. Or maybe it is truly part of the aging process. I don’t know.

WordPress has been very helpful to me since their version update. It turns out that I had been using the beta verion of Internet Explorer 8. Evidently the beta version isn’t ready for everyone yet. WordPress suggested I switch over to the Firefox browser. I’ve heard about it before but now I’m sold on it. It is so very easy to use with many extra features. I like WordPress and was afraid I’ve have to switch to a different blogging host. Looks like I’m back in business.

What do I say when someone asks me how I am doing? Especially when it is asked in a “you are different” way? I’m learning to simply say OK for the most part. For friends and family who truly are understanding, I can tell them the truth.

On the other hand, it must be difficult for others who don’t know what to say when they ask me how I am. Probably like when we are in a funeral home and find it hard to find the correct words.Maybe I could start using this as an opportunity to teach and to explain what LBD is.

Which leads me to another thought. I belong to several Yahoo Groups pertaining to LBD, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. I’m having a very difficult time answering some of the emails when someone makes a post that their loved one has died. I get mixed emotions. I think the remaining loved has to be relieved but at the same times feels the pain from the loss. I personally have never been good at dealing with loss. So, for those who may be reading this, please don’t take it personally when I don’t respond to those posts.

I vividly remember when my first wife died of lung cancer (she was a non-smoker). It took me a very long time to bounce back. Only in retrospect do I realize that I was in a deep clinical depression which should have been treated. But in those days, one didn’t think in those terms.

I had difficulty when any of my patients died with whom I developed a relationship. One guy was my age who died of liver cancer. I had a hard time going past that room for a long time. That was when I was in training. I even requested to switch to a different ward in order to avoid it. Another case was with a nun. She was a real sweetheart who had terminal cancer. We prayed together.She openly shared how she’d finished her work here on earth and was ready to go to heaven. One night I was on duty when the nurse called me because the Sr. had difficulty breathing. Sr. said to me, I’ll see you “up there ” and had thanked me for all I had done for her (which in my mind was nothing). I had been on one of those 36 hour stints when I felt brain dead. So it went right over my head. She was saying goodbye. She died within the hour. I had to go back and pronounce her dead. It was one of the most difficult aspects of practicing medicine for me.

If sense that I am beginning to ramble and to babble. So I’ll sign off for today.

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6 Responses

  1. Firefox is great! You’ll love it.

  2. Hi David,

    So pleased to see you back.

    It was your discussion of how people react that brought to mind something that I have noticed.
    Dad recently had chest pains, ambulance came and one of the paramedics asked for Dad’s medical history/conditions. I told him ‘Lewy Body Dementia’. He replied that he had never heard of it. This made me realise that I earlier had chatted with our Chemist’s assistant about Dad and his Alzheimers (which he has also). It seemed easier that way because people understood Alzheimers. I will always say LBD to everyone in future. I don’t want to perpetuate the general lack of awareness about LBD.
    And Dad is fine, the chest pains were reflux/spasms in the esophagus and medication has now controlled this.

    Stay on the mend.

  3. Hello David,

    So glad you are on the mend. Yes, My dear husband seems to be much sicker when he has a cold and also has LBD. Yes, He seems sicker, and can’t seem to cope as well.

    We often think of Doctors and nurses as having thick skins, that they are not affected by illness and death around them. They seem to have become so withdrawn that they are immune to feelings. I really appreciated your candid protrayal of how it really is.

    One time I saw a nurse crying. A young woman hollered a lot after giving birth, and the nurse kept telling her to shut up. The woman nearly died of a diabetic storm, of which no one was aware. That was a very long time ago.

    That has been the only situation in which I saw a medical professional really upset for a patient.

    You were obviously very caring and feeling deeply.
    Pam is a fortunate woman.

    Keep up your good work.

  4. Dear David,
    I hope you, Pam, and Chad are feeling much better. I remember your thoughtful email about cough medicines that are good for those with LBD.

    Thank you for writing about your experiences – they show your great humanity and kindness. Many times words are not necessary – feelings are often conveyed in so many other ways.


  5. This is from an email I received from someone by the name of Mark:

    I encourage you to “use this opportunity to could teach and explain what LBD is”. Your first hand personal insight and objective clinical perception is a winning combination. I look forward to reading your diary to help me better understand and to help me have empathy instead of sympathy for my father. I am a caregiver and a real big fan of yours. Thank you very very very much.


  6. From now on it will be impossible for you to know whether your symptoms and/or your general physical health is result of your illness alone.
    Whatever happens to you ( for instance this increased susceptibility to other ilnesses) can be the result of the medications side effects or of the drugs interactions.
    The longer you take them the more you step into an uncharted scenario.

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