I am a 64-year-old male retired psychiatric physician with subspecialties in addiction psychiatry and forensic psychiatry. I was diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease (LBD) in October 2007. Much of the information on LBD and dementia is provided by the caregivers and the difficulties encountered in caring for us. I would like to promote further education and research for this disease as well as to share my experiences, thoughts, issues, reactions and feelings with caregivers and to those who also suffer from LBD and other dementias. I hope that this blog will provide another point of view — first-hand information from a victim of LBD.
I dedicate this blog to my lovely wife, Pamela. Her continuing daily love and support keep me going and she has helped bring me to this positive turning point in my life. I could not do it without her. Thank you Sweetheart!
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me“. Philippians 4:13
Since 2007, my clinical symptoms of LBD have slowly and consistently improved. I began to do a variety of brain exercises including logic puzzles, math puzzles, word finding puzzles, watching TV and movies, and reading. My neurologist encouraged me to take a foreign language (Spanish). I enrolled in a local university, which provides free tuition to senior citizens who receive social security benefits. In addition to Spanish, I registered for other classes, which piqued my interest. Initially, I felt apprehensive and unsure of myself. However, I gave it my all. As of this post, I continue to take classes.
In 2012, the neurologist repeated the SPECT scan of my brain. The scan showed normal areas that once were consistent with dementia. Some abnormal areas remain. I have completed two neuropsychological test batteries, which show all ranges of functioning ranging between normal and superior. Additionally, the neurologist now tells me that I no longer have clinical dementia. He wanted to discontinue the Aricept and Namenda as of December 2012. However, I opted to continue taking them for my own peace of mind. At the end of my last office visit, he stated, “You can now work and do anything you want to do.”
What great news! The Dr. is baffled and has trouble trying to explain why there has been a dramatic change for the better. He removed my diagnosis of LBD from my medical record. Nonetheless, I am still at a very high risk of relapsing into dementia based upon the severity of my prior symptoms and clinical picture.
I am now enjoying retirement. Life has changed for the better. I now have hopes and am setting new goals for the rest of my life with Pam and Chad. Life now seems fair. I will remain optimistic and plan to live my life normally.