Dementia: Medication, Side Effects or Infection?

Guess who forgot to put the clocks back this morning?

Maureen woke up early this morning choking with catarrh.  This led her to be very despondent about something else going wrong, and the need to see a G P once again.  It is likely that this is a side effect of lisinopril.  Maureen will have forgotten the attempts to move her to another blood pressure tablet because lisinopril causes post-nasal drip.  I think she has been around the block trying different tablets to address hypertension.  En route she has had side effects far worse than catarrh, so it’s always back to the old favourites.

It is possible that she has caught the infection that I have hopefully seen the back of now.  I didn’t have post-nasal drip it was more like a washer had gone on a tap inside my nose.  With Maureen’s sensitivity to medication it may be better to see how things develop before taking her to see her G P.  In the mean time I will make her some cherry linctus as that has helped before

Just to put my mind at rest I also need to revisit the issue of whether Maureen should be on aricept.  When the Clinical Psychologist from the Stroke Team diagnosed mixed dementia she mentioned that medication could help.  Some months later our Memory Service diagnosed mixed dementia and promptly discharged Maureen, as there is currently no treatment for this condition.

I have chatted to Maureen’s G P about this connundrum and he is well aware of Maureen’s sensitivity to medication and her reluctance to take tablets.  This is not going to be a simple matter to progress but  is a something I feel inclined to revisit.  I will chat over this dilemma with our social worker, and Admiral Nurse, when we meet together in a week’s time. Oops I almost forgot this is another reason to catch up with Yvonna my pharmacist friend.

Once again it is time to thank my friends on Talking Point who have reminded me of the potential benefits of aricept.  It is so helpful to have access to this Site 24/7, as there will always be someone to offer support or try to help you when you might be going down a dead end.  From what I have seen that is where the real expertise on dementia resides; ‘old hands’ who help apprentices like me try to find the best route for Maureen and I on our journey with dementia.  Some of the more experienced Care Partners don’t always agree with my style, and approach, to being a Care Partner but Talking Point is a Broad Church.

I just hope that we haven’t experienced another mix-up that has led to the progression of Maureen’s condition.  Early diagnosis was prevented because of protocols within the medical profession and the reluctance of others, including family members, to accept that there were symptoms of dementia .  When Maureen suffered stroke; delays in diagnosis prevented thrombolytic intervention.   I am just hoping that a disagreement over diagnosis doesn’t mean that it is now too late to consider aricept.

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