My husband and I were given the opportunity to watch the Alzheimer’s DVD “Your Time to Care” yesterday. It was a well-written and edited DVD to help caretakers with patients and family members with Alzheimer or dementia.
My husband wished he had known much of the information on this DVD. Why? Because the first year I had Wegener’s Granulomatosis and was going through the treatment, I had dementia. Dementia or something similar…
You see, I had a severe reaction to prednisone. I was on an extremely high dosage (about 100 mg) for over three months. Between 100-60 mg., it was like someone had hit me over the head with a baseball bat. My husband had to lead me everywhere including the bathroom to use the toilet and the kitchen to eat. I was mostly in a trance.
When I reached 60 mg., my brain started to wake up a little. I began to have delusions (someone was out to get me). According to the Alzheimer DVD, delusion is a common symptom of dementia. Many of my beliefs were false. When I became more myself, I had to run these beliefs by my husband to see if they were true. He would tell me no. And because I trusted him, I would try to let them go.
Near the end of the day, I would become extremely tired. Because I couldn’t remember what someone said to me about 30 seconds later, I would write down everything everyone said. I would keep practicing my brain. In the DVD, the AFA has noticed a symptom among dementia patients. Near the end of the day, many dementia patients become excessively tired because they have been trying to remember. They begin to have tantrums as the sun goes down, which is exactly what was happening to me. I would black out and find myself weeping in our bedroom. I wouldn’t know why.
Also, I had another symptom of dementia while I was on prednisone. The symptom is called eloping. (I also wandered). I felt caged. Thankfully for my husband, I was also dealing with kidney issues and problems with my Wegener’s so I was too tired to go far. I would walk out the front door and wander about 10-20 feet. He would search the entire house for me and finally find me outside. He would scold me.
My husband admitted that he would have treated me differently if he had known that I would have these reactions to prednisone. Getting completely off this medication has not been an option for me. And, after seeing the DVD (he watched it very closely) he said that he has gained some insight into my actions at that time.
I have been fortunate because once I went to lower dosages the symptoms of dementia mainly disappeared. But sadly, there are many people out there with Alzheimer’s and with dementia that need your help.
Since it is the holiday season you can shop for this DVD or other gifts for caretakers (or patients) that could use help. Caretakers of dementia patients have the hardest role of all. They see family members become unruly children because of the damage to their brains.
If you don’t want to buy a gift then donate to the AFA. All proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America who’s mission is to provide quality care for quality of life to those who suffer from Alzheimer’s.
Although finding a cure for Alzheimer’s is important, it is also very important to help those who are suffering from this disease.