Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Lewy Body Dementia or Vascular Dementia

A month ago now my Papa (my mother's father) fell a few too many times in 12 hours. He was taken to the hospital. He spent a couple of days there due to difficulty in finding the problem with his right lower leg. He complained of pain and was having difficulty walking.

After a couple of days of this they gave a diagnosis of general weakness. The solution was some physical therapy to regain strength. He was to spend two weeks in a rehabilitation center to obtain that needed physical therapy.

Four days in the rehabilitation center and Papa is rushed to the hospital. The explanation I am given at the time is that Papa is having some hallucinations. After a couple of days of sleep and some corrections to medications he is sent back to the rehabilitation center.

Two days at the rehabilitation center and Papa is sent back to the hospital. The rehabilitation center states that he is combative and that he tried to escape.

Papa is now back in the hospital. My Aunt, grandmother and Uncle at this point are all worn out, tired and aggravated. Thank goodness for the Carson and Cossette families. They were and are there to help them all out and visit with Papa no matter where he was/is.

I get aggravated at this point and I call my grandparents primary care physician. I had asked Papa the last time I talked to him on the phone if it was okay if I talked to his doctor. He gave me the okay so I called. When I called the doctor's office I stated who I was and why I was calling. The wonderful lady on the phone told me that she would need to talk to the doctor and that the doctor would need to get permission from Papa. That was okay.

An hour later that wonderful lady who I talked to told me she spoke with the doctor. She stated that the doctor just saw Papa and that he would see him again tomorrow. He would ask Papa tomorrow when he saw him if it was okay to talk about his medical history/records with me. I would hear back from him tomorrow.

The following evening the doctor left me a message and stated that he spoke to my grandfather and that permission was given. I was so happy to get a call back from the doctor and then upset I missed his call. I tried to call him back that evening but his office was closed for the evening.

The following day I called him back and was able to talk with him. The doctor's diagnosis is Lewy Body Dementia, LBD. I had never heard of LBD so I wanted to research this as soon as possible. I was able to ask him several other questions based off some conversations with my sister Nurse Kelli. I was very pleased that the doctor took some time to call back a granddaughter of one of his patients. Thank You doctor!

I have done a lot of research on LBD. There are a couple of great websites out there for resources. The first is The Lewy Body Society and the other is the Lewy Body Dementia Association. These website can help with finding information and other additional resources like suggested books, forums and monthly newsletters.

I believe at this point Papa is taking Seroquel and Ativan for medications.

I did some other research on alternative forms of treatment for LBD. It is believed that a gluten-free diet may help. There are a couple of websites that provided some helpful information as far as that idea is concerned; A blog called the Back Door Logic, Yahoo Answers, The American Academy of Neurology, EnteroLab, and ScienceDaily.

Today Papa went in with my Aunt Maria to the neurologist. This was a last minute appointment as the neurologist had a cancellation. The neurologists performed some memory tests on Papa. From the results of these memory tests the neurologist doesn't think that Papa has LBD. She thinks he has Vascular Dementia.
Apparently Papa has had some mini-strokes. The combination of the mini-strokes in the cerebral cortex and taking Dilantin (an anti-seizure medication) for 10 years has intensified my grandfather's situation.
Vascular Dementia has some of the same symptoms as LBD. The neurologist pointed out that one of the differences with LBD and Vascular Dementia is the ability to retain information. That was the reason for her memory tests today.

I need to do some further research to help myself better understand what is going on with Papa and find out what this disease is. I will try to post more about what is going on and what I find. I should have started writing a month ago. Not only to help myself kind of work through what is happening but to also help others.

As a side note Papa is in his early 70's. It is scary to know that in 40 years these are things I may be facing. I don't think that it is ever too late to make small changes to your lifestyle. Exercise, try to eat healthy and stay active are all good things to do to try to prevent health complications.

I love dance. I have been an on and off dancer since the age of three. I love it because I think I am good at it and because I knew it kept me fit. It was also a great stress relief. Nothing like dancing around like crazy to relieve stress.

In the last four years Nathan introduced me to working out and lifting weights with him. I haven't been to a dance class in over a year now due to owning a home and having recently moved.

I love working out at home now. I can work out with Nathan, which means more quality time together and we can motivate each other. We have also noticed the changes in each other. We can tell when it has been a while since we last worked out. We can physically see the change in muscle mass in each other and we know we are trying our best to stay healthy.
That is just my little side note.

Monday, March 08, 2010

February 2010 House Projects

Knock Down The Wall
The wall between the bedrooms. This is where we left off.
The wall taken down to prepare for closet and door.

The Plumbing Work
The shower pan installed with drain.
The shower head.
Hot and cold water for the vessel sinks and electrical for sink outlets and new light.
Sewer and water for the toilet.

New Sewer Line
The new pipe laid out for installation wrapped around the entire back yard.
This end of the pipe will go in first.
In this video you can see the old pipe being pushed out by the new pipe. You will also see how relatively easy it is for them to break the old pipe. It is Orange burg Pipe - layers of cardboard and tar.

Framing The Walls
This is the rough framing for both the shower walls and the master closet walls.

Finish The Electrical
Added an outlet in the master bedroom closet and the light switch for the back yard light.
Pulled out the old hallway door to this bedroom. Added some studs, closed the hallway opening with drywall and installed the master bathroom heated floor thermostat.

Installed Insulation
Added insulation in shower walls and around toilet to help with noise transfer between rooms. Added insulation to exterior walls.

Added Wood Floor To Closet