Dementia Related Post

The Mad Book Chapter 12

Only 7 Minutes, but you may want to click the Play Button and listen along…

They don’t come to you!

You or those around you notice that something is not the same. You know best, and this is the time to have concern and a time to act!

The signs and symptoms of so-called dementia, what I think is better known as neural decline, are listed in seven stages of cognitive decline.

Cognitive means your ability to think, reason and remember.

Stage 1 ‘No Decline’ in your cognitive abilities (is this a stage?)

Stage 2 Termed Age-Associated Memory Impairment, which I find strange as we are forever told age is not a factor.

I think this is the same thing happening in our brains as I see on the computer screen as it tries to use its memory to find the answer, That thing, can’t think of the name at the moment, goes around and around and then!

You forget where we put something! You forget the names of something or someone familiar. This happens to us all.

Stage 3 Mild Cognitive Impairment

Do you remember what I said about them having a tick list? Well, this is where it starts.

Getting lost easily
Noticeably poor performance at work
Forgetting the names of family members and close friends
Difficulty retaining information read in a book or passage
Losing or misplacing essential objects
Difficulty concentrating

You are obviously starting to get stressed and anxious about this, affecting your day and those around you.

This is most likely when the doctor will send you to a clinic that specialises in the symptoms you’re experiencing if you are lucky!

Stage 4 ‘Mild’ Dementia

You’re starting to find it hard in social situations, and your personality and mood are changing.

Decreased knowledge of current and/or recent events
Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
Reduced ability to handle finances, arrange travel plans, etc.
Difficulty recognizing faces and people

This is what they call Mild!?

Stage 5. Moderate Dementia

This is just a tiny step and hard to distinguish from 4. You may become disoriented about the time and place, have trouble making decisions, and forget basic information about yourself, such as a telephone number or address. You may find that you need help with carrying out tasks in everyday life.

While moderate dementia can interfere with basic functioning, you do not need assistance with basic functions such as using the bathroom or eating at this stage. You can still remember your own name and generally the names of spouses and children.

Stage 6 Moderately Severe Dementia

This is a monster of a step. When you begin to forget the names of your children, spouse, and helpers, you will need full-time care.

In this sixth stage, you are generally unaware of your surroundings, cannot recall recent events, and have skewed memories of your personal past.
Delusional behaviour
Obsessive behaviour and symptoms
Anxiety, aggression, and agitation
Loss of willpower

You may begin to wander, have difficulty sleeping, and in some cases will experience hallucinations.

Stage 7 Severe Dementia

Your brain seems to lose its connection with the body. Severe dementia frequently entails the loss of all verbal and speech abilities. You will need to help the individual with walking, eating, and using the bathroom. The rate of progress increases throughout the stages if unchecked.

So this is the list, but I’m sure there must be something more substantial, don’t you think?

I’ve tried to use the term, ‘You,’ rather than patient or they.

One thing that I’ve always been aware of is the signs and symptoms of my neural decline. I know I have this monster trying to eat away at my brain and kill more brain cells. However, nowhere in the list are you considered other than by the external signs and symptoms.

Someone sent a poster, and on it it said. ‘Don’t waste time walking a mile in my shoes; just spend 30 minutes in my head; it will blow your mind!’

Doctors seem to think they can walk in your shoes but never seem to look or ask you what’s going on inside that one critical place!

I find this a strange list. It is pretty clinical, but I suppose that helps the medical profession in justifying what they do or not. The list is very progressive and doesn’t seem to take into account that we may suffer varying symptoms depending on the part of the brain where the brain cells have stopped functioning. If I look at the list and use it in isolation, I would be further up the stages ranking than I think I am.

How we deal and cope also varies, and we are not all the same, but again this doesn’t help the profession that needs to pigeonhole us.

We know when something is not right, and most likely, someone close will know that something is not quite right too. This is the time to act and look at your life. The sooner we start and make changes, the better our chances of living with and maybe reversing the problems. If we wait to see the signs and symptoms of the so-called Stage 3 Mild Cognitive Impairment

Getting lost easily
Noticeably poor performance at work
Forgetting the names of family members and close friends
Difficulty retaining information read in a book or passage
Losing or misplacing essential objects
Difficulty concentrating

I think the time for urgent action is reaching its conclusion and is not just a case of mild cognitive impairment. Action needs to be taken as soon as you know and you know best of all!

You know when something is wrong, and you go to the doctor for help, but if the doctor uses this stages model to guide their judgement and care, then you may be waiting a long time, and time is something you, and I, don’t have.

2 replies »

  1. A very clear description of the stages, but what a jump from 2 to 3! That’s a massive difference to my mind! 🤔 as you point out you would hope that something could be done earlier to stop or slow down that decline. I think if you know there’s something wrong yourself you have to persevere and even badger the medical profession to take it more seriously and start some kind of treatment 🤞🏼

  2. A really interesting read. If the doctors just go by this list to make diagnosis then it’s a scary thought.
    I’m looking forward to reading your next chapter.
    Love C x💜

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