On diagnosis, on doctors who may not know or care

One thing that bothers me is this whole business of diagnosis of dementia and how often it gets delayed and how different specialists say different things and confuse us and delay us in getting started in adjusting our lives to this reality…

…and the problem continues even after diagnosis, because when we take the patient to doctors for other ailments, many doctors and medical staff do not understand how having dementia may affect the patient’s ability to communicate problems or explain what happened.

The Dementia India Report 2010’s foreword by Dr. K Jacob Roy states:

It is estimated that over 3.7 million people are affected by dementia in our country in 2010. This is expected to double by 2030. Despite the magnitude, there is gross ignorance, neglect and services are scarce for people with dementia and their families.

Dementia diagnosis is often delayed for multiple reasons.
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Pattern spotting

Yesterday, I wrote: “…the most prominent mistake I made in the earlier days was force-fitting patterns instead of looking afresh at facts, and seeing intention where the cause was confusion. ”

Analyzing, introspecting, recognizing patterns is an ability I’ve always tried to nurture and improve. I have assumed that these are good and important, and the best way to navigate life. Yet pattern-seeking backfired on me for the caregiving aspect of my life.

Here, for example, is one small but indicative incident (this was well before my mother was diagnosed).

My mother’s balance problems were very marked, and often, as she stood or walked, she would lurch and sway and stumble/ fall. This would happen anywhere, and she’d grab at whatever she could. Once, when she was in the kitchen, she grabbed at a knife on the kitchen counter, ouch! 😦
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