FROM OUR EXPERTS
Both of my parents' death certificates cited the cause of death as organic brain disease, which basically means dementia . They each had dementia, though each of them suffered from a significantly different type.
Dad's was dramatic. It was the result of surgery that was supposed to prevent the mental decline he would eventually suffer as a result of a World War II brain injury. Something went wrong in the surgery, and he came out of that surgery totally demented.
Mom's dementia was a more general type, which included memory loss and declining ability to make sense of things, but she did not have Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia.
When I looked at the certificates, I was a bit surprised to find organic brain disease listed as cause of death. I was aware at the time that Alzheimer's was considered terminal, as the body slowly weakens and "forgets" how to function. But I didn't consider that my parents would die from their dementia - especially my mother.
"You have end stage COPD..." is possibly one of the most frightening - and confusing - things a person can hear.
Let's talk about the four stages of COPD and what it means for you. Here are three simple steps that anybody who has heard these dreaded words - and anybody with chronic lung disease for that matter - should follow.
1.) Get the Facts Straight.
When somebody, anybody, tells you you're at a certain stage of a disease, ask questions.
First, find out what it is that determines that stage and, next, where you fit in.
The very first question I ask when a new patient comes in to Pulmonary Rehab is: "What has the doctor told you is going on in your lungs?" The answer tells me a lot about what the patient has been told, what they understand about it and what it means to them. (It's interesting to note that one study revealed that over 26% of patients were unaware of what their COPD diagnosis meant!) Most of the time when I ask patients what t...
Last week I said that if I had only been shown the “Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease,” I would have understood what was happening to my parents and helped them a year sooner. This week I want to go over the signs with you, so you don’t make the mistake I made and assume that your loved one’s intermittent and illogical and irrational behaviors are simply a normal part of aging. (Reprinted with permission of the Alzheimer’s Association) The Alzheimer’s Association says that some change in memory is normal as we grow older, but the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are more than simple lapses in memory. People with AD experience difficulty communicating, learning, thinking and reasoning--severe enough to have an impact on work, social activities and family life. 1. Memory loss : One of the most common early signs of dementia is forgetting recently learned information. While it’s normal to forget appointments, names or telephone numbers, those with dementia will forget such things mor...
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