Ex and early dementia? Forgetfulness?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am worried about my ex, who is important to me and to Julie and 36. Tell me what you think and how my two kids can handle him so that he may go for a cognitive assessment. First I need to explain that since age 27 he has had no adrenal glands or thyroid. He has a very unusual disorder called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia 2B. It causes serious medical issues and tumors on the inside of you, much like the Elephant Man's disease causes tumors on the outside. In his case, he had two huge tumors on his adrenal glands so they both had to be removed (eight hour surgery) and then they found a commonly co-existing thyroid nodule with was slow growing cancer so it was also removed. All of his life he has had to take steroids and thyroid replacement. This disorder also causes things such as pigeon shaped lungs and certain other problems. At one time they thought he may have something in his head, but couldn't verify it and it didn't change. He did not expect to live to a normal age, but now he is sixty-six or sixty-seven and I have a lot of friends in that age bracket, most doing quite well mentally. Now I'm going to tell you about his recent trip to 36's house and you tell me what you think and what you believe should be done for him, if he is willing.

    36 sees him about once every six weeks and ex stays at his house for about five days each time. For a few years both 36 and Julie have been talking about his sudden loss of memories, but 36 has seen more of him on a day-to-day basis. Ex drives to St. Louis to see 36. The last few times he got lost a few times. He never got lost before, but he did make it. He is driving from Chicago. Both of mjy kids no longer like how he drives and 36 won't let him drive with his grandson, which isn't being mean, it's being smart. Julie has already said that he can't drive Kaili anywhere or even be alone with her after she is born. Now here are the things he did while at 36s house, and it is noteworthy that he DID drive home safely.

    Two times ex put the gas stove on and kept it on under an empty pot all day long, foruteen hours,while 36 was at work. When 36 told him about it he said he didn't do it. He also kept on turning the heat on. It is 70 degrees in Missouri and it is NOT cold. Ex is always cold though. When 36 pointed it out, ex said he didn't do it. "I swear I would never do that." But 36 is the one who'd never do it. He is actually trying to save money and is always hot, rather than always cold. 36 also said ex left knives around and even on the floor (dropped them?). He also spilled his medications and left them spread out on the stove. Grandson is tall enough to reach the medicine. Luckily he is smart and would not pick up the knife or medicine.

    He did function at work up until about a year ago when he retired. But he was getting more forgetful even then. I don't get it. What would you do, understanding that he lives alone and may not agree to do anything. Do you think he may be getting early dementia? None of the people I know who are his age are having his sort of trouble.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That could be a sign of dementia or it could be a side effect of the steroids. I realize it may be hard to get your ex to go see a doctor but if he goes somewhat regularly anyway, maybe one of you could write a letter to his doctor to give them a heads up. Even a GP can do a mini mental health exam and that will show if there is any major issues going on.

    When I ended up having to get my mom it was very obvious she had dementia but it was still hard to get her to the doctor. I ended up tricking her.

    If you want to try to see if he needs to have the exam you can ask 36 to try some of the questions at his house. Things like asking him to remember as "password or 4 digit code", ask him to show grandson what a clock that has hands look like by drawing it on a piece of paper. There are many other questions like...what do certain things do...like a pen, clothing, etc. I had to do that exam many times after my meningitis.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Janet.

    He has been on steroids for forty years now too. Thanks for that info too.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You've stumped me! I know what I'd do if we shared daily living but truthfully I don't know how you can get someone tested who does not live with you and values independence...even if risky behaviors are involved. I "think" I would look for agencies/services in his home town and see what is offered. I feel badly because he is a threat to himself and others but unless his MD gets involved it may take a disaster to get some support services in place. I'm sorry. DDD
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    The onset of dementia or even alzheimers can start in the 40's or 50's or later. Depends on the person. As Janet said, could also be a side effect of the steroids, but usually docs warn about such things as it affects daily living and safety.

    Given his medical background, though, it would be wise to use that as a tool to get him a thorough examination, physically as well as mentally/cognitive.

    Men can be stubborn when it comes to such things. So I wish you much luck.

    My mom either has dementia or alzheimers. I have no clue if I'll ever get a chance to get her screened due to the paranoia. And of course the memory issues is making the paranoia understandably much more severe than I've ever seen it. But my mother is 77 too so it's not that unexpected. (except no one else in the family has ever had either)

    She currently has her house up for sale, priced to sell, and the plan is that hopefully it sells before the hot weather hits and she moves over here. I will have to assess her once she has been here a while to see where we go from there.

    Now I don't have dementia but I do have memory issues. If I don't have something to force my brain to stay active (and trust me I have to force it) then forget it. Memory goes to mush quickly. So that might be part of why it has suddenly gotten worse, or seems that it has.