Mar 22, 2011

Dotty Health Update

You might not know this, but there are three frequent causes of death that come along with Alzheimer's: pneumonia, complications from urinary tract infections, and falls....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Sun Up
For those of you that are asking about Dotty. First, thanks for asking.

Dotty's health is holding up. Little problem with the pee pee. But, I am taking her temperature daily and its right on the mark during the day -- 97.8 -- 97.9. That is her usual baseline, core body temperature.

I am alert for any change.

Here is the deal. Last May Dotty was very sick. I had to borrow a wheelchair to get her to the doctor. It was not an emergency room situation.

During the time of that illness she couldn't walk. This lasted a few weeks. I finally got her up and out of the wheelchair and I actually had to teach her to walk.

Dotty was sick once again in late September. Mostly she was listless. She bounced back after a few weeks.

Then it happened. Very very sick on December 31. Most likely caught a very bad bug from some people we were around on Christmas day. I say this because our friend Jim also was very sick a day earlier.

Dotty spent a month in the wheelchair. She also had moocho tests. Then she bounced back.

Okay, now to my main point. See a trend here? Late May, late September, late December?

Now I am not a doctor, lawyer, or Indian chief; however, I am a Bunkhouse logician. This pattern worries me.

First, after taking antibiotics you can get a bacterial resistant like infection after one to three months. I have been wondering about this since September. So, if Dotty gets a persistent fever again, I am going to need to get her to some kind of specialist.

Okay folks, weigh in on this issue in the Add New Comments box below if you have an useful information.

Second, when Dotty is sick the doctor views the problem as pneumonia like. Well, Dotty has a persistent fever. So, I don't see it that way. Keep in mind here, we did have blood cultures last time around. Nothin, nada.

Third, you might not know this, but there are three frequent causes of death that come along with Alzheimer's: pneumonia, complications from urinary tract infections, and falls.

Pneumonia is a common cause of death because impaired swallowing allows food or beverages to enter the lungs, where they can cause an infection.

Obviously, I worry about all three. The reason why I take Dotty's temperature every day is so that I can can catch any infection, particularly a urinary tract infection, early. Dotty cannot tell me when she is sick. So it is up to me to pay close intention.

On top of the above. I don't want to take Dotty to the emergency room or hospital unless there is no alternative. You can get a bacterial infection that is resistant to antibiotics in a hospital.

Bottom line right now, Dotty is doing well health wise. Dotty is continuing to slow down for sure. She is still walking with my assistance and without a cane or walker. But, the going continues to get slower and slower.

On a positive note. We might try the gym one day this week. See how Dotty does on the treadmill and on the stand up sit downs.

Dotty did wake up with a smile on her face this morning. Very nice smile.

One other new trend. Dotty continues to feed herself 2 to 4 bowls of cereal each day. Better than the old days when she would hunt high and low for potato chips. She also eats anything she can get her hands on. I usually leave out things I want her to eat, and sure enough, she finds them within seconds. This continues to amaze me. Dotty doesn't like to move around much these days. But, if I put a mound bar on the counter in the kitchen, she somehow knows it and gets up and hunts it down.

We are having problems reestablishing our old daily pattern which was very effective. We are working on it.

Harvey and Petey the parrots continue to engage Dotty and bring joy and laughter into her life.

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Read More on the Alzheimer's Reading Room

The Alzheimer’s Action Plan: The Experts’ Guide to the Best Diag­no­sis and Treat­ment for Mem­ory Prob­lems
The 36-Hour Day A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,390 articles with more than 272,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room