From medical appointment to new medication ……

I forget pain from one day to the next, which often comes in handy. It’s todays pain that’s uppermost in my mind. I’m sure that must be the same for others? How difficult it is then for a clinician to assess pain? To get the true picture and how much is guesswork? The other question of “when did it start” is always a good one to ask someone with dementia …..🙄

I realised and had this experience the other day. I had to go to a hospital appointment about my jaw. I’ve had pain down the side of my face radiating from my jaw for months – yes, I know, I should talk less – ha!
When he asked me about the pain, all I could think of was the pain now, at that moment in time. I couldn’t for sure remember whether the pain was worse or better that day than on others. But I’d been making notes for months. That’s how I knew, even though I couldn’t rely on my memory.

I take my notepad with me each time I go to an appointment. I can’t write very well but I can decipher my writing enough to read most of it. I write down word for word what I want to say, especially at the beginning, and then read it out so I don’t waffle and lose track of what I’m saying and why I’m there. My Gp is now used to this and will often write down the outcome on a separate page at the end of the appointment for me. That way, I’ve got something to tell my daughters if they’ve been working and havn’t been able to come with me.

So imagine what it must be like for those who don’t make notes? Who aren’t capable of remembering? Yes, we often go to appointments with family or friends who we rely on but how much of their knowledge is reality?
I can’t emphasise enough for writing stuff down like this as it happens. You never know when you might need it. It helps take away the stress of a medical appointment which is stressful enough already.

But then what happens when new medication is prescribed? Will this impact on a person with dementia differently and if so how?

Well I was prescribed tablets to take at night to reduce the nerve pain in my jaw. Easy you might say…….but I take all my other meds in a morning😳…..I live alone so how was I going to remember to take something new at night? That was where my new friend ‘Alexa’ came in useful. She tells me every evening at 8pm to take my new meds and even if I’m not in the same room or at home, the message still appears on my phone – result!

The Consultant I saw wisely allowed my Gp to decide which form of tablets to prescribe as she knows all the others I take and more importantly knows me. My major worry was that I was told they’d make me groggy in a morning😳🙈🤯……I’m groggy enough in a morning with dementia in tow without extra grog. So it was with great surprise that I awoke feeling fine the first morning. I’d even slept for 4 hours instead of the usual 2/3 – an added bonus!
But the following morning, either the tablets kicked in or dementia kicked me while I was down as I felt very disorientated and strange, a new strange, which makes me think it was the tablets.

So please think of this when new medication is prescribed for anyone with dementia. It may affect them in ways you’d never thought about and might explain a change in behaviour or routine. And remember to ask how long it will be before they take effect as mine will be a month or two, which I might forget……

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better start and my body will get used to having this tablet join the plethora of others in my routine at the mo……🙄

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

15 thoughts on “From medical appointment to new medication ……

  1. Thanks Wendy. Hope the pain has taken your advice and made the sensible decision to escape before you really give it ‘what for’!

    Your resilient response to ‘unwanted circumstances’ regarding some folks’ perception of dementia not only makes me (and, I’m sure, others!) think positively, and regularly smile, but also reminds me that, given the people who surround me in my life, I am in a good place!
    (Gosh, that’s an awfully long sentence – hope it makes sense!!)

    Not sympathy, just thoughtful awareness!

    Happy days! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m always leery of new meds,I have a hard time with added fillers they put in them,one had me crossing the room like a drunk person,oh the word I was looking for was inactive ingredients

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent advice. I hope the medication relieves your pain. I don’t have dementia, but I often don’t remember when something or other started, so I’ve begun writing symptoms, new medications, etc., in my journal on my laptop computer so I can do a search for certain words (CTRL-F) later if I need to know when something happened.


  4. Wendy, This interesting blog on pain works well. However, the next blog which has the same date and time of January 21, 11:55am about time now and the future does not work, and just says “404 Not Found.” It would be good if you (or someone else) could sort this out.
    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, apologies Bob. That one wasn’t meant to go out at the same time. I changed the date for it too be published which is why you can’t access yet – sorry! Got confused with dates🙄


  5. Thank you Wendy, once again for giving such great insights, i hope the symptoms and possible side effects will settle down for you soon. I have always advocated writing notes for hospital/doctors visits and for them to write down what has been discussed at the appointment, as most of us tend to forget what has been said when we are stressed during a visit. That’s why i wrote Finding the Light in Dementia with notes pages to write in and to put the date and get the Dr or other professionals to write in too. Its good to keep it altogether in one resource to monitor any changes over time too. Sending you best wishes and i hope you are sleeping ok now.


  6. Wendy, cannabis oil works very well on pain and sleep. You can start with a very high CBD profile to minimize any possible side effects – most ppl are nervous about the “high feeling” but CBD doesn’t do that, only THC. perhaps consider a 20:1 CBD:THC oil – if it’s available in your community. Check out – or have your daughters… wishing you well 💜

    Liked by 1 person

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