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Personal Stories: Anonymous

My mom has Dementia. We first noticed her acting different from her usual self immediately after knee surgery in 2005. When she was in her hospital room and still coming out of anesthesia, she was talking crazy. The entire family was in the room and we all were laughing at the things she was saying. One of the nurses said it was because of the anesthesia. She did come out of it, but when I got her home she was "different".

A year later she had her hip replaced. Again she went through the same scenario. The surgeon stated he didn't want to do any more surgeries because she was getting too old. She was 82 at the time. A few months after her last surgery, I asked the surgeon why she was different; she no longer was exactly the same person she was prior to the surgeries. The surgeon (this surgeon did both her knee & hip surgery) admitted to me that he had his suspicions that the anesthesia used on elderly people hastened memory loss. He didn't come right out and say dementia, but about a year later when she was diagnosed, I remembered what the surgeon said at that time. I'm not saying if she didn't have the surgeries she would never have gotten dementia, but I do believe the anesthesia hurried it along.

No one else in my family has or ever has had dementia. My mom always had a poor diet. She hates fish and chicken/turkey. I always tell people she hates anything that swims or flies. She loves any thing sweet. Her favorite is chocolate. Our current Primary Physician did a complete physical on her and could not believe she wasn't diabetic after I told her how much sweets she eats over regular food.

Other than dementia and the fact that she no longer wants to eat, she's a healthy person. Every day, twice a day, I give her Med-Pass to make sure she's getting all her vitamins. She currently is having pain in her other knee and the surgeon said he will not do surgery on that knee because of her age. In May she'll turn 92.

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