Another day, another Doctor: Pt. lll


One of the benefits of having Dr G as Miss Cathy’s Geriatrician is that it’s like ‘one stop shopping’ when we go to see him.

Whenever there is a problem or question (and mom has many) we see Dr G first, and if he doesn’t have the answers he’ll know the appropriate specialist who does.

Case in point, we were back after about a month (it felt like longer) of schlepping around from one new doctor to the next, to discuss their various findings.

The good news was that (other than not remembering what day it is) mom is basically ‘fine’ (a very subjective word these days but considering the alternatives, we’ll go with ‘fine’).

Dr K, her new neurologists, added Namenda to her daily medications, Namenda is a dementia drug that is thought to work well in conjunction with Aricept (which she’s been taking since her diagnosis in 2010) to help sustain memory and issues of confusion.

One of the other specialists she saw was Dr M, a vascular surgeon. I took Miss Cathy to see him regarding the five ‘episodes’ of fainting that’s she’d had over the course of the last three years to get to the root (hopefully) of why they were happening; was it a stroke? Were they seizures? Up till now nobody could say for certain.

He determined that the problem was not the blood flow to her corrated artery (so the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the episodes is still unresolved but luckily there haven’t been any recently).

After his examination the doctor did recommended Lipitor or it’s generic equivalent to help reduce the possibility of a stroke given her age and all she’s been through.

As we sat with Dr G in one of the (very small, very cramped) examination rooms, he went over all the notes from the other doctors, the things put in place and their recommendations moving forward.

There was a little debate (more between Dr G and himself than with either of us) as to whether or not to put mom on the cholesterol-lowering drug.

Dr G said that while Lipitor is a valid recommendation his concern was Miss Cathy’s various other health conditions; diabetes, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure and anxiety. So he wanted to be careful that any new drug introduced into her system wouldn’t have either a negative effect or counteract the effectiveness of a current medication.

It seemed at first that he was considering adding the ‘statin’ to mom’s meds and said as much.

Miss Cathy’s response was, “I don’t want to take that. I’m taking too many pills as it is.”

I sat in a corner of the room on what looked like a banquette built for a child or as an afterthought next to a small sink and supply cabinet. There was barely enough room to contain my ever expanding ass and irritation as I eavesdropped on their tête-à-tête.

Dr G smiled and said, “Of course that’s what you say about every one of these pills that we give you to take, so lets just consider this for a minute.”

‘Points’ for Dr G! It may not sound like much but that was one of the rare time that he didn’t just acquiesce to her protestations…..we might just be getting somewhere today.

The Meds discussed in this Blog Post were:

Aricept: is used to treat confusion (dementia) related to Alzheimer’s disease. It does not cure Alzheimer’s disease, but it may improve memory, awareness, and the ability to function. This medication is an enzyme blocker that works by restoring the balance of natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.

Namenda: is used to treat moderate to severe confusion (dementia) related to Alzheimer’s disease. It does not cure Alzheimer’s disease, but it may improve memory, awareness, and the ability to perform daily functions. This medication works by blocking the action of a certain natural substance in the brain (glutamate) that is believed to be linked to symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Lipitor: is used along with a proper diet to help lower “bad” cholesterol and fats (such as LDL, triglycerides) and raise “good” cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. It belongs to a group of drugs known as “statins.” It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver. Lowering “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides and raising “good” cholesterol decreases the risk of heart disease and helps prevent strokes and heart attacks.

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