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Gerard Butler GALS

Alzheimers Confirmed


Swansong
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Please see last post on this thread for update

Dear friends, Bill's complex health issues are still a concern. Within the next few weeks he will be having several appointments with specialists to see if ANYone can get to the bottom of his symptoms. Thankfully his muscle pain and weakness from the statin drugs are slowly diminishing, but he is still losing weight, he is still very depressed, and his cognitive impairment is getting worse.

This week he sees the neuro-psychiatrist starting on Wednesday. He will have several in-depth appointments with her.

Thursday he will see a gastroenterologist for his consultation about the weight loss and his upcoming colonoscopy.

Then next week he begins seeing an endocrinologist for his diabetic control issues.

It's all very overwhelming.

I would appreciate your prayers for him.

Swannie

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Dear Bonnie,

I know the anguish and pain you are going through watching you hubby suffer like this. Posted Image You both will be in my prayers.

Lord, You know how hard of a time it is right now for Bill and Bonnie; You know their hearts and the physical and emotional problems they both have. Please bring Your touch on their bodies, circumstances, lives and family. Hold them close and bring beauty to them where they least expect it. Pour Your grace on them and give them the faith and strength to persevere through these rough times. Let them feel Your steadfast love and ever present help this week. Give wisdom to the doctors that Bill will be seeing and guide their treatment. Give Bonnie the peace and hope that only You can give as she watches and takes care of her beloved husband. I ask this in Your name Jesus. Amen.

Posted Image

love, hugs and prayers,

Sue

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Bonnie, so sorry to hear about Bill's continued health issues and he is in my thoughts and prayers as well.

Remember that when you talk to doctors, make sure you give them all the information and history on his symptoms and how he feels, etc. Doctors not only rely on tests to make a diagnosis but they also draw their conclusions many times from what patients say or fail to disclose. It is very important!

I'm sure you have told them everything they need to know and with that, they should be able to get closer to a diagnosis and treatment plan for Bill. Don't leave anything out! It could be crucial to pointing them in the right direction and sometimes when doctors fail to have the answers, after all they are only human too, things like stress and depression may be the very things that are causing all the physical symptoms and thus complicating his existing ailemnts such diabetes.

I know it is a very trying time for him, bless his heart, and your's as well. Many men begin to feel invalid as they get older, as do women sometimes, but I think men suffer from it the worse, especially when they loose a job that gave them a sense of responsibility.

That may be all it is. He may just need to feel like he's contributing again and has a purpose in his life. If he has any hobbies or interests, I would definately encourage him to pursue them if I were you, even with his seemingly decline of cognitive function. I believe in the old "use 'em or loose 'em" theory when it comes to using the ol' brain cells as we age. It's a known fact that the more we stay active and the more we try to learn new things, the more new brain cells develope to replace the ones that we're loosing. Perhaps enrolling in an evening class he might enjoy at your closest college or community center in something he has an interest in might do him wonders. Just a suggestion. Even the social contact that that brings could open up other avenues for him as well.

I'm not trying to diminish his health issue at all, but sometimes the most simple and logical explanations are the ones right under our noses.

I wish you both all the best and I hope he's feeling better soon. Give him my best!

Delene

Edited by GBPhanatic
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Bonnie,

I will keep you and Bill in my prayers.

I pray for God to give his doctors

wisdom to not only find out what is

wrong but to know how to fix it.

I also pray for God to keep you and

Bill in his loving healing hands.

Sandy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bill had his final cognitive testing session with the neuropsychiatrist on Wednesday, so this coming Tuesday we meet with her to discuss her findings. Please pray that the outcome is good, and that he can be helped in some way.

He also has upcoming appointments with an endocrinologist, a rheumatologist and then a colonoscopy in October.

Please pray.

Swannie

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Dear Swannie,

I am praying for good results from all the tests and that there is a possible way found that will help your hubby. I pray for guidance for his physicians to find the right treatment. You and your family are in my prayers.

Diane

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Bonnie,

I continue to pray for Bill. I hope that there will soon be answers to explain what is happening with Bill. I pray for healing, for miracles *small and large* and for peace to cover and support you, Bonnie, through the day by day struggles you are experencing.

Sending love and hugs, Linda

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Hi everyone! I've decided to post this for all to read because I think it provided valuable information for all of us:

Bill’s Cognitive Impairment:

Overview of Dr Peirce’s Findings:

On September 28th, Bill and I met with neuropsychiatrist Dr. Diane Peirce to discuss the test results concerning Bill’s cognitive impairment/memory loss. For the first hour, she went over the test results, showing us the various tasks he was asked to perform, then explaining how he scored, and what those results indicated about Bill’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses.

In a nutshell, Bill’s test scores were above average or average in many of the tests, and he performed well in all but 2 main areas (visual memory and practical memory). She then explained that although he does have some cognitive impairment, at this time she does not see evidence of dementia. If dementia were present, he would have scored lower across the board on brain function measurements.

She did not offer a formal diagnosis, but given the research she‘s done on statin drug side effects, she suggests that because Bill’s cognitive impairment is ‘somewhat different’, and considering his muscular myopathy and the ‘muscle wasting’ and other physical symptoms, the cause of his cognitive impairment ‘could’ be statin drugs.

At this time, she said we cannot rule out some type of dementia in the future, and she suggested that if these cognitive issues worsen, he should go through the testing/evaluation again.

She further suggested that Bill might benefit from drugs prescribed for dementia patients. These drugs are often prescribed for, and do help patients with brain injury. I told her that I would do some research about these drugs and then Bill and I would decide whether or not he wants to try the medication.

Meanwhile, Dr Peirce gave Bill a plan of action to address his memory/cognitive issues.

Bill’s Plan of Action For Brain Health

1) he needs to come up with a way to store his memories ‘outside’ his brain. He needs to make a daily list of tasks to be done. (clipboard, notebook?)

2) in social situations, he needs to let people know that he has memory loss issues, and if people are talking too fast for him to absorb information he wants to hang onto, he needs to ask them to speak more slowly, then he needs to take notes on what was discussed. This applies to social situations, phone calls, interviews, etc.

3) he needs to perform daily aerobic exercise in order to keep the brain healthy, and it needs to be enough to break a sweat. (nordic track)

4) he needs to learn new things in order to keep the brain in good health. She suggested that he daily reads magazine articles on topics that he is not normally interested in. She also suggested learning 5 words a day in a different language. (she said that playing chess is a good brain exercise for his particular impairment, but that crossword puzzles are not)

5) he needs to keep writing, because his word and writing skills are one of his strongest cognitive functions. She suggested that he write the auto biography he mentioned to her because that type of writing will access a different part of the brain than the work he has done on his gospel project.

6) if his brain feels sensory overload in certain situations, he needs to take a time out and rest his brain. Over stimulation makes his brain fatigued; example: a party where more than one conversation is taking place; where there are other noises and distractions (music, television, young children)

7) because Bill struggles with visual memory, he should take steps to ensure that he does not get lost when driving. Perhaps installing a GPS in the car; using maps and charting out route beforehand. This is especially true if he is trying to multi-task (sensory overload).

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Hi Swannie,

Good to read that you got the results and now have a plan of action that will help your hubby. Bill and you remain in my thoughts and prayers.

I pray that these steps will greatly improve his health.

hugs,

Diane

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Swannie and Bill,

I am so very, very glad to hear this news. I can personally vouch for the advice you were given regarding brain health. These instructions are very, very similar to those given to people with post-traumatic stress disorder. I have been doing a lot of these things over the past year and a half and - they WORK. (Chess completely escapes me, but statistical mathematics have become something of a passion for me.)

The really great thing here is that now you have a baseline and can work from there. I have no doubt in my mind that Bill is gonna come back stronger than ever. The brain is still very mysterious and I have been astounded at how it can heal itself as other areas take over for those that have been damaged.

One other suggestion regarding the muscle wasting: You and Bill might want to look into working with a personal trainer to help design not only a program for aerobic exercise, but one for muscle rehab and nutrition that you both can do together. Again, the human body is an incredible machine and Bill might just be very pleasantly surprised at the results :cunning: (if you catch my drift). I know that diet and exercise have worked wonders for me....

Please keep us posted on how you BOTH are doing. I know it's been a long and harrowing road for you both.

Love to you both,

CW

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Swannie,

I'm so glad to hear this news, both that Bill shows no evidence of dementia and that you and Bill have found a doctor, who appears to be actively concerned for her patients. I like that Dr. Peirce is through, covering all the bases, yet doesn't just jump to any conculsions. The doctor's plan of action to address Bill's memory/cognitive issues sounds good. And, it is wonderful to know that she is taking into account your and Bill's choices and decisions in this process of Bill's recovery.

I continue to pray for Bill, you and Nathan. Love and gentle hugs, Sweetie. Hope you feeling better soon.

beachie

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Bill saw his new endocrinologist on Tuesday. She asked him the same questions that the gastroenterologist asked. Interesting. The main reason we went to see her is because of Bill's unwanted weight loss. Last year I told our primary care doc that I felt the Metformin could be partly the cause of Bill's weight loss. I had been reading on line that many diabetics are given the drug to help them lose weight. The problem is, Bill just kept losing. He's lost a total of 20 lbs over the past 2 years. The primary care doc didn't think Bill's weight loss was that big of deal. He said many men lose weight as they age. BS!!!!

Thank goodness the endocrinologist acknowledged that his weight loss is a concern, and she decided to take him off the Metformin and try him on a different drug to help control his diabetes. This new drug can actually cause weight gain. I tell you, I would be so happy to see my husband gain some weight! Of course we feel that some of his weight loss is due to muscle wasting, but the Metformin was certainly also playing a role.

After Bill gave her his description of all the physical symptoms he's been suffering with, she said that "statin drugs can really do a number on some people." She is very interested to hear what we learn from the Rheumatologist next week.

Meanwhile, Bill continues to improve with greater flexibility and physical strength. I truly hope that in time his cognitive functions will improve as well, because it is so upsetting to him to have to deal with the mental/memory impairment.

Thank you all for your prayers!

Swannie

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