Lewy Body Dementia - October is LBD Awareness Month
In 2008 my father-in-law died of Lewy Body Dementia. While it is not a rare form of dementia, many people have never heard of it. It is often misdiagnosed as something else such as Alzheimer's. If certain prescription medications commonly given for other similar diseases are given to patients who have Lewy Body Dementia, they can be harmed, not helped at all. The medications can make the situation much worse and can lead to fatalities. So it is very important that sufferers are diagnosed correctly.
Jimmy and I both encountered this issue when his father first began to have symptoms indicating that something was wrong. It was a while before he was correctly diagnosed. He was given a medication that could have harmed him if it was continued. In the course of getting him correctly diagnosed, we had to fire one doctor. And we had to stay overnight with him in the hospital to prevent him from getting out of bed, walking the halls, and being administered more of the wrong medication due to the hospital's attempt to control what he was doing. The medication made him sleep during the day, making it impossible for us to get him out of the hospital. We did get him out of the hospital by keeping him in bed that night.
Eventually he was diagnosed correctly and received the correct medications. When he first became ill, I learned about Lewy Body Dementia and I also learned how it is not well known even by many doctors. It is scary when doctors won't listen to you and someone you love may be harmed by receiving a wrong diagnosis. Knowledge makes a great deal of difference in finding the right answer. So be informed and proactive! If you think that a doctor is making a mistake, speak up, ask questions, don't be afraid to say something.