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Nurse Susan
Nurse Susan, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1091
Experience:  RN, BSN, MSN-ED, Nurse Educator whose passion is helping people understand their health and wellness
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M y name is Shelly. I wanted to ask you a question about my

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Hi,m y name is***** wanted to ask you a question about my father's health im very concerned about. He is 77 years old, and has for over thirty years been drinking about 3-4 beers a night. He's been on blood pressure pills, and cholesteral pills for over fifteen years, and doesn't eat healthy, he has like a donut almost every night. hardley any fruits and veggies. last year his doctor told him, he had a 'coroted bruit" on his right neck, which is a clogged artery. I give him fish oil, and coq10, for 3 years, but obviously it hasnt helped much. plus he dont exercise much. he lately the pst 2 years has benn short tempered, and yelling at us, the family, I had an arguement with him 3 weeks ago, and he got right into my ma's face, we are worried he might be geting dementia, or just stress from the clogged artery. plus i know alcohol makes you lose brain cells, I want him to get something done for him, cause noone wants to visit us anymore, the grandkids, cant stay too long around him with his "short fuse" everything upsets him. Please let me know wht to do, my mom is in denial, and pacifies everything, she even cancelled his mental health test. any vitamins, or stuff he can take? thank you.
Hello JACustomer,

I would like to try and help you but need allot more information. What makes you believe your father may have dementia? Is he forgetful or just increasingly short tempered? Is his intellect the same as it always was or do you see decreases there? Can you tell me a bit more about the "mental health test" that your mother canceled? Do you see any changes in physical functioning?

Thanks for the additional detail,
Sincerely,
Susan
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi, nurse Susan, yes, he does get forgetful with some things, like losing his car keys, or other things. but he never was this bad the past 3 months he's been getting worse, he gets upset easy, he yelled at me over one word i said wrong, and has been cursing more, especially the"f" word. i know my sister's divorce 2 years ago , put a toll on him, but i think his clogged artery is putting a lack of blood flow to the brain, plus alcohol isnt good for him. he looks at me sometimes, and said " youre a failure". im worried about his mental state. thank you.he's been more quiet too, is it a personality change
Hello JACustomer/ Shelly,

What made your mother cancel the "mental health test"? Can you tell me a bit more what that was about? Was that test your idea? Are others in your family aware of these changes? (I know many family members can have a hard time facing and admitting that a loved one can have some mental difficulties from any reason)

Thanks for clarifying,
Sincerely,
Susan
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My mom didnt want him to be mad at her. the doctor told me it was going to be a"mini mental health exam" i never heard of this? she all her life has pacified everything, my 2 sisters are upset with my mom, she doesnt do nothing for him, so we have to take the initative. his mental health has been getting worse, in my opinion! to test him for dementia, or it can just be alot of anger in him, like my sister said, we dont know, he's no the kind of person, who you can have a diplomatic talk with, hes not into counseling, it must be taht generation, ?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
hi, nurse Susan did you ge t my answer? my mom cancelled the exam cause she didnt want him wondering what its about? she pacifies everything.
Hello JACustomer/ Shelly,

Thanks for all the additional information, and I hope I can help you here. I got your answer...I was typing my reply; I am not the fastest of typists. Sorry about that. Please remember though that online no one can state anything with certainty, all I can do is offer my best guess based upon what you've written.

From what you write, there are factors which make it seem your father is having personality or memory changes...increased cursing, forgetfulness, short temper all can be symptoms. But there can be many causes...and its not possible here to state which it is. It could be dementia due to age or from alcohol use. It could be from tiny strokes (TIAs) because of plaque in his carotid artery; he did have a bruit. It could be Alzheimer's. Some of these are not treatable. Some are...if he is a candidate, plaque can be removed from a carotid artery in much the same way it is removed from an artery in a heart. Alcohol use can be reduced (though that damage done is pretty irreversible, further damage can be prevented).

The mini mental state exam is a short series of questions designed to screen for gross abnormalities...if your father was blatantly unaware of date, time, where he was, who was currently US president, and some other questions, that would be a sign that further investigations are warranted.

I do think further investigations are warranted...and the person with whom you need to speak is your mother. Your father may not be aware of what is happening if he has mental changes for any reason. Your mother may be aware of her husbands deterioration and terrified...perhaps if she knows that maybe, there is a chance that a treatable cause might be found, she would be more willing to go along with the investigations. Not knowing what the cause is, I cant promise it can be treated...but I cant say it can not, either.

You and your sisters would be wise to have a discussion about all of this, and include your mom...maybe some of you are thinking along the same paths, but have not told anyone else because of your own hesitancies.

Doctors to see would be his own family practitioner, and then a referral to a neurologist, if his own doctor concurs.

I hope I was able to help here, and I wish you and your father the best. I commend you for seeking good care for him.

Sincerely,
Susan

If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Please remember to only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. IF you feel the need to click either of the two starts on the left, please STOP and reply to me via the "CONTINUE CONVERSATION" button. Let me know the issue you have and I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.

If you give any rating below 3 stars then I will not be compensated in any way for helping you today.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you Nurse Susan, i appreciat eyour help. I think thats what ill do, try to get him to see his genral doctor. he does remeber who the president is, and all that, he still frives too!, but its hard for him to see at night. my mom said he felt dizzy like 4 weeks ago, waking up from bed. im worrried about him, i wish he took better care of his health,is a (TIA) serious? i want him right away to get help, he did get a stress test today, adn EKG last week, they said his heart is ok. so I dont know what its from teh coroted bruit, probably from not eating healthy, and the alcohol, . should i call his doctor, and ask him to get him to a nurologist? thanks for helping me. can the "B"vitamins help? thank you.(alcohol takes away "B vitamins)
Hello JACustomer/ Shelly,

You are right, alcohol does "take away" B vitamins, but too much of anything is not a good thing. One daily multivitamin will suffice, so long as his own doctor doesn't say anything to the contrary (always ask your own doctor before starting anything new). Dizziness from waking up can be from multitudes of reasons, from a bit of dehydration to low blood pressure to some vertigo...and absolutely when he sees his doctor it should be mentioned that he felt dizzy when he got out of bed.

The thing I worry about there is something called "orthostatic hypotension" and it means that your blood pressure drops when you get up. It can herald some problems with the way your body regulates blood pressure, and if it only happened once four weeks ago, I might believe he was just a bit dehydrated...but if this keeps happening, the sooner he gets to see the doctor, the better. Especially as he is on blood pressure pills, his dose may need some adjustment.

A TIA stands for Transient Ischemic Attack, and is essentially a tiny little stroke that does no seeming damage. But, enough of them (so it is postulated) can have some cumulative effects on memory. Here is more information: http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=TIA

Yes, I would speak to his doctor...and ask for a referral to a neurologist. That carotid bruit should be followed up as well; his cardiologist is the one to handle that and I hope he did. What you are seeing is frightening to you; I sense the unease you have. It is something that should be addressed and there are many potential causes.

I hope this was helpful,
Sincerely,
Susan

If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Please remember to only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. IF you feel the need to click either of the two starts on the left, please STOP and reply to me via the "CONTINUE CONVERSATION" button. Let me know the issue you have and I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.

If you give any rating below 3 stars then I will not be compensated in any way for helping you today.
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