Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Faker?

Lynn's eye exam yesterday indicated that her eyes are just fine.  Her vision has changed a little but the peripheral vision was intact.  The ophthalmologist says there's no need for her to see him again until their regularly scheduled October appointment.

So what happened?  Is she a faker?  Has she been pretending her increasingly unsteady gait?  Could she pretend to not see her peripheral vision at all?  Could the ophthalmologist be wrong because he believes vision changes with Alzheimer's is rare?  Could there be something else going on?

Is she capable of faking?  Sure, for a short period of time.  However, Alzheimer's patients are known to try covering their losses instead of exaggerating them.  Additionally, she'd have to remember to be consistent at home, at church, with her respite provider, with the staff at day hab, with her speech and behavioral therapists as well as with her doctors.  She can't even remember what she ate at breakfast most days.  I don't think she could remember to consistently demonstrate the symptoms for so long.

Could she have pretended to not see?  I suppose it is possible.  However, she'd have to be convincing enough to get it past her doctor and have her doctor visibly shaken up.

Could the ophthalmologist be wrong about the state of her vision?  Could he be biased against what's being reported because he thinks vision changes in Alzheimer's is rare?  Possibly.  We know she didn't have a torn retina.  We also know from a previous visit that the doctor discounts vision changes related to Alzheimer's.  On that one, I have to question if he's up on the latest research because I know I read about Alzheimer's related loss of vision, particularly peripheral, on a regular basis.  Even Mom felt that the doctor was a bit dismissive.

Could something else be happening?  Yes.  Yesterday could have been a lucid day.  Alzheimer's patients have good days and not so good days.   Even her behavioral therapist has noted that she has these good days and bad days.  Also, her eyes could fine physically.  The problem with the vision is not with the eyes.  It is with the nerves or with the brain's ability to interpret the signals it is receiving.


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