Aug 8, 2011

Avoid opiates

"Knowledge without action is the greatest self-con of all." Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse.

One of our roles as caregivers, it seems, is to educate others --- even those within the medical community.  It was only with a large degree of assertiveness that I was able to convince the anesthesiologist to not administer general anesthesia or any medication with opiate content.  It seems as if medical personnel in the general swim of things do not know much about dementia in general, and Lewy Bodies Dementia in particular.  I don't have research to prove it, only personal experience, but general anesthesia and pain medication containing opiates caused severe hallucinations, confusion and belligerence following his surgery four years ago.  The surgery this week was entirely different when I was able to convince the anesthesiologist to avoid those two things.  Even the other physicians do not know much about Lewy Bodies Dementia.  The surgeon said to me after the surgery, "His short term memory seems pretty good."  To which I said, "Yes, that is because it is other parts of his brain that are being ravaged; the parts that deal with comprehension, reasoning and judgment."  The hospitalist said upon discharge, "He recognized me."  To which I said, "Yes, that is because memory is not really the big component in Lewy Bodies Dementia."  Perhaps we caregivers, one by one, can educate even those among the medical community. 

1 comment:

  1. Educating people about Lewy Body Dementia is one reason I chose to blog about it.
    I always ask health care professionals if they are familiar with Lewy Body. When they say yes, I respond, "Oh good then you know, blah blah blah"
    Many say no others say they have heard of it. I'm always happy to educate those willing to learn. I even make copies of a lay person explanation about it and hand it to all the caregivers (subs when ours isn't available) that cross our threshold.
    I may not reach the world but I can reach one person at a time :)