Observations from the Days of My Life

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Alzheimer's: Can a head injury increase the risk? - MayoClinic.com

My mother suffered a forceful fall which caused traumatic injury to the side-frontal portion of her skull, as evidenced by her very black eye and cheek when I saw her three days later. She had accompanied my father to a hospital facility where he went to discusss a billing error. She was a frail woman in her early seventies, and was blown down as they entered the building via an outer entry foyer with double-doors, leanding to the actual building entrance. My father said this (recent addition to the old building) had actually resulted in creating a wind-tunnel effect, the force that was of such velocity that it blew her to the floor, face-down, on a metal grate for cleaning patrons' shoes as they entered the main lobby. He did not, at the time, think it necessary for her to be given medical attention, nor did the hospital employees who witnessed the event suggest that she should be. I was not told of it, and unaware until at least three days later.

So, I was shocked when I picked her up to take her to Luby's for lunch together. We went through the line, found our table, and I began eating. But, I soon noticed that Mama was just sitting there, sort of looking at her food as though she had no idea what she was to do. She had selected sliced beef roast, so I asked her if she wanted me to cut up her meat, just to see how she would react. Before that injury, she would have been surprised that I would think she couldn't feed herself. But, I was sad to hear her reply, "Yes." So I cut her meat up, and she struggled to feed herself from that time.

She had shown no signs of dementia before the injury, and didn't seem to have been seriously injured, only badly bruised. But, with hindsight I found before reading the following article to which I have placed a link, very soon began slipping into a dementia that was later diagnosed as Alzheimer's. She gradually became lost to us over the next few years, required nursing home care, and died about fifteen years after that fall. Perhaps she is an example of the new findings reported in that article. Be advised!

Alzheimer's: Can a head injury increase the risk? - MayoClinic.com

1 comment: