Jump to content


Diabetes and blood sugar and memory loss?

Recommended Posts

I have been struggling watching my dad age. I wrote about it several weeks ago when I mentioned about our conversations where he repeats entire stories as if we had not just spoken (like 3 hours later).


Anyway, I have urged him (actually urged my stepmom) to have a Dr. evaluate and help him. They seem to think it is all under control.


2 weeks ago he fell twice in the home. He fell because he didn't realize that his blood sugar had dropped and he got up and collapsed. He didn't get hurt. He is faithful about checking his blood sugar and he keeps a mini candy in his pocket. My stepmom is several years younger and works during the day and he is alone. This is her last year working, at least that was the plan and I hope it plays out!!


My dad called this morning and said that he was driving in his down and was suddenly lost. He had no idea where he was or where to go. He stopped in the middle of an intersection and just sat there. A man approached the car, asking him if he was okay. My dad had no idea what was going on! Police and ambulance came. My dad was unconscious for a while. Someone parked his car for him and he was put in the ambulance. He came to and knew his name and identification number, birthdate and knew he was in an ambulance.


Dr.s got his blood sugar leveled and sent him on his way... He called his diabetes specialist and she advised him on checking his blood sugar levels every 2 hours now and also changed how much insulin he takes at night.


I feel scared and worried for him. I can't help but feel like he shouldn't be driving himself around anymore. Too many things are going wrong, but thankfully, nobody has been hurt. I live several hours away and I think he would come live with us/near us, but not my stepmom (she doesn't like the heat). I want him taken care of each day, but that isn't happening right now.


I can't help but wonder if this is all diabetes... or is it dementia beginning, too? Is there a test they can do to determine if something besides diabetes is going on? I want to call his Dr., but with all the privacy acts in place, they wont speak to me.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

It could be diabetes. My bil had things like that happen frequently. He would call my sister at work and not know where he was. He also had a couple of minor accidents because of his blood sugar level. They ended up moving here so we could take care of them. My bil died 1 1/2 years after moving here at the age of 41. He had many complications from his diabetes. I am just glad they moved here and we were able to take care of them. My sister is very sick too.

God bless,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

How frightening for all of you, and especially for him! I'd make sure he saw his endocrinologist, and also a specialist to check for dementia/early stage alzheimer's. It sounds like he may be having wild swings with his blood sugar, so pehaps it's time for an insulin pump. He could have better control over the levels with a pump.

Edited by Stacie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Epilepsy presents like that sometimes. So do TIA's.


For the first, he should have a brain MRI and for the second a carotid artery scan.


Also, according to the Alzheimers' Association, half of those 85 and up have some degree of dementia. It's not profound or continuous at first. He really should be evaluated for that as well.


Diabetes, if left uncontrolled, tends to lead to increasingly poor circulation, which can contribute to all of the above. So there might be some really unfortunate synergy going on. I wish that someone would evaluate him very thoroughly. Also, although I don't know that your stepmom needs to quit her job, they probably should have a check in system or something like that, where they talk every hour or two or someone stops by to make sure he's OK. Diabetic comas are nothing to fool with, and he sounds like he is a danger to himself if he is left alone all day.


I'm so sorry that you're going through this! It must be very hard to deal with this from so far away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has he been evaluated for strokes? Your dad sounds a lot like my mom. Her diabetes is under control (she lost a ton of weight and is doing great.) However, she has had a lot of small strokes (and a few more severe ones.) She always seems to regain about 95% of function, but that 5% has taken a toll. It definitely has affected her cognitively - especially memory. After her heart surgery, she lost her sense of direction. We moved during this time (just a few miles away) and it took her 6 months to consistently get to our house without getting lost.


I hear you on the safety issue. I have had to lay down the law with my mom on driving when she is unstable, pointing out how terrible it would be if she were to hurt someone. Fortunately, I am close enough to help her out on occasion.


ETA: even though the doctor cannot speak to you about you dad's condition without his permission, you can write a letter to your dad's doc explaining what you are observing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...