You need to get your Dad to an Oral Surgeon

sports benchWe have solved the matter of my Dad’s garbled speech.

My brother noticed drooling and I wondered why Dad was having trouble with his speech. Back in May, I asked their Assisted Living community to schedule a dental checkup. Two months ago, I took my Dad to get an annual physical outside the community. Given both parents have dementia and are very private people, I was worried they could not be their own health advocates and wanted to be able to raise my specific concerns with their primary care doctor directly.

Their primary care doctor just thought my Dad might be tired. He has lost 20 pounds over the past year and maybe that has played a role in his fatigue?  I pushed back and requested an appointment with an external Speech & Language Pathologist. That appointment will occur in two weeks.

In the meantime, I posted my concern, and many readers suggested we get him back to the Neurologist. I called and the first appointment I could get is in October.

Luckily, I stumbled across the Speech & Language Pathologist at my parents retirement community. When she met with my Dad last week, she raised concern that my Dad’s tongue was “frozen.” She raised the flag and the Assisted Loving community Doctor visited with my parents last Friday. At 5:30, I get a call that my Dad seems to have an abscess, lesion or growth on his tongue and I should get him to an Oral Surgeon as quickly as possible.

There was nothing we could do until after the holiday weekend.  Benched. 


9 thoughts on “You need to get your Dad to an Oral Surgeon

  1. This is one of the aspects – medical advocacy for our loved ones with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease – that I stress in my book “Going Gentle Into That Good Night” and on my blog of the same name. This is so important that we are involved and making sure their health care needs are correctly identified and treated. Thanks for posting this!

  2. Sometimes we must “push back” against the doctors. What they see in the short visits they get with their patients every few months cannot compare with you, their family, who see them consistently and know when something is a once-off behavior and when something is really wrong.

  3. So glad you know what the problem is now and it sounds like something that can be treated. Agree that our parents’ generation were always taught to take everything doctors’ said as gospel. But as caregivers have learned, doctors are human just like the rest of us and have little time to devote to each patient. Sometimes they are wrong and we must push back if in our gut we feel something is not right.

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