The story on Good Morning America was about a woman who suffered memory loss when she started taking Lipitor to control her cholesterol. She couldn't remember people's names or what she had for dinner last night; she lost track of her grandchild when she was babysitting; she couldn't even carry on a conversation because she couldn't think of the right words to use. Her kids were convinced she had early Alzheimer’s and stopped letting her be alone with the grandchildren. She had tests done and talked to her doctor but there didn't seem to be any possible explanation. Then she heard about a possible correlation between memory loss and statins like the Lipitor she was on. After switching to a doctor who would listen to her, she stopped taking Lipitor and returned to her normal self in less than two weeks. Now she controls her cholesterol with diet and lives a perfectly healthy life.
Of course, this is only correlational and the drug companies and doctors are quick to remind us that only a slight percentage of the population of patients will experience any side effects at all. Fine. But for the people within that slight percentage, information like this could change their lives.
I am hopeful that my mom is one of them.
For years now (probably since she started taking medication to control her cholesterol), she has been a different person. The decline happened so rapidly, none of us really knew what to think. My sister and I have been worried and frustrated. Worried that it might be Alzheimer’s or something else that we might have to face in our golden years. Frustrated that no one will talk to us about it. My dad is either in denial or just really protective. When we ask him how she's doing, he says she's great; that memory loss is just what happens when you get older. She's only 61. People live to be 80, 90, 100 even. How are you going to tell me that living like this for 20+ years is just a reality that we'll all have to face some day? I don't want to believe that.
Although it's hard for me to talk to my mom about this, I e-mailed her about the story. I am really, really hopeful that 1) she's on a statin, 2) she takes me seriously, 3) her doctor listens to her, and 4) she makes a change and gets back to normal.
I also hope she's not insulted that I keep bringing this up to her. She doesn't tell me it bothers her (perhaps she can't think of the words? we have terrible conversations), but I know that it does. She recently had a brain scan, "because I kept bugging her about her brain not working." Sheesh. I'm just trying to help. Does she think my sister and I like having to deal with this? We would be perfectly happy to let her or my dad take the wheel. Seriously, any time now would be great. Until that happens, they better get used to us sticking our noses wherever we darn well please. They would do it for us; we're just returning the favor.
Source: By Maggie of No Mommy Brain Blog