Friday, October 24, 2014

Dr Phil: One Of Many Not Seeing Lewy Body Dementia

A few weeks ago I was home, turned on the TV and Dr Phil's program was on. I'm writing about what I saw because I can't get it out of my mind and because October is ending and we need to continue Awareness of Lewy Body Dementia. 

What caught my eye was a program on how an older woman had been "love scammed" by a man she'd never met but whose picture she'd seen, telephone conversations she'd had with him. Out of "love", she sent him money and gifts totaling over $300,000.

Her husband had died. She was lonely although she didn't say that. She had a computer and went onto Christian Mingle, a site for bringing people together. A site where the woman felt she could safely look for someone to take away the loneliness.

Unfortunately, even the best meaning sites can harbor people with anything but the best intentions and can be hiding places for individuals who take away everything of value from trusting, unsuspecting individuals.

Dr Phil was intent on reasoning with her and providing evidence of how this man was a scam artist including how the picture she believed was the man she "loved" was of another person. A picture taken from another website and NOT of the person she'd sent the money to; Dr Phil produced a picture of a man his team of researchers found to be the real person living far outside of legal reach in a country known for producing huge computer based monetary predatory scams.

To anyone capable of reasoning, it was obvious this lady was the victim of a scam. One of her last remarks:  "I love him."

My opinion?  Lewy Body Dementia. Watching her demeanor and listening to her agree to certain statements and then turn around and want to be with the man, want to be married to him -- obvious to me but not to Dr Phil the lady has neurologic problems.

I understand, Dr Phil. I really do. You're a medical professional and you cannot see. You've not been trained, advised or aware. This is your chance, Dr. Phil. You can be one of the strongest advocates LBD needs. Anyone who reads this, please forward it to Dr Phil. I can write but my voice will be only one. Ask others to send this note to Dr. Phil.

IMPORTANT:  Click through to build your knowledge and share with others to find out what we know about Lewy Body Dementiav --



We've brought Alzheimer's Awareness to the top of the medical challenges list, let's raise LEWY BODY to the same heights!

I understand Dr. Phil's challenge. Mom and I lived together for decades and I didn't see what was happening. Of course, everyone told me how capable, how competent and how "young" my mother looked. She was also social saavy and could smile, laugh and cover up, just like the lady on Dr Phil's show.

Looks and even words can cover up Lewy Body Dementia for a very long time. The slippery slope of the disease didn't progress like Alzheimer's.

Mom was taken off a drug that was supposed to aid blood movement throughout her body. It also caused her left leg to swell two to three times its regular size and for white flaky skin and sores to form and was painful. Apparently, now thinking back, this circulation was what kept Mom going and her brain "rebuilding" and without it, the disease took over and within a short span of time shut down her body functions.

Of course I wonder if we should have agreed to removing the medication. At the time all we were told was the medication was not one that should have been given for so long but I believe the Nurse Practitioner looked at Mom's more and more frequent visits to the ER and hospital as her life's end nearing and gaining momentum.

Perhaps she thought the swelling and pain was not worth what Mom was going through for the few extra weeks or months left in her life. Mom lived and loved and laughed and LBD was no longer controllable -- it was invading too many other systems, as we were told it would do.

Patients and families need professionals to know and understand LBD to work with them as they travel along this treacherous path that winds, twists and plummets into depths and darkness. Awareness lets in light; potentially provides treatments and may even provide a cure.

YOU and others hold the possibility, the potential. And all it takes is using Social Media and connectivity to remove this mask LBD hides behind.

Dr Phil thought if he just gave this elderly woman, this "lovely lady" who could use a computer, could sit and talk with him, who agreed to come onto his show, who appeared to be so "normal".....

THAT'S LBD.  IT'S A DISEASE OF MANY FACES. A CHAMELEON. Just when you think you might see something, the disease moves in another direction and mimics another affliction or physical problem and throws you and the Doctors onto a siderail.

LET'S KEEP MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. Let's take over the tracks, let's put our hands on the steering wheel and let's overcome Lewy Body Dementia through AWARENESS!

The woman kept saying: "I love him".  "I want to be with him." Even when shown that the picture of the man she believed to be "the love of her life" was of someone else -- a man who'd recently lost his companion of so many years, the love of his life -- restated "I love him" meaning the person not in the picture but the person who'd taken the $300,000+.

This lovely older woman we believe is obviously in the first to mid stage of Lewy Body Dementia. She showed typical (to those of us who know LBD) non emotional reactions. Many would have gasped, cried or shown some emotion but she didn't.

Dr Phil, why didn't you see this lack of empathy, lack of ability to reason, lack of considering the depth of her loss of money?

We know -- she appeared to be so capable. It's the capacity that's gone or diminished to the extent the values and reasoning are greatly diminished or gone.

Reaction to being on TV with a "personality"?  We don't think so. The woman didn't appear to be controlling her emotions, she seemed to have lost their control along with the ability to reason effectively.

The woman kept stating how she wanted to be with him but she also mimicked Dr Phil when he found out she'd told the man she was going on his show and said "guess he didn't want me to come on your show". But she didn't seem to place a value on it; it was a statement without feeling. It was appropriate behavior/response but there was nothing behind the statement, no real comprehension for the meaning of what was being said.

Mimicking appears to be a part of the ability of the person with early/mid LBD but it's devoid of substance or value. My observation.

Her daughter joined her on the show. She said her brother was very angry about what the mother had done and wasn't speaking to either of them. The daughter did not intervene, apparently, and probably wouldn't have accomplished anything because like Dr Phil and like so many in our life -- the belief is the person is "perfectly fine".

This older woman used the computer. She lived in a facility. When she couldn't pay, she was asked to leave. She now lives with a member of her family, a brother or sister. What and who will ensure she doesn't go back to this man or someone else and continue to give away each month's Social Security or other benefits and income she has?

End of show. End of concern?  Just like the State of Missouri, our bank, our church and so many others, people don't see what's right in front of their eyes. Some don't want to get "involved" and others, like the State, get involved but aren't adequately informed or trained or aware of what Lewy Body Dementia is and how it presents itself.

Dr Phil advises on his website to get a Power of Attorney. Not good enough. That's only as good as the paper on which it's written and for the LBD person, who can be influenced by others to make choices and especially to entrust someone who "cares" about them as Julia did my Mom, they can remove it as easily as they gave it.

So what's the answer?  Dr Phil has the ability to bring to light this devastating disease that unlike Cancer and Heart Disease doesn't just directly attack the individual, it attacks the family, the community and society. Yes, the big "C" and "H" also affect more than the person with the challenge but today we have tests, usually there are many warning signs  -- we don't even have a clue as to what causes LBD, when LBD begins, how long it lasts, what the significant passages are from one stage to the next --if there are definitive stages, even.

Dr Phil hear our cry:  Lewy Body Dementia is there, has been there for decades and you are among those who can best bring to light this devastating disease. Dementia in general needs more light and publicity. It's not just happening to the older population; mental processing disfunction or disability can be seen in many ways in all ages from the very young to the very old. It's probably the most devastating and most prevalent disease we have as humans -- if we start grouping together and placing these afflictions and affectations into the wide description of Dementia. 

Those of you who read this, send texts, emails, review the program for yourself; it aired the last week in September. Visit

Again, visit:



Some celebrities including Whoppi Goldberg have joined the ranks, it's time for many more. And, let her know, too, through social media, how important it is for her to speak up more on a daily basis for LBD.


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