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Hosna’s story: symptoms

Shaheen describes the symptoms that led to her mother's diagnosis of FTD, including an incident of uncharacteristic behaviour at the dentist.
There wasn’t any one particular thing, because looking back I can see how all the dots joined together. But I do recall an incident at the dentist. I’ve taken my mum to the dentist on many occasions. On this particular occasion she had a tooth that was hurting. We went to the dentist, and she was in the chair. And as the dentist was approaching her with the needle to administer the anaesthetic, she screamed her head off, as if she was being attacked. And it was so loud that we had to close the door. And my mum was begging me to help her. Then unfortunately, the tooth needed extracting, and it broke.
So the dentist had a real tough job of trying to extract the tooth. So it took a very long time. And during this whole episode my mum was just screaming her head off, begging me to rescue her, almost as if she was dying. And I was just stood there traumatised and helpless. And even the dentist, I think was getting very, very nervous because she’d never experienced this level of screaming before. And what was strange was that immediately after the extraction, she just calmly got up from the chair, walked out of the room and went to the bathroom, and proceeded to call my father. And just say oh, you know what they did?
They put me in the chair and they extracted the tooth. But she said it in a very calm manner. And then the dentist said to me, she said something is not right. She said I’ve treated many people of your mother’s age, and I’ve never seen anything like this. There was a lot of money going from the bank account. We didn’t know where it was being spent. That was probably the most worrying thing. My mum was very, very aggressive. Any little tiny disagreement would lead to an explosive argument. One example is my mum would not pay her bills on time, and therefore she would get a late fee on, let’s say a credit card bill.
And then she should come to me to say, oh, why have they fined me? And I’d say, oh mum, you need to send it off five days before. And then she would just explode and say, yes, but I did, I did. And I was like, no mum, you didn’t. And we would end up having a huge row over something very, very simple. In public She really loved touching young children. Meaning she liked to go up to them and squeeze their cheeks. But she ended up squeezing so hard that obviously the little child would get distressed, and the mother would get very upset. And she liked to pull their hair.
Whenever we walked in public, her arm would just swing out and just hit whoever was walking by. And so you find yourself apologising continually in public, and saying sorry. But at this point we didn’t really know what was wrong. We just thought she was just doing it because she wanted to.

Shaheen describes the symptoms that led to Hosna’s diagnosis, including an incident of uncharacteristic behaviour at the dentist, and explosive arguments.

Shaheen also tells how Hosna behaved inappropriately in public, for example squeezing the cheeks of children, and swinging her arm out hitting people walking by.

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