A Place to Remember

Life with Mom

—-This is a story of a shared life with Mom after her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.—

June 3, 2013

Mom had a follow-up visit today at the Alzheimer’s Clinic with our Nurse Practitioner, Alice.  This was just a routine visit to retest cognitive functioning, review medications, and to just see how things are going.  We were at this particular clinic once before — in March, and recognized it as soon as we walked in, but getting there was an unexpected challenge.

I couldn’t remember exactly where it was, so as I was pulling out of the driveway, I asked Mom to direct me to the place.  She told me last time we were there that she had been to this medical complex a few years ago and had recognized it.  So I figured she knew how to get there better than I did.

This was her answer:  “I don’t know how to get there, I’ve never been there before.”  She was serious.  We laughed.  I told her I would get us there – promise.  We arrived 1 minute early.

The visit went pretty well, except for her weight.  No matter how much she thinks she has increased her eating, she actually lost a pound.  I know it’s not much, but it’s in the wrong direction.  We would have been happier if she gained a pound.  Alice reminded her to drink protein shakes, like Boost.  Mom told Alice that she has a 6 pack in the fridge, but forgets about them.    This is where I come in.  My memory isn’t the best either, hopefully for different reasons.  So when I got home, I set up a dry erase board and wrote Boost on it.  This will help me to remind her to drink them.

Mom did very well on the cognitive tests.  She scored a 30/30 on the Mini Mental Exam, which is an increase from about 24/30 last time.

Why has she improved?  Probably for a number of reasons:

  1. We’ve all had time to settle down here with her.  She’s not alone any more, and feels better about daily life.
  2. Because we’re here with her, coupled with the timing of one of her medications, she hasn’t had to take a certain medication for anxiety for several weeks that causes memory loss.
  3. She continues to be active.  She plays cards every week with her friends, and has not withdrawn from daily routines that promote independence.   This gives clarity to one’s thoughts and well-being.
  4. She remains physically active (not so great for gaining weight, though), which promotes oxygenation and reduces memory loss.
  5. Last time she was tested, one of the tests required her to draw a 3-D object, like a box.  She remembered that and told me on the way to the appointment that she practiced drawing a box this morning.  She’s a riot.  She’s pretty sure she passed that test too.

She did so well today that Alice said she didn’t have to come back for 6 months.  We left with a spring in our steps.  There’s no denying that her memory is mildly impaired, and some higher lever cognitive functions are affected, but she’s not worried at this point, so neither am I.

032

Mom and I at the Sharon Springs Garden Party Festival on Saturday.

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11 Responses to A Place to Remember

  1. Glynny says:

    Thankful for the good news. God bless you, sweet girl.
    Love,
    Glynny

  2. Helen Tarof says:

    Dear Diane, So glad to see such good reports. WAY TO GO ANN !!  Now as things quiet down, maybe she will gain some weight. I’ll even send some of mine to her FREE OF CHARGE. Love you. HELEN

    ________________________________

  3. So glad to hear the good news for you all!

  4. rose says:

    Sounds Like A Great Appt. Im Happy For You That The News Has Actually Improved.

  5. bittygirl51 says:

    Thanks for sharing your mom’s journey, She is doing very well! I only wish it could be the same with my MIL, but she’s been dealt a different hand. We keep alot of humor in it…and laugh alot at what she remembers and what she doesn’t. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to much of it. For example, her daughter and grandson came to visit her on Saturday. When they left her room and went into the dining room, I excused myself to go feed her her lunch. Not 3 minutes had elapsed. I walked in the room with her plate of food and said, “Wow, you had great company today, didn’t you?”
    She furrowed her brow and looked at me strange….when I quizzed her, “Who came to see you, Granny?” She couldn’t recall. Later that day, I told her that her chin needed shaving and to remind me in the morning and I would shave it for her (never in a million years thinking that she actually would). The next morning, I said, “oh my goodness, Granny — you were going to remind me this morning to do something, weren’t you?” She nodded, “yes”. I said, “what were you going to remind me to do?” She said, “shave my chin”!!

    • Diane Fiore says:

      “bittygirl51”, Laughing is so important. I’m glad you and your family and MIL can laugh. Keeps things light. And, as you explained, sometimes (probably more often than not) there’s no rhyme or reason. Challenges us to just go with it and not waste valuable time and energy trying to make sense of things. Hard for me…I’m an analyzer! Thanks for your visit here.

  6. Ann says:

    Glad your Mom’s appointment went so well.

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