Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Dementia

A moving essay from Slate:
I asked Peter to come along for my doctor’s appointment. Our primary care doctor politely entertained our doubts about the value of diagnosis. She heard out our pontifications about what we regarded as a worthwhile quality of life, and let us stew our own way into following her suggestion that I have an MRI. The scan results showed “white matter lesions”—an indication of clogged microvessels that prevent blood from reaching nearby brain areas. Dr. Eborn confirmed the Internet wisdom that microvascular dementia might benefit from cholesterol- and blood pressure-lowering medications to retard the clogging. However, a neurologist would first have to confirm a connection between my memory problems and the lesions.
One neurologist, one neuropsychologist, dozens of tests, and many hundreds of out-of-pocket dollars later, my neurologist delivered the D-word. Given how early I noticed my symptoms, she projected that two more neurological evaluations at two-year intervals would be needed before I would officially meet the criteria of dementia.

But in my heart I already knew: I am dementing I am dementing I am dementing. (Read more.)


Dymphna said...

As the top comment on the article says, "This is my biggest fear." When my mother had Alzheimer's I thought, "At least I won't know what is going on if I get it." Now, I realize this is not true. So. Very. Scary. I am on a medication whose side effect is forgetting words. This does not make me any less panicky. I am in my 50s and it is, apparently, time to worry about such things.

elena maria vidal said...

Every person I have taken care of with dementia knows that they have it and it is very scary to them.