Thursday, September 27, 2012

Report from Pillville: The Neurologist

The first visit to my mom's new neurologist was yesterday. She was referred by her primary care physician due to the fact that she has sleep apnea and narcolepsy--which actually don't seem to be much of a problem these days. The neurologist thought, at first, that my mom might be better served by seeing  a "sleep specialist," but I told him we wanted to discuss her potential for Alzheimer's due to the fact that her twin sister suffers from it. I wanted to know what he thought about the drug, Aricept, which my mom is already taking, and if there was anything else he might prescribe to ward off any further memory loss. While my mom's short term memory is good, there are little pieces of her past that have slipped from recollection. "I had whiplash?--from a car accident?" she asked me today when she saw that I had written it on her medical history form. "I have high blood pressure?" she wanted to know as we were discussing her meds with the primary care doctor a few weeks ago.
"You can't remember every detail of your life," the neurologist said, but he gave her a memory test. She scored 30 out of 30. While wearing loaner hearing aids. While deciphering his questions through his Chinese accent. He had to give her a hint at for one of the words she was supposed to remember. So maybe her score was really a 291/2. I think she enjoyed the challenge.

The neurologist's recommendation for aging well with a healthy brain? Stay thin. Have an active life-style. Read. Be socially engaged. Avoid pesticide exposure. Turns out there's a link between pesticides and neurological problems.


There's a lot of agriculture here in Margaritaville. The wind blows straight off the ocean though. Still, it's worth looking into what is sprayed on the crops here. "The air from the ocean is the best air to be breathing," the doctor said. "There's nothing out there except the Channel Islands, and there's no agriculture there."

I will be renewing my commitment to organic produce. And continuing my morning walks on the beach. My mom walked an entire block--and back--tonight. And she told me that she might try to quit smoking. Maybe after a visit to the podiatrist, she'll be walking on the beach with me.

Oh--I almost forgot-- ; ) the doctor prescribed a new pill. Namenda. But she'll keep taking the Aricept, too.

The net prescription medication count since her arrival here in Margaritaville? She's been taken off of three meds, now added a new one--for a grand total of ten. That does not include the martinis.


janzi said...

Ah you made me laugh out loud after saying how many pills she was now taking and that didnt include the martinis!!! How drole, guess your sense of humour is well developed, and has helped you cope with all the things thrown at you.. I love dipping into your blog and seeing what's the next thing happening in your life now.. You are lucky having your mum still with you, I lost mine 10 years ago and miss her intensly still... hugs from across the pond to both of you..J

Suz said...

oh my ...what a day at the doctor...and I love how lioness you are ...keep those docs on their toes
i was with my mom yesterday for a total of 6hours in the car and four on land.....amazing how they seem to age more when you are with them for extended time....there isnt much they can hide from you
sucks getting old.....
Im right behind my mom by 20 years..that's a blink of an eye really
again, you are a wonderful daughter and woman

Ms. Moon said...

You are such a good a good daughter.
I talked to my mother's social worker today. It was somewhat of a relief. She told me to quit letting my mother jerk me around. It was sort of a relief to hear that from a professional.
I think my mother has been exposed to a lot of pesticides.

Elizabeth said...

Ugh on the pesticides. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. And don't you just love the names of those drugs? I always think about the folks who come up with them, sitting around some windowless conference room, throwing out ideas. So weird.

I agree with Ms. Moon that you are a wonderful daughter -- so wonderful.