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.