Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Terminology And Other Stuff

Some appropriate music for the "Journey"

Before I get into the results of today's doctor visit, I need to correct some terminology, okay?

I don't have "Alzheimer's". What I have is called Alzheimer's Related Dementia. The difference between the 2 terms is we won't know if I have AD until I kick the bucket and they take a slice of brain tissue. Then y'all can say, "Well, the poor slob did have Alzheimer's!" :)

I wonder if that's a mandatory thing, an autopsy, if you have Alzheimer's Related Dementia? Guess that's something else for me to research.

Okay, here's what my neuro guy told me today:

1. No tumor
2. No Encephalitis
3. No elevated white blood count (indicative of an infection)
4. No TB
5. And no AIDS

"No AIDS????!!!!", you're saying to yourselves, right?

Right, no AIDS. But not because I am an IV drug user, or had a sexual encounter where I sustained some uh, rear-end damage, or caught the virus from someone who got it from someone else, but because in my job, I have to draw arterial blood from people, and I am at risk for needle sticks.

So I was told today I'm demented (but we already knew that, right?;))related to AD.

Okay, now what?

Well, now (after the holidays) we do the 72 hour EEG. That's the first thing

This is the test that lets me go about my daily routine with EEG electrodes pasted to my head and wearing a device that will record my brain waves, and which will be read by the neurologist after the 72 hours are up.

And no, I will not be leaving the house looking like someone afraid that aliens are going to land and do an anal probe on me! I will be staying at home, reading, watching movies, playing WoW, and sending out for pizza.

I may let someone take my picture for the blog. Depends on how I feel.

Next thing (also after the holidays - next year) will be a trip to Emory University for Neuro-Psychological testing, which will include another EEG and possibly another MRI.

New medicine given to me today:

1. Fioricet for the headaches I am still having. (I can really relate to my patients who have migraines now. Them sumbitches HURT!)

2. The Exelon Patch: a 24 hour medication to help the Namenda.

My doctor (and my respect for him grows with each visit) told me that it is very likely I will be filing for disability, and the reason for doing all of this is to make sure we get all our ducks in a row, to reduce the possibilities of being denied.

This is just fine with me. I like all my duckies in a straight line, and as he says, because I am in a highly-skilled job, we need to cover all contingencies.

Last but not least, how am I feeling otherwise?

Well, if it were not for my support group (y'all) and for my fellow ARD (Alzheimer's Related Dementia, remember) friend Tom, I'd be a lot worse off mentally I can assure you.

That's why I am so glad there's y'all!

Thanks for coming along on the journey, and may you never have to make it yourself!

Enjoy your holiday with your families!




Timespanner said...

Apt music there, Bill. How on earth did you find that one?

At least you've had more info on what's going on. That bit about they'll only know for sure after the autopsy reminds me of trees. I've had folks say to me that arborists can tell the age of a tree. Then I tell them, no, they have to cut it down first and count the rings. *Then* they might know it's old enough to save ...

Bill Craig said...

What a conundrum, eh Lisa?

And to answer your question, as a musician (and former deejay) I guess I just think that way.

Besides, I am a child of the psychedelic era, 'member? :)

Thanks for writing, hon.