Sunday, January 4, 2009

Neuro-Psychological Questionnaire Is Here

This is the one I have to fill out as part of the multi-stage examination at Wesley Woods Memory Disorders Clinic of Emory University.

The testing will involve 2 parts (maybe 3), the first being Cognitive Evaluation and Laboratory testing. They can have all the blood they want, but no way am I having another lumbar puncture. The one I had a couple of months ago, I am still experiencing a stiff neck and headache from, and I'm not going through that again.

Part Two involves Diagnosis and Treatment Recommendations, and this (I hope) will finally nail down how far along I am in my demented state of mind.

Many of the questions I have already covered in previous entries describing my symptoms, but one that was asked did make me pause and consider, and that was the one about hearing voices.

I do hear voices sometimes, but they are generally many people talking at once and are indecipherable or at times just one just calling my name very forcefully: "BILL!" and that's it. None of the voices have actually told me to hurt myself or someone else, and I believe that is because it is not in my nature to do that. I also do not believe that one can be hypnotized to act like a chicken if one does not do so on a daily basis and does so in order to provide "part of this nutritious breakfast", as they say in those dumb commercials.

Many of the questions I could not simply answer with a "yes" or "no", so I wrote "ask me about this one" to the side. I can already tell I am not going to be a very docile patient.

I will have my work cut out for me gathering my medical records from my PCP and local neurologist, listing all my meds, and just generally in my own words describing how I got to this point.

So that's an update on the upcoming testing. I'll be seeing my neuro guy before that because he's got to write me a scrip for my Namenda and Exelon.

I guess the question on every one's mind right now is, "Do you feel that these medicines are helping you, Bill?

You know, I can't honestly answer that? Maybe they're helping not to make things worse, but I am still having episodes of forgetfulness, forgetting simple words and losing things and thinking people are stealing from me.

We'll let the "jury" deliberate on that one, okay?

Here's a quote I found in a recent novel about Elizabethan England:

"LIFE'S but a walking SHADOW

a poor PLAYER

That struts & frets his hour

upon the STAGE

And then is heard no more!"

It's Shakespeare of course, from Macbeth and the character speaking is the prince himself, lamenting the death of Lady Macbeth and it expresses his views on the futility of life.

Do I feel this way?





About Jo said...

Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with your lumbar puncture. They certainly are not fun. We do miss you over on the Rick Steves forum, so please come back. I always had such a good time laughing at your humour and good cheer.

Margaret said...

Damn, Bill, not to make light of your condition, but I just found a whole set of silverware that I believed workers who replaced my oil tank had nicked. They did the work before Christmas.

Just today, I decided my living room required proper vacuuming, moving all the furniture and such. Lo and behold, my silver chest had been hidden behind a large leather sofa pushed against the wall. I'm the only one who could have done it, and I don't remember a thing.

On the bright side, I bought a new set of silverware on sale, 75% off, on Boxing Day, so I now have LOTS of cutlery.

One of my husband's oldest friends has been suffering from AD for the last 15 years, at least, and he's doing well on whatever meds he's been prescribed. I'll ask his wife about his treatment. He's retired now, though he's still quite busy with a lot of activities and organisations, even a recent trip to Europe. Still, he doesn't have the pressure to perform at work that you must be experiencing.

BTW, both he and his older brother suffered from early onset AD.