Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hammer. Apple. Penny.

Mom is "back". Back to her current state of mind (happy confusion) versus ever being back to her old state of mind (managing her own life). That stage of life is in the past.

There have been no emergency phone calls, no police, no issues. I did offer to "do lunch" which she took me up on. Today the topic was "boredom". She said she thought it was time to start driving again. I told her that she could not drive and she responded "Who told you that?" I reminded her that the doctor told her she could no longer drive. Her response, "well, that is a bummer! Are you sure that is what she said?"...."um, yes Mom, I am sure that is what she said". "Well then, I think I need a job. I think it's time to go back to work".

Isn't the body and mind interesting? How can she one day be completley distraught with anxiety and the next day be wanting to go back to work? It's as if her brain is only remembering all the good memories. The neurologist says she does not have alzheimer's or dementia. "How can that be, I say?"

The neurologist says it's because she can create new memories. "What day is it?" She responded "Wednesday" (it was Monday). "What month is it?" "November" (right). "What year is it?" "2020" (ugh). "Ok, I am going to give you 3 words. I want you to remember them and then I will ask you some other questions and then I'll ask you those 3 words and you will need to tell them to me". "Ready? Hammer. Apple. Penny". "Now name as many farm animals as you can in one minute".

Mom took this all very seriously. As the family and care givers would say "Mom really knows how to show well". In other words, she is vain. She is dressed to the T. Her hair is perfect. Her make up is all there. She can charm the sox off anyone new she meets. That is the Mom we all knew. It is like when she crosses the doorway into any doctor's office she goes back in to work mode —her mind knows what to do. We just can't explain it. Maybe it goes back to working for so many demanding judges at the courthouse? Or all those years organizing events for her peers in law? Or perhaps keeping all the secret service agents feeling confident that she could keep a secret? Or having to raise 2 children without any support? Whatever it is, she knows how to make doctor's puzzled.

"Hammer. Apple...hmmm...I can't remember the third word". "I'll give you a hint. It starts with a p"..."piano?" "no close, penny".

"Well Betsy, she got two out of three right. Her left hand has more tremors. But all I can account this to is her underlying condition. There must be something systemic. Something we can't unfortunately diagnose". "Of course" I respond. "Of course".

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