My friend Sarah was in a panic. She had started forgetting words. She couldn’t remember some names. They had all gone into the bucket of lost words. So, she went to her doctor and moaned: “I think I have Alzheimer’s.” Her doctor listened patiently to her complaints and said: “You may look 20 years younger, but you ARE 70. I’m not taking any chances. Here’s a referral to a neurologist.”
With great trepidation, Sarah went to her appointment with the neurologist. Her fears had spread like the fog rolling through the Golden Gate Bridge.
Once in his office, the neurologist asked her a lot of what she thought were strange questions: “How many fingers am I holding up?”
“Follow the light with your eyes.”
“Walk a straight line.”
“Draw a clock at 6:15 (“Who looks at numerical clocks anymore?” she thought to herself.)
Dr. Neuro asked her to count backwards from a hundred by 8’s.
“This is it, I’ve always been terrible at arithmetic, why couldn’t he ask something about geometry?”
Next was identifying a series of pictures of wild animals.
“What if someone has never been to a zoo?”
Then she had to name all the words that started with an F. The clock was ticking.
“Fear, frozen, fail, failure, fiend, frenzy, fabricate, fiction, falter, foolish, fatal, fuzzy, flub, fiasco, freeze, flounder, flinch, (should she say the F —word? Why can she only think of negative words?)
And so it went.
At the end of the test, the doctor looked at the paper with the results.
“Uh Oh, the fog is rolling in again,” she felt.
Doctor Neuro looked at her and said the magic words: “You are intact.”
“What a relief!” The fog cleared out.
This was followed by the not so magic words: “Your forgetfulness is just part of the process of aging.”
“Who, me getting old? I’m not a number of years, I’m Sarah!”
The moral of this story is that some symptoms are part of growing old. It’s not always Alzheimer’s. How do you tell the difference?
Avida Home Care can help find the resources that you need.