Monday, August 24, 2015

Good News

Today marks the 4 week mark since my fall.
4 down. 4 more to go before my toes get to touch Mother Earth again.
I can't exactly explain what the difference is, but I think my toes feel different. Maybe not so swollen. So numb.
I take this as a sign of good things to come.
My knee is still "asleep".

On the ALZ front, we got some interesting information. Sweetie saw a new doctor (old doctor left). After the routine round of questions and memory tests, Dr. Huang said, in a way not quite as condescending as it sounds way, "you know, there's no definitive way to tell if a person has ALZ. No scans or tests tell the full story. If you want you can say you have dementia, not ALZ."

Neither Sweetie nor I knew whether to feel comforted or bamboozled. You mean maybe Sweetie doesn't have ALZ and we've been depressed and angry for no reason? The thing is everything we've been told from day one is true.

Sweetie has several conditions (diabetes, sleep apnea, age) that could impair his cognitive functioning. He also has diminished volume in his brain that goes along with ALZ.  ALZ is not like cancer. There is no test you can take, or biopsy made, that can tell for certain a person has ALZ. Only an autopsy can do that. The diagnosis is a clinical one, meaning your doctor(s) gives you his/her best guess with the information at hand at the moment - especially in the mild  (beginning) stage. All signs point to Sweetie's diagnosis being accurate.

The good news is he's had no changes or advanced memory loss since he started seeing the neurologist. Everything we've read says that on average people live 8 or more years after being diagnosed. I'll be honest it's hard to hear that the person you love has a disease that will take him away from you in a slow and steady progression. The other side of that is none of us know how much time we have to live. So, the thing to do is not focus on the dying side of ALZ, but the living.

Believe me, if the last 3 months are any indication, that is easier said than done. We've both been angry and depressed. Our communication skills suck. We've turned inward rather than towards each other. We've forgotten how to laugh. Our good night kiss is perfunctory at best. Because of my accident, our roles have changed. Neither of us likes that very much. We are quick to point that out in words and by silence. The heated, deep sigh, kind of silence that screams listen to me dammit. Only we have to guess what the words are.

I felt life flow back into my toes today.
I think that's a good sign.
Perhaps life is going to flow back into our relationship too.

Opting for an attitude change,
Merry ME


Debbie said...

My and Sweetie have been on such a roller coaster ride. It saddens me that with a change of doctor it comes to light that the stresses you've gone through might have been for not. I guess it is a reality to question everything and get a second opinion and then make informed decisions/plans.

We're all aging and of course comes health concerns (to a greater or lesser degree).

Glad that you're finding improvements with your foot/toes.

Hang in there!

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