Mental Processing

The day had finally come: hearing the results of my mother’s MRI and blood tests. What would be the diagnosis and what are we to do after hearing it? I was so looking forward to this day.

At first it appeared we would get no results, as the neurologist did not have all the information, but eventually his staff obtained the documents and he pulled up the pictures of her brain on his computer. What we saw was simply amazing. It made me realize something: my mother is truly blessed. With all the atrophy of the vessels that lessens the blood flow, with all the lesions that had multiplied in her lobes, with all the “whiteness” of her  brain that shouldn’t be there, it is to me amazing she is not further along in the disease. This is the reason for her lack of short-term memory, while at the same time her long-term memory has not suffered. Bottom line: it is what it is, no need for further tests, and the neurologist told my mother to just enjoy life. Regarding the blood test results, there was no abnormalities; all was within the proper range, and the doctor was impressed giving her age.

I can’t tell you what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. I am trying to process what I learned from our visit to the doctor which occurred yesterday afternoon, and all I can come up with is what is next? What do I do at this point?

  • Be thankful for what my mother can do. She is still living independently, functioning as she always has, just at a slower pace. I am sure there are caregivers who wish who they cared for could do the same.
  • Take care of myself. As we left the office, the neurologist encouraged me to take care of myself as I am the caregiver, something all caregivers should consider.
  • Get informed. Based on what I viewed on the computer screen with the neurologist, I will research more and try to find more information, so should the time come when health deteriorates and decisions need to be made, I as caregiver will be ready to make the best decision for my mother.

Right now I need to take time to think about everything, mentally process what I learned yesterday, and continue caregiving, praying for guidance every step of the way…and maybe not think too much.



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