Good News/Bad News
My mom's physical was pretty uneventful and uninformative, which is about what I expected. I always say that her health is really great...except for this stupid MS stuff. We liked the doctor though, so I went ahead and set up a long overdue physical for myself in November. Now I just need to set up lab work to check her cholesterol and Vitamin D, get us in to see a dermatologist and check with her old internist to see if she's due for a mammogram, colonoscopy or bone density test.
As for the neuro-ophthalmologist, that visit was to try and figure out if there's anything that can be done to help my mom to be able to read again. The days just stretch out so long for her when there's nothing to do but watch bad television or stare into space. I try to engage her as best as I can during the day, but there are always meals to be made, diapers to be changed, carpets to be vacuumed, groceries to be purchased, etc, etc...
My gut feeling was that her reading problems had more to do with her cognitive decline than her eyes, but it seemed important to get professional confirmation of that. The doctor's visit itself was pretty exhausting, since we got there at 9 a.m. and had to run the gauntlet of insurance processing, patient intake, medical history with the doctor's nurse assistant, an initial examination by one doctor, than another one with another doctor. By this point it was after eleven and we still hadn't see the doctor that we'd made the appointment with!
Poor Nathan was quite literally bored to tears, but he graciously fell asleep in my arms just in time for Dr. Chung to make her appearance in the exam room. And good thing too! I definitely had the impression that she is used to people shutting up and paying attention when she comes into a room. The second doctor (who I guess must have been a resident) made a formal presentation of my mom's condition to her and then she checked my mom's eyes herself. Through this part of the process, I felt that she was a little presumptive about my mom's dementia and jumped to some conclusions about her comprehension abilities based on her communication difficulties. For example, the doctor asked my mom to describe a photo of a family of cheetahs in a magazine and became very dismissive after my mom told her (slowly and haltingly), "a bunch of cats."
The doctor told the resident that this confirmed the severity of the dementia and then replied to my mom very condescendingly, "so you see a picture of a bunch of hats?"
Now granted, my mom's words do come out very clipped at times, but seriously, wouldn't you think that the context of her answer would have made her meaning clear?? Oh well. Once she realized what my mom had said and had her elaborate on the photograph a little further, she did seem more engaged and overall I was pleased with her assessment of the situation.
Pfft...Nathan (who has a little head cold now) just woke up, so I'm going to have to cut this short. Long story short, my mom's eyes are healthy and there are no good physical reasons for why she can't read. Ergo, it's all part and parcel of her overall cognitive decline and there's nothing else to be done.
And on a happier note, yesterday was Nathan's 11-month birthday, so I posted a few new photos here.