Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Just One Good Day

Today was another trip to OHSU. My dad brought up normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) again. I've been frustrated before that he keeps bringing it up because I just want the whole diagnosis process to be over so that we can move forward. Dad wants another spinal tap. I admitted to him that I couldn't get the idea out of my head, either. It's our only chance to bring Mom back. The neurologist at OHSU doesn't think that's it at all. Bottom line, though, is that a spinal tap can't do any damage. The "cure" for NPH is a brain shunt. THAT is what could do more damage if she doesn't have NPH. But we won't do a brain shunt unless the spinal taps show definitive improvement. I'm asking for two, even three spinal taps. The neurologist advised us not to do it but agreed to refer us to the neurologist in Salem for this procedure. I told him we would not have peace in our hearts until we tried. I don't think my dad will be able to accept Mom's decline and impending death unless we rule NPH out entirely first. The neurologist has been giving her these little brain functioning tests. I don't know what a perfect score is, but in May she scored 27. In August she scored 25. Today she scored 20.  On this test 15 and below is considered moderate to severe dementia. She's still considered mild to moderate. She said the date was January 2012 today. It's February 8, 2011. She said it's fall now.

On the way home, dad asked her if she felt satisfied with the appointment and how the neurologist is treating her condition. I get annoyed when people ask her how she feels about anything because her answer nine times out of ten is "I don't know." Today, however, after a long pause, she answered, "I wish he would give me just one good day." Just one good day. That's all she wants. I asked her what she would do with that day. She said, "I dont' know." I know what I would do with that day. I'd hold her and tell her how much I love her and miss her and beg her to stay with me.

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