Follow
Share

My mom's appointment for her neuro-psych evaluation got changed to tomorrow, and she was sent a questionnaire to fill out before the visit. I was just over at her place to fill it out for her/with her, and she was evasive at best on most of the questions. Especially when it came to alcohol and opioid use. She flat out told me to leave the alcohol section blank, because she felt the doctor would "blame everything on alcohol". In reality my mother is an active alcoholic and has been for as long as I can remember.


One of the questions was "Do you have anyone you can talk to about your problems" and she answered No. I said No? And she said that's right, I don't tell people my business. It's hard to describe how that made me feel. And she was so matter of fact about it.


Other questions- exercise- none. Hobbies - none. Friends- 2.


This is all starting to seem pointless to me. I'm not even sure why I am posting about this.

Piper, if venting here helps you, don't stop. That's the whole point, sharing experiences and helping one another. We are all human and we may bump into one anothers stuff, but we are also all adults and understand that you can still be friendly even after a run in.

Use this site to help you on this journey, it is the best advice and place to dump the caregiving junk that accumulates.

That is such good news that she is getting tested and you are involved, hooray! High five and hugs!
(0)
Report

Piper, remember, unless the family is finagling things (which could happen), the docs know there's a reason she's there doing this and since I'm sure you were careful to get competent medical help, they'll see her quite clearly.

I had to do a psych test as part of a job interview. When people say that they'll miss the questions the next time around -- they'll pose a simple question and then reword it and move it down the list a little, and then maybe do the same thing two or more times, to see if you're answering honestly or looking to fudge the test.

Hang in there. We're here for you.
(2)
Report

It sounds like you're off to a great start, Piper!
(1)
Report

Excellent news on the testing. I'm glad they will be including you. As I remember my sister and I filled out a questionnaire on our experiences with Mom as part of her neuro-psych testing.

And I'm so glad you found a therapist that you like. I find it so helpful to work with a therapist during Mom's transition. It helped me a lot with guilt feelings - and other major stressors happening at the same time.

Good luck as you proceed.
(2)
Report

Piper
that sounds like a great start for your mom’s testing and perfect timing on your own therapy session.
I’m glad she is willing for you to go on the appointment for the results. She was probably nervous and now feels a bit better after having made the initial contact.
Thanks for letting us know.
(2)
Report

Hey Barb, thanks for asking. She went by herself and was back in under two hours. She said she has to go back next Tuesday for a written portion and then have a final appointment where the doctor requested that I be there, so she agreed to that one.

I asked her how it went and she said "okay I guess. I told him I don't know why I am doing all this" and then she gave me kind of a jumbled answer from the doc that the original neurologist wanted a baseline for her memory issues. So, all in all, I think it went as good as it could be. I'm glad the doctor requested I be there for the last appointment. I also think he must have sensed that she was getting tired, or something, because this wasn't originally supposed to be a three day test, she was supposed to do the whole thing in one appointment.

Right now I'm waiting for her Primary Care doctor to call me back, she had an aortic aneurysm repair in 2017 and the patch needs to be checked this month. I had all her records sent to Cardiology, and then they told me they didn't do those scans. Really? So they suggested I call Primary Care. I have a feeling I'll be on the phone this afternoon looking for a vascular surgeon to check this thing. All these appointments seem never ending.

On a better note, I got to see the counselor early because she had a cancellation and that appointment went well even though I initially felt like a blubbering mess. This lady is smart and really honed in on the important issues and I'm so glad to finally be trying some CBT. I should have done it decades ago. I go back on Wednesday.

How are you doing?
(4)
Report

So, Piper, how did mom's appointment go?
(3)
Report

97yearoldmom is spot on. The lies, blanks, evasions tell a lot more than the true answers.  Your value as a person is NOT dependent on the assessment of a mom with a broken brain. The docs cannot share info with you but you can sure share with them.  Don't despair - this process is not so easy for a layperson to comprehend.
(3)
Report

Piper
What isn’t filled out is as telling as what is.

If I were you I would write the answers as you see them on a separate paper and drop them off to the doctor.

Remember your mom has dementia. Her brain is broken.

I would not be surprised to see that she may have changed other answers on the form from the answers she told you earlier.
Since she trusts no one, I’m wondering about the two friends. Are those acquaintances rather than friends?
She sounds lonely and paranoid.
Piper don’t discount your contribution to your mom’s care. The doctor will sort it out. It’s interesting that she said the doctor would blame “everything” on the alcohol. What is “everything” to her?
Wouid that be the balance issues?
She’s acknowledging there is a problem which is good. She just doesn’t want her good friend alcohol blamed.
(2)
Report

Thank you. I vent on here a lot and I need to reel that in, but I appreciate the hug!

Hopefully the doctor can discern things and make the right diagnosis. Actually come to think of it, I don't know if his job will be to diagnose or not? I guess I will find out. He's in the same health system as her primary and other neurologist so his findings should go into her health portal, I think.
(2)
Report

You can call the office and ask that they make a note that Mom didn't check the box and that she does abuse alcohol. Isn't her neurologist aware of that fact? If so, he may have sent his file over.
(1)
Report

Exhausted,

So sorry. You may just have to learn to back off. Maybe a support group would help you.
(1)
Report

The exercise- none. Hobbies- none, and Friends- 2...... those are true answers and it is upsetting to me. How does a person not have any hobbies at all? Yet complains of being bored all the time. I don't get it.

She's not letting me go to this appointment at all. I don't think I will be able to talk to this doctor, but I think I can talk to the original neurologist who ordered the test afterward. Do you know how they submit results for neuro-psych evals? I assumed it was for a baseline to monitor the dementia, but the questionnaire delved into a lot of personality type things.

I think her primary care doctor is catching on to the drinking. She had to go in to get her blood pressure meds renewed and he ordered a bunch of blood work this time and included liver function tests and a follow up in a month, I also saw on the health portal that under "Active problems" it now says alcohol use.
(0)
Report

The neuro-psych evaluations are often done with people who are in denial or who fudge the truth. The evaluators will be used to dealing with people like your Mom.

If there is a way to get some notes (concerning alcohol for instance) to the doctor before the appointment that can be a good way to give a heads up. The doctor can't share things with you without your Mom's permission, but you can share information with them.

Let us know how it goes.
(1)
Report

Piper,

A big Hug to you. Those questionaires are long and challening. But the doctors who review them are also used to people to fudge their answers. You may want to pass a note to the receptionist letting the doctor know how much your mother is drinking.

You are posting because you are frustrated. You are trying hard to provide support to your mother and she is not appreciating you.
(2)
Report

Barb, thanks for responding. She already told me she is going to the appointment herself. She said I didn't need to be there "because it's only a test because of my balance".

I can't force my way in, even with beginning dementia my mom is very stubborn and insists things be done her way.

I don't know why I came back from doing that questionnaire feeling so depressed. I just hate that my mom has all these mental problems on top of the dementia. I'm so sick of living in HER nightmare. She doesn't even see me as a person of value in her life. She said No to having anyone in her life she can discuss her problems, well what is she doing with me day in and day out?
(0)
Report

From the way Mom answers these questions, the doctor will be able to ask questions. Really, I see no reason for you to get upset about Mom saying she has no one to talk to. Not every parent wants their children to know their inter most thoughts and feelings. Maybe that is why the alcohol problem, she keeps everything in. There is an underlining reason why people drink in access. My cousin did because she was BiPolar.

You can write a note and ask the receptionist to make sure its included with the questionnaire. Tell the doctor, in the note, that Mom did not check the alcohol box because she was afraid that he would "blame everything on the alcohol". That she has abused it for years. If you know of her using opiods, he needs to know this too. Both effect the brain.

"Other questions- exercise- none. Hobbies - none. Friends- 2." Does this upset you? Is it true? Really, the doctor's will be able to determine if Mom was truthful in what she checked off.

This is her evaluation. Not sure if you will be able to sit in. Mom may not want you to. Don't get upset if she doesn't.
(3)
Report

Piper, I'm not sure why you think this appointment will be useless.

Neuropsychs are in general very good at sussing out evasion and lies.

Take a note pad with you. If mom answers a question untruthfully, write down the truth. Share with the doc afterwards.

Or sit behind mom, out of her line of sight. Shake your head "no" if she answers "yes" and you don't think it's true.
(2)
Report

Start a Discussion

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter