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My mom finally had her neurology appointment. I was able to talk to the nurse ahead of time for a few minutes and she told me to write down my concerns for the doctor and she would make sure she saw it prior to the appointment. I typed it and printed it out and folded up the paper. When we got there I had to "sneak it" to the receptionist who then gave it to the nurse. That felt a little weird, but it worked.


My mom wanted to go in to see the doctor herself, so I didn't push anything and stayed in the waiting room. About 15 mins later the nurse came out and got me to go in for the rest of the evaluation, which was the longer portion of the visit. I think the doctor requested I come back, and my mom agreed.


Earlier before I came back my mom took the MMSE test and scored 20 out of 30. The doctor then asked a lot of questions, and did some neuro testing and imo was very thorough. I was relieved and my mom seemed to like her. She was gentle asking my mom questions, and told her that her test showed some mild cognitive impairment and she wanted to do additional testing. My mom agreed. She is also doing a sleep deprived EEG, and she ordered home health physical therapy for balance issues. At one point she used the word "vascular dementia" and my mom really didn't react.


Get this, my mom complained about her "balance" problems that "come from my meds" non-stop. Then the doctor suggested physical therapy and explained how it could help the balance issues, and my mom declined!! She started in with "Oh I just can't do that, it's too much, I don't want to do it". My mom sits home all day complaining of boredom so I could feel my blood starting to boil, then the doctor said she could have the therapist come to her place so then she agreed. Seriously though??? Her number one complaint and she wasn't going to do anything to help herself?? This is the kind of sh$t that gets under my skin. But I guess the main thing is she is going to get it.


She will also be going for a neurological psych evaluation. The doctor said it's about four and a half hours long (my mom groaned but didn't refuse) and the doctor explained it could help determine where the issues might be coming from- I think referring to my mom always saying her issues are from "her meds".


I said very little during the visit, and let my mom do all the talking, which ended up revealing a lot. A few times when my mom just couldn't answer or the doctor needed clarification I answered, but my fears that my mom could/would bluff her way through this were a waste of energy, she couldn't bluff anything.


After the appointment I didn't focus on the visit, I figured she had enough of that for the day. We came home for dinner, and she was kind of worn out so she turned in early and I had a few drinks with the hubs. I did my own winding down.


I'm glad it's over and I know I won't be nearly as anxious going into future appointments. I'm relieved to finally have a good neurologist on board, in some strange way it made me feel less alone in this. Ever since she's been here (6 months) this has NEVER been medically addressed. She even commented how her old neurologist never did "any tests like that" referring to the MMSE.


I know I still have a long road ahead with her. Thanks to everyone on this forum for the support I have gotten to get this far. It has made a big difference, and I can't stress that enough. Aside from my husband you ladies here have been my main support system! So honestly, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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I swear I could’ve written this. Balance issues, bluffing, meds...the whole thing. Glad you found a good neuro.
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Piper,
I am so happy for you. I get what you mean about now that the Neuro is involved you don't feel so alone. I was relieved when my mother got dx. It made me realize it wasn't me or even her...it was the disease.

I am glade that things have worked out for you. We are here for you!

Hugs!!
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Since you say your Mom has balance problems, make sure your Neurologist is checking for the type of dementia caused by Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). It usually causes problems with walking along with problems with thinking. It is diagnosed with an MRI primarily, although it has to be a specialist looking at it. For my Mom, the initial reading of the MRI said there wasn't a problem. But the neurologist at the Brain and Memory Center we went to spotted it and it was even obvious to our layman eyes.

The thing is that NPH is often treatable. Here is a link to the article on the site talking about it: https://www.agingcare.com/articles/normal-pressure-hydrocephalus-mimics-alzheimers-180549.htm
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Imaging provides the most accurate answers. Bluffing can be thwarted through recordings, perhaps of her most common complaint---which you mentioned was balance related.....Often elders are completely different people in a doctor's presence vs. at home...Congratulations on finding a great Neuro ... Some weird things can reveal themselves as they get older. ... .I had a 70+ year old family member pretend to forget things, to avoid accountability, yet he could remember everything that would make him look like the good person he was pretending to be. Good luck, and remember you're not alone.
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I am so happy to read your post. Hugs.
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You did it! You did great, and will soon recover!
So nice of you to get back to us with the successful news.
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This is SUCH good news, Piper. The neurologist sounds like a keeper!

Let us know how this all develops; good for you for getting mom to the appointment!
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