Yesterday I had a routine appointment with my doctor. Since this was a day when I wasn’t covered with a sitter, I took Kate along with me. This was the second time I have done so. As with other things lately, she didn’t ask why I was taking her. I simply told her I didn’t want to leave her at home.
It was an interesting visit. For the first time, I was given a memory test. This was something initiated by Medicare. I can easily understand the need for it, but I was taken aback by being asked to take it. I had taken Kate into the examination room with me and was curious to see how she might respond. She heard the nurse explain the procedure, but she continued working the puzzle on her iPad. This was a much abbreviated test compared to the ones Kate has taken. It involved two simple questions that I have heard quite a few times. First, she gave me three words to remember. After she said them, she asked me to repeat them to her. Then she asked me to draw the face of a clock followed by drawing where the hands would be for 11:10. That was it. Before she left the room, she asked me to tell her the three words again. I am happy to report that I passed with flying colors.
When the doctor came in, I commented on my taking the test. I told him I could understand the reason for it but felt it was a little premature in my case. Then he launched into quite a lengthy response. He pointed out how easy it is for someone to cover so as to keep others from recognizing their memory problems. Once again, I was looking to see how Kate was responding. I saw her smile, but she continued with her iPad.
That led to doctor to talk about words for various things in room, for example, his lab coat, the lapel on his coat, a pin on his lapel, etc. At one point, he said something that involved English grammar. That is when Kate spoke up and was perfectly correct about her observation. It was an interesting example of what the psychologist had told us during Kate’s testing for Alzheimer’s. She said Kate’s greatest weaknesses would be the things she would lose first, and she would retain her greatest strengths the longest. I would say the psychologist was right on target, at least for Kate.
I had told my doctor about Kate’s diagnosis long ago and have mentioned it to him on subsequent occasions; however, I still wondered if he remembered. He spoke very naturally about Alzheimer’s and it symptoms. It was something he dwelt on, but it was directly related to the memory test I had taken as well as my own remarks about it. Kate never said anything to suggest she even heard any of this. She did, however, pick on the grammatical issue. It reminds me of something she says to me occasionally when I am surprised at something she remembers: “Don’t count me out yet.”