Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Long-Awaited Diagnosis: A Mixed Dementia Diagnosis

THIS IS POST NUMBER 100 ON THIS BLOG BEGUN DECEMBER OF 2008 WHEN MY HUSBAND WAS FIRST DIAGONOISED WITH DEMENTIA! Actually it is the 100th started--I have drafts that I haven't posted yet. Today we expect to find out what kind of dementia he has--that neurological appointment that we needed beyond the primary care doctor's 30 question diagnosis in December of 2008. Lord, go with us, as you have in the past.

6:30 AM We are up after a good night's sleep. Coffee. Anticipation. I can feel prayers of family and friends.

10:00 AM is the appointment.  DH drives to the appointment--maybe his last time driving.

Assistant Director, Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute, Nancy Teten, presented Dr. Ashok Raj's evaluation of husband's memory loss. She confirmed Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's, A Mixed Dementia.
Dr. Raj wrote: "There is severe atrophy of the hippocampal complexes and of the amygdala bilaterally, strongly supportive of a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease."

He continues: "Vascular: There is absence of flow in the right cavernous carotid artery, indicating probably obstruction upstream somewhere in the neck. The cirle of Willis, however, appears be completely patent and the right middle and anterior cerebral arteries fill via a patent anterior communicating artery and a right posterior communicating artery. The remaining intracranial carotid arteries and the vertebral basilar system show signal void and are patent."

Nancy told my husband that until he takes a driving test at the Mortan Plant Mease Madonna Ptak Center for Alzheimer's and Memory Loss in Clearwater, he is not to drive. Dr. Raj will send them a prescription and I will call to make the appointment. If he were in an accident, an attorney might sue us for our home with his medical records. I was so impressed with Nancy's warmth and professionalism.

I then drove to lunch at Sweet Tomatoes where I had a coupon, but where he complained "Where's the beef?" I found some in the chilli soup for him.  Then I drove to Sam's where he bought a DVD and I got a few other supplies. I might fight his getting a DVD because of finances, but he just had had driving taken away from him.

He doesn't remember much of the morning, but I want to cry. He is watching his new DVD now. With Vascular Dementia he will always remember me, but with the Alzheimer's part he may not. Nancy said she was surprised that he still dresses himself, but owes that to his taking Exelon and Namenda since December of 2008. She was surprised that he is not exhibiting signs of depression. Nancy is looking at financial help for our medicines because the best place for DH to live is our home and we don't want to mortgage our home because of his expensive medicines (or lose our home due to an accident). He will have a yearly assessment at the USF Johnny Byrd Alzheimer's Institute and may or may not get it a research study. His past heart problems may keep him out of a study, Nancy said.


  1. Awaiting the news, and praying for the appointment
    Love and hugs,

  2. As usual, I had trouble sleeping, which makes me tired, but on the other hand, it given me a lot of prayer time. I prayed for you......
    It's so hard to be specific ....but I prayed for God to surround ya'll with his strength and love..

  3. Ok.... I just finished reading the diagnosis, and I feel so sad for you. You're a very strong, loving, Christian woman, and your faith, love for your husband, your blog and friends will see you through.

    God has been ... and will be with us through this journey we're traveling with the men we love, and we aren't alone..... what a comfort.

    I'm so happy to hear that you had such a good experience with the doctors and medical professionals. It sounds to me like you're getting good advice and explanations from them and that's so important.

    The DVD player sounds like a very good idea.
    My prayers are with you...... hugs,

  4. Hugs to you Carol. As mentioned above,you are strong. But when we are weak then Christ is strong in us. May he continue to give you all the strength, patience, courage and love you are going to need.
    God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.
    xoxox from across the world. You are doing a marvelous job.

  5. Hugs. I've been thinking about you and your husband all day. I will be praying for you both and will continue to follow your story.

  6. Carol, I was praying for you yesterday. God will continue to give you the strength for the road that lies ahead. But do not worry about tomorrow, just focus on loving God and neighbor today. God has promised that His grace is sufficient for you and that His power is made perfect in weakness. My mom has always told me if I feel like crying, then cry, let it out, cry out to God, as the spirit intercedes our groaning. Resting in Gods promises aren't always easy, but we must strive to rest as a good friend of mine once said. You are loved! And I will continue to lift you up in prayer. *Hugs*

  7. So.. I'm wondering how 'you' are doing with the diagnosis? Are you okay?

  8. Awwww, Carol I feel so saddened by your news. We will definitely be praying for you and your husband. May God give you the strength you need at this time; He is there with you Carol, with both of you. Love,Hugs & Prayers to you my friend.

  9. Living on Less, good question. I feel like crying this morning, but haven't yet. Probably my months of reading and blogging about this issue and the Caregiver's Group I started going to several months ago have somewhat prepared me. Yes, this is a huge time of faith financially and emotionally. When the bottom falls out I have to believe that our God is big enough to catch us and friends, family and church family will be there for us.

  10. Praying for you. It is a long rode ahead but we are here for you and I pray everyday for me and mom and we are still trucking so you guys will be too for many yrs. Good luck and
    Best wishes.

  11. Karen, you are precious and I remember you and your mom in my prayers and also Dolores with David's Alzheimer's. Your mother and David are further advanced than my husband and I weep with you all too. By the way, I was able to cry later today.

  12. I'm so happy to hear that you had such a good experience with the doctors and medical professionals.

    Dementia specialist