Ch.68 “I think I Did OK but Not Better Than OK”
Once a year Pat is scheduled to take a battery of neuropsychology tests that measure her performance on memory, problem-solving, and related cognitive skills. These tests take about 1½ hours to complete and leave Pat exhausted. Then we wait around while they are scored and given to the clinical psychologist, Dr. Michelle Ries. And then we enter her office to discuss the results with her.
Dr. Ries asked Pat how she thought she had done. Pat’s response: “I think I did OK but not better than OK.” She was correct. Pat’s scores were not as good as they had been the year before (although they were about the same as they had been two years ago – Pat had actually improved her scores last year as a result of better health and taking a generic form of Aricept). Specifically, Pat’s ability to remember has diminished somewhat and I also think it is harder for her to follow directions now than before.
Dr. Ries did note that Pat is a fighter who doesn’t give up even when things are difficult. I’ve noticed that characteristic on many occasions. One example occurs when we put together jigsaw puzzles. The pieces may not want to cooperate some days, but Pat won’t just give up and quit. She keeps working with them until she makes at least a few connections. And that apparently is what she did today during testing.
I believe that Pat’s determination applies to much more than solving puzzles and taking tests; Pat is committed to challenging Lewy Body’s attack upon her faculties. Of course, she can’t stop Lewy body completely. It is a progressive condition. But Pat can slow its effects by staying active and accepting cognitive challenges like doing jigsaw puzzles. And that is exactly what she does.
Pat’s comments on “I think I Did OK but Not Better Than OK”
The testing was hard. Many times, I just gave up and quit in the middle of it – I couldn’t do another one. But I am committed, like Ron says, to challenging Lewy Body’s attack on my faculties. I know Lewy Body is a progressive condition, but I do keep trying to combat it.
My ability to remember and to follow directions has diminished – sometimes they are just so confusing – but that’s probably part of my changes.