April 2013

Richard and I were looking for so many ways to fight the inevitable—anything we could find to help him with his Parkinson’s and dementia. We went to the University of Arizona’s neurology department for insights.

It’s a teaching hospital, so there were medical students there. They gave him the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and he did shitty. Of course he did shitty—he has f’ing Parkinson’s and dementia, and he wanted to stop. But the students didn’t care. They had a test to perform, come hell or high water. They were unempathetic and not even conscious of the pain and humiliation taking that test was causing Richard. I cry as I write these words. For example, they asked him to repeat ten words. He couldn’t remember ten words. He couldn’t remember three, but they insisted on ten. It was demoralizing.

Later, when we talked to the doctor, he had nothing to offer us. I asked for leading-edge techniques such as hyperbaric oxygen and stem cell replacement therapy. He told us, without empathy, that there was no evidence that these things would make a long-term difference. He gave us nothing.

I was angry, Richard was defeated, and when we got into the car, we both cried hard. It was the only time I remember seeing Richard cry about his condition and ultimate fate. I still cry often, but he kept it inside after that.

Modern medicine failed us—and without emotional intelligence.

Even though I asked repeatedly, the neurologist’s office never sent me a copy of the test results; if they had, I would share them with you now. But I’ll show you an online example of what’s on the test.

Headline: It’s hard to draw clocks when you have dementia.

MCI=Mild Cognitive Impairment, AD=Alzheimer’s Disease                                                IMAGE: Mark P. Mattson/Frontiers in Neuroscience


You will find my book Parkinson’s: A Love Story with Dementia for Dessert on Amazon.  https://www.amazon.com/Parkinsons-Love-Story-Dementia-Dessert-ebook/dp/B07K4RLC2D/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542135434&sr=8-1&keywords=Parkinson%27s+A+Love+Story+with+Dementia+for+Dessert&dpID=41xS3edPH0L&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch  Your feedback and reviews are most welcome.

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