Radical thinking? possibly
Ash was diagnosed with early onset dementia last December. He was prescribed Donepezil and then we were sent on our way. Two follow-up phone calls came from the memory clinic to check that the medication was suiting him (it was) and then a message to say his care was being transferred to a different team who would contact him in 12 months time to invite him for another memory test to see how he was progressing (or not as the case may be). We were left to our own devices and those of you who have followed this blog will know that eventually, and with the help of a number of people unconnected to the health service, we were set on the right track and are doing ok. We are doing ok because I am removing the stress from our lives and one of the main ways of doing this is cutting out questions. Now those of you who are lucky enough not to have been in a position where you have needed to visit a memory clinic may not know that the method for testing memory loss is to ask a list of questions. I have been thinking about this recently and it has occurred to me that by putting Ash in a situation he will find immensely stressful may not be conducive to getting the best out of him so I wondered what to do. This afternoon I mentioned my quandary to a friend who has just lost his wife to vascular dementia. He is very calm and sensible about the whole thing and pointed out that I don't need anyone to tell me how Ash is doing as I know exactly how he is and whether his condition has worsened to any degree. He suggested that taking Ash for the test would be setting him up to fail and may undo all the good we've achieved over the past 7 months. This makes so much sense that I can't believe it had to be pointed out to me. The strategies we've put in place that have done so much good have all centred around what he needs now this minute not where he is on the spectrum of dementia. The diagnosis itself didn't make a difference to what he needed last December and a confirmation of where he is a year down the line won't make any difference to what we're doing then so, unless anyone can give me a very good reason why we should, we won't be going for another memory test.