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Day 787

Diagnosis. An email to my brothers:

I've just been to see the doctor to receive Ma's diagnosis after her brain scan. She told us (me and Ma) that Ma has both vascular dementia, following her strokes, and she has Alzheimer's. Vascular dementia is when the blood vessels in the brain become damaged due to a stroke. Alzheimer's is the result of the brain shrinking at a faster rate on one side than on the other. I have just left a message asking to speak to the doctor separately to find out more - how developed is the disease and what is the prognosis. My guess is that it is in the early stages. She has been prescribed the drug donepezil in order to slow down the disease. This should reduce the fogginess that she experiences on bad days. But there can be some bad side affects so we'll have to see how she goes with it. The doctor gave her the news so very gently that Ma didn't even register the bad news. A sign of her dementia. When I asked her how she felt about what the doctor had said she said, 'It's good news.' We had just picked up the donepezil pills.

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