Cognitive Testing-No News IS Good News


Annual Cognitive Testing Update—No News Is Good News

We went for what has been a semi-annual appointment at the Emory Brain Center yesterday and the news is a sigh of relief:

No change in Ralph’s memory from a year ago (ie still “awful” according to N.P. Stephanie, who was smiling because awful is much better than “getting more awful”)

Executive function holding steady

Problem solving holding steady

Mood, if anything, improved

Apathy and low energy, which N.P. Stephanie addressed by lowering the dose of Lexapro. If he doesn’t not appear more anxious, we may cut it out all together (although I suggested that I might require his portion)

Ralph allowed to drive his tractor but not drive his car alone except to the convenience store three miles down our own road

Alice allowed to leave Ralph home alone for several nights at a time as long as there are friends and Alice phone calls to check on his meds and meals


Actually the big change was that N.P. Stephanie suggested that, barring a problem arising, we skip our usual six-month visit and wait to return next July.

11 thoughts on “Cognitive Testing-No News IS Good News

  1. Wonderful news! How about a “reminder” notebook periodically updated with written information and recommendations visibly available for him to reference at will, or to provide him as a reminder as appropriate? Or, maybe you already do this whether he remembers to look at it or not.

    I always recall a tech store manager I encountered a few years ago. When he incidentally learned my profession, volunteered he had short term memory problems. He then extracted a small notebook from his shirt pocket and said — “This is my memory!” We have so many more devices now some can use as a teenage community college student who had had a stroke demonstrated for me another time — couldn’t remember how to travel from one place to another if it was a post-stroke destination. But we have GPS now and Siri or other audio directions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for prodding me to rethink the notebook. Ralph was always like your tech store manager and proudly carried his notebook. I thought it would be a big help as his memory began slipping and bought him several, but Ralph has stopped carrying his notebook. However, now that he carries his e-cig in his pocket, perhaps I can re-institute the notebook….


  2. Fabulous news, Alice! Glad for you because it sounds like you can be off duty a bit more, glad for Ralph because no change is such great news. And if Ralph dislikes the re-testing process as much as I do, he must be pleased to hear that he doesn’t have to go back for a year. I hope the two of you can do something to celebrate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is GREAT news. So happy for you and Ralph. A holding pattern is a good place to be when one has a diagnosis of MCI. Does Ralph accept NP Stephanie’s recommendations? If so, all the better! That extra bit of independence for Ralph will be so good for you too, as well as Ralph.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I do feel relief. Re your questions: Ralph accepted the recommendations yesterday. Not sure he remembers them today. His memory for events is very short term…


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