So the Dr contacted me to let me know that she had received the results of the scan. As a result of the scan and the general deterioration of mums memory of the years that the GP has known her, allows a diagnosis of “mild age-related cerebral atrophic changes”.
Google tells me – Cerebral atrophy is a common feature of many of the diseases that affect the brain. Atrophy of any tissue means a decrement in the size of the cell, which can be due to progressive loss of cytoplasmic proteins. In brain tissue, atrophy describes a loss of neurons and the connections between them.
In simple terms the diagnosis formally confirms mum has dementia.
So now what. Nothing has actually changed since we received the news. Mum is still mum, even planning ways to gain access to cakes and biscuits (apparently she intends to walk around the corner to the Co-op to buy some as we don’t have any).
We can at least register with the various support groups for Alzheimer’s and understand more about the potential future and how things may progress.
My personal dilemma is do we tell mum? What benefit would mum get from this. It may cause her lots of distress at the point of telling her, only to forget the next day. Could it cause her to give up knowing it will only mean her memory will eventually get worse and make her less independent. Or will it create more questions that cant be answered as dementia is not an easy thing to understand, especially about what will happen next.
At least she’s not just being difficult for the sake of it and for Sonia and I we can gain support and at least have something to attribute some of the less pleasant aspects of caring for mum to. It helps to deal with situations knowing its a disease you are fighting against.