Friday, 28 October 2011

Memory Lane

Ring Ring. Mother in law 'Hello'
Me 'Hi Mum. It's only me. Just checking you got my message on your phone about tomorrow'
MIL 'Yes John. Yes I got it.'
Me 'OK Mum. Just wanted to make sure. See you tomorrow then.'
MIL 'Hang on. Let me just check what you said. I've written it down'
Me 'OK' 
Sound of phone being put down and shuffling in background. A minute or so passes.
MIL 'You're going to pick me up at ten past nine tomorrow to take me to the clinic'
Me 'Yes that's right. See you tomorrow then. Got to dash now as we're heading for a train.'
Call ends
Thirty seconds later. 
Phone rings. Screen flashes MIL.
Call drops out.
Screen flashes. VOICE MAIL
Ring voice mail. 'You have a new message'
Message MIL 'John can you give me a ring back please?'
Phone back. Ring Ring.
MIL 'Hello'
Me 'Hi Mum. I just got your message'
MIL 'Oh. Sorry. It's just I forgot what you said about tomorrow'


In the past we might all have had a bit of a chuckle about that 'What are you like?' I might have added but the appointment in question was a visit to the local Memory Clinic and that's where we were today.


We were seen by an excellent assessor who spent well over an hour talking to Marion's mum and then finished with a questionnaire. Her response to the questions was quite staggering for us, as, although we have been aware of her struggling with her memory for some months now, this is the first time that she has  been probed over such a wide array of topics. Instead of an hour of happy reminiscences, her trip down memory lane was a ride into a series of cul de sacs and dead ends with just the odd crossroads navigated successfully.


It will be six to eight weeks before she is seen again by a consultant who will provide a diagnosis but in that time she is going to find things very hard, especially as she was unhappy with a recent trial week in a local care home and refused to stay. We will be in Scotland for the next two weeks. Fortunately she has a fair number of people who will keep an eye on her for us but we can't see much light on the horizon for her. Which is very, very sad. 


Retirement isn't always a barrel of laughs.