My World of Parkinsonian Delights

Non-Motor Symptoms

Great Sleep Messes Up My Blogging!

I’ve had about a week of great sleep at night.  And it’s messing with my blogging.

I take 5mg of Ambien and 20 mg of Klonopin before bedtime.  It helps me get to and stay asleep.  It does nothing for the vivid dreaming, which has led to some of of my more interesting blog entries.

Night before last, I recall dreaming.  And I recall THINKING in my dream, “Wow!  This is gonna make a GREAT blog entry!”  Then when I woke up… I FORGOT WHAT THE DREAM WAS!!!

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My Dairy Queen Tastee Brain Freez!

Hello?  DQ? I could use a fresh infusion of brain cells.   Maybe a Brain Cell Blizzard?

I’m sitting there this afternoon watching TV, and I see a promo for one of those “forensic detective” shows.  They show the murder victim, a woman wearing a “Dairy Queen” uniform.  They show the “Dairy Queen” she used to work for before getting killed.  And I think…

“Hey!  We used to have a Dairy Queen in Clinton!”  That’s my hometown in Iowa.  Gail is busy doing something, but I’m watching this and looking at the Dairy Queen logo, and I think, “God, I don’t think I’ve seen that logo since we lived in Clinton!”  Then I start thinking about when I was a kid and sometimes my Grandma would walk us down to Main Avenue so we could get a treat at the…

Tastee Freez.

It wasn’t the DQ I hadn’t seen since Clinton.  For frick’s sake, they got Dairy Queens EVERYWHERE.  What I hadn’t seen since Clinton was a Tastee Freez.

I think it’s time for my nap now…

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Oh, Pooh! Not Again!

Oh, Pooh!  Not again!!!

This is one of those things that’s hard to write about, but since the purpose of this blog is to share my experiences with Parkinson’s disease, if I only wrote about the nice stuff the blog wouldn’t be worth much, now would it?

So brace yourself.  I’ll be as euphemistic as possible.

Gail and I were settling down to watch an “On Demand” movie.  We were about 10 minutes into the movie when, without warning, I noticed I was…

“Making Bigs.”

Now, this is not the sort of thing that you can really do without noticing it.  So I said just about the only thing a person CAN say in a situation like that.

“Uh-oh!”

I made my way to the bathroom to assess the damage.  Let’s just say it was moderate.  My brain eventually realized what my bottom was doing and managed to close the barn door after only SOME of the horses had gotten out.

Unfortunately, some of those horses had made their way up the back of my Depends where they soiled my underpants and the shorts I was wearing.  My shirt was spared.

I got everything all cleaned up, the unfortunate adult diaper was bagged and tossed into the trash, the soiled clothing was dropped into the wash, I put on a new Depends, new shorts, and some long pajama pants.

I was a MESSY little baby.

And just the other day, I was wondering if I really needed to keep spending money on these things as it has been quite some time since my last…

Well…

I guess they stay on the shopping list.

I mean, if I would at LEAST get some kind of WARNING…

Oh well.

Them’s the breaks.

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Admitting You Can’t Do It Anymore

Admitting you can’t do something anymore is not the easiest thing I’ve ever done.  Once again, that realization rears its head as I checked my bank balance this morning and realized I had misjudged our balance.  We’re still in the black, but by quite a bit less than I thought we were.

As of payday, next Friday, Gail will handle the finances from now on.

It’s just becoming more noticeable, I guess.  Yesterday, as I was doing something on my website, I got an e-mail from work that demanded immediate attention.  So I took care of that and went back to the thing I was doing on my website… and forgot what the hell it was that I was doing!  And I just could not remember.

This morning, I’m just wandering around the kitchen making coffee, my head in a fog.

I think the problem has been, I’ve been spending so much money promoting my book, making websites to promote my book, buying press releases to promote my book, and getting next to $0 return on my investments.

Well, I’m done spending money to promote the book.  I will keep the websites until they come up for renewal, then that’s it.

I just gotta stop throwing good money after bad.  And I gotta realize — as I have — that I’m just not capable of handling the finances anymore.


Measuring My Decline, Percentile by Percentile

Because I’m bored and don’t really HAVE a life, I enjoy measuring the decline of my po’ little pea brain by keeping track of my mental status using the metrics that are available to me.  It’s been two weeks since I did my last CNS Vital Signs Test.  Let’s see how I did today.

(Scoring — AA=Above Average; A=Average; LA=Low Average; L=Low; VL=Very Low)

RED HEADLINE — AREAS OF DECLINE

GREEN HEADLINE — AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT

BLACK HEADLINE — NO REAL CHANGE

Neurocognitive Index:

January — Score 106 — 66th Percentile (A)
April — Score 111 — 77th Percentile   (AA)
June — Score 109 — 73rd Percentile  (A)
July — Score 108 — 70th Percentile  (A)
July 12 — 98 — 45th percentile      (A)
It continues to decrease… quite a drop over two weeks

Composite Memory:

January — Score 97 — 42nd Percentile (A)
April — Score 95 — 37th Percentile   (A)
June — Score 89 — 23rd Percentile  (LA)
July — Score 79 — 8th Percentile   (L)
July 12 — 102 — 55th Percentile    (A)
Best Score Yet.  Nuthin’ like a good night’s sleep!

Verbal Memory:

January — Score 96– 40th Percentile (A)
April — Score 71 — 3rd Percentile   (L)
June — Score 93 — 32nd Percentile (A)
July — Score 68 — 1st percentile  (VL)
July 12 — 90 — 25th percentile    (A — right on the fringe of LA)
Wow.  Really bouncing around here.   40% to 3% to 32% to 1% to 25%  Odd

Visual Memory:

January — Score 100 — 50th Percentile (A)
April — Score 122 — 93rd Percentile   (AA)
June — Score 90 — 25th Percentile   (A — right on the fringe of LA)
July — Score 100 — 50th Percentile  (A)
July 12 — 112 — 79th percentile     (AA)
Second consecutive increase.

Processing Speed:

January — Score 109 — 73rd Percentile  (A)
April — Score 125 — 95th Percentile    (AA)
June — Score 95 — 37th Percentile    (A)
July — Score 118 — 88th Percentile.  (AA)
July 12 — 113 — 81st percent         (AA)
A bit of a drop, but more proof that June was an outlier.

Executive Function:

January — Score 118 — 88th Percentile (AA)
April — Score 122 — 93rd Percentile   (AA)
June — Score 133 — 99th Percentile  (AA)
July — Score 125 — 95th Percentile  (AA)
July 12 — 103 — 58th Percentile     (A)
A considerable drop in two weeks.

Psychomotor Speed:

January — Score 96 — 46th Percentile  (A)
April — Score 112 — 79th Percentile   (AA)
June — Score 101 — 53rd Percentile  (A)
July — Score 103 — 58th Percentile  (A)
July 12 — 98 — 45th percentile      (A)
Back to my January levels

Reaction Time:

January — Score 116 — 86th Percentile (AA)
April — Score 124 — 95th Percentile   (AA)
June — Score 127 — 96th Percentile  (AA)
July — Score 128 — 97th Percentile  (AA)
July 12 — 123 — 94th Percentile     (AA)
Not an improvement, but hanging steady.

Complex Attention:

January — Score 96 — 46th Percentile (A)
April — Score 112 — 79th Percentile  (AA)
June — Score 102 — 55th percentile   (A)
July — Score 105 — 63rd percentile   (A)
July 12 — 70 — 2nd Percentile        (L)
Uff-Da!  That kinda goes along with how I’ve been feeling, but that’s a shocking drop in 2 weeks!

Cognitive Flexibility:

January — Score 118 — 88th Percentile (AA)
April — Score 123 — 94th Percentile   (AA)
June — Score 127 — 96th Percentile  (AA)
July — Score 123 — 63rd Percentile  (A)
July 12 — 97 — 42nd Percentile      (A)
Held pretty steady there through July, then dropped like a rock today.

So, how do we stack up?

Doing better in the realms of verbal and visual memory, giving me a better composite memory score.

Holding steady in reaction time and processing speed.

Getting worse in the areas of the Neurocognitive Index (which is a balancing of ALL the scores), executive function, psychomotor speed, complex attention and cognitive flexibility.

Thank goodness we don’t have to rely on a single test.  LET’S TAKE THE COGNI-CHECK AGAIN!

From January, you can see I was “low average” in immediate and delayed verbal recall.  I was average to high average everywhere else.

From June…

…I got worse in the area of immediate recall and short delay, stayed the same (low average) in delayed verbal recall, remained the same in delayed verbal recognition.  Took a DUMP in the facial recognition.  Did better (but remained average) in immediate recall of numbers.

So, how about the past month?

Did better in immediate and short-delay verbal recall. Got worse in 30 minute delayed verbal recall.  Got worse in verbal recognition.  Did MUCH better in facial recognition.  (‘Course, this being the 3rd time I’ve done this test, these faces are ALL familiar now.)  Did worse (but remained in the average range) in the immediate recall of number series.

I need to find new tests.  These don’t vary and they get too familiar.  Anyone aware of any decent cognitive tests online?

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