a reply to: Skid Mark
I think I can characterize it by saying that yes, compared to how she was a few weeks ago, she's mentally and physically better. She pays attention
more, for longer periods, and she has less frequent episodes of tremors. She can do things like coloring in small sections of a picture. A few weeks
ago, she was unable to focus on a task like that for more than a minute or so. Now, she can manage several minutes. And now, she is much more often
aware that she has a challenge to face and she wants to do something about it. That level of self-awareness is very important.
She has a brilliant mind. I have always known that she is intellectually ahead of me and have been glad for that on many occasions. And one of the
important things that medical professionals need to understand (and some don't) is that brain damage of this type does not
have to mean loss of
intellect. No, it causes an inability to fully express and utilize
that intellect. She is still just as brilliant as she ever was, but her
amazing mind is trapped: it's analogous to keeping a wonderful racehorse penned up in a small enclosure and expecting it to run like the wind; the
potential is there, but it needs freedom to be fully evident.
She has a superb mind trapped inside a malfunctioning brain. But with time and patience, the right diet and lifestyle, we may be able to set it free
But no, there is no new treatment, from a purely medical perspective. I'm just trying to adjust things for her in some ways. Like, changes in diet
(healthier food) and not dying her hair, to prevent her absorbing more of the toxic chemicals that "permanent" hair dyes contain. And also, I am
moving us to a much more vegetarian diet. Sometimes we go whole days with only fruit and vegetables. Like, a main course of fresh fruit and yogurt.
However, when we saw her specialist last week, I told him of the academic studies that show a statistical link between dementia (and cancer) rates in
specific occupational groups -- including hairdressers -- indicating possible effects of the products they use. Like (in the case of hairdressers)
hair dyes. That raised his eyebrows, and he is the kind of medical professional who will probably now do his own research.
Some wonderful friends of mine in the US have been offering guidance and actually been the driving force in giving us hope. This is not just about one
single factor (like hair dyes) but what they call the "total body burden" -- all of the things that pile up on us and that can impact our health.
There is no question that she is more lucid now than she was a couple of weeks ago. The brain has remarkable abilities to heal and readjust (and
generally speaking, it does so better in women than in men), so if we can reduce this total body burden, then her brain has a better chance to
recover and adapt.
edit on 19/7/16 by JustMike because: typos etc.
ETA: forgot to mention. You asked about what sort of delusions. I don't want to go into details because it concerns specific people she or we know.
Suffice to say that she believes that this or that person said a particular thing to her, though it's physically impossible that they did. These
delusions tend to repeat over and over. In her case, the same ones sometimes came up more than 20 times a day. Two or three times every hour
(sometimes more) for 12 hours or longer, some days with no let up at all. Lately, it has been far, far less.
Delusions like this are part of the person's way of coping. They have trouble making sense of the reality around them, so their mind pulls up various
scenarios from the past (associated with people or places they knew) and adapts them to whatever is going on in the present. Hallucinations work the
same way, but fortunately she doesn't get those very often these days.
Just to explain, delusions derive purely from what a person believes
. Hallucinations involve the person being convinced that they have seen or
heard something that is totally real to them, though physically it doesn't exist. Sometimes the line between the two is blurred.
edit on 19/7/16 by JustMike because: (no reason given)