Depression, Dementia and a touch of ADD
There is an old saying in medicine. (I know a bunch of ’em.) If the PATIENT says their memory is not as good as it used to be, they often have depression. If a FAMILY MEMBER brings a patient to the office and says the patient’s memory is not as good as it used to be, the diagnosis is often dementia. Like all old sayings in the doctor world, it isn’t true every time, but it is a good place to start.
Some time back Neuse River did a gig at the school house. We opened for Mark O’Conner. The Moose hammered Sally Goodin (some say Sally Good’un) extra good and Mr. O’Conner jumped on the stage and jammed along with us. Great stuff!
Moose always does attract a lot of attention. I’ve played music with him a quarter century and beautiful women follow us everywhere we go. (His wife are daughters are quite attractive, as are my Marfar and Marie I might add.)
Let’s see now, where was old Doc? (This is the ADD part) Oh yeah, after the show a lady came up and told me she was concerned about her parents. I had not seen them in some time, but the daughter said the mother had become demented, and the Dad was about to worry himself to death over it. She thought he was depressed over his wife’s illness. We talked about it for a while, and I urged her to have them come in first of the week.
When the couple came in, I asked the husband how things were going. “Doc,” he said. “I’m worried to death about my wife. Her mind just ain’t no good. She leaves the pots and pans going on the stove and gets lost going to the post office- I’m afraid she’s getting old timer’s.”
“How are you?” I asked.
“I ain’t so good either. I can’t remember nothing. I reckon maybe I’m getting it too.”
You know the rest of the story. I checked it all out to be sure, but the wife indeed suffered from dementia, and his diagnosis was depression. We got him lined up with a lot of support, and a little medicine, and he is much better. She is holding her own, but that dementia is a wicked disease.
I am lucky Doc. Sometimes I think I have a bit of ADD, but the compensatory mechanisms of music and knowing my people have saved me. As it turns out, the daughter made the diagnosis for both of her parents; all I had to do was listen.
I guess if you make the right diagnosis, folks will forgive you for the derivation you worked off of to get there. I sure hope so, cause the only way I know how to figure out what is wrong with my people is to let them tell me.
And the only way I don’t forget is to remember the tune I associate them with. I might be a touch ADD, but I know my people, and the music that goes with ’em. Once I “learn” ’em, either the song or the patient, I don’t forget- they are too important.