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.

Dr. B       

Explore posts in the same categories: Advice- Five Cents, memorable gigs

14 Comments on “Depression, Dementia and a touch of ADD”

  1. mrschili Says:

    This reminds me of the only doctor joke I know.

    An old lady goes to her doctor with an odd complaint. “Doc,” she says, “my farts are silent and odorless. I feel ’em, but that’s about it. There must be something wrong with me. SEE! I just farted, but it didn’t make a sound and there’s no smell.”

    The doctor nods, wiped his eyes, writes her a prescription and tells her to come back in a week. Our biddy comes in a week later hopping mad. “WHAT did you give me, you rotten scoundrel!? My farts are still silent, but now they stink to HIGH HEAVEN!”


  2. drtombibey Says:


    Docs, like teachers, have certain crosses they must bear, huh?

    I have been in situations not too far off that scenario.

    Dr. B

  3. R Says:

    Dementia is indeed a wicked thing. I look after a woman whom I’ve known for 20 years, during a once a year week long horseback ride. She’s now 87 and continues to ride. Her health is great, but this is the first year she’s put herself in danger: a sure sign of dementia. Think it may be her last year on the ride…or mine.
    Good humor and great blog. Thanks for visiting mine, too!

  4. drtombibey Says:


    Try to keep her going and yet still be safe- it can be a fine line to walk.

    Appreciate you coming by, and check in again.

    Dr. B

  5. southern girl Says:

    Good stuff.

  6. drtombibey Says:

    Hey southern girl,

    I write about the South as per the post war baby boomer crowd. I sense you are young, so let us hear from your generation’s perspective.

    Appreciate your visit and drop by again.

    Dr. B

  7. ali Says:

    thanks super site

  8. drtombibey Says:

    Hey thanks for visiting. Come back again.

    Dr. B

  9. southern girl Says:

    I just read my comment threads and realized you were interested in my generation’s perspective on the south. Wow. That seems simple enough, but I grew up the brat-child of an Army helicopter pilot. We moved a lot and then I chose a career in broadcast journalism my senior year in high school. Worked for seven television stations in Michigan, Viginia, South Carolina and Georgia. I haven’t exactly had the lifestyle to be in touch with my generation. BUT I can say that on the whole in general, they are a royal pain in the old arse to deal with when it comes to work.

  10. drtombibey Says:

    Southern girl,

    Your perspective is wider than just the South. Growing up in Army life, and work in broadcasting as an adult are both great platforms.

    Most readers could learn a lot from someone with that background. I know I could- all I know is medicine and bluegrass music.

    Dr. B

  11. tarheelfilly Says:

    This is good. For years I have suspected I was ADD and @ 56 I do seem to forget (sometimes mid-sentence) what I am saying but am blessed to be in pretty good shape medically. Guess I have a great doctor???

  12. drtombibey Says:


    It is more likely you were smart enough to pick good ancestors, but we Docs will take credit if we can.

    Dr. B

  13. southern girl Says:

    Thank you Dr. B. I often feel like all I reall know is a little bit about a lot. Not really enough to impart great wisdom, humor or… anything. You, on the other hand can actually help people in mind and body.

  14. drtombibey Says:

    Hey southern girl,

    Well, I tell you, I believe we all bring something to the table. I was lucky ’cause I liked to read books and then could fill in the right bubbles on those computerized tests, and I found it a privilege to be allowed to sort through people’s troubles. In many other aspects of life, I bordered on lazy. If I had to get on T.V. like you I’d make a wreck of it- too many “ain’ts and I dunnos.”

    Like I say, we all have our thing- see today’s post on my friend who worked at the Highway Department. He is a humble man by modern worldly standards, but a guy who cares and is good by me.

    Dr. B

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