Friday, April 1, 2011

Neuropsychological Testing

I had a lesson in communication with doctors this month. Always ask about follow-up, and make sure you understand who is going to contact whom. And don't be afraid to call for clarification.

Early in March, Mom had an appointment for neuropsychological testing. Previous to that, a neurologist determined that she doesn't have Alzheimer's Disease, nor are her memory impairments caused by the mild strokes she has had. This testing was supposed to tell us which part(s) of her brain aren't working properly.

Oddly enough, her memory is as far above normal for her age as a person with dementia is below normal.

So, what is wrong? We don't know, yet. And because of a misunderstanding between the doctor and myself, she can't get in for a follow-up until the end of June! The doctor who did the test said he would let the neurologist know his findings, and the neurologist would be in touch. After two weeks, I called the neurologist only to find out they had "told" me that I was supposed to schedule an appointment after her test. She is on the wait list, and I hope she can get in sooner.

Her appointment with the neurologist was in November. It took until March to get the testing appointment. Had I known I needed the follow-up and scheduled it in November, we could have gone almost directly from the testing to the follow-up with neurology.

I suppose it's a shortage of specialists in Big Town. I just wish they'd been clearer about the process. In the future, I will be more diligent.
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