06.03.21 Trinity’s Old Folks Luncheon

Our festive event today was not actually called “Trinity’s Old Folks Luncheon,” but it is a cuter title than Trinity’s Senior Adult Luncheon. Right??

We were treated to a Thanksgiving meal and it was delicious!  Turkey, dressing, green beans, rolls, and desserts.

There were a bunch of us old folks enjoying the meal and some really great conversation. Our guest speaker was Pastor Mark Goree, Pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church.

Someone brought checkers because, well you know that’s what old folks do, play checkers. These first two photos are of our young pastor and one of our old folks quite intent on a big game of checkers. Later I asked Bro. Avery, our pastor, who won and he didn’t want to talk about it! Guess that means Tony Martin won!

The group at our table included the sweetest craziest woman I know, Johnnie Whisenhunt, her not nearly as crazy husband Mike Whisenhunt, Ron Traylor, David Taylor, and little ole me.  We talked and laughed. We figured out that we all worked at Southeastern at some point and we are all Southeastern Alumni. We know a lot of the same people from the university which was nice to find out.  At some point we were talking about my mama, Jo and Ron figured out that his Aunt Jo was my mama Jo Traylor. She was married to Mr. Vivian Traylor for several years in their older age and went with him to many Traylor family gatherings. I really enjoyed visiting with these folks and others throughout the day.

Here are some pictures I took.

I always enjoy these old folks’ luncheons and appreciate our church doing these special events for us. A special thanks to Derek, Koree and Randi Wall for the delicious Thanksgiving feast!

Before heading home to Amite I did some shopping in Hammond and enjoyed myself. Even drove home in the rain and did really well!

The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.
– Lucille Ball

 

06.02.21 Roy’s email address

Roy’s email account, roy@rchauvin.com, has been closed. Such a small thing but it is just another thing that had to end.

We both loved having our own domain and website at rchauvin.com which we used for a few years.  That’s been gone for a while but Roy’s email account still existed as did ghostlee@rchauvin.com which was a fictitious person Roy created to use in playing online games. Ghostlee even had his own birthday which was April 1st, April Fools Day!

It’s times like that make me realize how very much I still miss him and these little things that made him my Roy.

My rosalyn@selu.edu will be changing soon to rosalynchauvin1@gmail.com so please make note of that.

See ya’ll next time, Rosalyn

 

 

 

05.31.21 “Memorial Day: Remember the Fallen,” by Dan Doyle

This Memorial Day, tell your children and your grandchildren about the men and women you may have known that gave their lives for the privilege of this country’s freedom. While COVID still may prevent major gatherings at Memorial Day events, you might be able to visit a local cemetery or National Cemetery to spend some quiet, respectful moments with the fallen. You will see that their graves are festooned with American flags. You could watch the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS with Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, where you can hear inspiring stories about the fallen and hear some great music.

In any case, take time to remember those whose ultimate sacrifice has helped to keep the gift of freedom alive and well in this country for 245 years.

We all pray for the day when we will go to war no more. But we must never forget those who lived in times when the terrible scourge of war forced itself upon us in many ways, for many reasons and had the courage to put on the uniforms of our Armed Forces and go to the front to defend the walls of freedom against those who would threaten it. We remember those who gave their lives in those efforts…for the rest of us.

We Remember!

  • Excerpts and a video from Memorial Day: Remember the Fakkeb b Dan Doyle.

I always ask for prayers for the families of soldiers that served with Chad in Iraq in 2005. The list below are those young men who gave their life that year serving our great country. Thank you gentlemen.

Freedom Is Not Free

…in memory of our fallen comrades

Sergeant Robert Shane Pugh Headquarters Company, 1-155th Infantry

Specialist Robert McNail Bravo Company, 150th Engineers

Sergeant Timothy Osbey Headquarters Company, 1-155th Infantry

Specialist Joseph Rahaim Alpha Company, 1-155th Infantry

Staff Sergeant Saburant Parker Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

Specialist Daniel R. Varnado Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

Specialist Bryan E. Barron Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

Corporal Audrey D. Lunsford Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

Major Gregory Fester Bravo Company, 490th Civil Affairs

Captain Lowell Thomas Miller II Headquarters Company, 1-155th Infantry

1st Lieutenant Robert C. Oneto-Sikorski Charlie Company, 1-155th Infantry

Please pray for their families and all the other families of military men and women who died serving our country.

05.29.21 Neuropsych testing results

Thursday Chip and I went to my neurologist’s office in Hammond to get the complete testing results. He basically told me the same thing that the neuropsychologist did which is that there has been a significant decline since the last series of tests in 2015.

I started to type all of the details from the report but it was just too much.

In each of the following areas, the report showed significant decline or impairment SPATIAL/CONSTRUCTIONAL, LANGUAGE, and OVERALL HIGHER COGNITION, PREMORBID FUNCTIONING, ATTENTION/CONCENTRATION, PROCESSING SPEED, FLUID REASONING, AND PROBLEM SOLVING.

Dr. Zapata explained that since the cause of my Vascular Dementia is the several TIA’s (Transient Ischemic Attacks) I’ve had It may stay at the stage it is now unless I have more TIAs.

Vascular dementia (also referred to as vascular cognitive impairment) is the term used for cognitive decline caused by reduced blood flow in the brain.

Dr. Zapata explained to Chip and me that one way Vascular Dementia is different from Alzheimer’s is that when Alzheimer’s starts it is a downward slope. Vascular Dementia is a “stepwise” progression of symptoms, meaning that the symptoms stay the same for a while and then suddenly get worse. What this means for me is that I may be just like I am for a while. This explains why I am still doing fairly well and have been for a while.

Dr. Zapata is increasing the amount of Galantamine I take from 4 mg twice a day to 12mg twice a day since that is what I use to take before Dr. Valdes took me off of it.  He talked to me and asked several questions about the jerking episodes I had three mornings in a row recently. I still have no idea what caused it but both he and Dr. Valdes believe it could have something to do with grief, he wants me to see Dr. Linden at New Leaf Psychiatry. I don’t have an appointment yet but hopefully will soon.

I have written about having dementia so much that I feel the need to stop writing publically about what I’m feeling and experiencing. There is not anything more that can be done since I take medicine for dementia already.  Hopefully, I will stay at the level I am now and if it progresses it will do so slowly.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! We just came inside from floating around our pond in a tube. What an amazing experience that was! Will share more soon!

 

05.14.21 A week of doctor visits

I just finished a week of four doctor visits. Two on Monday in Hammond, one on Thursday in Baton Rouge, and one on Friday in Independence.

The first was a visit with my endocrinologist, diabetes doctor Dr. Corey Majors. I would highly recommend him to anyone. He knows I have dementia and tries to take that into consideration when making diabetic medicine/testing decisions. Like I wrote about a couple of blog posts back I am now using the Dexcom G6 blood sugar monitoring system. He reviewed all the data the system gathers with me. With the changes he made to my insulin I am already seeing an improvement in my numbers! Yay!

After that visit, I saw my lady doctor, Dr. Mark Berry, who did lady doctor things and I passed.

On Thursday we went to Baton Rouge to see Dr. Dammers at the Neuromedical Center in Perkins Rowe. I will get the full report from my neurologist Dr. Zapata in two weeks. Dr. Dammers did go over some of the results.

My math ability went from Superior in 2015 to Average this time.

My ability to draw time on a clock sucked.

My ability to draw an object that was shown to me like the one below sucked also.

He showed us my drawings compared to the correct drawing and explained what it meant by me drawing each the way I did. I just don’t remember what he said. I hope it’s included in the final report.

He wrote in the visit notes that the testing confirmed a significant decline compared to the previous testing in 2015. And that these testing results are consistent with Vascular type dementia given the prominent slowing of processing speed

Friday I was supposed to go to my Dentist where the root canal would be finished and two cavities filled. My dentist didn’t come to work today so I was rescheduled for next Friday.

Thank goodness I don’t have to go to any of those doctors again for a while. Too many doctor visits just wear me out.

After the Neuropsychologist visit, we planned to pick blackberries from where Chip found the amazing amount of bushes the last time we were there. We picked some and then Chip saw a big snake in the bushes so we left with what we already picked!

Tomorrow is a college graduation party for a very special young lady at our church, Madelyne Miley. I’m looking forward to celebrating her graduation and becoming a nurse!

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend, Rosalyn

04.30.21 My fun (not) day of Neuropsych testing and what it’s all about

In my opinion as someone who has taken different combinations of these tests three times, Neuropsych testing is the best way to see if someone has dementia and how it’s progressed from one testing to the next.

This took me four days (a couple of hours each day) to put together so that ya’ll understand what this neuropsych testing that I have is all about. Also, I am hoping it will help you see if it is something your loved one might benefit from having done.

This is Buddy and I on our way to the testing!

My Neuropsychological testing was Monday afternoon. On Monday evening and all day Tuesday, my brain was very incapable of thinking or doing anything. It wasn’t until today Wednesday, that I feel able to write. I put most of this together a while back so all I am doing now is adding my own experience in italics.

This link is to a post I wrote back in 2015 explaining a little about Neuropsych testing.

I can tell when I mention that I’m having updated Neuropsych testing that most people have never heard of it.

I call it paper testing which is very different than the medical brain and other testing.

I’ve had many medical tests to see what my brain is doing with dementia.

I’ve had the paper testing three times now. I looked it up and there first was in 2011, second in 2015 and this one in 2021. Between the first two there was not much progress which I was quite happy to know.

I’ll share the results of yesterday’s testing as soon as I can when I get the report on Thursday May 13th. I plan to have Chip with me when I see the doctor for that if it is permitted.

Here’s some information I found on the web from various sites about neuropsychological testing:
A neuropsychological evaluation is a group of tests to measure how well a person’s brain is working. The abilities tested include reading, language usage, attention, learning, processing speed, memory, executive functioning, reasoning, remembering, problem-solving, mood and personality and more

These tests are usually done with a pencil and paper in a doctor’s office. A neuropsychologist may also ask you a series of questions that you answer orally. Questions like what day of the week it is, who the current President is, what year it is and similar questions

A couple of simple ones were connecting numbers in the right order one connecting a number then the letter like 1 to A then 2 to B and so on.

Draw a face of a clock showing all 12 numbers in the right places and a time specified by the examiner. At first, I put 1 at the top and thankfully realized that was wrong. I’m not sure if I did the time on the clock correctly.

These tests covered by neuropsychological testing include:

  • Your ability to think, understand, learn, and remember (cognition)
  • Memory
  • Motor function (walking, coordination, etc.)
  • Perception (how well you take in what you see or read)
  • Problem-solving and decision-making
  • Verbal ability

All types of testing that an individual does in one of these sessions is based on that person’s individual issue. Some of the different types of test, including:

Memory test: Repeat a list of words, sentences, or numbers. I was given 10 words to repeat back to the tester. These same 10 words were given at two other times during the testing and I repeated what I remembered. At the end, she didn’t tell me the words but wanted to know which ones I remembered without her prompting. I was also read a few sentences about an event and was asked to repeat what I could remember. She did not repeat the sentence but asked me two more times during the session what I could repeat back to her that I remembered in the story. I don’t believe either one of these went well.

Cognition test: Explain how two items are alike. For instance, if you see a picture of a dog and a cat, you might answer that they’re both animals or that they are both pets. That is the simplest comparison question. They get much harder as they ask more. I don’t remember what the harder ones were but I couldn’t figure out how a lot of them were alike.

Verbal communication test: Name some items as the person giving the test points at them. I was also given the topic fruits and vegetables and told to name as many as I could. I think I did well on this part

Motor tests: These might include tasks such as putting blocks together in the same way a picture has them. This graphic I found shows the blocks and one of the many pictures I was to make the blocks look like.
The worse test was to pick out of a row of pictures the one that would fit into the series of pictures above that. This was something I was able to do easily earlier in my life. She wanted me to guess if I didn’t know and at least half of them were guessed. During this one, I wanted to scream and cry it was so difficult. I searched and searched just now for a graphic showing what this test looks like but could not find anything.
The other test that was so upsetting to me was the math portion. Only the last question was harder than a 6th grader could do. I could not remember any of the rules of fractions, division, add up big numbers. This was the only other time I showed my exasperation to the tester. I told her I had been a Vice President of a Savings and Loan dealing with numbers all the time and I made all As in math-related classes in college but I couldn’t remember how to do half the problems.

No matter what type of neurological test you take, you won’t need to study for it.

The testing takes between 2 to 5 hours. My testing was 2.5 hours.

The next two paragraphs are different ways of explaining the testing.

Neuropsychological tests are standardized, meaning that they are given in the same manner to all patients and scored in a similar manner time after time. An individual’s scores on tests are interpreted by comparing their score to that of healthy individuals of a similar demographic background (i.e., of similar age, education, gender, and/or ethnic background) and to expected levels of functioning. In this way, a neuropsychologist can determine whether one’s performance on any given task represents a strength or weakness. Although individual scores are important, the neuropsychologist looks at all of the data from the evaluation to determine a pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses and, in turn, to understand more about how the brain is functioning.

Neuropsychological tests evaluate functioning in a number of areas including intelligence, executive functions (such as planning, abstraction, conceptualization), attention, memory, language, perception, sensorimotor functions, motivation, mood state and emotion, quality of life, and personality styles. The areas addressed in an individual’s evaluation are determined by the referral question (what the referring doctor and patient want to know), patient’s complaints and symptoms, and observations made during the interview and test administration.

Like I said at the beginning of this post I put it together so that ya’ll understand what this neuropsych testing that I have is all about. Also so that you can see if it is something your loved one might benefit from having done I want you to know what they are about.

My brain wasn’t worth anything near the end of the testing. It was what I would describe as really tired.

Chip surprised me after the testing by driving to a place near the doctor’s office. When we got out of the car he told me to close my eyes and hold his hand while he guided me to someplace special. Wow, when I opened my eyes there were blackberries all over. It was the most I’ve ever seen and I loved getting to pick them until I could pick no more! Here’s a picture of them and the blackberry cobbler I made with them! You know, that kid of mine takes good care of his mama!

I’m not sure how much sense this all made or how it flowed but it’s what I could do. It took four days to get it done.

Ya’ll have a blessed weekend! Rosalyn