I’ll try to keep this brief but informative. I had blood drawn two weeks ago to determine if my blood was low in any vitamin or other thing that might be causing my brain to shrink. I was hopeful this was going to be the cause, since if it was, I could take more of whatever vitamin or other that it was. However, all my vitamins, thyroid, inflammation levels were normal. Even Vitamin D which the doctor said is rarely normal in anyone, was normal for me. Yay for being normal in something!!
This being ruled out, we still do not know what has caused the shrinkage. He gave me the report he prepared for me which includes the following information: He says I have significant atrophy in my temporal lobe, frontal lobe, cerebellum, and posterior fossa. He also states that he considers me to be disabled because of this and I will be sending the letter to Social Security to go with my disability application.
I pulled up my big girl panties and asked the “is it dementia” question and yes it is. We do not however at this point know what type of dementia it is. He does not feel it is Alzheimer’s.
I’ve looked up what atrophy in each of these brain parts does to someone to know what “might” be in my future. I say “might” because he’s told me to eat brain healthy foods and keep mentally active to help fight against the shrinkage. I will do all of that so right now I’m hopeful it won’t get any worse. That may be my positive life outlook causing me to be determined it will not get worse. I’ll take a positive outlook over a negative doom and gloom one any day. Since we don’t know what is causing it yet, I don’t know how possible it is that eating brain healthy and staying mentally active will stop the progression.
Frontal and temporal lobe atrophy – planning and judgment; emotions, speaking and understanding speech; and certain types of movement including muscle coordination, shaking, falling, muscle stiffness in neck and back and eye movements. Further description of these changes are: they may speak easily, but their words convey less and less meaning. They tend to use broad general terms, such as “animal” when they mean “cat.” Language comprehension also declines. They lose their ability to generate words easily, and their speech becomes halting, “tongue-tied” and ungrammatical. Ability to read and write also may be impaired.
Posterior fossa atrophy causes: dilated pupils, eye problems, face muscle weakness, hearing loss, loss of feeling in part of the face, taste problems, unsteadiness when walking, vision problems.
I’m copying this information from websites and some brain atrophy’s have more information than others. This one for cerebellum atrophy was very wordy but here it is.
-Difficulty maintaining normal upright posture, balance, coordinated walking, and running. Unsteady gait, staggering, tripping, falling, unsteadiness on stairs or maintaining balance on moving platforms, such as escalators or boats. -Difficulty with handwriting, cutting food, opening jars, buttoning clothes, sewing, typing, playing an instrument or a sport. –Speech: slurred, slow, indistinct, abnormal in rhythm. Swallowing: difficulty swallowing or choking (especially with liquids). -Blurred vision or double vision. Reading: difficulty moving from word to word. Problems following moving objects or shifting gaze from one object to another. -Patients with cerebellar atrophy often experience unexpected fatigue when performing normal activities. The impaired regulation of coordinated movements may lead to increased fatigue because of the need to expend more effort to perform activities that are no longer fluid or coordinated. -Patients with cerebellar degeneration may have cognitive and emotional difficulties. The cerebellum plays a role in some forms of thinking. Patients with cerebellar atrophy may have impaired recall of newly learned information or difficulty with “executive functions” such as making plans and keeping thoughts in proper sequence. Personality and mood disorders, such as increased irritability, anxiety, and depression, are more common in persons with cerebellar degeneration than in control subjects. That’s about all the information I have to pass along. It is what it is and I appreciate all prayers! I’m pretty determined to not let this stop me from living my life. Our RV lifestyle keeps my brain active seeing so many new amazing things. My faith in God will see me through anything life has to throw at me in whatever form. I have the best, biggest God imaginable who can do anything. If He’s chosen for me to go down this path I will strive to handle it with grace and praise Him all the way! When we get back from many months out west I will have a new form of MRI where they can see into the brain deeper. I’ll meet with my doctor after that to see if he can tell anything more definitive then and also see if it has progressed any. He won’t have the new MRI machine now or I’d get it done now. If you are not a Christian you may not understand praising God in the storms. It’s hard for me to explain but having Him as my Lord and Savior gives me peace and knowledge that He will carry me through all the storms of life, including this one. The words of this song by Casting Crowns are amazing. I urge you to google the song and listen to the whole song. Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!
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