Sunday, August 30, 2009

Most Wonderful

I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.
-Emo Phillips

Even though Mom has major loss of cognitive ability, her personality is still shining through.
She loves playing with her granddaughters, and visiting with friends. While conversations at times are very taxing and causes her to fall asleep, she can still be heard laughing and exclaiming "wowser wheezers!"

Even though it is saddening to see such a once productive and creative person having such difficulty with simple tasks, it is comforting that she does not feel pain. She is still optimistic and feels she is getting better every day.

Unfortunately she has lost a notable amount of functionality in the week we were there (Aug 22-29). In fact, four weeks prior to her symptoms she was sewing beautiful curtains for Emily and Elizabeth's rooms and making two eggless cakes for Emily's 6th birthday. If the doctor is correct in the sCDJ diagnosis, then there is only about a fifty percent chance of her seeing 2010. Alice will be going for additional tests at UCSF on Wed Sept 2nd for more definitive evaluations.


A year or so ago, Alice won an art contest with a textile sculpture named "Conflagration". As wildfires burn through California, a prion disease is burning through Alice's brain.

At first she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and we thought this was the beginning of the "long goodbye". On Tuesday she was diagnosed with Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, and it appears that our goodbye may be much too short.