On Wednesday, March 3, Robin and I traveled to Franklin, Tennessee, to visit with Dr. Ally and Dr. Kirshner at Vanderbilt Neurology Clinic in Nashville. Now we would learn what was causing the long-term and short-term memory gaps that Robin had been experiencing. We were apprehensive, of course, but we were also thankful that our uncertainty would soon be over.
On Thursday, our daughter, Sharon, and son-in-law, Mike, drove us downtown, and when we arrived, Sharon and her dad posed outside the entrance for a photo so we would always have a record of this momentous occasion.
Robin spent the first part of the afternoon with a graduate assistant of Dr. Ally’s who administered an hour-long battery of tests for memory and cognition. She really put him through his paces, and when he came out, he wasn’t sure how he had done.
Next, he saw Dr. Kirshner, who gave Robin a number of physical tests to determine if his neurological system was functioning properly—checking his reflexes, balance, sight, walking ability, strength, etc.
Finally, we all talked with Dr. Ally, who is a psychological neurologist, and Dr. Kirshner, who is a medical neurologist. The two doctors discussed Robin’s test results and consulted with each other right there in our presence. Then they gave us their opinion of why Robin is suffering from memory gaps.
On the MRI disc that we brought, they could see the small lesion in the frontal lobe of Robin’s brain, and they surmised that was caused by a minor stroke. Whether that was a fairly recent occurrence or one from the past, they couldn’t say, but they did say that lesion seemed to be the source of the lapses in memory. There were no other indications of any neurological damage or impairment—no signs of progressive deterioration or the beginning of Alzheimer’s—not even any signs of vascular dementia.
We were thrilled! And so relieved!
Both doctors told Robin to keep exercising, to keep playing golf, to keep doing everything he is doing to keep his heart healthy. This would keep his brain healthy too, they said.
My grateful husband has been more than happy to oblige!