01 Feb My doctor told me to keep a journal of my symptoms
January 30th 2006
I finally went to the doctor. I told her about everything that has been happening to me. After having a CT scan, an MRI and some blood tests done, it was determined that everything seems normal. My doctor has recommended that I keep a journal to keep track of my symptoms, which she believes are due to stress.
Basically, I’m forgetting things. I forget where I place my keys. Or I will forget my appointments. Or I will forget the stove on. Things like that. But now I’ve also started forgetting words. I tend to replace words with the wrong ones. So instead of saying, for example, “I need to take my aspirin” I will say “I need to take my orange juice”.
This is my first entry so we will see how this goes.
February 13th 2006
I keep exchanging the word dog with neighbor. Examples of what I’ve said:
I took my neighbor for a walk today.
My neighbor doesn’t like it when I rub his belly.
The neighbor was barking at the mailman again.
I need to practice remembering the word dog.
Dog. Dog. Dog. Dog. Dog. Dog.Dog. Dog.Dog. Dog.Dog. Dog.Dog. Dog.
February 23rd 2006
I have been writing dog everyday and it has been working. I haven’t confused my dog with the neighbor anymore. I think this is all just psychological.
February 27 2006
The last couple of days I’ve been replacing dinner with ambien (my sleeping pills). Examples:
Honey, the ambien is ready, will you be home soon?
I can’t wait for the ambien tonight.
What kind of ambien do you want this weekend?
I will practice writing the word dinner this week.
Dinner. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner. Dinner.
May 15 2006
I haven’t written in a while because my symptoms seem to have gotten better. I’ve been practicing vocabulary words and started cognitive behavioural therapy, which has reduced my stress. Today I had an appointment with my doctor. She says she doesn’t think it’s early onset Alzheimer’s nor any other type of dementia. She thinks it might be psychological. In the meantime, I need to eat a healthy diet, take certain supplements and keep my mind active.
I think I’m going to be okay.
May 20th 2006
It has started back up again. This time it’s sleep with work.
I was dreaming during work last night about my dog.
I’m going to work (I said this to my husband at midnight).
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
June 1st 2006
I’m a little bit scared. I saw a horror movie and now I’m replacing the word call with the word kill. Examples:
I killed my mom today.
I need to kill my daughter’s professor.
Will you kill me tomorrow?
Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call. Call.
June 30th 2006
So, I’m getting worse. Not only am I replacing words but I’m also using them interchangeably. The doctor said to make a list of the words I’ve been using interchangeably.
Old ones Call = Kill Dog = Neighbor Dinner = Ambien Sleep = Work
New ones Car = microwave Knife = cell phone Papers = fingers Love = hate
Examples of some of the strange things I say:
I drove the microwave to the mechanic today.
Did you give the client my knife?
Where are my fingers?
I really hate you.
I’m getting worried. My thoughts are all jumbled up.
July 13th 2006
My neighbor has been barking again. I really love it. I can’t seem to work at night due to his barking.
July 14th 2006
I really hate this journal. It makes me sound crazy. Most of the fingers are empty. I haven’t been very good at filling it up. Whatever.
July 15th 2006
I think I got confused again. I wanted to make dinner for my husband but instead I gave him ambien. And now he is working in the room. I love him so much.
July 16th 2006
I think I called my dog last night. Because he wouldn’t stop barking. I also killed my neighbor because I couldn’t find him. I killed him over and over again but he never came back. I really miss him.
July 18th 2006
I found my dog under my microwave. I guess I did give him a call after all.
July 19th 2006
My husband is still working. He hasn’t stopped working in 3 days. I’m getting kind of worried for him. I’m going to make him some more dinner.
July 18th 2006
I love my life. My husband won’t stop working. I’m getting more confused. I keep trying to call myself but I can’t find my cell phone.
July 19th 2006
I’m just going to have some dinner tonight.
July 20th 2006
Dinner. Dinner. Dinner.
NOTE: This journal belonged to a patient in Eastern Europe suffering from bovine spongiform encephalopathy also known as mad cow disease. The patient was found overdosed with sleeping pills. The body of her husband was found in the home. She had also killed her neighbor with the car. The dog was found roaming the neighbourhood.
We study these cases at the medical school I am currently attending. Nowadays, we have some blood tests that can detect mad cow disease, but they weren’t available to this patient at the time she was going through the symptoms over a period of months. Unfortunately, there is still no cure for the disease.