Light Bulb Test

One test that measures the cognitive ability of dementia patients is the MMSE exam.  (Mini-Mental-Status Exam. I think that’s right.)  It has 30 questions such as: What is your name? What day is this?  What month is this?  What season is this? What state are you in? What floor are you on?  Touch your finger to you nose.  Close your eyes.  Etc.  The last time Jerry took that test, he was only able to answer 3 out 30.  So you see what we’re dealing with here.  Yet, he can still swing a golf club.  Go figure! After church, Sunday, we went to eat with a bunch of our buddies.  All the men (and women) are so nice to Jerry.  I must commend them for their fearlessness in attempting to make conversation with him.  His face lights up and he smiles from ear to ear when they actually engage.  It’s a warm fuzzy moment.

When we got home, I was all in the Springy mood.  Our kids and grandkids are coming down for Easter, so I was getting the house all “Springed” up with flowers and eggs. Jerry, of course, was right by my side in the foyer when I was trying to pitifully arrange the flowers.  Idea!  I wondered if he could get me a light bulb.  The light bulb had blown out in the lamp, so I unscrewed the old 60w bulb and handed it to him so he would know what it looked like.  I asked, “Can you get me a light bulb?”  I told him they were in the laundry closet.  Puzzled, I knew he did not know where the laundry was.  So I told him it was where we wash our clothes.  He turned then took a few steps.  I still knew he didn’t know where to go.  So I pointed upstairs and said go to where you fold the clothes.  (Believe or not, he can still fold clothes.)  I said, “Look in there for a light bulb.”  IT WENT ON!  He brightened up and went upstairs.  About 10 minutes later he came down with a package of the curly light bulbs.  I held the old bulb next to the package and asked, “Does this match?”  He couldn’t see that they didn’t match.  I asked, “Are these the same?”  He said no.  So I asked him if he could go back and find me one that looked like the old one and handed it to him again.  (Really this was just a way to keep him busy, while I gussied up the house.)

It’s been 20 minutes now.  I’d better go check and see where he is.

I’m back.  I found him asleep on the bed on the third floor with the package of curly light bulbs and an unopened box of Colgate toothpaste.  Now, figure that one out.