You finally convince your spouse to go to the doctor with you. He’s only in his late 60s, but lately he’s been forgetting where his car keys are, losing words and getting lost when he goes out alone. You’ve been worried for a while, so you’re relieved your spouse is willing to see a professional.
The doctor, a neurologist, is a tall, distinguished researcher in his late 50s. He wears a long, starched white lab coat and sits behind his cluttered desk. He tells your husband to remember three things: a ball, a toothbrush and a pen. You memorize them, hoping your brain is still working. Then he asks your husband to subtract seven from 100 and continue subtracting sevens down to zero if he can. Your husband says,"93, 82." What? You sit up straighter and try not to blurt "93, 86." Your husband was a math major in high school and studied engineering in college. He taught you calculus, but all of a sudden he doesn’t know 93 minus seven is 86?
You start thinking about how you’ve been in denial about his dropping things and tripping around the house. Your husband can’t remember the three things he was supposed to remember 10 minutes ago. You’re glad you can, but your heart is beating too fast.
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