Craig, Laura’s twin brother who came for a visit, became alarmed when I told him I was throwing the bills in a box and not paying them. He checked with Cary and Laura and they began putting the symptoms together.
Here are the textbook signs of dementia:
Dementia Sign #1: Short-term Memory Loss
Dementia Sign #2: Forgetting Instructions / Skills
Dementia Sign #3: Forgetting Words
Dementia Sign #4: Mood Changes
Dementia Sign #5: Apathy
Dementia Sign #6: Difficulty Performing
Dementia Sign #7: Confusion
Dementia Sign #8: Repetition
Dementia Sign #9: No Sense Of Direction
Dementia Sign #10: Difficulty Adapting
There are a few languages that require you to keep a sense of direction; they don't have words like "left" and "right" and "behind" and "in front of"; everything's "north" or "east" etc. of everything else. (I heard a bit on NPR about a woman who had to learn one such language, and found herself with a heightened sense of direction and orientation within a few weeks!)
Another friend, a singer and guitarist (among other things), quips that "Names go in one ear and out the other. Tunes go in one ear and stay. That's why I'm a musician."
I understand one of the ways the black narratives could be remembered for generations was by singing their histories. Remember Alex Haley's book Roots tells the story of Kunta Kinte being captured in Africa and the story from Haley's perspective, only to be verified and told by the story of the disappearance of Kunta Kinte from his African ancestors?
That book caught my imagination!
Joan, despite frustrating memory lapses and loss of financial and arithmetic skills, you have fantastic judgement and attitude. I imagine that everyone who your life touches, including me, is grateful for your presence in our lives. Virtual and in person.
I said it before, but I hope you are writing some of your experiences for family and others to read, to know how incredible your live has been and how amazing you are as a person.
Daniel, thank you for your continued support for me. As we traveled together through our cancer experiences, we can now support each other as we continue in the aging processes. Aging is not easy; it does not have to be grim. You and I have different conditions and we can rest in the knowledge that we are not alone and we are not the only people who face aging challenges. I have no pain other than arthritis, enlarging knuckles, sciatica, and back pain; your pain is far more demanding leaving you with a lifetime of cancer drugs. I wish I could wave my magic wand and take away your distress. You are and always have been a treasured friend, even a brother to me.
Re aging not being easy.
It happens only once so it’s a learning experience.
Hear, hear -- what L.G. said!
Joan, I'm another person who's grateful for you touching my life, even though we haven't met face to face. One more virtual hug from the East Coast!
Oh! I feel your friendship and caring hug, Grinning Cat. I enjoy your wit and wisdom and feel we have a special bond. You give me powerful energy and support and I consider you an important part of my virtual family.
Joan, it's great that you have your wonderful family around you, giving the love that you raised them with. It's also obvious that you've retained cognitive and language skills. I hope you carry on coping with the problems this well for as long as possible.
A big HUG from me to you.
Ian, I soak up your big HUG and am so fortunate to have you for a friend. Your wonderful adventures, your music, and the sharing of your family life feel comforting to me. I enjoy your spirit and honesty. Of course, I don't want to develop the aging problems of dementia, but since it is evident I intend to face it head on using all and any skills I have left. Knowing why I am confused and disoriented so much of the time makes it possible to say, "I need time out!" and I sit down and let the fog pass. It does; I can get on with whatever I was doing and I have no need to make excuses, deny, or delude myself and others.
That looks like a great coping strategy, Joan!
Thanks, Chris. I hope it keeps me on track and empowers those who share my life will have fewer frustrating moments.
Good luck with it, Joan.
I think I have stages 1, 7, 8, 9, and 10 right now. Deep inside I feel like I've been this way for a few years. Some things we can do little about but it helps to be aware of them. I am thankful that I am not like my step father who is in a nursing home. He can't walk or drive and he has no car. He is mostly rational but sometimes talks of driving my long dead mother to a hospital in St. Louis. To him it is all very real and it just happened.
The very fact that you are able to make this post is proof that your mind is dealing with this in a positive way. As for bill paying have it all set up to be deducted automatically. I did that in 2014 and it is great. Hang in there, my friend.