Please don’t ever worry about asking me questions, sbl! (Initials okay?)
I wish more people would, especially family and friends, but they walk on egg shells around me, because they don’t know how to act. That’s why I talk to y’all about what’s going on. Well, y’all and my neuro-psych guy, who does these little tests with me.
Yup. I’m heavily medicated with anti depressants and neuro meds, and together they help me through my day.
You mention anger.
How about rages? I used to have them on a regular basis, now not so much anymore, since the meds are keeping me in check. But they do happen. And because of the smallest things.
For example, “misplacing” a particular thing. Time frame: one minute from the time I put it down.
“I just had it, goddamit!”, I’ll yell, and my poor wife does her best to help me find it. And we do, usually in the most common of places. Again, one minute had elapsed from the last time I had contact with this thing, till the time it went “missing”.
I also get upset with myself over things I can’t do anymore, such as drive our car and ride my motor scooter. I make too many mistakes and get disoriented. So my wife drives and I’m over on the passenger side being a back seat driver to the point where I become obnoxious. I know it’s a trite term but she really does have saintly patience with me.
Yeah, I cry. Again, not so much anymore since the meds, but boy let me miss a day and watch something sad on tv and there I go. This (missing a day) doesn’t happen anymore, because D realizes she cannot trust me to take them, so she brings them to me, and stands there while I take them.
I do not mind this. I also do not mind when she asks me, “did you clean your teeth?”, as if I were a little boy. These days my personal hygiene is done in stages. By that I mean, I do one thing, such as wash my face, and then stop and think about the next thing, and do it, and so forth. Once I left the conditioner in my hair and dried it that way. I looked like a 50’s greaser till D noticed and we fixed it.
Yes, my emotions do show, but again, my meds (double dose of Welbutrin and one Lamiktal per day) do a great job in keeping me “balanced”.
Am I “appropriate”. No, sometimes I’m very inappropriate, especially at family dinners where I was likely to tell a joke whose punchline fell on embarrased ears. So I don’t go out to eat with family anymore. I go out to eat with my wife and stay home while SHE goes. It’s better that way, i think.
sbl, so much of my life is “avoidance” these days. Say, if I’m driving (this used to happen, but as I said, D does that now), and I need to pull out of a side road and then across to the median where one can make a left turn to join traffic going the other way? It was too many things for me to be “aware of” and careful about, that instead of crossing, I’d turn *left[**/I], go the next traffic light, and then turn left at that light and head the other way.
Nice and simple = avoidance.
Short-term memory is getting worse. Within seconds of having the idea of doing a particular thing, I’ll forget what it was I wanted to do. Such as to lie down and read, for instance.
Okay, I hear this a lot by well meaning folks: “Oh, I do that!”. It’s said to help me feel better, I know, but unless a person continually does that, he or she can’t possibly know what it’s like to be like… that.
And finally, something I haven’t discussed: my desire to do a particular thing.
For example, I’ll head to my guitar case to play a few tunes, and as I start to go and get it, I already feel like not doing that anymore. It’s like someone has a rope around my waist and is pulling me backward. Again, we’re talking seconds, okay? This may happen 5 or 6 times a day.
You also mention OCD. I used to be that, but no more. I may go 2-3 days without shaving, prepare my clothes for the next day, etc.
No more. Anyone who knows me intimately to be that way, would now describe me as “slovenly”.
Was this what you wanted, sbl? I appreciate you asking and I appreciate my friends here. This is where I feel the most comfortable talking about the dementia, because here I don’t have to worry about making my family feel uncomfortable. And og forbid, if I joke about it in real life as I do here. It’s just not “done”.
One last thing, as an English major I had no trouble writing continuously. Not anymore. These days as I’m writing a sentence, having formed the thought and thinking toward the next sentence, sometimes I have to stop and ask myself what that next sentence is supposed to be? I will reread what I just wrote, to get it to come, but sometimes it just won’t right away.
It happened twice so far during this post.
I didn’t mean for this to be an essay, but other than my doc who only gives me 20 minutes a month (it’s a myth that they give you 50 minutes anymore), this is my “safe haven”, where I can talk to my heart’s content, and there’s always someone to listen.
And having written that just now, I realize how lucky I am to be able to do this.