"I miss who I was. The things I could once do. Things I remembered, just automatically. Without even thinking about it. With this disease, it takes your short term memory first. Mine is all but gone.
I know many think I have 'selective memory' if you will. I often wonder, and can never explain how I remember some things, and not others. Some days I can not make sense of the simplest things. Other days, I can sometimes think some things through. Problem is one never knows when you have a "good" day, or even hours for that matter.
I have heard many, many times, 'Mom knows what she is doing, she just does this to aggravate me.' This could not be further from the truth. People who say things like this, do not understand this disease. They are saying these things in frustration only.
I can tell you from personal experience, no dementia patient does or says what they do just to make your life miserable. I know what I do has to be aggravating for Phyllis June (his wife) and people around me. Constantly I am saying, "What's that? Who? Where?..." and on and on. Things have to be repeated to me over and over. Most times my brain cannot analyze what is going on at any given time.
When someone you are engaged in conversation with, it is normal for your brain to keep up with the conversation. Here is a quick little test. Imagine if you will, the last conversation you had with anyone. Write it down. Just in general. Now, take that, and write it again, but only write down every third word. Now take that, 'conversation' and try to make sense of it. That's a small example of what a dementia patient deals with, everyday, all day long.
I post this to try to get caregivers and family members a glimpse into our world. Now imagine that same conversation and you being asked two, three, or even four questions from people you are talking to. It is almost impossible. For me, its beyond almost. I simply cannot keep up with conversations, especially if there are two or more people. I hope this helps you understand what a dementia patient deals with. I like always had to write this down, then type it, then hope it covers what I was wanting to say. Being unable to 'proof' read it, most times, its a shot in the dark...sigh."
Thank you Rick for sharing your experience. It opens up a window of understanding for those who support individuals living with dementia.