Dementia and My Mental Block

Leah Health Guide

  • Two weeks have passed without even the smallest idea for a blog!!! I suppose it could be considered "writer's block", but I consider it more than that. I have had a mental block; I have been stuck in the mud in all areas of my life. I don't know how much is related to my dementia and how much is just normal...


    First of all, I think I had a delayed reaction to my father's death (on Christmas Day). Top that with concerns over my granddaughter's trials with bulimia. I helped raise her until she was 12, so she is almost like my own. She is now a brilliant 17 year old and has been fighting anorexia and now bulimia. Right after my dad's death, she went to an eating disorder facility in Philadelphia. I spent a weekend up there learning about the disorder, and that sent me into a tailspin. While there, my reflux condition struck and I vomited and then I KNEW I was bulimic... I panicked. It was weeks before I realized that I was NOT bulimic but experiencing severe reflux. I had NOT REMEMBERED my past history of GERD and IBS! Around this time, for some reason, my daughter began to turn against me. I guess she's going through a lot now, too, so I have come to the conclusion that I need to cut her some slack, give her some room. If GERD and all the emotional turmoil were not bad enough, my IBS struck big time!!! Add to that, my ongoing battle with a tooth infection and now a sinus infection... small wonder why I haven't written in a couple of weeks, huh?

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    What of this is connected to my dementia? The long-term memory loss concerning my past health history. This memory loss is new; I don't remember having forgotten it before. And that is important to know. Now I know that I need to list my chronic conditions and not-so-chronic health history so that I can refer to it when necessary. A list would have helped me understand more quickly what was happening the weekend that GERD hit, and it would have afforded me a solution-- medications that would help the condition. Plus, my fears of having bulimia myself would have be waylaid immediately, and possibly never even brought forth at all. It was a shock to me when I realized that I had no recollection of my past health history. It has taken me weeks of self discovery and evaluation-and a trip to my internist-- to even realize that this had occurred.


    I do have another example of my lack of memory, this time short term memory loss. Story: I had a messy bathroom. There was hardly room to move around. If I tried to dry my hair or use the curling iron, I knocked one thing or another off the vanity. Stuff just got left where I used it... you get the picture. Finally, I had enough of the disorderly bathroom. I spent a long time organizing it, boxing up stuff I would take to my cottage or determine what I would do with at a later time. I put that box in our dressing room. A few days passed... I needed a thermometer and it wasn't in my bathroom where I always kept it. (That pesky thermometer seems to have feet as it is never where it should be.) I usually find it in the kitchen, family room, bedroom...but it was no where to be found. After my husband came home from work, he suggested I look in that box of stuff I had put away in the dressing room.


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    "What box? I did what?" I said. I had completely forgotten that I had cleaned my bathroom just days before. And I had NO recollection of an extra box of "stuff". Dementia does that to you...plays these games with your mind. Sure enough, that is where the thermometer was!!!


    And so, I have had a couple of bad months, and I have done a lot of searching my past. I am making adjustments in my relationship with my daughter. I am growing in strange ways, in positive ways...and I think I just may have broken my "mental block"!





Published On: March 01, 2010