“I Can’t” Was Winning
I often use quotations to get across my point. Here is one which is my very own creation: "Dementia is deadly on one's self-confidence."
My confidence level has fallen. Everyday living is not getting any easier. I have had a few problems lately with remembering appointments - even though I have them on my Palm Pilot and on the calendar. Case in point: I did remember my follow-up mammogram appointment, only to get there and find that they were unable to take me because I had forgotten to return the last films...So, I made a second appointment for February 19th. And I kept thinking about it. I had found the films and was ready to go...However, as much as I thought about it, I never actually looked to find the date. The month of February moved on and I kept thinking about it...I know how important it is that I go.
Finally, I decided it was important to find something that gave me my date, only to find that the date of my appointment was long past. I called the office and apologized, asking for a new appointment. It was then that I realized it was well into March. I can remember saying in a rather defeated way, "Oh, it's March now..."
I hear things, and I don't retain them. Dates. Information. Names. Appointments. Whatever. The words and ideas are slippery. They "go in one ear and out the other." And this is getting to be frustrating. Unfortunately, I did not realize that these difficulties were beginning to attack my self-confidence until a discussion I had with my husband.,.
We were talking about something (I have no recollection of what) when I said, "I can't do that anymore." My husband sat down and looked lovingly at me.
"It bothers me when you say things like that," he said. "It sounds like you are giving up. You CAN do (whatever it was). You may not do it as fast or as easily or even as well as you once did it, but you CAN do it. Never say you can't. You CAN. Please don't give up."
That was a wake-up call to me. I had not realized until then that the positive self-image I once had had been defeated by the demon dementia.
I have thought about what my husband said many times since that conversation. His wisdom just astounds me. I realize now that I was becoming complacent with my condition. I think I have been giving in-and I can't let that happen.
The German writer, Johann Goethe, once wrote that "As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." I had begun to not trust myself, to begin to question my abilities. And, it had begun to show in my life. I was missing appointments, wasn't playing my Brain Age games as much, was rarely using the computer...I was beginning to lose some contact with friends and family. I will not allow that to happen until I can no longer control the process.
Now, I am pushing myself (quite literally) to work on the Brain Age game, forcing myself to get onto the computer. I look up information. I am writing once again. I am attempting to cook and clean... and I am trying to remember to get that mammogram appointment!
I keep this in mind:
"He who has lost self-confidence can lose nothing more."