Talking to Myself, In the Vegetable Aisle...
I have to whine today...
Clearly, my dementia is not getting better. I cannot remember things from last week. I cannot remember that I've gone to the doctor or had a stress test. I forgot to go for my mammogram appointment...
My memory is also affecting my relationship with my husband to some extent. I'm finding that it no longer bothers me when my husband mentions something we've done, somewhere we've gone, or plans we have made-- and I have no recollection of it. I've stopped saying, "I don't remember." I guess I've developed a blank look, so he sighs and explains to me what it is he is referring to. My memory is so bad now that I can't even give you a good example of something I didn't remember....'cause I can't remember!
Even my shorter term memory for more future events is getting shorter. Don't have me make plans unless I write it down. We have a steel front door where we have placed magnets. Important lists and schedules are put there where I will see them. I also have a Palm Pilot and a calendar on my refrigerator. The problem still remains-I have to look at these places frequently or I will miss something or double book a date and have to cancel something.
Going to the doctor is getting more complicated, too. I go to my internist on a regular basis. Then I go to my neurologist who does his own thing. And I go to my cardiologist, and he asks all kinds of questions I can't answer. (Questions like "Have you had any MRI's?" He looks at me like I'm crazy when I say I don't know. "Have you had any recent blood work?" I don't know. "Have you...?" I don't know. "What do you mean you don't know? You would know if you have ...") Then I tell him once again about the dementia, and he sighs and goes on, hoping to find a question I can answer.
I think, worst of all, I am beginning to talk to myself. (Of course, I have heard that this is common with lots of women my age.) I caught myself talking to myself in the fruit and vegetable aisle at our local grocery. That might not have bothered me so much, but I noticed several different people watching me...looking at me like I was crazy. I must admit, I may have looked crazy, but, at least I was talking about the fruits and vegetables-and they weren't talking back! That isn't so crazy. Now, had I been talking to myself about the movie I saw earlier...while in the fruit aisle...Now, that might make me look a little crazy. I was actually trying to remember what I needed. I had a list to refer to, and did frequently have to check it. But I still had to talk myself through it. I found myself talking to myself elsewhere in the store, also. Actually, I have to tell you, that talking to myself gives me some comfort. It helps to talk my way through my activity.
I talk to myself while I cook, too. I repeat directions or ingredients over and over in order to remember them. I even sing sometimes. "Two tablespoons of oil...OLIVE OIL!!!" (You really don't want me to sing for you!) Of course, I can talk and sing all I want at home because no one is usually around to hear me. I talk to myself to rationalize, to problem solve, to remember ingredients, etc.
Is this my dementia worsening? Guess I'll have to ask my neurologist.
I think I have an appointment, but I can't find one marked in my palm pilot. I need to remember to call to see if I do have an appointment, or if that idea is just all in my head.
Do I appear to be a bit ditzy in my blog today? If so, don't worry. Though I am a bit more unsure of myself, I am okay with it. Maybe, that too is the dementia. As you lose your faculties, it begins to not matter. Maybe that is a blessing--especially for someone like me who had such a high IQ and was so capable.
Note: The above blog was written in December, 2007. I had not posted it until today, almost three months later. I have a possible answer for my worsening memory. Since writing it, I've been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. I've been using a CPAP machine to help me breath at night. I can happily report that I am seeing great improvement in my alertness and stamina. I think it's too soon to see if it has improved my ability to remember.