Dementia: I’m Getting Worse…Or Am I?

Leah Health Guide
  • It's time for a checkup...a self check of where I am in the progress of my dementia.  One doctor told me that, with vascular dementia, there should be no further progression unless I have further TIA's (mini-strokes).  Another told me that I could have ten good years.  I took both to heart and have worked toward making my mind as sharp as I can make it.  Every once in a while, though, I stop to look at where I am, where I've been, and the direction I am heading. 


    I am seeing big changes.


    I used to exercise my mind and play games almost non stop, I force myself to pick up the activities now.  Once loving to do crossword puzzles, I am not interested in them now.  Researching for new information used to be important to me; it is no longer.  Writing lesson plans and teaching Strengthening Your Mind classes used to  be a thrill for me in the past;  not any more.  Reading the Bible and researching biblical events once gave me hours of happiness.  No more.  And last but not least, I have loved reading all my entire life.  Not anymore.

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    What is happening to me?   Is this a natural progression of my dementia?  Is it depression?  Is it medication?  Or is it something else?


    I suppose I need to look further.  I need to look beyond my mind to my body.  I'm recovering from a knee injury which at one point had me in a hospital bed, then using crutches, then a cane.  Now, I am walking with a hinged brace on my knee, and I am still in pain.  Perhaps that has a lot to do with my mental picture.  And then, again, I have an ongoing infection at the base of my tooth; now, I'm on an antibiotic.  And before this, I got the flu shot and came down sick within a couple of days, lasting for over a week.  And, to top it all off, my blood sugars have been totally uncontrolled...


    The picture is becoming clearer for me as I take check of myself and my situation.  Knowing how important the body is to the health of the mind, I am beginning to understand that I must not be too hard on myself.  My current mental changes may have their causes in my poor health.  Perhaps I should put my self check off for a couple of months, give my body time to heal... 


    Yes, that's what I'll do.  I'll get a better picture when I am in better health.  Until then, I won't worry about the changes.  I'll get extra rest.  I'll TRY to take my insulin as prescribed and keep daily track of my blood sugars.  I'll spend some time pampering myself.  My husband and I will take a cruise...  And, in the spring, I'll revisit this self-check thing...


Published On: November 09, 2009