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Fade to black....

Often when we talk about what dementia is like, it is referring to how it is right now, at the time of the writing. We don't track what it is like over time, but time can be as revealing as anything else in this conversation. One problem that is always a part of this though is that there are simply no words to adequately describe what dementia is like from the inside. It is hard to paint a picture that really explains things to those who don't experience it for themselves. This is the best I can do; this applies only for my dementia. As the gas commercials used to say: "Your mileage may vary."

One of the things that was damaged in me was the ability to focus. Of all available input, choosing what to focus on and what to ignore can be impossible to do with intent. I can't shut out "noise" to concentrate on the "data". I have no choice but to try though. It goes like this.

Back during the election, we ran across the John Oliver show called Last Week Tonight which brought us the gift and release of laughter during a horrid election season. Now the thing with comedians like John Oliver is he shares alot of good information, information you try hard to catch and hold onto. He also digresses into comedy bits that are basically "throw-away", funny but not essential to the main story line. When I first started watching him 18 months ago, I was able to handle the input in real-time and so his show to me was like the image above.

Then after a plateau hit and I noticed some cognitive loss, it became more work to keep up with the episodes. I started to fail at keeping up with all of it, the bits and information slipping through my cognitive fingers like sand at the beach. The show started to be like this for me:





Then maybe a year ago, I noticed I was not able to pick and choose which bits I ignored versus watched and therefore started missing more and nore of the sbow...

It was a struggle but I was able to keep up with about this much of any given episode. I laughed at all the right times but only knew what I was laughing about half the time...





Then as time moved forward things progressed and I realized that even with effort, I was only getting about half the show...




By now, I look forward to the show, laugh some during it but afterwards can rarely express what I saw him do.

I have had a bit of a slide cognitively of late. No words to describe it but...things involved with processing input (sight, sound, touch, etc) are screwing up and certain kinds of reasoning seem out and out broken. As of this week, the show seems like this to me:

Not much left, and the only step to go is a complete fade to black...and I can't stop it.......

Jeff


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