Is it real?
One of the problems that slaps you in the face as your dementia progresses is a faulty memory. Or more to the point, you can’t trust yourself to believe what your eyes are telling you that you are seeing.
By way of example, I was in the kitchen a couple of days ago looking for a bowl that I had seen sitting on the counter just a short time before. Although I felt I scanned the countertop quite thoroughly, I could not find the bowl. I even moved a few things I knew that could not be blocking it and looked in the cabinet just in case someone had put it away. But alas, it was no where to be found. I called to my wife and asked if she knew what had become of the bowl. Her response was that she had not seen it. So, I went about my business, getting other things for my recipe ready, forgetting completely about the bowl.
Shortly, I needed another item from the area where the bowl should have been. What do you think was sitting there when I returned to that area of the countertop? If you guessed the aforementioned bowl you win the day’s kewpie prize. Apparently I had looked directly at the bowl earlier without ever seeing it. It just did not register in my mind that the bowl was actually there. All I saw was the empty countertop that I was accustomed to seeing. My mind had totally erased the bowl from my vision.
To say I was flabbergasted is a major understatement. I struggled with the thought that my mind had had this major a slip. I decided briefly that I had just simply been careless in my search for the bowl. But upon reflection, no, I had indeed given it my best efforts and come up short. And upon reflection, it wasn’t the first time. Keys have suddenly shown up where I thought they should have been lately after my being unable to find them just a short time before. I have tripped over shoes that I just looked to make sure weren’t there. There are many more examples but I’m sure you get the idea.
To say this is frustrating is belittling to the situation. It doesn’t even start to describe the emotions these events evoke. I can even see where it could be frightening to those who have little or no experience with dementia patients. There is little to be done about it as far as I know but to be hyper vigilant in my actions from this point forward. However, as my mind continues to falter, that becomes more and more difficult, if not impossible.
Enjoy your day.
Hey Randy...since you described a similar situation to me earlier I have been watching and feel certain that when your brain is trying to process all the input from hearing, smelling, touching, etc etc and it becomes overloaded OR you/I starting thinking of what we will do with whatever we are looking for once it is found, our damaged brains can't process all the input quickly enough and so I think sometimes "fills in the blanks" with a memory of that object/sight/whatever, instead of what your eyes actually "saw" in this case (could be hearing, etc). Its what you mind expects to be there, or perhaps the its the condition your mind thinks it should be (empty counter for example, though I have seen many others). Its still a lie, albeit a subconscious one. I don't have a counter to this...thats the really hard part, isn't it? Trying to figure out a defense for an attack on the brain, and using a broken brain to do so would be the definition of insanity...oh wait....ReplyDelete