jeffs final twitter feed...
Hey Kids, the last column was in fact the last column but this one is intended to be more of a journal of my last times in this reality, a kind of final Twitter feed if you will. Maybe someday someone might be interested in whats going thru the mind being eaten by dementia. The posts will be Twitter sized to begin with but right now Twitter itself is beyond my reach. Thus this "feed". I will do my best as long as I can....
peace out everybody....
24 December 2021: Christmas Eve. We dont do holidays, something for my benefit. They are way too much to deal with if you have dementia. You need those skills to choose the right gift, do it in time, do it under cover, manage the financial end, etc etc. So we just chill now, something I will be forever grateful for. However that doesn't mean we do nothing. As medical growers we have access to and keep the very best colas throughout a year. In this case though, it all came from the last crop, Wedding Cake. This is fine because that is the tastiest stuff I have had in a long time. This was the core of our annual Christmas joint. This thing is 12 grams of cannabis greatness made from the best we grew and have. This year to kick it up a notch, I infused it with a gram of live resin.
|Ready to be infused...|
To be lit at midnight...peace out everyone!
22 December 2021: A kind of wish come true. Two things I was lamenting prior to today, not being terribly useful to my wife anymore (she is the caregiver) and frankly not being able to be mentally here enough to appreciate the new Matrix movie before my brain dribbles out from my ears. I figure I have about a year left, but thats a year to total brain-worthlessness. A year but thats to the absolute finish line. To really watch something like a Matrix movie you need more than the barest of brain cells left. That time I suspect is about six months from now. Given that the Matrix 4 was just released to theaters I figured it was a 50/50 chance of actually absorbing it when it became available. More likely than not though it was a lost cause.
To my absolute surprise and delight, M4 appeared on the usual sites today, there it was....in low and hi def even. No cam, just a perfect stream. So now I get to entertain the missus maybe one more time and I get to see how this turns out, before I do so myself.
Note: I have flipped this column, sticking new stuff at the top. Will date stuff.
08 Sep 21: Need more RSO so today pulled bag of frozen pot from freezer and did a 25 minute soak with pure ethanol. After removing plant material I filtered in thu the Buchman filter, one filter on the first pass and three on the second. Ready to go and stored in a Mason jar. Tomorrow we just dump it into the Source Turbo and let it do its thing. When done Beth converts it to .5 gram pills that she stores in the freezer for easy dispensing.
Otherwise another in a long line of brain-dead days. Can't make it focus or really work on anything...just waiting for the night to come...
12 Sep 21: You can't go home again.
I was raised mostly alone but surrounded by books and as a result, have many fond childhood memories of classic stories, or even just stories that were classic to me. As time moved on. my "classics" came in many forms, from classic movies to classic TV show story arcs to comic book stories and as always, books.
When you have progressive dementia and can kinda see the end coming, you develop a kind of bucket list of stories, things you have read/seen/played many times in your life and you would like to relive them, just one more time, capture the magic.
The truth hits home when you realize that you can no longer read and process enough information to actually re-read your favorites again...the movies are just too complex to follow, the games seem insanely hard, too hard for fun anyways...lather, rinse, repeat. There comes a time when you realize those are gone forever, you will never again watch (and appreciate) any favorite movie or shows, no matter how familiar.
Even games you have played for a long time, been good at even, say the game has 20 levels of increasing difficulty, culminating with some boss-fight to win the whole thing. At first you can win it all with struggle. Over time, you find yourself hitting some point that you passed with ease even months ago and can proceed no further. So you start over at level one and begin again until you reach that stopping point....then you reset....but along the way what happens is, before you get to your last stopping point in the game, you find yourself stuck a few levels back, on something that used to be simple and intuitive. But now you just can't seem to get past it. After a day of frustration, you reset the game and start over.
In time you are like me, resetting on level two.The worst part is? You don't mind the reset, the easing of stress is fantastic and you don't feel the least bit bad about hardly playing the game as it was intended. You feel lucky to have the little that you do.
Point of all this is, with progressive dementia you just can't revisit all of your old favorites again. At some point, they are taken away from you, with prejudice. I hate that.....but you just can't go home again..
So I guess the only remaining option is to make home somewhere else, real or imagined...
A big part of the last "plateau" was the Swiss-cheesing of my memory. It was iffy, spotty before; now it is all but useless. Yesterday doesn't exist and I can't envision something past when I go to sleep tonight.
Working memory is shot pretty bad right now. Not whining, no point in that, rather just explaining because also now:
* Almost every movie I see is brand new, no matter how old
* Almost all of my games feel almost complex beyond belief. I am not talking World of Warcraft; thing "Spyro the Dragon", circa 1997 I think.
* I honestly don't recall the last comic book I actually finished. Talking 22 pages of comics.
* I honestly don't recall the last book I got thru chapter one on.
* Time is so elastic for me right now, I feel almost as if I am experiencing three days for every calendar day. The weird thing is, it feels pretty normal. I know.
* FUCKING DYING LIGHT TWO, the one game I have waited for since 2017, is now delayed to 2022. I appreciate the coders want to get it right; I also appreciate the fact I will likely be a vegetable by then, so.....yeah. Thanks guys.
* This last crop is already providing challenges...and based on a doctor visit today, I may be forced to grow beyond when I wanted/needed to stop. I need to double my RSO production. To start.
* The plants inside are doing fine, in fact its ironic that at this late date, I finally get the last bug worked out of trellising...figured out by accident that by taking out any fanleaves that are either big OR are blocking my clear view of what I have to work on. Then I use these 90 degree LST clips to start bending all front-facing branches to the left or to the right. Then I left it for two or three days to heal and acclimate. At this point, trellising the limbs was easy and a great job was done as a result. Replicating this process across the rest of the crop now:
I think its Monday. Anyhow, joy is to be had throughout the land, the great famine of 2021 is over: the broken microwave has been replaced. I have survived far longer than I should have in the kitchen thanks to that device; having it gone all but crippled me when using flame to cook was too dangerous. We have all these "dementia-safe" recipes I can put together to stay fed. Unless I don't have the microwave. Ugh. Possibly worse than smartphone deprivation....
In all its hundred-buck splendor, the new, sexy Black and Decker Popcorn and Tea maker....
Sigh. Nothing like dependency...
20 November 2021: Sometimes I hate dying of this...but sometimes...well fuck-it. I am not even sure I recognize this country anymore. The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict was no surprise given how the judge had his thumb on the scale the whole way. Wasn't even shy about the shit but at the end of the day, someone had to say with a straight face that some kid that should not even have had a weapon, let alone be there, somehow had to defend himself not once but three times from imminent death? Please. In the real world, even if this situation was real, after that knothead shows up, gets scared and kills someone, if it really was innocent self-defence, Rittenhouse would have left the situation immediately and turned himself in. Instead, he went out to find himself in at least two other situations where he felt he needed to murder Americans. I just can't buy it. I can't even imagine the magical thinking required for this to make any kind of legal sense but there you go, these are the times we live in now.
Suddenly every parent with a fucking attitude thinks that comes with two things, the brains and training to make rational medical decisions and that it comes with some kind of deity given right to enforce that on everyone. At the end of the day, the average parent is no more medically knowledgeable than I am and has no reasonable expectation of making the best decisions. Far too many think Tucker fucking Carlson trumps actual knowledge and wisdom. The problems come when these half-wits try to rationalize their anger at masks, vaccines and frankly every stupid thing parents suddenly think are the end of civilization. You may be hot shit at the trailer park but to the rest of the country you just sound like under-education, inbred hicks and nobody in their right mind would have under-educated idiots making medical decisions for them and their children.
Lets be clear: the people demanding to dictate what kids learn, which kids live and which kids die, which kids are mired in the past and which are embracing the future, the ONLY single skill each of these parents has is they know how to fuck each other. Thats it. No other qualifications.
Of course the whole MAGA thing is nuts; they whine about the economy and how long the pandemic restrictions are going on, then do everything they can to make damned sure the pandemic costs as much as it possibly can in terms of money and human life, not to mention making sure the pandemic goes on as long as possible. And yet they whine.
They have succeeded in burning out the remaining bit of compassion I had for them. As they needlessly die from COVID, whining into Facebook feeds about wishing they took the vaccine (or the truly insane ones refusing to believe AS THEY ARE FUCKING DYING OF IT). I don't care anymore and have to look at this pragmatically: The more MAGA people doing this, the fewer there will be in a few years. And if the idiots somehow succeed in getting rid of all vaccinations, cool, they will be gone in a generation and we won't have to live with this shit again. They say those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it...well, 1914 taught these people absolutely nothing and so they will be helping repeat the needless death and misery of 1918.
Sure these idiots will get some non-idiots killed, that cannot be helped or stopped without somehow forcing the MAGA nuts to pull their collective heads out of their asses and kids, that just ain't happening. They are far too in love with being ignorant as fuck, more ignorant about everything that you could expect any adult to be in 2021 be they are the cross we bear. I have to take comfort in the fact that far more of them will die sooner. I won't be around to see it, sad to say....but unless something changes big-time, I am afraid the Ghost of Charles Darwin will be reaching his dead hand out from the grave and slapping the piss out of these cretins...that is as predictable as the sun rising tomorrow.
18 Dec 2021: I have definitely entered a new phase....the mental break downs have run ahead of the physical ones, and the fucked up part is others use my physical ability as a meter to my whole condition. I was pretty sure a few months back that, independent of anything else going wrong, I had about a year to 18 months of anything resembling mental clarity. Lots of ifs and things involved; clarity is something that cycles throughout the day, for varying periods of time. Just part of LBD. Having experienced it I can assure its nothing as simple as that but I have found I need to boil down some LBD concepts otherwise I have no hope of bridging the gap with folks IRL.
ANYHOW. Sorry. Now days are going by quite quickly, sometimes they feel only a few hours long. Its not that I am asleep during this time, rather what has gotten worse is (I suspect) working memory. Not sure using right term but meaning short term. You as a normal person looks at your day and see the whole thing whereas for whatever reason I can only handle I tiny window into it. But thats not right exactly. I look at my day (in past) and see something that feels very perforated, time-wise. Watching a show or movie I might only recall the past 10 minutes, anything earlier is a mystery and more importantly, this leaves me in a nearly constant mystified state because I cannot piece together what the fuck anything is about. The ONLY things that I have half a chance with is something that I saw alot before all this started, like a favorite TV show. I know its hard on Beth so thats the other side of this, even as things are I hate the idea of her going through misery just because of my dementia. So I purposely try to put on things more complex that she might get into. The final piece of this solution lies in the more recent changes in mental abilities. I realized that since I could not really enjoy something I liked because of the crappy memory, then I probably would have little problem zipping through something I detested or could not handle. I just relax any effort put into paying attention until its over. This leaves me zoned out but from my POV, its more like swimming underwater, occasionally popping the head up for air. In this case I fade in and sorta check to see the status of things and then check back out just as fast. It works most of the time. Enough of the time.
Most video games are now beyond me. If they are twitch games, my twitches are a bit too slow, and if they need memory like adventure/puzzle solving games, well, can't do that either. The ones that really thrilled me 6 months ago now are out of reach. LBD giveth, LBD taketh away. WTF? Well its like this, I found a number of things about this were not what I was tuaght to believe. Like losing the ablity to play video games; most would read that in horror or at the very least, sorrow. But I have found for each thing you lose like this, its not at all like one day its there, next its gone but you still want to do it...
What actually happens is this: There is a point in time where the task, game, movie, whatever was simple, like it was for anyone else. There is another time when that same task, game, movie, whatever is now beyond your ability to execute. What people don't get or realize is, between those two points there is a long and linear path marked by you not just struggling harder everyday to do task/game/whatever, but doing it and failing, or failing WORSE each day. That second date comes aroung? You are more than ready to say fuck it. Right in the ear.
So I don't miss watching deep movies or even not-so-deep ones, they are too tiring for me to understand. Dont miss playing my favorite video games either, they are now so hard for me and I switch them off feeling so humiliated, I don't miss them.
Not alot left in the day but as seen with the movies I don't like, I have noticed that thanks to the LBD, most of the day is in the waste bin before I notice its even happened. And so days feel a few hours long.
When I say I think I have X time left with anything going on upstairs, doctors and loved ones not and smile at me, don't even argue though they are sure there is no way for me to know if there is no way for them to. Well, thats where they are wrong. I made an unorthodox engineering career coming up with off the wall solutions to tough problems that defied classical solution. IOW I had crazy ideas like anyone else, I just knew how to express them in computer code. Anyhow yes they would be right, if the approach was to look at the things that are wrong, perhaps looking at their trends and guessing when they will completely fail. To accurately do that with one defect is hard, two is impossible and more (like multifunction dementia), well kiss my ass if you claim to know how things will go and when it will happen.
I turned the problem on its ear, using information that only I have at hand: how long I percieve each day to be. This period of time is defined by how much I am able to recall. If I only can recall two hours a day, my day is two hours long. Put me on a lie detector if you don't believe me. Hehe. So if I am "awake" and in focus during these times, then the time in a 24 hour period where I can't recall, it must be in such a fog as I would be considered "gone".
This time period has decreased alot over the past year and right now, days are in fact about three hours long, maybe a bit more or less depending upon the events of the day. As much as I have been able, I have tracked this period of clarity and if it follows the path/trend it has followed for as long as I tracked it, I should be at a point of having zero minutes of clarity per day by next Christmas. At that point, I, Jeff Cobb, will be gone. For all practical intents that time will come some time prior. Its not all or nothing; ratther for some things I may be OK, others will remain beyond my reach. Also it depends on the part of me failing the most that day....I can lose my sense of balance, ablity to swallow, etc and still dal with my day. If the aphasia hits and I have a hard time translating what I see and hear into thought and harder time translating those thoughts to finger-twitches, I can't play a game even one requiring no speech. I could go on but if the reader needs more examples, sorry, tiring for today. Its a focus thing, will explain next time. Hmm maybe I should have a clock or something in the corner of the screen wiht a number outlining how short my day is....