Demented wisdom or wisely demented?

The Dude Abides....words to live by.

Life plays by a different set of rules when you have dementia. Those that either forget that or never grasp its truth are destined to forever take its consequences the hardest. Some of you out there know this, I can tell from your posts.

I realized this the other day when I was forced to accept that reading books is off my to-do list for the rest of my life. Aside from the direct bummer of losing something close to me, it pointed out a simple "truth" or bit of wisdom about daily life with dementia that might horrify normal folks but I betcha more than a few patients out there will be nodding..."yep"

For example, with the books: Reading was a big part of my life. With reading gone I now have a great deal more free time on my hands.

That may sound sarcastic and maybe initially it was but the bald truth is there seems to be some kind of cosmic balance at work, because with each loss of mental ability, I am also equally sure I could not do more right now no matter how much I wanted to, I am just not up to it.

So with each loss, with each new block of available time, I also find I am almost thankful for the loss because doing it now would represent something between work and pain, neither of which I am into much these days.

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I would say that sometimes your "old life" has a special gravity all its own.

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With the craziness going on right now, it is insane for any thinking person to stick their heads in the sand at this most critical moment when all Americans need their thinking cap on straight. The corollary of that rule is that insanity is the absolute definite end-state if someone with dementia tries to keep this whole mess straight.

As time and my dementia moves on, I become sadly thankful I cannot read anything more than the shortest of stories...

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There is an old Eastern saying that goes something to the effect of: if a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there it hear it, did it really happen?

To which I reply that which all sufficiently-advanced patients already know: *of course* it did; it was our forest and nothing happens in our forest without our permission. Pshhh! The nerve of some people asking....

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This one I got the wisdom of today. It has been one of the classic ways to measure dementia presence or advancement based on the completion of tests or more to the point, the solving of puzzles. Puzzle solving was an integral part of my old profession (engineering) but what I learned today through the clarity of 20/20 hind-sight is that puzzle or problem solving is a part of all aspects of daily life; how much of a problem depends on how much brain you have to work with solving it.

So when I say I have seriously impacted and progressively decaying problem solving skills, folks think like test questions, Rubiks cube and crap like that. No, real life goes like this:

The other night for some reason our set-top box was simply not outputting to the main TV screen. I could find nothing wrong with the cable box (something I knew because I have built dozens of these over the years), rebooted, swapped it out with not just one but two boxes, no luck, finally gave up. Next morning I find that the multi-HDMI switch (which was electrically inbetween the TV and the set top box) had the power cable pulled out, so it didn't matter what I pumped into it, nothing played on the TV. Restore power and as they used to say, Bobs your uncle. I should have seen this on the first glance but hey, my problem solving skills have decayed.

However I dont need some an exotic example to prove my point to other patients: sometimes it is simply too difficult to work out what to do *next* at any given moment...at times, that problem is insurmountable.

Feel free to add anything you have from your life...


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