Thursday, April 2, 2015

What?

What? I find myself asking "What" all the time now. When someone says what, you figure 9 out of 10 times they didn't hear what you were saying.
Well, with dementia, not so much.There is nothing wrong with my hearing. The problem for us patients lie between our ears.
I ask what, because then when whatever is said again, it gives me an extra minute or two to figure out just "what" was said. How do I respond, having no idea at times what someone may be talking about.
Especially if a couple of things are going on at the time. More than one person talking, music playing, kids around, dogs barking, etc.
Having dementia makes it so you have to try to pay attention to everything around you. You will find patients are more inquisitive than ever. 
It's not that they want to question every little thing, it's that they no longer understand for example where they are, why the are there, who they are with, and on and on.
Many times dementia is thought of a disease that effects ones memory, and it does, of course. 
But there is so much more that goes on, then loss of memory. A good example is who doesn't love having a cup of coffee with their spouse, or a couple of beers with friends?
This to many patients is no longer possible. Just a casual conversation can bring on anxiety. It shouldn't, and this is one of those things that everyone tries to "fix", but can't.
I hear all the time, "Is there anything I can do"....well, no there isn't. In fact sometimes just trying to "fix" things that happen, brings on more anxiety. 
If any of this could be "fixed" it would have already. Again, if any of this could be "fixed" someone would have figured it out, and somehow put a huge price tag on it.
Memory loss is a huge business. There are people making millions. And that is fine, it's the American way. Just try to keep in mind, that there is no "fix" for any of this. 
There are medications one can take that may lesson the symptoms, or even some remedies that may also lesson the symptoms, but there is nothing that will slow the progression or cure what we deal with.
There isn't, and if you get involved in a conversation with anyone who tells you any different, they are simply saying what they think you want to hear. 
And if they start spouting off about things they don't know what they are talking about...just look at them and say, "What"?