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Changes in writing

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
Co Durham
Recently it has be noticeable that my writing and spelling has changed. So after speaking to my consultant it was suggested that I wrote a topic out and then went back to check and correct it.

Believe me it started off fine but then developed into something that was out of this world. I know my spelling has gone out of the window. But in the end there were words that I could not work out what they were supposed to be.

I have always been right handed, but due to my job as an engineer, I learnt to use both hands, now a major part of the problem is caused by my left hand becoming faster than my right.

This means that most of the letters in a word are there, but in the wrong order. I have now started to double up on the wrong letters in some words which is giving me a lot of stress, and I just can not understand what is happening inside my head. A word like letters, becomes "leeterrs" or something similar, and other times letters are completely missing from words or words missing from sentences.

I know dementia causes havoc, but there are times when I think I am trying to write in a foreign language and if it were not for things like spell check I would be totally lost.

I now understand how frustrating people feel when they lose the ability to write or use the computer through this illness, and my heart goes out to them.

Ken
 

Helen33

Registered User
Jul 20, 2008
14,697
Hello Ken

Your post made me think of my husband who has this problem with spoken words:eek: I was smiling thinking that I wish there was some gadget like spellcheck that Alan could use to find the right words.

Thank goodness for any technological aid that helps you Ken:)

Love and best wishes
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
Co Durham
Hi Helen,

I am now starting to look at voice activated software for the computer. This will hopefully help to remove many of the spelling mistakes and make life a little easier.

Ken
 

Helen33

Registered User
Jul 20, 2008
14,697
Hello Ken

I think it's a really good idea to familiarise yourself with something that could help in the future. Someone I know used voice activation due to a repetitive strain injury which prevented him using his hands much. I will be interested to hear how you get on with it Ken:)
 

Barry

Registered User
Oct 14, 2006
1,898
74
Indonesia
Hi Ken,

I can understand how you feel as the same problem affects me now, trying to write, type and spell any word in my native tongue seems to defy my logic, my hand writing has become completely illegible and looks more like hieroglyphics,:eek: then when I sit typing my eyes, brain and fingers just cant coordinate so I’m continuously hitting the wrong keys, I know this might sound strange but in my mind I know what I want to say and type but the messages just aren’t reaching the fingertips at the same time as so I end up typing the wrong letters or words and example is if I want to type the word (Type) I end up with (Yype) or (Yellow becomes Tellow) this seems to happen over the complete spectrum of the keyboard, trying to remember the use of correct English grammar is also very frustrating for me as I make stupid mistakes with simple words as in (Where Were Wear) so thank goodness for the spell check and synonyms in the computer, the idea of trying Voice activated software might be good although for myself I wonder if it would work as I do tend to mumble and stutter my speech now so the voce activator could end up having a nervous breakdown, but I will be interested to know how you get on with it
 

julieann15

Registered User
Jun 13, 2008
2,012
Leicestershire
Hi
Have noticed over the last few months how bad mum's writing is getting. The number of void cheques in her cheque book is increasing. Also she puts the bare minimum in a card now..."regards M" quite often is all that is written to everyone:(

Julie xx
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
Co Durham
It amazing how we carry on without spotting these mistakes, until they are pointed out by some one, and then we feel totally embarrassed, or some go the other way and deny there is anything wrong.

It has taken me some time to come to terms with it although it still gives me stress at times.

There again I am lucky that I can still write on the computer, it may be slow but I can do it.

Ken
 

gigi

Registered User
Nov 16, 2007
7,788
67
East Midlands
Dear Ken...

You are very brave to post about these latest problems..it helps all of us to understand how this blasted disease affects not only you..but those we care for.

Eric can still write his name...slowly..a year ago he was filling in crossword puzzles.

He could not do what you have done today...I tried to get him to post online a few months ago but although he was a good typist he's lost that skill.

But if I ask him to draw a shoe...:) He was a shoe designer and he will still "design" a shoe for anyone who asks...he can still draw.

There again I am lucky that I can still write on the computer, it may be slow but I can do it.
Stay with it Ken...take your time and don't panic.

Love xx
 

susiesue

Registered User
Mar 15, 2007
2,607
Herts
David is no longer able to sign his name without copying it from a piece of paper, and even then it is illegible.

Unfortunately he has never got on with computers, which is a shame as I think now it would be of great help to him.

Oddly enough, before we ever realised how serious David's problem was, we thought perhaps he was Dyslexic (but because of his age it had never been picked up when he was at school) as he was having so many problems trying to pass the Mortgage Exam necessary for him to continue to be a Financial Adviser. This was despite the fact that he knew all the answers but found the exams so hard to finish in time - little did we know that that was probably the start of the dementia.
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
Co Durham
I think it is because we need the extra time to process the information as we go, and that on its own is distressing to all with this illness.

My people think we are just slow or lazy, which is an insult, but thats life when you are given this illness, no matter which form of it you get, it causes total havoc with the processing.

I had just completed my last electrical exams around 6 months before I realised that there was something wrong. Now I can not remember anything to do with electrical work, which is sad, but I have a son who is an electrician, as he wanted to follow his dad and become an engineer.

Now he does all our electrical work.

Ken
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
62,335
69
Dundee
All of the above sounds so familiar. Bill was originally an engineering draughtsman then he went to college and became a primary teacher then a headteacher. He used to have competitions with my brother and sister in law to see who could finish difficult crosswords first. Now, to look at him, you would think there was nothing wrong with him. He can't do one clue in a crossword now. Luckily he can still sign his name and he can write stuff but I can see it isn't easy for him. I wish he could use the computer but he has never had any interest in it. Ken I do so admire the way you are looking at your own difficulties and analysing them. Your insights are really helpful to others. Thanks. Izzy
 

CraigC

Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
6,632
London
Hi Ken,

I remember hearing Terry Pratchett at a conference last year talking about his difficulties and frustrations with typing. Found this on the BBC that may interest you:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7560713.stm

"It's unusual because people deal with me and they refuse to believe I have Alzheimer's because at the moment I can speak very coherently, I can plot a novel," Pratchett says. "I type badly - if it wasn't for my loss of typing ability, I might doubt the fact that I have Alzheimer's.
I remember sitting with dad trying to help him with his signature. He had the same signature since I was a child and he must have used it 100,000 times. When I started helping him with paperwork and bills etc I found 100s of sheets of paper where he must have practiced over and over again. Must have been incredibly frustrating for dad who was both a great speaker and letter writer.

Hope you enjoy the BBC article.
Kind Regards
Craig
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
Co Durham
Hi Craig

I realised a few years ago while I was still an engineer, that I had a problem because when it came to signing my name, I got half way through and got stuck. I had to think what came next, and that hurt.

But we have to get on with life, as it would be too easy to give in.

But I am lucky that I can still do this and thats a bonus.

Ken
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
Co Durham
I was talking to my clinical psychologist this morning as she was looking into my horrendous nightmares, and we talked about my lose of skills on the computer.

I said that someone had suggested using voice activated software on the Computer, and how it may help.

She then said that it was well worth trying, although it sounds quite spooky, talking to a computer which then writes down exactly what you are saying.

I was surprised by her answer but, I am going to look into this when I return from London on Thursday.


Ken
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
Co Durham
We have just bought some equipment which will allow me to try voice activated software on my computer, in the hope that the computer can spell better than I can, which wouldn't be hard at present.

I am starting with a Vista Package, so that I can get used to it before moving on to the real stuff, but I confess that the idea of sitting and talking to a computer does not feel quite right.
I tried earlier on and felt a bit of a berk, but it has to be done.

I suppose it worries me that it may well answer back on of these days. Looking back, there was a period when I think I spent more time in front of one of these things than anything else, and I am amazed that it never told me that I was an idiot for talking to it, or calling it names when it played up,

So tomorrow I start in earnest speaking to it so that it can recognise my voice, and then go on to learn all the commands etc, which is going to be fun.

I am still going to use the old, tried and trusted method for the time being, but If I go quiet for a few days I may need to be rescued.

Living in hope

Ken
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
Co Durham
I have been trying the voice activated section on my computer, but I did not realise how distressing it could be.

I spent about an hour a day trying this, and after that it took around an hour to get on to talking point, but would not log in.

After starting to shout at the computer, I decided to stop before I blew a gasket. The odd thing was that when I swore at the computer it wrote it down which made me laugh.

Perhaps when I shout, my voice is a different tone to normal?

Obviously me accent is preventing me getting any further with this, although it may well be better with some descent software as I have been trying the voice activated section on Microsoft Vista.

Still I will carry on using the tried and trusted keyboard for as long as possible.

Ken
 

Barry

Registered User
Oct 14, 2006
1,898
74
Indonesia
Hi Ken,

It’s very interesting to read your account of using the voice activated typing system, and I had to smile about you swearing at the computer which is something I seem to endlessly do even when typing!

But you’re right it can be very distressing when sitting as though talking to the computer and not a person, I now have the same problem when I’m trying to make a voice recording to one of my friends at home who also has AD, over the past few years we had been conversing with each other by voice recordings about our daily life and the affects of the AD and at first I found it a very good way of interacting and communication rather than typing but now when I sit with the microphone in front of me my mind goes astray and I lose all sense of what I wanted to say and then become quiet agitated and start slurring and mumbling my words and end up having to do the recording 3-4 times to get it right which I think is because I lose my sense of self confidence which can be very soul destroying especially as I use to conduct a lot of seminars to large audiences and could speck confidently using a microphione, and your quiet right that about the tone of our voice changing especially when using a microphone as we tend to become more hesitant and lose our ability to pronounce word correctly, It’s also a problem trying to do the recordings if there is to much noise around as the microphone picks up the slightest sound which causes more distortion to the recording, but the thing is not to give up and persevere as I’m sure you will get to grips with it.

Barry
 

carrie99

Registered User
Apr 26, 2009
175
Yorkshire
Keeping up the pressure!

I've been diagnosed for 3-5 months now, and have recently discovered the Nintendo DS which a neighbour has. It is really good as it has lots of quizzes which are not difficult but train you to react quicker - it seems to make me more more alert mentally.
The best game is a string of arithmetic and other teasers. You are scored by whether you are going at walking pace, running etc. You get an animation showing you how well you have done, eg an express train is really good. The questions themselves are quite easy (eg 15 - 8), but you do them really quickly. It's not cheap, but it's good to do first thing in the morning - that's when I am at my best these days.

Carrie
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
Co Durham
In an effort to cope with my demise in writing on the computer, I have been advised by the hospital to spend some time copying a piece of work from a book or the like as an exercise.
This has the added problem of trying to remember where you are at all times, which is causing problems as well.

The idea is that I do this once a day, before I do my computer brain training, as this my well help me to hang on for a bit longer.

I confess that I could not do this before the brain training as that takes it out of me after a while, and I confess that there are nights when I feel that I do not want to stop the brain training as it can be addictive, on a good night, trying to better my previous scores. Having said that I did get from the basic level up to the mid level, and then promptly fell back again and I have never been back up there again.

Still this copying work is helping me quite a lot, so I am hoping that it lasts a bit longer.

Ken
 

Helen33

Registered User
Jul 20, 2008
14,697
Hello Ken

It is so good to hear that the copying is helping. I know what you mean about the brain training being addictive:D I sometimes spend hours and hours doing games and puzzles because it is a good way to relax for me.

Wishing you well.