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Regularly upset by his awareness of his situation

RuralTownie

Registered User
Oct 11, 2021
19
0
When I remember my nan with dementia I remember a happy old lady living in a different world, charmingly content in her own reality.

It feels like one of the cruelest things about this awful disease for my dad is that he still remembers who he used to be. He used to be the brightest boy in his class and as a man was incredibly intelligent, cultured, well read, sharp, and witty.

He's constantly getting angry with himself for not being able to remember things he knows he knew. Socialising becomes particularly upsetting for him because he can't keep up with the conversation or participate in the way that he'd want. He's always included in the conversation, but what he'd like to be doing is throwing in interesting trivia and making wisecracks. (He can, somewhat annoyingly, still jump in to correct grammar and pronunciation)

So when the guests have gone, a gloom stats to descend. I suppose it's a sort of heightened l'esprit d'escalier feeling; when that perfect retort suddenly comes to you after you're halfway down the stairs. Except he doesn't even get the retort, just the knowledge that so many opportunities to engage slipped him by.

Or when he knows he's got a book (that he edited) on something that's come up in conversation but he can't work out how find the information in the book because indexes now confound him.

"My brain used to work" is a regular complaint. And it's so hard to be able to find anything to say because it's true and it's so terribly sad.

There's a part of me that wishes his illness would progress so that he forgets that he can't remember. I hate to see him like this and I don't know how deal with it because it's not like the other anxieties or delusions where I can just play along and agree.
 

SeaSwallow

Registered User
Oct 28, 2019
231
0
@RuralTownie , welcome to Talking Point. Dementia is such a cruel disease. It takes away so much of those we love. I cannot offer you any real comfort but just reassure you that you are not alone and that the members here understand how you feel.
 

SERENA50

Registered User
Jan 17, 2018
154
0
Hi

I think to start with it at least the person must be aware of something not being right. That must be very upsetting. My dad used to get quite upset and would say his mind wasn't right but struggled to be anymore specific. I notice he struggles to find a word now when talking and you might have to try and work out what is missing. I also found a bag of apple peelings in one of his kitchen drawers this last week obviously he must have put them there but it would not serve any purpose to say anything so I just put them in the bin outside. He was also a very sociable man, karaoke and going to the gym every day, walking for miles and miles. Even describing to you now I can see how very different he is over the last couple of years especially. He seems less inclined these days to say his mind isn't right so maybe he has started to loose that awareness. It is definitely a cruel thing to have and to witness too.
 

DreamsAreReal

Registered User
Oct 17, 2015
424
0
It feels like one of the cruelest things about this awful disease for my dad is that he still remembers who he used to be. He used to be the brightest boy in his class and as a man was incredibly intelligent, cultured, well read, sharp, and witty.
Same as my Mum. She was always very proud of how intelligent she was. I wish I could say I found a way to help with this, but I didn't really. I did used to try to reassure her by saying she was "much more capable than most 90 year olds" and I would tell her there was nothing wrong with her intelligence, she just had a slight memory problem. Sometimes it would make her feel better, for a little while at least.

It must be incredibly frustrating and saddening for them when they're so aware of what they're losing.