Remembering

Discussion in 'I have dementia' started by KenC, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. KenC

    KenC Registered User

    Mar 24, 2006
    913
    Co Durham
    #1 KenC, Dec 30, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
    Hi all,
    As an Engineer before I was diagnosed, I thought I would never forget anything, but what a shock. When you have problems with memory and are having tests done, the first thing we are told is to write it down before we forget it.
    This as many know, is harder to do than you think. First you have to remember to carry a note book and pencil or pen everywhere you go. When I was first diagnosed it was hell trying to remember to carry anything.
    How many times do we forget to take one or both items.(Pencil or paper)
    How many times do we put them in a coat pocket, only to change coats, or leave your coat off, and guess where the two items are.
    Or the worst is taking them out of your pocket, to tell someone something you have written down, and forgetting to put them back, or forgetting where you put them both.
    Sometimes my wife puts post-its on the fridge cooker or the telly to remind me to do something, only to return and find I am in a different room. I have even had them on the computer and forgotten that they were there.
    Since the medication started I am better than I was, but its amazing how fast and how much we can forget.

    I need a pen and paper,
    To write a little reminder,
    Of the things I must remember,
    Or remember to write Down.


    These post-its are a reminder,
    Of the things I have to remember,
    To do before I forget.


    Such is life.

    kenc
     
  2. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Dear Ken

    Thank you - quite brilliant!

    Mum still tries to 'write notes' for herself (mostly garbled) ... or I do it for her .... I realise now it's remembering where she put them that's the problem ......:eek:

    If it was something really important she used to put them on the bathroom floor so she couldn't miss it when she 'spent a penny' - then she found bending down to pick up the note and try to read it was too much for her......:(

    Ken you are so generous in expressing how it is for you ..... can't tell you how much it is appreciated......

    Love, Karen, x
     
  3. KenC

    KenC Registered User

    Mar 24, 2006
    913
    Co Durham
    #3 KenC, Dec 30, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2006
    Hi Tender Face,

    The memory is very strange, and at times I really feel like screeming. If I put something down and can't find it again, I often wondered if the brain has forgotten what the item was I am looking for, or has forgotten what the item looks like, because you can guarentee that the item you have lost is right under your nose and was there all the time. Sometimes I try to remember where I have picked things up, and try to put them back there, but that does not work all the time.
    You feel streessed when you have forgotten where you put something, and it drives you mad, and then weeks or days later you find it again, and feel as if you have achieved something really great.
    Its a weired old life, but at least at present I can still laugh at myself, because if I know that if I didn't I know I would cry, I also realise though that sooner or later all this will change, but I have to live life as it comes.

    Best wishes

    kenc
     
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #4 Margarita, Dec 31, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2006
    Ken this may sound like a stupid suggestion, I was wondering on the idea of a mini camera (with the help of your wife ) don’t know how they work and if they be expensive , you could put it hanging from your jumper like a button ,and (or) around the house so it records you daily actives at the end of the day rewind it back . for those days when you say
     
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Ken, long may you be able to laugh at yourself. You are so precious to us, we all pray that it won't change for a long time to come.

    As we say up here, 'lang may your lum reek!'

    Love,
     
  6. KenC

    KenC Registered User

    Mar 24, 2006
    913
    Co Durham
    #6 KenC, Jan 2, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2007
    Hi Hazel,
    I have not got the faintest idea what that last message means, even though I spent some time working in Scotland before I was married, ( Lang may your lum reek), but hopefully you will tell me.
    Talking of remembering things, when I first realised that things were going wrong, I was told to keep notes, which at times was very difficult. I did however make notes in a diary and carried a dictaphone with me when I went to see the University Doctor, who was more help than my own GP. The University Doctor had suggested using a dictaphone, so that we could keep a record of what was happening, as that time I was seeing my own GP, the University Doctor and a Hospital Consultant.
    Out of those three Doctors only one of them was any good, and it was not my GP. But the Unversity were more interested in getting me back to work than the other two.
    It was interesting over Christmas to read my old diary from this period, because I feel as if it was a different person in the diary. I know I was lucky to get the Medication and extremely lucky that it worked. But although I have some problems at present, they are nothing compared with the period when the diary was written. I have still got the dictaphone tapes, but I have not tried them, because I find that period now seems like a living hell, and I am frightened of going back to it.

    All the very best for the New Year.

    kenc
     
  7. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    542
    Hello Ken

    Thanks for your posts. Your explanation about whether the brain has forgotten the item it's looking for, or forgotten what it looks like, really got me thinking and has given me a true insight into what it's like 'on the other side of the fence'.

    Best wishes for 2007.
     
  8. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Ken, sorry to come back to this .... and please, don't feel compelled to answer ..... but that tells me although you have forgotten where you put something you are retaining the fact that you have 'mislaid' it ...... else there would be no sense of 'achievement' when you found it ....:confused:

    Seen that soooo much with mum ..... (in her case when she 'finds' it she knew it was there all along! :) .....and my interpretation now against what you have cared to share here is that she can 'carry' the anxious short-term memories but is not able to 'hold on' to the 'nicer' short-term stuff?

    Don't know if that thinking makes any sense ... and it certainly doesn't seem fair ..... but none of this is..... is it?

    Not trying to get medically trained here :rolleyes: , but is there (anyone, not just you Ken) a part of the brain that deals with stress/anxiety specifically and a reason why something 'stressful' or 'annoying' may be retained in memory where other events are not?

    And if so, wouldn't it be lovely if we could turn it the other way round?

    Karen, x
     
  9. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi kenc

    It means literally may your chimney continue to smoke for a long time to come, i.e. I wish you health, wealth and prosperity for a long time. Expressive, eh? But maybe not so applicable in these smole-free days.

    I can understand your not wanting to listen to the tapes at present, but they and your diaries would surely be a useful research tool for someone. Have you arranged for anyone else to access them?
     
  10. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland

    Interesting one, Karen. I don't know the answer, not being medically trained either, but I have a tape-recorder memory for hurtful things that people have said to me, going right back to childhood. I only wish I didn't ......hyper-sensitivity....incipient paranoia.....and I'm supposed to be 'normal'.

    I agree, it would be great to only remember the good things, except.......euphoria.......over-confidence........arrogance?

    I guess we just have to put up with the brain we have, warts and all!
     
  11. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    It's a complicated area. But one of the reasons is that stress (or more specifically anxiety) produces adrenaline, and an increase in adrenaline levels enhances memory of that event. Too much fear around an event can have the opposite effect though ... and the event be forgotten.

    I guess although it's not pleasant, it's kind of adaptive. At a very basic level we don't really need to remember the 'nice' things ...... but we do need to remember what is harmful, dangerous, and not to be repeated.
     
  12. KenC

    KenC Registered User

    Mar 24, 2006
    913
    Co Durham
    #12 KenC, Jan 2, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2007
    Hi Hazel,
    I think having seen a lot of other people with dementia at our Day centre when I have been visiting for discussions etc, there always seems to be a lot of stress.
    I suppose its because people with the illness find it harder to cope than people who are free of the illness.
    It seems to come in different forms and different extrems.
    Some can be calm and others volitile. But like it or not stress is a major factor in modern day life. I know that I can get very stressed when I am trying to do something and it does not work out, usually something I used to do many times over without problems, but now I can't. At present I walk away and do something else, then return and try again in the hope I can succeed, after that the wheels tend to come off, but its the frustration and trying to remember how to do things.
    I think having been involved with others who have Dementia, the stress comes out because of the sheer frustration involved with trying to cope with daily life.
    We are trying to keep up and remember as much as we can even though the brain has slowed down. If I was a computer I would be sent off to have the software reloaded or a new memory fitted. Perhaps that is why computers crash, because they are stressed.

    The mind boggles.

    Best Wishes

    kenc
     
  13. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Kenc, you're a genius!!!!!

    You've solved all our problems. What we need is a tiny computer to take over from the failing parts of our brain. Heart pacemakers work, why not brain pacemakers?

    Do you think we could get Bill Gates interested?
     
  14. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Thanks, Áine ... in a world where so much is illogical helps to hang onto some logical explanation .....

    Karen, x
     
  15. KenC

    KenC Registered User

    Mar 24, 2006
    913
    Co Durham
    Hello Again

    Some time ago when I was still getting used to the medication and struggling with people and names, something happened which has changed the way I remember people these days, and that is word association.
    A dear lady friend called Olive came up to me as said
    " Hello What-sit",one of these weired friendly Northern terms, which means the same as "hello you".

    After this I realised that everytime I saw her, the What-sit came with the name. I then started to think of something which could be used with every new person I met, and although this causes a few laughs when people know about it, I do feel that it actually works.

    I usually use a term or name that the person comes out with themselves, that way it has more effect.


    Its amazing how the old brain works, even under stress

    Best Wishes

    Ken
     
  16. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Nice to see you on , around TP Ken .

    You do amaze me with the Good ideas you come up with .

    I know with myself that my mind can just go blank when I am under a lot of stress , let alone people with a dementia if you don't mind me saying that .

    I have a bad memory for people name , so when they tell me they name I have to imagine a rhymes about them :D so like that I retain it in my memory, because if I don't I just forget
     
  17. panpam83

    panpam83 Registered User

    Apr 14, 2009
    62
    westchester
    stress

    My husband creates problems,like saying theirs no key for uostairs,so i go up there and nothings wrong.after a while it gets to be a little bit annoying,to say the least.He will say my wallets missing and it will be square ,in the middle of his dresser...So i removed his id's medical and credit cards ,pronto.Then i enrolled us in lifelock they freeze your credit and stop people from using your identity.Here in los angeles,identity theft is the number one crime.at least i don't have to worry about that...Now when he says he lost something,i don't get worried.My husband was and engineer.He used to teach younger engineers with a blackboard,for the company....but you know exelon patch is really helping,he was watering the grass today...Hang in there everyone.. new better meds are on the way,as there is more understanding,of this alzheimers.
     

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