What I have recently noticed is now happening to my brain, reminded me about an extract from a book, ‘The Things We Keep’ by Sally Hepworth. It reads ‘Dr Brain once told me that an Alzheimer’s brain is like snow on a mountain peak- slowly melting. There are days when the sun is bright and chunks break off all over the place, and there are days when the sun stays tucked behind clouds and everything remains largely intact. Then there are days when you stumble across a trail you thought had melted, and for a short while you have something back that you had thought had gone forever.’
I think that I’ve nearly recovered from my travelling back from presenting at ADI Budapest and the holiday afterwards, in Italy. It’s been 6 weeks today since arriving back in Brisbane, and although I’ve been quite busy (media commitments which I’ll post about when I have more details), I’ve noticed that my symptoms have improved from 6 weeks ago.
However, I’ve also noticed changes which I hope isn’t the new me.
My lived experience with dementia now, is that I can be told something one day but have forgotten the next. The extent of this is new for Glenys also, and the first few times that it happened, she didn’t realise it either, so the conversation was more like I imagine that it would be in most households when busy lives mean that communication can be in passing; or not fully heard; or, missed because of being preoccupied. When I became aware of it, I raised it with Glenys and we discussed those few times that I’d noticed it and I asked her if she’d become aware of anything. That’s when I realised that it was more evident to her if the initial conversation had been during the afternoon or evening but she hadn’t mentioned it to me.
This is worrying as it means that my memory is fading. It also means that my ability to process information which is only one symptom, but a major one of my Alzheimer’s Disease, is getting worse.
It has become a source of constant frustration for me and in fact, sometimes I’m starting to doubt myself, which has lead to further confusion and frustration for me.
In spite of the lifestyle considerations I have factored into my life, including such things as good nutrition, mental activities and exercise I feel that my cognitive ability is diminishing ever so slowly but inexorably. But I suppose I could have expected that given I have Dementia!!!
Yet, things that I thought would fade from my memory like recent social events are still uppermost in my memory.
This is an example of the unpredictability of the progression of dementia.
Glenys’ thinking is that because it took at least 10 weeks to fully recover from my Camino trip and the complexities of that travel last September, that perhaps it’s possibly that I need more that these past 6 weeks, after all I have just completed 9 lengthy radio interviews in 8 days and an hour long prerecorded telephone conversation.
Glenys still has hope, but who knows! Is it as Sally Hepworth writes: ‘chunks break off all over the place’ OR that I will ‘stumble across a trail you thought had melted, and for a short while you have something back that you had thought had gone forever.’ I have to hope too I guess.