wings and things

Dementia is confusing

on February 25, 2013

Anthony’s encroaching dementia confuses both of us and sometimes I am more confused than he is. That’s why I am so glad we have such an honest way of talking with each other.

When Ants was home yesterday, and I mentioned that he had dementia and he winked at me, I was surprised for two reasons. Firstly, his Parkinsons disease prevents him from blinking, let alone winking, so that wink was weirdly wonderful. Secondly, when he and I talked about the dementia of his PD, and I laughed about the taxi mishap, Ants was fine – not distressed and quite okay with the fact that he has dementia now.

I’m confused.

47 responses to “Dementia is confusing

  1. jan norman says:

    He probably won’t remember that conversation today. Just remember that yesterday was a blessing of sorts, and get through this one day at a time.

  2. I’m not surprised. As I understand it, dementia is one of those things where someone may be fully present, if only for an instant, and away the next?

  3. There isn’t a rule book for anything like parenting or getting older. I wish there was one.

  4. janeslog says:

    He will still remember things and who you are. That’s a blessing. Life can be so cruel.

  5. Being okay with having dementia is probably a part of dementia. Or just a very good attitude!

  6. confused but happily confused I hope–nice that he realizes sometimes just what he is going through

  7. tersiaburger says:

    Oh dear Julie I wish I had words for you. Have I passed this link onto you? It is an amazing site! Hugs!

  8. viveka says:

    Glad that …. You’re the one that is pleasant confused. Enjoy your confusion.

  9. The honesty exemplified by your family inspires me even more to be honest in my relationships. You guys are an awesome family!

  10. terry1954 says:

    i hope that it last for a long time his understanding

  11. every day is different………..memory comes and goes….. x

  12. I think the answer is obvious. You must be the one with the dementia and he is just humoring you. Right?

  13. tootlepedal says:

    I hope this can carry on.

  14. FlaHam says:

    Julie, I would be confused as well, but the view from where I sit shows more love than confusion. You constantly reach out to Ants displaying your love, and thru it all sometimes he finds ways to reach back. This was one I suspect. Take care, Bill

  15. Daylily says:

    How wonderful to get a wink. Dementia is confusing.

    I visited my mother this week in her retirement home. My brother and I noticed that she is forgetting more and more things.

    We went to lunch and my brother brought up the topic. “Mom, I am worried about you. Your memory has declined since I saw you at Christmas time.”

    “What am I forgetting?”

    My mom wants some proof.

    “Well, for one you are holding the menu and you just asked me what you are supposed to do with it.”

    Mom looks questioningly at my brother, almost as if she didn’t recall that happening moments before. She asks, “What else have I done to make you concerned?”

    My brother says he will pay more attention so he can answer that question.

    I offer up my observations. “You forgot that you were in the hospital back in November and when we got where we were going today you asked, Why are we here? even though you spent the morning excitedly preparing for our lunch date with your son.”

    My step-dad chimes in that he has noticed things, too. He tells us, “That is why I took her to a neuro-psych in January. The neurologist asked a few questions and believed my mom when she claimed I had unnecessarily dragged her there.” The doc said there was no change from last time he saw her, which was 3 years ago after her stroke. All but Mom agree that Mom can fake her way around a situation with confidence and stubbornness.

    Mom appeared flustered by all the talk. Really, what could she say? My big brother put his arm around her and said, “I love my mommy and I will always love you.” This big giant of a man was nearly in tears.

    Later that day…

    Mom is back home and she has lost a coupon. She states, “Your brother is right, I am going mad.” Sadly she spent the morning searching for the lost coupon so we never did get manicures which was what we were going to do with the coupon.

    My brother thinks my mom’s medications to depress her immune system are also depressing her thoughts My step dad thinks Mom is suffering from depression and needs antidepressants. I think she is growing old and I see the brighter side. She forgets the bad stuff, like she fought with her husband moments before or she was in the hospital. She lives for the moment and I am learning to do that when I’m with her. Today is all we have.

  16. victoriaaphotography says:

    The 2007 Swedish film about Dementia called ‘Away from Her’ with Julie Christie shows an afternoon towards the end of the film when the husband visits the wife (played by Julie Christie) and she suddenly has a pocket in time when she remembers the husband and they spend the most wonderful time together relating to each other in a completely normal way.

    Since this film was supposedly a very true depiction of the health condition, I would assume there are hours or days when patients are completely lucid and their memory and cognitive function seemingly returns.

    I would imagine there’ll come times in your own visits with Anthony when this confusing and rather strange phenomena happens to Anthony too.

    (Just guessing here, but if was a very beautiful and moving film and one that might be helpful for you as Anthony’s wife going through these phases of Anthony’s Alzheimers).

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thanks, Victoria – I haven’t steeled myself to watch this film yet but it’s probably about time.

      • victoriaaphotography says:

        I think you would enjoy it, Julie. I think it ended on a good note and while sad, was not a really bad ending (in many ways). Excellent acting.
        Hard to say as I’m not in your shoes, but I think you would find it helpful from a Dementia/Alzhemiers point of view.

  17. Give it a moment. πŸ˜› I sympathize. My mom tried to hit another assisted home inmate with her walker this week. This is not my godly, sweet mom. It is hard. But you laugh when you can, cry when you must, and keep walking.

  18. bulldog says:

    The coming and going of a persons memories .. must be as confusing for Ant as it is for you… never knowing when they are fully with you and when not would be confusing… but I’m sure no one would be better placed to know when Ant is with you, not only in body but mind as well…
    It can only be construed as a blessing if Ant accepts the realities of Dementia when of clear mind… Linda’s Mom suffered from dementia before her passing… it was so confusing not only to us but her as well… she never grasped what was happening to her…

  19. That wink would had made your day…………………….I know when my nan does something like that it makes me so happy for the rest of the day……..

  20. Embrace these good times, as short as they are. πŸ™‚

  21. Trisha says:

    That would be so confusing. I’m so glad you got that gift of a wink though!

  22. Oh, yeah, dementia is confusing You never know what they might remember, or for that matter, what they might imagine. So glad you had that moment.

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