Sunday, 31 May 2015

Setting up routines

When I was diagnosed as having Lewy  body dementia in Durham, my consultant told me to set up a routine.

This would get me through the day without the permanent support of others like my wife, because she like other carers, have enough problems to deal with on a daily basis, without watching over our every move

It was also recognised that I did struggle at times, with short term memory problems. 

Since my diagnosis has been changed to mild cognitive impairment, I am still the same person with the same problems including memory.
It's not easy getting used to this re-diagnosis, partly because, I am still under a consultant to see if it's all Parkinson related. But I have to be positive, while this is going on, because as I said before, my problems are still the same, and my family are relying on me to keep fighting this illness.

 I still use my routines as I did before, although these days I am starting to forget to take my medication  more than I did earlier, but that's life. 

I know that when this diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment is finalised, I will be taken off my Exelon medication as it's not recommended for this  illness

However It's all well and good telling people to set up routines, but when you have memory problems, it only takes a little thing to distract you and your routine goes out of the window.

It's not the first time that I have got started on my daily routine, when the telephone or door bell rang, or someone spoke, and everything went out of the window.

Some days you can pick up where you were, but in other days, it's all gone.

I was once stopped when I was shaving, and only realised later in the day, that I had shaved one side of my face, while the other side was left unshaved. 

This was very embarrassing,  because my wife and I only realised when we were shopping, by which time I could not wait to get home again. 

On other days I have forgotten to take my mediation, which is usually on a table beside me. 
This medication is always sorted out by my wife on a weekly basis, but it only takes a slight distraction and it's all gone hay wire.

I had to stop cooking when I burnt two pans, by putting something on the cooker, only to forget that I had done it in the first place. 
When you smell something burning, or the smoke detector goes off,  you realise that something is wrong, but by this stage it's too late.
So now my cooking is done in the microwave.

So no matter whether you have dementia or mild cognitive impairment, it still effects the memory, and once that plays up, you really do have problems. 

It's not the first time I have got out of my chair, to walk to the computer, only to forget what I was going to do. 
I use voice activated software on my computer and iPad these days, so that I do not forget what I am trying to write. 
At least with this,  I just speak and let the computer write it all down. I no longer have to look down at the keyboard and back up to the screen, until it's all finished and ready for corrections to be done. 

So it's a case of using any assistive technology available, as and when you can, as it will help you get through the day.

I no longer give people directions these days, because I always say turn left when I mean right. This is because my co ordination has gone. 

On top of this I still have a letter telling me that I have brain shrinkage, which according to our family doctor is not linked to normal ageing. 

But life has to go on, and now  I need to decide what to do with things this blog in the future. 
I guess I will put the blog on the back burner until this is all sorted out. 





Information pack for diagnosis of dementia

The other day I found this old 2006 blog about the information pack we were given, after my diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia in County Durham...