Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Where I am, mentally, now

It is time to take inventory of where I am mentally.  I have written recently about the changes in my mental condition but I have not really told you exactly what has changed.  So, here goes.

First, my memory has degraded and I have difficulty recalling important facts required for living.  For instance, my address, zip code, telephone number, and the names of the medicines I take and for what.

Second, I cannot regulate my body temperature.  That is an autonomic function and one that is now being effected by LBD.  Another autonomic function that is being impacted is bowel and urine control.  Enough said there.

Third, when I ride in the car, speed is amplified and distances are much shorter between the car in front of us.  I yell for my wife to slow down and stop or back off from the car in front of us.  My eyesight is being impacted by the LBD.

Fourth, I cannot translate written instructions, like a cooking recipe, into physical actions.  I simply cannot comprehend what I read.

Additionally, I have noticed some physical issues increasing.  For instance, at night, when I first lay down, my body convulses.  I violently shake from head to toe a couple of times before my body relaxes.  Also, my stability walking is getting worse and my legs hurt constantly.  I am weaker and I have very little energy.  So, there is progression there too.

Naturally, I have problems holding meaningful conversations and I have difficulties finding the word I want to use.  This is more prevalent in the evening.  My mind spends most of the time in the past.  I often tell stories about my Navy past whenever I get into a conversation.  Also, I get frustrated and angry when people do not want to listen to my stories.

These are normal changes for the state of my disease.  If you are new to LBD, this gives you an idea where your loved one is headed.  If you are my friend or family member, if you want a meaningful conversation or information from me, you better act quick.  It seems the strength of Lewy Body Dementia is overwhelming the effectiveness of the meds.

One other issue.  My wife has noticed that when she says something to me,  I say "What" immediately.  It is not that I can't hear her, it is that I am processing what she says and I have the need to reply to her immediately, even though I mentally have not processed what she said.  Again, my brain can't process things very fast and this is my defensive reaction to that slowness.

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