In any endeavor, it is imperative to have a measure of success. Sports teams have statistics like Batting Average or Win/Loss records. It is good to measure where you were and where you are now. It is the same in the journey with LBD. But, I find it difficult to quantify the progression of my disease simply because I don't remember even when this started.
Yesterday, the Staff Chaplain asked me to stand in for him at his Thursday Bible Study. He has been dealing with an upper respiratory infection for ten days now. Naturally, I said yes.
In my preparation for that Bible Study, I was looking through some of my past Sermons and Bible Study notes. I was shocked at the quality of studies I produced two years ago. I know that because I always date my work. The two year old studies were very well written, researched, and organized. Surprising to me, they look scholarly!
Compared to what I produced for last Tuesday's Church Service for the Skilled Care folks, my writing and research skills of today are child like!
I have not ever done a comparison of my Bible study work. But, this look back clearly shows the progression of my disease on my cognitive processes. The work of exactly two yeas ago is organized, concise, and logical. What I did just this week has no flow and reaches no apparent conclusion.
I would have never though of doing this comparison. It happened because of circumstances but to me, it is a very valuable measure of my progression in my journey with LBD. I realize exact measures are difficult in Lewy Body Dementia due to the sine wave progression of the disease. Yet, this comparison clearly shows a negative direction in my cognitive skills.
It also upset me and frightened me since I now can see clearly, where I was and where I am now. In addition, it casts a dark shadow on where I am going and how fast I am going to get there.