“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” -1 John 4:7-21
As a reminder, this series is going through the warning signs of dementia found at this link: LINK
Es un gran día! Happy Taco Tuesday to all! I miss tacos. I really do. I am on WW and enjoy a nice tortilla here and there, but I do miss a meaty taco with sour cream. That’s ok, though, I don’t miss the 75 pounds I have lost, nor will I miss the other 75 pounds I need to lose. Enough gum flapping…off we go. 🙂
“New Problems with Words in Speaking or Writing” sure can encompass many things. just breaking down the phrase has a little baggage to unpack. First and foremost is the word “new”. Like all of dementia, this is a progressive problem. Symptoms may come and go somewhat in dementia, but the trajectory…the direction….is always the same: worse. Communication via speech and/or writing or other means, to many, is identified as the primary characteristic of who we are and what we are like (leaving spiritual matters aside for this discussion.)When we struggle in these areas, it makes it progressively harder to “express ourselves” in our unique way…or at all. As time goes on, this “aphasia” takes away our ability to advocate for ourselves in such a way that it becomes more and more difficult to be cared for since the sufferer cannot even express what is wrong. This is one tragic part of a tragic disease cocktail that is dementia.
So, what does this warning sign look like? Primarily it is the misusing or misplacing of words. The correct word is progressively more and more “at the tip of your tongue”. I am not talking about foreign concepts you are trying to come up with, I mean something like a holiday or a movie star’s name or something else you would easily say/recognize. Perhaps your favorite meal’s name would either be forgotten or mislabeled. The mislabeling may be into a simpler form as in calling a TV “the picture” since that is fairly logical: TVs have pictures, a movie can be called a motion picture, etc… OR it may be nonsense over time. Mom has what I refer to as the “Brain Bandit Babble” sometimes. She says sounds in the same cadence and tone as “normal” speech, but the words are just sounds, not unlike a baby. This level is much more advanced than merely missing words, but, as we have said in other areas, progression has many shapes, speeds, and forms.
Other aspects of this communication-based warning sign: slang/jargon get hard to remember even if you have used them your whole life. Hearing with understanding is also increasingly hard. If you speak too fast, in a different tone than “normal” or in some other, different way, the sufferer may struggle to grasp what is said. This may appear to be a hearing issue (an COULD be a hearing issue mimicking these conditions, for that matter), but it could just as easy be misunderstanding the words requiring frequent repeats.
Similarly, losing ones place in mid-paragraph can also be a warning sign. Mom used to say “I forgot where I was going with that” in a fairly basic conversation and I just chalked it up to busyness and/or tiredness instead of pushing the envelope and talking to her docs. It was disrupting daily living and it was right under my nose…and I missed it.
There are things that mimic dementia, but that fall into this category. “Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is degenerative: It gets worse, slowly and inexorably. But unlike other degenerative conditions, like Alzheimer’s dementia, it leaves most of a patient’s mental faculties untouched. People can still plan, reason, and multi-task. Their memories stay healthy and their personalities remain unchanged, at least at first.”(Source). Vascular diseases like strokes/TIAs and the like can also cause communication problems, but some of these can be restored through speech therapy. There are many other things that can also cause this condition that are not tied to our subject matter, but you will not necessarily know without consulting the experts: your doctor and specialists referred by him/her. We all have issues like this in small measures…but when it is disruptive and worsening, we have to act.
Update: Nothing new as of now. We are trying to work out mom’s birthday party and the Shawshank rules are blocking having a get together on what will likely be her last birthday. I understand…but it makes me exceedingly sad the more I think of it. Mom loves her birthday and even made up some funny number pictures using the day, month, and year. It is special to her and to us…and is likely going to be hallmarked this year by a bunch of us sitting outside of her window waving at her and trying to speak into a speaker. It is truly hard. 🙁
Scheduling note: Tonite is the virtual caregiver support group meeting. Contact me and I will send you a Zoom invite and will help you get on. I look forward to having them in person again someday. Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org is my email or 417-955-2513 is my cell.
Last note of the day: This is a hard topic for me. Mom was such a communicator! This symptom is why many will not visit loved ones in the nursing home or help take care of them at home. Communication issues are hard to cope with and are always in your face. That is why I am so amazed by people like the many special ed teachers I have known over the years in my time working in education. They truly deserve double what they make.
Dad Joke of the Day:”Did you hear about the guy who invented the knock-knock joke? He won the ‘no-bell’ prize.”