Sunday, November 16, 2008

Early Onset Alzheimer's And Intelligence

Many of the people who now know of my diagnosis are wondering why I'm not sitting in some corner drooling, or how I can still function on a day to day basis, (i.e. drive, buy groceries, do my job), and they're asking themselves if I may not be overreacting.

I can tell because when I tell them to ask me questions, more than likely they'll ask what I'm doing (or not doing) that makes me agree with my doctor that I have EOAD?

When I mention forgetting the day or the date, 9 times out of ten I'll hear, "Oh, hell! I do that!!!!"

It's only when I go into detail such as asking them "Well, have you ever convinced yourself that you're off on a certain day and didn't go into work till someone called you? Have you ever gotten disoriented while driving a familiar route? Did you ever misplace an item and then swore someone stole it from you?" - that they get quiet. I know they mean well, but they just don't take into consideration that it isn't just one thing in the course of a day, it's many things.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone ask me, "Don't you remember??", I could retire early.

Early Onset Alzheimer's has nothing to do with suddenly getting stupid, but it has everything to do with being frustrated, and what is more frustrating than not remembering something is someone close to you not understanding that frustration and "going off" on you, because they can't see how hard you try to be normal.

Also Alzheimer's is not just forgetfulness. It is depression, it may be accompanied by Parkinson's, and it for sure can be accompanied by a slew of side effects from the medications.

If you're following this blog because you have a loved one with AD, then do yourself and them a favor and educate yourself, because it is possible to do more harm than good.

Enjoy your Sunday

Bill

3 comments:

NinetyWt said...

Hullo Bill, I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that twickster started the Secret Santa thread:
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=493214

Today has been quite cold here! I hope you had a pleasant day, and find your credit card soon enough. :-)

susan from SDMB said...

You've described this situation really well, Bill. Thanks for that reminder to people who have good intentions and want to make the problem go away, but instead just miss your reality.

Bill Craig said...

Thanks to both of you for writing, and Susan, yeah, it gets tough sometimes, but the one person I needed to understand is out of my life and that gives me a lot more freedom and what the Eagles call "A Peaceful Easy Feelin'".

Sometimes! ;)

Bill