Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Symptoms So Far

So you've read my words, you know my fears and my experiences, but what about my "symptoms"? Here is a short list of what I have noticed myself. I have yet to ask others what they have seen.

Alzheimer's symptoms so far:

1. Short-term memory loss (dry cleaning will be in plain view and I will still walk out without it, despite having told myself just minutes before that I need to take it with me)

2. Loss of words (even very common ones) during conversations

3. Inappropriate speech

4. Aimless walking around either at home or on the job.

5. Forgetting of appointments

6. Inability to think logically (would have ordered a piece of furniture which did not match what is already here)

7. Misplacing objects, unable to find them in their usual locations and thinking they may have been stolen. This often includes money or a passport or even car keys

8. Inability to retain even short pieces of written material

9. Tremors

10. Little or no emotion. Passive-aggressive behavior

11. Inability to focus on any one thing for any period of time.

12. When driving (and this is a biggie) I will sometimes make a turn, look in the rear view mirror, see a car almost on my bumper, and ask myself, "Did you just turn right in front of that guy???" In other words, "second guessing" myself.

That's just a few things, and really just "off the cuff". I am sure that if I set my mind to it (focused in other words) I could come up with more.

In a future entry, now that "the cat's out of the bag", so to speak, I will ask others to make a list.

Feel free to comment on any of these, and enjoy your day.



TheLoadedDog said...

Bill, my friend!

You know I am a weak (very weak) sod in that I saw your Alzheimer's thread on the SDMB and well.. kinda put it out of my mind (as it were). For that, I am sorry.

I'm just wondering how I can say to you (a medical professional) from me (a friend, and therefore biased) without sounding like I'm giving false hope or platitudes that - well, I don't think your in line for any particular form of early onset degeneration of the mind. A lot of those symptoms relate directly to depression (which we both know about), and I've had some of them since I was a child. I can be forgetful as all hell - I'm talking beyond "cute" here, but forgetfulness of an embarrassing degree. I can be driving and not remember anything of the last five miles. I often have emotional detachment and look at the world as I'd look at a monitor.

I'm not in the business of giving you false hope, Bill. but I do think some rather generous portion of hope is indeed warranted here.

You're definitely in my thoughts.

- Andrew

Bill Craig said...

Dear Andrew

First of all, thanks for getting in touch. I confess I had been thinking of my "Johnny Cash" mate and wondered how you are doing, so I was fortunate indeed that you dropped into my thread over on SDMB.

Andrew, if it were just a few things that occur to everyone in the course of a day, I would be inclined to agree with you, but people who are close to me are noticing things, and, as I said in an earlier entry, I am not self-diagnosing: I have actually failed several cognitive memory tests already.

Am I on a "downward" slide? No, of course not, and I am taking medication to help with the memory, and most of the time my spirits are up even though the depression is there as well.

I am also not giving up, but I do have to make adjustments, such as carrying around a notepad and not relying on my memory, and putting things in plain sight that need cleaning or whatever.

I am nowhere near chasing imaginary butterflies, but I am re-structuring my life in order to deal with this, and being what one of my friends calls "pro-active".

I thank you and my other OZ and KIWI friends for being there for me, and don't worry, I have no plans for throwing in the towel.

See you on the "Dope"!

Your Mate


Ttom said...

Whisperin' Bill buddy,

Sounds like a culmination of entries in my diary. A big difference might be the tremors but I don't know. I've had tremorfs since my stroke and resulting coma in 1982. I will be making an appointment with the doctor tomorrow concerning inappropriate speech. Hey dude- it is serious. I now work in a customer service type atmosphere and yesterday a customer and three of my co-workers thought I had made fun of his situation. Fact is, I meant to give him a compliment.

Yours items 5, 6, 7, 8 & 11 are most of the reasons I have not pushed to find a position as a Senior Engineer as I have worked as for the last 30 years.

My wife has informed me that "these are just the things you have noticed. Without a doubt there are others!". Your item 10, lack of interest/emotion is a big problem for me as well.

Your Bud, Tom

Bill Craig said...


As long as I am able, I will do my BESTto be here for you!

You have NO idea how much it means to have just "stumbled" into this kind of friendship, just when it is needed the most.

You are so fortunate to have an understanding boss!

With me, people are still trying to figure out why that "Happy Go Lucky" guy just all of sudden got so quiet.

My boss, too, is understanding, but let's face it: I have to be "on top" of my game at all times because lives are at stake, so it's on me to know when I need to step aside, and that's a very tough call when your job is your LIFE.

I am glad you're my friend, Tom T!


Janis said...

Hey Bill,
just waned to let you know I've started reading.. Love the S&G clip. My husbady has a nurological disored that makes him do similar things, and 2 of my Grat Granparents and one of my grandparents had Altzhimers.
I think it's a very awesome thing to do, to share your story with the world, from a firsthand perspective. If you ever need someone to talk to, let me know.
Janis ( from the SDMB)