First inklings

I wrote in my Seventies Journal,

October 7, 2000

To tell myself the truth (but no one else) I have been a little discouraged by niggling health problems lately… my memory for names and facts seems to be getting worse.

CT scan
September 15, 2004

So why do I feel so edgy lately? Mostly, I think, it’s my own little stumbles through the days, and the doubts that I’m going to be able to continue to handle it all. This morning was an example, when I stopped at the post office on the way back home to get some postage stamps. There were many cars and people there going in and out, and I tried four times to get my car parked within the parking ;ines, but each time I was so far off that I felt I couldn’t leave it at that. Finally I just gave up. Such a little thing to feel so discouraged about. But there are so many other minor things that happen. My spelling has deteriorated quite far from that whiz that I used to be, and my typing which was never really good is terrible. Often the computer puzzles are too much for me to resolve… Other “small” issues that loom large are my lack of memory for vocabulary, particularly names. I spend a lot of time looking for my glasses around the house, as well as the magnifying glass I depend on for small print, or the handkerchief I try to keep with me for my running nose and eyes. Factual details escape me frequently, such as something I just read a little while ago. To sum it up, I feel afraid. Afraid that my cognition is slipping a cog or six, that something worse may be on the horizon. Yet, to reassure myself, I seem better able to manage the larger issues.

April 25, 2006

Actually I don’t enjoy [small social gatherings] as much as I did before my surgery, partly because it is more of an effort to get myself ready, as well as being sure I will be feeling well enough to go. Also, possibly the main reason is the trouble that I’ve had with my memory, and not being able to be a sparkling conversationalist.

June 19, 2006

My keeping of this journal has fallen on hard times, with medical troubles from my knee surgery, and a couple of months with my everlasting difficulties with this computer. But I’ve vowed now that I will go on with more resolution and write a little every few days, since my computer is new and has been working well for several months, and my health has improved well enough to manage most of my needs. Writing on this computer will possibly help what is my worst problem now, the difficulties I have with talking and remembering words and spelling them. That is a combination with my language that hurts me the most now, and I need to keep trying to improve that any way I can.

September 1, 2006

September rolls over, and on the 17th I’ll have my 80th birthday. Perhaps it will be my last entry for the closing of my “Ten Year Journal” begun on September 2, 1996. This tenth year has been a hard year, with random entries, sometimes written not too clearly. Mostly that was because of my knee surgery on October 8, when I didn’t feel well much of the time, and didn’t think very well after that anesthetic. Now, almost a full year later I’m getting better and better with my physical condition, but my memories still slip and slide…

On the whole my social life has dwindled these last months, nor do I have the records and memory from that much of the time. I know that Barbara has been in my life many times through those days, with dinners, impromptu visits, and a couple of well-planned excursions.

One thought on “First inklings

  1. Paul

    It took me longer than it should have to put a name to what was going on. I suppose having a name wouldn’t have changed what we did, in any event. I was afraid that when I first said the word “Alzheimer’s” to my mother, she would be traumatized. In the event, she didn’t bat an eyelash. The deed was done, so to speak.

    And this was (he pleads) my first mother, so though I was doing my best, I had no experience to draw on.

    At this point, I have a much better understanding, which is a smidgen of consolation.