The Dementia Diary

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The Word Search

on June 23, 2012
A wordsearch

A wordsearch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Husband and I went to see F i L yesterday evening to start working through the list he had given us.  In the time that had lapsed since talking to him on the phone the list had grown longer and he had worked himself up.  He had his papers out and was rifling through them trying to make sense of his world.

We sorted things out, arranged his appointments, let him know who would be taking him, replenished his medicine dosing box, and calmed him down.  We talked to him about the need for him to go out to more groups, which he is still resisting, and the fact that he has actually chosen what he would like to do.  We told him that he does not have a choice in this.  We are making the arrangements and he is going.  Full stop.  He seemed happy that we are taking charge and making decisions for him.

We gave him the talk (again) about using or losing his brain.  He’s had a word search puzzle book sat on a table for some months now but to the best of my knowledge has never looked at it.  I handed it to him.

“You should do these puzzles to keep your brain going.”

“What’s that dear?”

“It’s a book of word searches.  You bought it.”

I’m not actually certain that he did, but we didn’t buy it and I can’t imagine any body else doing it for him.

“How does that work then?”

Husband looks incredulous.  His father doesn’t know how a word search works.  How is that possible?  We talk him through the process and when F i L manages to find a word on his own the pride he feels is palpable.  I am resolved to get him some more ‘childish’ amusements to keep his brain ticking over.

When we left we took the letters with us that were causing anxiety.  If he can’t see them he doesn’t worry about them.

Husband and I picked up F i L’s renewed prescription today and went back round to his house.  He was hunched over the table shaking his head, going through the papers again.  Whilst Husband went out to the garden to mow the lawn I sat with F i L.

He knew that he was puzzled by something.  He knew that he was looking fr something.  He didn’t know what it was.  He sat shaking his head trying to work out what was bothering him.

“I’m trying to form the question” he said to me.  “I don’t know what the thing is.”

He went out to his kitchen.

“Yes!  That’s it!”

He came back carrying his calendar.

“What’s that?”

He was pointing to an appointment to see a cardiologist written in his hand.

I paraphrased so that he would understand.

“That’s an appointment to see the doctor about your Alzheimer’s medicine.”

It’s actually an appointment to check his heart and current medication and to get a decision as to whether the Alzheimer’s meds will counteract the heart meds.  This will decide whether or not he can have the Alzheimer’s medication.

“I don’t know about it.  I can’t find anything written down about it.”

For the first time out of sight is not out of mind.  He’s looking for a letter that we have taken from the house!

“We know about the appointment and we have sorted it out.  You don’t need to worry about it.  One of us will go with you.”

He’s still shaking his head moments later when Husband comes in from the garden.

“I can’

t find the details for this son.”

“We’ve just spoken about that” I say prompting him to remember the conversation a few minutes ago.

“Yes I know.  You might have the letter but I can’t find it!”

He doesn’t understand that he can’t find the letter because we have it.  He has forgotten the discussions yesterday and I am not convinced he understood the conversation today.

The word search remains untouched since we left yesterday.

“It’s marvellous,” F i L says “I’ll do more of that.”

Somehow I think he will forget and things will go on as before


One response to “The Word Search

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