Yesterday is a Blur


Yesterday is a blur. I imagine that is a good thing. That is nothing new with this disease, for me anyways. I tell people all the time, I have no recollection of yesterdays. I haven't for a long, long time.

I often wonder if other patients deal with this; not knowing what transpired yesterday without someone reminding them? Phyllis June knows this well and that is our main discussion every morning.

Going over what, if anything, happened yesterday that was important. Along with what I was wanting to do today.

This takes its toll on a person also. I have to be briefed on the day's activities before the day begins—every day.

I try to keep things in perspective.

Nothing I forget is going to be earth-shattering. No one's life is going to change on account of something I forget to do. It's the daily aggravation of losing what little short term memory I have that's frustrating.

Everything everyone does starts with their memory.

Every single thing you do today will be done because you "thought" about it. When you deal with short-term memory loss that thought process is gone. This creates fear, confusion and doubt, just to name a few.

It makes me physically ill.

Now this is just dealing with short-term memory loss with me. I cannot imagine yet what it will be like when my long-term memory starts to go. Which it has, I am sure. I just try to ignore it, or don't discuss it.

Denial? Perhaps.

The road we go down as patients is, in my opinion, the hardest journey one will ever take.

I hear all the time about how people are amazed at what I can still do.

They don't understand, they try, but they don't.

I cannot imagine life without my wife, Phyllis June, being here, helping me every day with so many little things most take for granted. I cannot imagine life without Memory People; the support I and others get there keeps me going. It simply does.

Our members in Memory People read the posts and we know when someone is hurting, or something is not quite right. We know because we are family. It's more than a saying. Every one of us have grieved over someone else's loss in MP, someone we have never "met" but felt their pain just the same.

I am rambling. I look at what I have typed and only hope it makes sense. It is too long for me to read. Another loss.

Today will be better. I will make it be.

Rick Phelps became an advocate for dementia awareness after being diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in June of 2010, at the age of 57. He was forced into early retirement and created Memory People, an online dementia and memory impairment group which supports over 7,000 individuals, all touched in some way by dementia.

While I Still Can

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Thank you for sharing your journey publicly so others can benefit. What courage this takes! I think it's hard enough to deal with the grief around personal loss just within one's self. But, to put it out there for the public to teach help us gain at least some understanding of what people with Alzheimer's are going such a "gift" to us. Again, I thank you for your courage.
I have been caring for a spouse, diagnosed in 2002 with AD. He is now 80yrs old. all I can say, it does get better for the care-giver! Early days were terrible. he would not talk about it but just did all those aggravating things...I could not deal with it, except in great tantrums and temper. For both of us, it was a learning curve for me and a slowing down in everything for him.
By late middle stage, I was able to get home help and to get more of a life other than stuck with care. I found AD Day Centres. The stress was less for both of us, though I still had fits of needing to walk away..
It is now 12 yrs, and counting, of coping with this disease. My husband is amazingly fit still, though old age is bending his shoulders and he tires easily.

Like a small baby, he needs to nap many times during the day; one hour after morning shower and his breakfast, 2-3 hours after he gets home from Day Centre. Up at around 7pm, he eats dinner, watches a bit of TV and is ready for bed again at 9.30pm. That is what I mean by it gets easier - I can do what ever in all the free time I get when he is at Day Centre and when he is asleep!
As for my spouse, he is happier than he has ever been since diagnosis. He lost speech gradually over these last 3-4 years, smiles a lot and I understand better how to keep him smiling.
Reading Rick's blog, helps me to understand what my husband is unable to say, how he must feel about this awful disease for all these long years. The end is not yet here. I dread the end, but we all will get there.

Hang in there Rick. Enjoy the days left to you - in peace and love.

Thank you for taking your time, Rick, to let us see things from the inside. Many of us have loved ones who don't think anything is wrong, so they don't talk about what is going on with them. They don't want anyone to think anything is wrong. Your blogs help so much. None of us know what lies ahead of us. I can only hope that if I get Alzheimer's that my life can be as productive as yours. You are still remarkable.