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Relearning things
Hi.Phi.High
Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013 10:36 PM
Joined: 6/29/2012
Posts: 75


I have a friend that I enjoy playing Canasta with online. We talk every few months or so, but hadn't played for awhile. One day we decided to do so and set the game up. I got my butt kicked something bad. I couldn't remember how the game was played, and my friend noticed immediately. When we used to play head to head, we were pretty evenly matched, slight edge to her. If we paired against another team we were practically unbeatable. I COULDN'T REMEMBER HOW TO PLAY THE DAMNED GAME!

 This disturbed me to no end,and I told myself that I would relearn this game if possible. I did! I'm not as good as I used to be, but I have relearned it. Can't understand why it took longer to relearn something I already knew. My game is getting stronger but I can still get lost.


My friend and I are back playing Canasta. I have told her that it has been suspected I'm dealing with some type of dementia.

She told me she suspected something herself. This friend's mother passed away from Alzheimer's a little over a year ago.



Lisa428
Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013 11:08 PM
Joined: 12/5/2011
Posts: 795


Dear HiPhiHigh,

 

I am so happy for you that you were able to re-learn that game. I can't seem to re-learn anything.

 

I'm sorry you were so angry and frustrated when you first played with your friend.  I know how that feels.  It's an awful feeling!

 

May I ask how you re-learned??  Any tips for me and others about how to go about re-learning??

 

Take care.

 

Peace and Hope,

Lisa


Iris L.
Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013 1:40 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


Hi.Phi.High wrote:

 I COULDN'T REMEMBER HOW TO PLAY THE DAMNED GAME! 

 This disturbed me to no end,and I told myself that I would relearn this game if possible. I did! I'm not as good as I used to be, but I have relearned it. Can't understand why it took longer to relearn something I already knew. My game is getting stronger but I can still get lost. 


 

 

The neuropsychologist told me that the sin qua non of patients with dementia is that they can't learn anything.    Yet you relearned to play dementia.   Yea!!!

Keep relearning!  Don't let your brain fade away.

P.S.  I never learned how to play canasta.  I don't even know the idea of the game.  I used to play poker, but I can't remember poker hands now.

Ir is.

Paul Hornback
Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013 8:48 AM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


Hi Phi High, WOW! I am amazed at your determination and perseverance in re-learning Canasta! I've never played but have played other challenging card games like Pinochle. Sorry that you forgot how to play but congrats or hanging in there and re-learning it. Just goes to prove that the doctors don't know everything about our diseases!

Thanks for sharing this story as I know it will encourage others to try and re-learn some lost skills.

God Bless, Paul


Hi.Phi.High
Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013 9:34 AM
Joined: 6/29/2012
Posts: 75


All I can say about how I learned is perseverance. I would not quit. I found a game version that let me play against robots and went for it. It was frustrating as Hell and for a while I didn't think it could be done. I see the difficulties I havin playing, like not being able to see all the cards in my hand. I play a lot slower now trying not to make mistakes. I think the repetition and perseverance were the keys for me.
Paul Hornback
Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013 9:46 AM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


Hi Phi High, Perseverance and Determination are the key to success. You remind me of Abraham Lincoln! I'm doing some research on this famous President for my next devotional book. He was mostly self taught and learned logic and reasoning through a focused study of the books of Euclid under an oak tree. His hard willed determination and perseverance made him one of our greatest Presidents.

You sound just like him! He never gave up and I'm sure you wont' either!

God Bless, Paul


Mimi S.
Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013 3:22 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027


Re learning after diagnosis.


After my first neuropsych, the results were being explained to me.

 

Remember the oner where a long list of words is read and one is asked to recall as man as possible? And the test is repeated and repeated? i was exasperted. They knew the first time they did it that I could only remember a few. Were they trying to get me angry so I'd show the typical Alzheimer's anger?

Well, it was explained to me that every time the test was repeated, my score would increase.

Out of my mouth, without thinking came: YOU MEAN I CAN STILL LEARN?  And his answer was yes, but very slowly.

And that notion has been reinforced on this board.

We can still learn. (At least in Early Stage.) Maybe not as quickly as we are forgetting. And it will take practice and more practice. Maybe some things we can't so be it.

We need to identify what we still have and expand that area.


Paul Hornback
Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013 5:09 PM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


Mimi S, I couldn't agree you any more! You are absolutely right in that we can all still learn! 

 

BTW, I also hated those tests with the words. I'd get so frustrated because I couldn't remember them. I'd leave the office and be upset for the rest of the day.

 

I'm part of a long term study where I have to do these tests once a year (for as long as I'm alive) as they track the disease's progression on my brain. I always hate that one day a year where I have to do all the memory testing, especially the word tests. My wife reminds me that it is for a great cause so I always try to do my best and keep my spirits high. Unfortunately, the afternoon ride home after the testing is not nearly as upbeat as the morning ride to the University of Kentucky where the testing is conducted.

 

Anything for the cause, Right!

God Bless, Paul


Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013 7:13 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


Researchers are focused on doing tests where we are treated like guinea pigs for the benefit of others.  But no one is doing tests that help us improve our function.  We have to do the best we can on our own.  In fact, that was the advice of the psychiatrist I visited, "Do the best you can."

I've had many people urge me to learn to play bridge.  Bridge clubs are very popular in my area.  I'm concerned I won't learn all the bidding and remembering cards that's involved in bridge.

Right now I'm trying to keep up with all the changes that go with learning about computers.  I can't keep up with all, but with some changes.

Iris L.

Paul Hornback
Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013 3:17 PM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


Iris L, I agree. We just need to do the very best we can. I try to stay up with the changes on my computer which is pretty demanding. I still haven't learned all the new stuff that came with the Windows software on my computer. I try to learn a little each week.

I recently did a trial subscription with Luminosity. I liked it so much I subscribed to it on line and this week will start doing it every day. I find it very challenging and it uses my brain in different ways. I'll let everyone know how it is going after I've done it for a week.

God Bless, Paul


Pat the Brat
Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013 6:03 PM
Joined: 10/17/2013
Posts: 10


Hi Iris,   I like to play cards too.  In the past when I was playing and goofed up due to my memory loss and cognitive thinking problems, I just laughed at myself and reminded the people I was with about my problem   They were okay with that.

 

I think briefly explaining to others about your problems will help them to accept you and your problems more readily.  People will not hold this against you when you are playing with them.  Probably they will be more comfortable with you and you with yourself if a brief explanation is given.


Paul Hornback
Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 5:15 PM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


Pat the brat, I couldn't agree with you more. Today I ran in to someone that I knew from a religious retreat. He came up and hugged me and called me by name. I talked with him for a while and he share with me about a medical procedure he was going to have tomorrow. I prayed for him in the parking lot of Walmart but could not remember his name. I explained my problem and he lovingly told me his name and then prayed for me.

I suppose all it takes is just a very short explanation and those who truly understand are so forgiving.

Thanks for sharing your suggestion.

God Bless, Paul


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 12:55 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


Pat and Paul, I spent my first few years on the board in emotional pain due to the rejection of my close friends when I mentined that I was having so much trouble with my memory. I didn't ask them for help, just to listen to me.  They refused, and rejected me.  My advice to new members is to keep their memory problems to themselves.

Iris L.

Paul Hornback
Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 6:43 PM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


Iris L, I'm so sorry that happened to you during your initial stages of memory loss. It know it must have been heart breaking. I can't begin to imagine all the pain you endured.

I have been rejected as well but have also had some great experiences with people in my church who have supported me throughout my tenure with this disease. However, some of my closest friends at work have left me hanging.

 

I suppose you win some and lose some. I hope you are having better luck now though. Hang in there. At least we have the message boards with people who understand fully what we are goin threw.

God Bless, Paul


ilovemygrey
Posted: Saturday, November 2, 2013 11:44 AM
Joined: 1/30/2013
Posts: 66


hi to Iris, paul and pat and many others on here who are suffering due to family Members and friends who have disowned them. the same thing has happened to me from  my 2 son's. they are old enough to know better, but, they do not! so, I am going on with my life, without them now. But,  I still love them, and hope that they will wake up someday ,before it is too late. Lisa Culp
Paul Hornback
Posted: Saturday, November 2, 2013 1:10 PM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


Lisa, sorry to hear about how your 2 sons are acting. I know it must be difficult but you have the right attitude in that you are just getting on with your life. We can't let what others do get in the way of our progress. I suppose we have to be our own best friends and start to watch out for ourselves even more.

Maybe your sons will come around in the near future! I hope so because they need to be part of your life as you continue on your journey.

Continue to hang in there and by all means, keep living your life as best you can!

God Bless, Paul


juliette
Posted: Saturday, November 2, 2013 6:19 PM
Joined: 10/31/2013
Posts: 12


I am lucky that I have only had one "friend" reject me because of my diagnosis ("I'm sorry, but I just cannot handle that kind of drama in my life right now!" were her exact words,) but it has made me leery about disclosing to anyone else who really doesn't need to know.

 

I did have to tell some of my work mates after I heard that a rumor was going around that I was acting so weird because I was abusing drugs! Nice...


Mimi S.
Posted: Sunday, November 3, 2013 10:39 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027


Iris,

I too love to play bridge and would love to still play. I would not play in a club where points are accumulated. 
I once had a neighbor who had dementia. She, too, played bridge. It got so, her 'best friend" was making derisive comments about her ability while playing.
I invited her to my house and invited two other understanding people to join us. We had a great time. Not an enjoyable time for us to play, but a few hours giving her pleasure.
We wrote down: What the bid was.
If she asked, if a certain card had already been played, we answered.  

I can't describe how appreciative her family was.

One other memory from that time. We played on my old, round oak table. It must have been every few minutes, every time we played, that she would lovingly stroke the table and say: I love oak tables. We had one like this when I was growing up.
That give me insight into that phase of the disease for caregivers.

Brezybev
Posted: Monday, November 4, 2013 1:08 PM
Joined: 4/24/2013
Posts: 52


Wow! That is so great that you were able to play. My neighbor had several massive strokes when he was in his 20s. He is now 66 and all this time has been dealing with what is probably vascular dementia. He told me to buy a Sudoku puzzle book, that it will help with my memory. He gave me some tips and now it is the 2nd day of working on the first puzzle and I'm still not getting it. It is so frustrating because I was usually the one in whatever crowd I was in that was considered the smartest. Oh, well... But you do give me hope and I'm not going to quit with this yet.

 

I think it is probably important for us to not stop doing things that we've always done like cards and reading, etc. Even if it is harder I'm afraid if we stop we may never be able to relearn them again. So keep up your canasta!


Mimi S.
Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 7:18 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027


Re Sudoku. I could explain it better if you were here.

Work on the first puzzle of the week if from a newspaper.

Go to stationary store. look for a book that has easy puzzles. or the first ones in most books are easy.

Get one with lots of space in the squares.



Step one. Lets concentrate on the first set of squares.  That is that set of squares on the left. A square has 9 small blocks.

Now, look down those squares. Do you see any two of the same number? If yes, good.  Those two numbers will be in different squares. Now look at the square where you didn't find the number.  There will also be a column looking from top to bottom that doesn't have the number. Concentrate on those three small boxes.

 

Now look across from left to right. Is that number any place else on that line ? If just one, you lucked out. Write the number in that small square.  But maybe there are two rows without that number across. Write the number, very tiny in both squares. [that # is a possible candidate. Write small so you leave room for other candidates.]

Now repeat the above for all possible numbers.

 

Then go to the middle column of boxes  Repeat

 

Then repeat for the last  column.


Now go to the rows and repeat the procedure. 



Then go to the large squares. Is there any number that only appears once in the large box?  That's it.




You can repeat the above until the puzzle is solved.

As puzzles get more difficult there are some other tricks. 

Have I confused you more?


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 7:32 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


I like picture puzzles, where you have to find the differences between two puzzles.

I also like mah jong.

Iris L.

JohnCaro
Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 10:31 PM
Joined: 6/12/2013
Posts: 6


It is possible to relearn things with dementia,or even new things for that matter. The trick is constant practice. There are different regions of your brain that are associated with different behaviors, but when one is damaged the others will try to take over it's function. Just as your left hand will take over when your right hand is injured.  When I am learning something I say it out loud [speech center],write it down [writing center], and read it afterward[reading center]. I repeat this until I can say what I've learned without looking at my note.  I hope a cure or at least better treatment is found soon, meanwhile take every moment as a gift from God. It's called the present, right.   P.S. can anyone tell me how to make new paragraphs? Thanks
Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 11:31 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


JohnCaro wrote:
  P.S. can anyone tell me how to make new paragraphs? Thanks
John, thanks for the encouragement about new learning.  I can really use the tips.

re: paragraphs:  Click on "Edit" and then Post without making any changes.  The paragraphs will show up on the second post.

Iris L.



Pat the Brat
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 12:03 AM
Joined: 10/17/2013
Posts: 10


Hi Iris...I love to play Mahjong on either my computer or my Kindle HD Fire.  It makes me less irritable when I am concentrating on playing it.

 

Pat


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 12:32 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509


As long as I'm clicking those mah jong tiles, I know my brain is still working.

I have a device that is supposed to have a reader on it--perhaps Kindle.

I've been taking a computer class for seniors for the past year.  Actually, I already know must of what we are instructed on:  setting up email, email attachments, using a search engine.  What I want to learn is how to deal with Facebook, how to use tablets and how to use apps..  The seniors I'm with, who do not have dementia, are very slow learners.  They ask the same beginner questions over and over.  "what's the difference between cc and bcc?"

Someone gave me the number of a personal computer tutor.  I might give her a try.

Iris L.

Hi.Phi.High
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 10:44 AM
Joined: 6/29/2012
Posts: 75


 

Lol. After that explanation of sudoku, I don't know how long it would take to learn that. I try to do mah jong daily. it tells me a lot about how my mind is functioning that day. When I have a lot of trouble finding matches, it's not a good one. Oddly the more tiles I clear, the harder matches are to find until there's just a few left.
 


Mimi S.
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 10:50 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027


Phil,
Any one where you live know how to play? print out the instructions and then have that person help you.
It sounds much more complicated than it is.