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"Anosognosia" in family members
Iris L.
Posted: Monday, January 2, 2012 8:06 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16448


I live in California and my family lives on the East Coast.  I had been in the custom of visiting for the Christmas holiday, but I have not been able to get myself together for such a trip for the past few years.  My brother came out to California three years ago to accompany me to the neurologist in regards to my memory complaints, so at one time he knew my memory and functioning was an issue.

 

I just discovered that my brother had told the rest of the family that the reason I have not been able to travel 3,000 miles for Christmas holiday is because I don't want to leave my pets!   I've always had pets--I've even had more than I have today.  That reason doesn't make any sense. 

 

It's like they are in denial that something major is wrong.  Not wanting to leave pets is not a rational reason for me to be isolated from my family. 

 

 

 

Iris L. 


Lisa428
Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013 5:01 PM
Joined: 12/5/2011
Posts: 795


Hello Iris,

 

Perhaps your brother doesn't accept the truth because he doesn't want the responsibility of knowing your sick.  And, maybe he doesn't want to feel guilty about not helping you.

 

Families are very strange sometimes.

 

My family and friends are STILL comparing my AD to their own memory glitches! AHHHH!  It drives me crazy!

 

Hang in there.  Thinking of you.  ((Hugs))

 

Lisa


eaglemom
Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013 7:20 PM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 2507


Isn't it odd that when you need the support of your family sometimes they are the ones whom pull away.  Or ignore, which personally I think is worse.

 

I agree with Lisa428 - possibly your brother is having trouble "accepting" something is wrong with your health.  As far as him telling people its because of your animals, well, that's what made him feel comfortable.  Obviously he didn't want to "share" the true reason you've not made the visit.

 

I can tell you, you will never understand your brothers reasoning.  We have a very similar situation with DH's parents - if they don't call, visit or acknowledge DH has a problem therefore, in their minds, he has no problems.  It took me awhile to realize that.  Then I immediately realized if they can't "accept" the diagnosis there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.  It's sad but frankly our friends are the ones whom we turn too & whom know how our lives are moving.  The parents aren't here and are clueless - their choice. Which is what it seems your brother is doing.

 

Go hug some of your animals.  Maybe sometime in the near future your brother will realize what he is doing to you and things will change.  In the mean time, I know its frustrating - come and vent here, because we want to support you. (And understand exactly where you are coming from.)

eagle


Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013 7:29 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16448


Things have changed since I posted a year and a half ago.  I finally did get a chance to visit my family on the east coast.  Everyone commented upon how good I looked (which I did ).  I didn't bring up my memory at all.  I find it easier (for the moment) to avoid discussing it.  So that's how it shall be.

Iris L.

alz+
Posted: Monday, February 10, 2014 8:59 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3556


I  want to learn from you to NOT BRING UP MY PROBLEMS around family.

 

they don't want to know, recently was told to not come to my grand nephew's memorial service! As quickly as I can remember I never want to be where I am not wanted, that rejection is a favor to me to keep away vexious people, here is always that initial moment of being stunned.

 

Beginning to understand your suggestions to not make this part of me what people think of first. And for me to not discuss it so much. (at all! with more people than I thought).

 

LOVE the ANOSOGNOSIA in the FAMILY. Ha! Brilliant.

 

By the way, I have serious problems leaving my animals unless I think they are on a vacation. Years ago I needed to make a 10 day trip and had to leave my dog behind. My lawyer and his wife loved my dog and said they would watch him. they brought him to the office during the day and drove him around the airfield neighborhood on a golf cart in the evening to visit neighbors. He flew with them on their plane to a legal meeting, stayed in hotels. When I came home and rushed to get him he had to be reminded he still was my dog! What a shock! and the whole trip I ached for his company. One of many times I have been entirely wrong about what I thought was happening, 20 years before Alzheimer's.

 

 


eaglemom
Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 9:21 AM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 2507


Iris don't you just love (NOT) the comment that you look good?  Of course you look good,  This has nothing to do with your looks.  I always wonder why people say that.  Then I realized they feel they need to comment so that's a 'safe' thing to say.

 

I had Chili Bean at a specialist this week and after talking with him, the exam, etc the doctor said the same thing.  "He sure looks good."  Chili Bean said he may look good but his cognitive abilities aren't what they were.  The doctor asked him several questions which Chili Bean answered.  Then the doctor questioned the medicines he was on.  He proceeded to ask Chili Bean about his medications - then it happened.  The blank look & he stammered and said he didn't know all of his med's.  The doctor looked to me & said "what was that?"  I quite proudly said that was my husband whom looks good not knowing what you were asking!  Hats off the doctor apologized to both of us & proceeded to sit down and chat for 35 minutes - about life!  Go figure.

 

By the way nothing is wrong with Chili Bean - our GP is super sensitive to changes in his blood work & wanted a specialist to look at the results.  The specialist said we'd recheck in 6 months but its an insignificant find. 

Glad you've had a chance to reconnect with your family Iris.

eagle


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 10:05 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16448


eaglemom wrote:

 

I had Chili Bean at a specialist this week and after talking with him, the exam, etc the doctor said the same thing.  "He sure looks good."


 

 

I'm glad you and Chili are finally getting some appropriate attention for his difficulties, eagle.

The reason the doctors say such things is because in their minds a person with dementia is a befuddled old person who doesn't know what's going on, shuffles, and can't have any sort of conversation.  So if someone is not at that level, then yes, they do look good. 

But what do they say about the person who is at that level.  "He sure looks bad??"

You're right, dementia isn't about looks, but about function and thinking. 

I'm glad I do look good, and I plan to stay looking good for as long as I can.  It has been shown by studies that more attractive patients get more attention by professionals.  Go figure.

Iris L.


alz+
Posted: Friday, March 28, 2014 8:29 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3556


eaglemom and Iris

 

No one has said I look good. HA! I try but think it comes out weird now.

 

anyway, the way you handled doctor's visit is a classic. I love your wit, "that is my husband who looks good not knowing what you're talking about."

 

classic. I wish I had someone like you in my life!

 

well, I have the husband who does survival tasks and daily massage and is a great cook and walks dogs and drives. The dog is excellent but not so funny.

love to all


alz+
Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 9:55 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3556


I am having problems with my feeling about my sister and brother. My sister refuses to see me (and for this I should be GRATEFUL) but demands "I respect her" and so on. She has always had a current reason why she can not help some one in need in our family, this is not new, and yet I am so angry with her!

 

My brother emailed me he was "moving to Florida" - that was it. I panicked. My 94 year old Mom lives with him, I would never see my Mom again! He later wrote "when she's dead". It was like be knocked over by big waves, rip tides of emotional distress I could not get out of.

 

Need to look for "on the porch" company, no day care for me around here. Have a birthday coming up, 65, and do not want my days sucked under water because I expect more out of my family.

 

I want to cut them off. Is that irrational? I would be more at peace without this ignorant and demanding relationship with my sister.

 

Help me. Should I be in charge of seeking new friends at this point? I want my husband to do everything, more than is reasonable, and do it perfectly. I do not want to be this way, but I don't feel capable of managing friendships. I dread "socializing" events. Only want to be around my dog or my own children who live far away. I miss my Mom.

Is it ok for me to have my husband tell sister I don't use the phone anymore when she calls upset about something I posted on FaceBook? I react so badly to her, she has nothing to offer, ok to let it disappear?

 

It feels like I am already dead to them.


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 1:49 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16448


Alz+, what I have discovered about people and conversation, is that some people truly want to SHARE a conversation, speaking back and forth.   

 

Other people only want someone else to listen to their tales of woe.  Your sister could be an unloader--someone who wants to put the monkey on her back onto another person's (your) back.  Then YOU will feel sick, upset and frustrated, and won't be able to sleep or relax because the monkey is on YOUR back. 

 

I have found that these people don't want to listen to you.  As soon as you talk about your troubles, they hang up.  It's a one-way relationship.

I have learned to limit their access to me.  I tell them I am just about to go out, or in the middle of cooking.  It does not help to explain why you want to limit access, because they are too self-absorbed.  They become angry.  They want to yell at you, but they still want to unload the monkey.  The monkey is very upsetting to them.

I make good use of caller ID and voice mail.

The encouragement of socialization in Best Practices is good socialization, not stressful socialization.  Stress makes cognition and memory worse.
 

 

I keep a folder of positive readings to help keep me in a positive mode.  I also like to read the Archives on this board.   

 

Stay strong, alz+!

Iris L.



 

 


w/e
Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 12:23 PM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 1742


Iris... excellent points.

Alz+,  My husband used to say to me when I would go on and on ranting about people( family, friends, colleagues, governments) for being selfish, uncaring, self-absorbed, unsupportive, greedy... "Emilita, you may rant all you want and recent the actions, behaviour, and ignorant remarks of people. Go for it, if it makes you feel better,  but be careful... the trick is not to be consumed by your anger & resentment. Anger & resentment can eat-up your soul. And then, where would you be?" Hmmm, I would respond, "Food for thought, my dear."

  Did I change? Sadly, no... but I am still trying. 


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 12:47 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16448


w/e wrote:

"Emilita, you may rant all you want and recent the actions, behaviour, and ignorant remarks of people. Go for it, if it makes you feel better,  but be careful... the trick is not to be consumed by your anger & resentment. Anger & resentment can eat-up your soul. And then, where would you be?" Hmmm, I would respond, "Food for thought, my dear."

  Did I change? Sadly, no... but I am still trying. 


Very wise words from your late husband, w/e.  The crux of the statement is, does the ranting make you feel you better?   

 

Long ago, I became aware of a concept in relation to tragedies and other bad things that can happen to me.  "I can become bitter, or I can become better."  Like you, I'm working on becoming better.  It's a work in progress. 

 

On the Caregiver board, King Boo gave some good advice that I took to heart.  "Forgive them, because they don't know what they're doing."  This is helping me.



Iris L.

 


alz+
Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014 7:37 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3556


Thank you. I was overwhelmed by a recent attack from her.

Turned 65 yesterday, did something not ready to talk about yet. have my regular appointment with psychiatrist in 2 hours.

 

Iris, yes, it is a one way conversation with her. I love her and want her to stay away, I have told many people I do not use phones anymore.

 

Women may vent more than men, or in a different way. I prefer people who vent to drinkers or pill takers or violent eruptions.

 

it is not the venting that seems to cause trouble, it is venting where another person can hear it, be affected by it, or deny you your feelings about it. We are rising above so much crap now I think it ok to be pissed off, get it off my chest, and then move on. I vent on walks, i read on boards of people getting their parked cars and screaming, then coming back calm.

 

Just wanted a reality check as I am in chronic doubt as to reality and being appropriate, more than ever. Monkey go home.

 

Thank you for responding to this. Love to all. My bigger family.


quits
Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014 8:22 AM
Joined: 12/30/2012
Posts: 3519


Iris, just jumping in to say my husband's family also has anosognosia.

His aunt "Bless her heart" as my husband has picked up saying...87, last of her siblings still alive tells me every time we visit "He is looking so much better, I don't think he is really getting sick, is he?"


alz+
Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014 6:52 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3556


What if we are NOT sick but TRANSFORMING into a higher consciousness?

 

Just thinking.


quits
Posted: Sunday, May 25, 2014 9:12 AM
Joined: 12/30/2012
Posts: 3519


Alz+ I have read that before here somewhere.  That is a great way to see the changes.