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I Have Alzheimer’s or Another Dementia
Has this happened to you?
I have a friend I've known for over 30 years. She loves to tell long stories about her children and grandchildren, people we both used to work with who she is still in contact with, and people that she currently works with. She tells stories and asks me questions: "Do you remember...?"
I disclosed to her that I have a memory problem and I have a hard time following detailed stories, so I can't answer her questions about what she's talking about. She told me that listening to her and following her stories would help improve my memory! Has this happened to anyone?
She doesn't understand that I'm not being rude. I can't follow long stories anymore.
Iris, I think she may never "get it" - just wants someone to listen to her ramblings.
If it bothers you, hang up or walk away - better still, give her a book to read about this disease.
You're right, Judy, she will never get it. Since I told her about my memory problems, she has not called me back.
I disclosed to another friend that I was being treated for a memory disorder, and she responded by telling me her memory had always been bad, and that she had had trouble with geometry and trigonometry back in high school. I suppose she thought she was showing empathy.
Many members on these boards, patients and caregivers alike, talk about increasing awareness of EOAD by talking more about it. Unfortunately for some of us, it is too painful because the people we disclose to are so hurtful in their responses.
If she is a friend and you want to keep her as such. Join and peer counslling group, and have you both go. I go to one for people with emery issues, friends and family can drop it anytime. It give them new insite. If she says no, she is not realy a friend, but someone who likes to tell life stories.
Why are people so scared of other people with memory problems? And they even get offended for no reason. I really don't get it.
I'm sorry that this friend is so shallow and insensitive. She will only "get it" once she is exposed enough to it and is ready "to see it." You might get better closure or future if you call her back. See what her attitude and acceptance is. If she is willing to learn, you can offer to email her an article to read, etc.
Any of your old friends or acquaintances who are worth keeping are worth fighting for. They deserve an opportunity to absorb the news about your memory issues, even if they behaved ignorantly.
People are afraid of their own mortality. They want to deny the fact that you could have xyz because that makes them vulnerable also.
I say: give your friend a call. See if she cares.
I have friends that I know do care; they are just tied up in the pace and momentum of their own lives. I am not a priority. That is a problem that you and all of us are going to face.
Iris, she may not have called back because she thinks you're not interested in talking to her any more. She may think you "made up" the memory problems as an excuse not to listen to her ramblings. You may have hurt her feelings.
I agree with GeeGee, give her a call. Tell her you miss her. Ask her if she'll go to a support group with you, or if she'll join the boards to learn more about memory disorders, so the two of you will be able to talk again, in a way that you can understand.
Or, perhaps, suggest that you communicate via email, since that gives you a better opportunity to think through what she's saying and formulate your replies.
Or, perhaps, suggest that you communicate via email,
My friend has a paranoia about learning to use the computer.
The other day we had a conversation about her upcoming doctor's appointment. She said, "Are you aware you asked the same question FOUR times?" I was not aware.
I'm not going to say anything more to her about my diagnosis. Pershaps she'll now see with her own eyes how I'm functioning.
I am sorry that your friend responded as she did. You mentioned that you find some discussions here hurtful,which I can assume includes the chatroom.
I know that it is difficult to follow chat at times, especially when the room is busy and the talk is rapid or lengthy. Also, sometimes the topics are too painful to participate in for some, both caregivers and those with AD.
I do hope that you will continue to come to Chatroom,despite those days that the subject matter is too difficult or the chat may appear insensitive. I do believe we are all here to support and help one another.
My best to you.
They don't "get it", because they are uneducated, just like the story I shared with about my church. But thankfully they were open to being educated and now understand better than they did anyway. EDUCATION, is the answer.
Iris, she has now seen an example of your memory issues. When you asked her the same question four times, that had to give her some new information to absorb. That is the education that she needs! Seeing it first hand.
Tracy is right; education is essential for people to understand what we face and how they can help or adapt. It also takes time as Tracy has also
experienced with her church. They haven't always "seen" the problems that she and Austin struggle with daily. Now, after time and persistence, she has
her condition explained to everyone and provided the material. She is now not taking "no problem" as an answer. So proud of her. We can learn from that.
Be persistent, Iris. If a friend was a good match in the past, give them a few more chances to catch on. They may be really slow learners! LOL!
We just want what's best for you, and you need a good support system. I really hope you can educate some of your friends to stick with you. We all need someone to socialize with.
My money's on you. If she is paranoid of computers, mail her some information from your Alzheimer's Association.
You mentioned that you find some discussions here hurtful,which I can assume includes the chatroom.
I'm sure you're right, Iris. In this case, It's going to have to be the old saying of "seeing is believing" for her to understand.
You're the only one who is in a position to know how to best respond. All we can do is offer advice. I hope you keep letting her see for herself. That's all you can do.
It's just going to require patience on your part. Is that something you can still manage fairly well?
Its like when I go to a sporting event. I can't follow is good, with what's going on, but just being there, and doing something that I used to be able to do, is comforting to me. Even if I could not do it as good as I used to. I would say some thign like I don't remember it j]but it must of been fun. Just the short term thoughts of a event you don't remember is as comforting to you as the event its self. So much for Dr Steve. My be I should be a TV doctor like Dr Phill ?
I do know exactly how you feel. I do have some family and friends that just "don't get it."
They think because they forget a few things that we are the same. I try to explain that it is not the same at all.
I explain that I am not an RN anymore because I can't remember a lot of what I learned.
I explain that I cannot drive anymore because I have visual/spatial problems.
I explain to them that sometimes I can't remember if I have eaten or not. They say "How can that be? You seem OK to me."
Some days I struggle with finding words or the names of things.
My cousin was in visiting me. She said you don't seem worse yet reminded me I asked her the same question three times!
I agree that education is the key. If you love this friend, try giving her another chance. We all have good and bad days. Even people without memory problems! lol
Take care, Iris.
Peace and Hope,
I am doing a lot of research to educate people about Alzheimer's. You are right, they just do not get it. Some people want me to stay "in the closet." Something that I refuse to do.
Do you get the same feeling?
Steve, I live in CA. I have lived a while back in San Jose for years. I am still in CA. I love it here.
Welcome, driver. Do you have dementia yourself? Please tell us more about yourself.
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