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Has this happened to you?
Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, January 22, 2012 1:52 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18333

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 L.

Posted: Sunday, January 22, 2012 10:55 PM
Joined: 12/14/2011
Posts: 4

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.

Iris L.
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 10:14 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18333

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. 




 Iris L. 

Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 5:50 PM
Joined: 1/3/2012
Posts: 189

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.

Lil' Monster 


Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2012 8:02 AM

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.



Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2012 12:32 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 514


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.

Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2012 12:45 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 740

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.

Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 2:11 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18333

JAB wrote:


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. 




Iris L.

Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 3:44 AM
Joined: 12/2/2011
Posts: 138


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.

Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 7:37 AM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 27

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.


Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 10:21 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 514

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.  

Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 11:11 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18333

heart wrote:

 You mentioned that you find some discussions here hurtful,which I can assume includes the chatroom.





Thank you for your concern, heart.  Actually, I don't remember saying I find discussions on the board to be hurtful (except for yesterday).  I find the discussions here to be uplifting and supportive.  I enjoy the chat room.  But I think there are times when caregivers need to be amonst themselves without patients.  What I find hurtful are comments from my real life friends.
Tracy, you persevered, and got your congregation to really listen to you.  You were able to get through.  Now they can respond to you and not to an image of you they may have in their minds.
Geegee, you're probably right, my friend may be a slow learner.  I don't think she's ready for any written material yet.  She'll just have to see what's in front of her.
Iris L.

Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 10:40 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 514

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?  

Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 12:14 PM
Joined: 1/3/2012
Posts: 189

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 ?

Doctor  custom smiley 

Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 9:00 PM
Joined: 12/5/2011
Posts: 795



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,


Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 12:44 PM
Joined: 2/5/2012
Posts: 4

Hello Everyone,

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.

Posted: Saturday, February 25, 2012 4:49 PM
Joined: 2/25/2012
Posts: 1

I'm not so sure that they "don't get it".  I think that sometimes when we tell someone who loves us that we have something wrong they don't know how to react.  I remember when my father was diagnosed with cancer so may of his friends stopped calling and he never talked about it himself.  "I just don't know what to say" is the excuse.  People are still very misinformed about dementia.  The fact the you, Iris are out there explaining what you need from your friends is remarkable.  The only thing that will help these people is to be educated.  The more they learn the better things will be for those living with dementia.  In the mean time we need to preserver and have a thick skin.
Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, February 25, 2012 7:16 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18333

Welcome, driver.  Do you have dementia yourself?  Please tell us more about yourself.   


Feel free to begin your own thread by clicking on "Add topic" on the main "I have AD" board. 


Iris L. 

Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2012 1:59 PM
Joined: 1/3/2012
Posts: 189

I don't know how many times I have had to say to someone that I have memory issues. I don't go into that I have Alzheimer's, I say memory issues. People usually understand. You just have to be comfortable in bringing it up. More you bring it up to more Constable you get with it, like any disability.
~^o^~ cheer

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