short term memory
AnonymousAugust 14, 2007 at 2:33 am
I have a question for you guys:
One of the things I have noticed with my Dad is that his short term memory gets ‘skewed’ very easily. As a for instance, my Dad’s OT brought him his new wheelchair and told him that when the nurses put him into it for dinner that he could operate the ’tilt’ mode but that he wouldn’t be able to access the forward or reverse functions until the next day when he would get training and supervision to see how he would do with it. Dad was excited to try the chair even if it only meant to tilt it forward and back. About 1/2 an hour later, when it was time to put him in the chair, he was adamant that the OT had said that he could NOT use the chair and actually told me to f*** off – that I was a trouble maker and was trying to hurt him and refused to get into the new electric chair opting for his old regular one instead. He also denied having seen my aunt who had been there most of the day. I too had been with him for about 8 hours at that point and he said that I had only just arrived a little while ago. Just curious if this is part of GBS or is Dad having signs of beginning dementia?
Any one else notice their loved one having troubles with remembering events as they actually occurred?
AnonymousAugust 14, 2007 at 10:07 am
Erin I agree with Gene about the fog that comes with GBS. Keep an eye on him and don’t argue it gets you no where but hurt feelings. I feel like I am in a fog with the GBS so I can get on the computer and read messages here or the new or play a game to fill my day. Your Dad might not be able to do that. The exhaustion that comes with GBS is dreadful. It is more than being tired. You wake up tired and it gets worse for the rest of the day. I can sit there and day dream about what I need to clean a room or fix dinner and get up to do it and I am exhausted like I just got done doing it. My body wastes so much energy. Maybe you stayed too long and should have given him time to rest. Even if you step outside his room, but are near by, he can rest. Yyou need breaks too. Maybe go out for lunch or do a shopping errand during the day so he can rest. Power naps or Cat naps don’t work for GBS. Rehab wears you out, that might be a good time for you to leave for the day. Maybe his hearing is impared with the GBS also. The periphal nerves also go into the ear and can make it hard to hear or make the hearing very sound sensetive. Also, most important the language comes from the frustration he is feeling. People don’t do well with change and we all have had a sudden change go on in our lives that can make the nicest dog go mad! Have patience and try to bring things in for him to do that he enjoyed before the onset of GBS. He is still in the recovery stages and progression is slower now than every. It takes weeks and months to see changes instead of daily brags happening. Also remember depression is also a part of this process. Try to be possitive about all this because he will get better. Hope this helps. Remember we all have a new respect for our caregivers and could not do this without your support but there are just times you need a break too and need to take care of yourself. 😮 Yes! I just gave you permission to take a day off…your presence will be more appreciated the next day! Goes back to absence makes the heart grow fonder.
AnonymousAugust 14, 2007 at 10:42 am
Oh the mind thing . . . Traumatic illness can most definitely affect anything to do with thinking. Oh the things I have missed over the last 12+ years 😮 As Kit said, it is part of the healing process. And it will ebb and flow. Don’t seach for dementia or other “things” right now. This disease affects the body’s communication system “big time”. We are still learning about residuals ~ like hearing (comes and goes in my left ear), vision (changes with my tiredness), even speach (like stumbling over a word or knowing the definition of the word I want but still can’t say it 😮 ).
Anytime something seems “to weird” come here and ask the family. There’s always someone who has struggled with it and can help with more info.
I am so grateful for this family! Before I had the internet, it was such a lonely life . . . Now I have family who understands 😀 Big hugs to all!
AnonymousAugust 15, 2007 at 5:18 am
I was going to respond to this earlier but I forgot.
Seriously though my memory has most definately been affected though it’s much better than it was when I was REALLY sick. For about four months after I got out of the hospital my poor husband had to leave notes for me everywhere and then call me to remind me to check the notes. He’d call to remind me to eat, to make this or that appointment, to remind me I HAD an appointment. Ugh. It is a little better now but I’ve also learned coping skills but yes, there were times when he looked at me like I was insane because I couldn’t remember someone visiting earlier in the day. It sort of all blended together for me for awhile and when one day is much like the other and you never get enough sleep it’s hard to actually put time codes on events and remember what day things happened.
One other thing that happened to me, very weird, was my perspective was WAY off both tactile and visual. Example, I had only been home from the hospital a couple of days when I went to pet one of my dogs. I became convinced that his neck was swollen, that he had cancer, and that I could actually feel his lymph nodes being swollen. At that time I knew something wasn’t right, probably because everyone was staring at me saying “don’t you think you need a nap now?” but I was convinced that I was not only seeing but also feeling his neck being swollen. Bless their hearts, they just patted me on the head and said they would take care of Emmitt and a few days later that sensation passed. Of course there wasn’t anything wrong with Emmitt, or the floor I thought was bulging from a water leak or any of the other weird things I thought were happening.
My mind played tricks on me, probably due to the shock of nearly dying, exhaustion and lack of sleep. Everyone was very patient and I think I finally stopped having those “whoa where am I” moments after about 5 months. There are still times when I don’t get enough sleep that I feel a little disjointed and unsure of my time/space position but by now I know the signs and head off to bed for a long nap.
Hang in there, I know it was hard on my hubby but we laugh about it now.
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