Thursday, September 11, 2008

imagine going forward without knowing where you have just been

Multiple Sclerosis symptoms of short term memory loss keep Patti in permanent “now” or snippets of ago. 


I asked Patti if she knew what today, September 11th was all about. (She had just been watching a special on TV about the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001.)


After considering the question she responded, “It’s exactly a week before my birthday!” (Yes, this is also a correct answer but not exactly what I was looking for. <grin>)


Asking her more directly if she remembered the day of the world trade center attacks, etc … she responded with a string of expletives about those mother f#ckers and where they should rot.


Whew! I woke up a hornet's nest there.


Next in conversation I asked her what she had done today. “Nothing!” she replied. 


After our outing to the library and Brusters for milk shakes, I noticed on the wall calendar that her friend Sharon L had visited with her earlier bringing her a new top for an early birthday present, a McDonald’s lunch, and painted her nails for her. … Certainly a lot more than “nothing.” <grin>


With such short term memory loss, the oversized wall calendar in her room is critical for all of “us” to know what "we" are doing and Patti cannot remember.


Most of us take memory for granted. Can you even imagine going forward without knowing where you have just been?


Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer 




(also available in Blogger edition, Caregiver Blog: "Caregivingly Yours")


  1. I can't imagine that, Patrick; but I do wish Patti a happy early birthday! I think it was neat, too, about her friend coming to visit her; its neat to hear that special friends in her life take the time to spend with Patti, especially helping to honor her on her special day :)


  2. Thank goodness for the wall calendar! You would never know what goes on in Patti's life!!

    However, I do like and agree with Patti's response about 9/11. <grin>

    Have a great Friday!


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