The end of May is quickly approaching and June will indicate that half of 2017 has arrived. Blurry would be an adequate word to use for these first six months.
I find myself straining to remain engaged with this crazy world in which I live. Regardless of any diagnosis, life has been twisting for some time now. Physically, my periphial vision is making walls easier to smack into or anyone entering my space isn’t noticed until they are directly in view. Compensating for these visual changes is challenging and equally uncomfortable for those around me. My eyes seem to be constantly scanning the surroundings.
I was recently hospitalized for what appeared to be a heart attack. Pain in chest and the feeling of an elephant sitting on my chest! As I waited for family to arrive home, I hoped the end was here, only with less pain. After four days in hospital and everything cleared, I was ultimately diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. Never underestimate a UTI. What I took from this experience, is that the vision, mobility, speech, forgetfulness and other ‘outward’ symptoms, were a stark reminder that my brain also controls all of my internal organs and my brain sent all the wrong signals. I don’t know why I hadn’t really considered this.
I came home with a mission, based on my hospital stay. No one there, from nurses to cardiologists, recognized this brain/body reaction. In fact, once I explained I have FTD, I was most often ignored or misunderstood. My daughter was my voice and they treated her unkindly and disrespectful. Had I not been in such pain, I might of hurt someone! There is a huge need for doctors and nurses to recognize the nuances a person with dementia faces when their bodies aren’t functioning properly. It is so very frustrating to explain what is and what isn’t compatible or safe for a sick brain. Sometimes the cures are causing more harm than good.
I was sent home with an antibiotic and a script for acid reflux (which an endoscopy showed I don’t have need for). Give her a pill and she’ll be ok. Ugh!
The family I live with is selling the house and moving away. The likely hood I see them again is slim. They know this as well as I do. I am very fortunate to have two wonderful daughters, who have stepped forward to ensure I have a roof over my head and can continue to live as independently as possible. I have reached a point of needing some verbal reminders, gentle cues and to be treated as myself and not just a diagnosis.
Through my eyes, that now see the world much more narrowly, I also see that those moving on from me, cannot see what I see. It’s more than that, they don’t want to see the parts of my world that are changing. They see my frustrations as I seek compensations, as anger and cruelty towards them. Just as I cannot change my changing vision, they cannot change their need from freedom from the inevitable responsibilities creeping into their lives.
Who’s to blame, me for needing more, them for not being willing to support those changes or how about the damn disease? Through my eyes, I think blame is equally shared.
They will move and I will continue to find ways to help myself and others experiencing the lack of knowledge about early onset dementia/FTD. A UTI and visual changes only make me more passionate to learn and help others facing these new challenges themselves.