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A Journey into forgetfulness

A Journey into forgetfulness

Have you ever had an experience where you knew …

The name of the person, it was on the tip of your tongue as they say, but ….it just eludes you, just stays slightly beyond your grasp.

Or you just had those car keys, sun glasses, …. but now what did you do with them? Where did you put them?

Now imagine …. that is your life. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, that is your life.

You just can’t quite recall. It is something you should know but. …. It eludes you.

And day by day, week by week the things that slip just into the shadows of your mind where you can sort of glimpse them but can’t quite make out what they are grow and grow and slip further and farther away.


This is what this blog is about. A Journey into forgetfulness. With this blog I will discuss our own experiences with Alzheimer's disease in the hopes it will help others with family or friends with this illness

Friday, August 3, 2007

Habanero and Alzheimer's

Habanero chiles and Alzheimer's do not mix well.

My father who is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's apparently decided to eat one of my habanero peppers yesterday. It is a reminder for those who are caring for someone with Alzheimer's just how much like small children they can be.

In the early stages of Alzheimer's one does not need to be on constant alert. The only problem at this stage is that the Alzheimer's victim will forget things that just happened -- short term memory is impaired.

As the Alzheimer's progresses it will manifest itself in not only the short term memory impairment being more pronounced but long term memory also will begin to fail. In addition cognitive functions are impaired. The ability to make decisions disappears. It slips into the shadows. Making a choice can become impossible. What do you want to eat? may become a question they can not answer. For one thing, they may not remember what the food they want to eat is named. For another they may not remember what it tastes like. Or they may simply may not be able to make even such a simple decision. You want to wear this or that? is a question that can overwhelm them.

But along with this cognitive impairment is the fact they will do things they shouldn't. Like grab an habanero and try to eat it. We raise a small garden in the summer, and I raise some habanero chiles. Yesterday we were outside mowing grass, weed-eating, picking up limbs, trimming hedges and such and my father returned to the house. When my mother came inside she found him at the kitchen sink spitting and eyes watering. He had taken one of my habanero peppers, sliced off a piece and taken a bite.

Just as parents "child proof" their homes when they have young children (especially toddlers), when you have a family member with Alzheimer's you once again have to look at your home with new eyes. What can they get into that will harm them? And place it away so they can not hurt themselves. We have done that for the most part. Just didn't think of the habaneros.

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