Thursday, February 27, 2014


Dementia Diary: February 27th 2014. Alzheimer's or FTD?

What is the matter with Bill?
Alzheimer's? Frontal temporal dementia? Autism?
I can't quite make it out.......he seems to have symptoms of all three and lots more besides.
If we perceive that he can only be in the early stages of dementia, then I have to wonder at how he is.
Let me tell you where this is coming from.
I wrote yesterday evening, on the dementia forum, about the conflict between us over Bill's ability to continue driving.
I know that he is mechanically faultless with his driving.
But I sometimes question his judgement and therefore am fearful of potential accidents.
Other people on the forum have given lots of practical advice....including some people who have been diagnosed with dementia themselves.
Some people with dementia have sorted out the procedures to re-assure the DVLA themselves - appeals tribunal and all.
Some had their diagnosis some years ago.
Bill couldn't do that - he would be unable to pick up the phone and hold in his head what he needs to talk about and couldn't string a meaningful sentence together anyway.
He was never good at that sort of thing - that's the autism.
But now....and it has happened really rapidly.....his brain has nearly nothing to offer.
A year ago he was vague and a bit forgetful.
Now he seems unable to hold anything in his head for any length of time.
He has nothing to say, no conversation. Nothing interests him.
I want to shout "Try harder". I want to advise that he would be much more content if he could attempt to live as an adult.
No _ I don't just want to do it. Today I have talked to him about it.
There was little reaction.
It's obvious really - an assessor of his driving will be very much influenced by Bill's behaviour and seemingly empty brain.
One suggestion to me about the driving was to organise an hour with a driving instructor. This would get Bill accustomed to being assessed in the familiar world of our town and it might give us an idea of what to expect. I'll see if anybody could do that in the next few days.
Next week I will organise the assessment.
I have to admit I am floundering. I sometimes wish somebody would just take him away and look after him. But nobody would give him the care and thought that I am giving. I seem to eat, sleep and breathe dementia.