What say memory loss is actually experienced as bliss

 

 

He says if you lose your memory, you lose everything.

But I question if this is true.

At my current stage with Amnestic MCI, I lose my memory several times a day. The sensation of this loss of memory is actually blissful. I am in the moment. I am able to see the walls in my house, I am able to see the trees in my yard. Everyday I see the trees I feel bliss. Nothing to worry about. I just am here sitting or standing or walking with hardly any chatter, or not chatter. That is bliss for me.

 

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Amyloid plaques in my brain

My PET Scan has revealed Amyloid Plaques in my brain.

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“Amyloid is a protein that can be vital to cell function throughout the body, but a dysfunctional form of amyloid called beta-amyloid can collect in the brain. Scientists believe that when beta-amyloid builds up in the brain, forming amyloid plaques, it is toxic to the nerve cells. Evidence of amyloid plaque buildup in people with normal memory function has been linked to an increased risk of developing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in the future. However, having a buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain does not mean that symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease will develop in the next few weeks, months, or even years:

It can take more than 10 years between amyloid plaques starting to develop in the brain and development of even the mildest symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Some people can have amyloid plaques in their brain and never develop Alzheimer’s disease dementia.”

Hmmm…. My first response is to carry on, calmly knowing all of us humans have to die some time of something. I have a healthy dose of self compassion.

The specialist at the Memory Clinic noticed I have a calmness today compared to the last time I met with him, which was the 16th of February 2018.

So, essentially I’m doing everything Dr Google has suggested, that could possibly halt my MCI in its tracks.

I started yoga on the 26th of March 2018 at the best yoga centre I’ve ever attended. It’s only a calm sweet 15 minute walk. I immediately resonated with the other participants. I feel like I have found my tribe. I’ve always been called “weird” and this new phase is unravelling respectfully. I actually fit in.

Today is the 11th of April, so this increase in clarity has evolved over just 10 yoga sessions.

As a consequence, I am actually experiencing a greater level of clarity since starting yoga and walking everyday.

My executive functions have declined over the past year, as has my ability to deal with times, dates and numbers, but I’m doing everything I can to halt the process.

A shadow over my future

Can MCI be treated?

Currently, there is no specific treatment for MCI. A number of studies are investigating different treatments, such as the cholinesterase inhibitors used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Ebixa, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), Vitamin E and statins (for controlling cholesterol).

Cognitive training (exercising the mind and memory) has been suggested as useful for MCI and it is important to maintain a healthy diet, have regular physical exercise, and maintain good general health – particularly controlling blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels.

In most cases, a person diagnosed with MCI will not undergo any medical treatment but will be regularly monitored for changes in their memory. Counselling may assist people with MCI to find ways to adjust to the changes they are experiencing and to learn about ways to compensate for their memory difficulties.

 

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A Slow Minor Grief

I used to be a multitasker.

I used to be a master.

I used to be faster.

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A small puddle of grief at the loss of some skills.

Clocks make me crazy.

Appointment times sometimes allude me.

Tax time is angst time.

I used to be fully competent.

Now I’m sometimes incompetent.

The essence of me is still me. Any grief is a minor puddle.

Labelled by a diagnosis

Neatly defined into a tight box. Something wrong with me. A diagnosis that may go one way, may go the other way. May go nowhere from here.

I discover over the time since this MCI diagnosis that there’s nothing wrong with me.

MCI Labelled.jpg

I can type, I can talk, I can see, I can hear, I can feel, I can create, I can sleep, I can wake up. Hardly a soul around me has no idea that I have this label.

I am rebelling against being labelled. There’s a great deal more to me than a three lettered acronym.

 

 

 

Freedom walks

Few people know how to take a walk.

The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes,

old shoes, an eye for nature, good humour, vast curiosity,

good speech, good silence, and nothing too much.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

girl wall mural
Girl Skating wall mural
Wall mural blue tree
Blue Tree wall mural
Knitting Bomb
Knitting Bomb

Conscious techniques to let the light in

Remember to stay conscious. Talk out loud to myself repeating the task I am about to do. Take a conscious decision to notice where I put an object down — my backpack, my phone, my cord for the computer. Whatever it is, find some way to hold one thread of thought in order to increase my chance of achieving the task without brain fog disruption.

Leonard Cohen says:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

green leaf leaves

Say out loud what I am about to do. And keep saying it until I get to the task. Be very conscious of keeping stuff in the same place every single time without fail.

I’m developing routines (which throughout my life I have detested). But now I feel a real sense of freedom by not having to second guess, or to re-decide.

I want to start taking notice of what precedes memory lapses, what precedes getting out of routine, what precedes my level of tiredness.

Having a head cold for 2 weeks seriously increased my level of confusion.

Forgetting is not really scary at all. But what is scary are the regular confusions.

I don’t care that I can’t do numbers any more, or that it’s difficult to read the clock.

What I do care about is experimenting, discovering what works to reduce confusion.

I went to a couple of choir evenings, but it was a long train ride to get there and it was dark on the way home. I loved being amongst the other people, but the stress of getting there and back made me tired. I’m on the search for what is meaningful personally for me. My photography has been meaningful since I was a small girl. Sharing photos on my blog creates large smiles on my face.

I’m an introvert, so mingling socially with people does not necessarily make me feel enlivened. I truly have to take my time with finding what’s best for me socially. It’s difficult for me to have a guest at the house who talks a lot. I find it impossible to think while someone else is talking when I need to be concentrating on something like making food at the same time as somebody is talking.

It’s vital that I do not get tired as it means one or two days out of my life that my functioning is limited. That leads on to me feeling down. Fortunately that’s not very often.

I’m definitely not depressed, luckily. The psychiatrist said he’d only see me if I took anti depressants. I did take them for 6 months, but the psychiatrist had nothing significant to offer, that I was not already capable of and doing, so I stopped taking the anti depressants and I don’t feel any different. I’m definitely happy with how things are going.

I’ve always been a proactive optimistic person. I know this is in my favour. Before I was diagnosed with MCI, I was already someone who did whatever it took to be healthy both physically and psychologically.

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in” —Leonard Cohen

There is a crack in everything that's how the light gets in

 

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These are the tears of ice melting

These are the tears of ice melting
Melting away my fatherrain

Curtain flag Pink

Entrance way into a church at the back of the churchChurch entrance

Times forgotten
Dark stemmed flowers, the stalks are darkDark stemmed flowers the stalks are dark

It’s the passageway again at the back of the church. I remember Granddad occupied my dream after he died. I was guilty.
Mosgiel church

The support of the pillow
The warmth of the hottie
Cold feet
Dripping nose
Version 2

Letting go
Letting go  . . . ahhhhh

Not trying to make anything happen
Just be
Be with this moment

(Long sigh) Letting go of all the shoulds, of all the resentments, of all the harms

Dripping nose
The tilt of the headrain pink orange blue

A chanel into the magnificent Corral — parking there over night
Be with
This momentChanelling the horses into the corral

The lights coming through the cracks
Voices outsideRaglan

Aeroplane flying over. Light shining through, as the plane goes oversky snow

Purple highlights on the leftpurple

Back in the ChurchSt Mary's Ipswich church

My body’s warming now

Small cat
A small fluffy animal

Robyn & Min's cats

A stylised roosterRooster

Disconnections
Spaces betweenrust

Am I seeing on the right?
I found something there
It’s an English street
Old fashioned buildings
MeaningfulDunedin Railway Station

Dad on the left
Then I realised he wasn’t there

Curtains in the arch of the back of the church
The Baptist neighbour

Stiff
AwkwardSt Mary's Ipswich church

Holding a cloud
The palmbuddha spirit

The witch’s face
Big nose turned into bright light, bright shining lightmannequin red

I hear another aeroplane in the distanceCoolangatta airport, Tugun

Box of threads, needles, MumColourful threads

Handy sewing toolkit like daisies
Sewing toolkit

Peter the red haired curly red haired Nigerian man in London
He gave me a name
He had a vision of who I was
His vision and metaphor was that I was someone who rode a horse bareback through  fields of daisies
That’s me, he was right

I see a fencefence

Starting to breathe nicely now, deeply, easily
I’m relaxing

There’s a white man who’s appeared
I don’t know who he is
Now I see eyes

It morphed I couldn’t capture it
I shall sleep now.

These are the notes of vivid images and feelings when I had a Cold and Cough. I struggled sleeping so I let go and explored what I was sensing, seeing, feeling.

Let Go

Let Be

My Usual Forgetting has Worsened Because I have a Head Cold

Today I felt a need to get fresh air, so went for a couple of slow walks. After the walks, my head feels better physically, but not the thinking aspect.

green seedling in a tight spot

I’m trying to figure out when I got the cold. But I’m struggling to read the calendar. I know it started the day after the choir, which was also the day I went to the optician to update my glasses prescription. At both those places there were people who where sick with a Cold.

Red Poinciana FlowerSome of my finds on my two walks today.

water caught on a succulent

scatteringsA result! I figured out how long I’ve had this Cold . . . It’s been 8 days so far. That’s 8 days of struggling with remembering.

Rain on a feather

It’s been the worse struggle today including remembering what I’m doing as I wrote these notes now.

I struggled acutely with remembering which photo I had not yet placed here. Even the ability to hold onto one of the photo images was impossible.

I struggled with spelling, so had to check the dictionary. This seems to be occurring occasionally of late.

Today’s memory techniques have been to:

  1. sit here patiently, waiting, waiting, waiting for a sign
  2. writing everything down in a physical notebook instead of struggling to hold onto just one tiny thought
  3. merely attempting to write and choreograph this blog post

 

Man finds car 20 years after forgetting where he parked it

I found this forgetting article about a lost car that belonged to a man who could not remember where he parked his car.

IMG_2850 2I forgot where I parked my car this last week. My partner and I had driven to the hospital for him to attend an appointment. I love hanging out waiting for my partner on such occasions because it’s my opportunity to walk the streets taking photos around the neighbourhood.

Off I happily wandered, with my beloved iPhone5, looking on the ground, looking at the trees, the seeds, the lost objects on the road, the dead animals, the scattered bird feathers, the changing lights caused by the movement of the clouds, the textures of the tree trunks, the bats hanging upside down squawking.

Eventually my partner sent a text saying he was finished. We both began walking from our respective locations to meet up at the car.

And there we arrived at the same time at the car. However the car was not there. Oops!

Our first thoughts . . . .  has the car been stolen?

Our next thoughts . . . .  what wandering, and what forgetting had I engaged in whilst wandering. And where had I been wandering and what was my logic. We stood there attempting to pick my forgotten brain …. I had forgotten to pay attention to where I had been, and whether I had indeed moved the car, because I may have possibly thought we had over stayed the parking limit.

After decoding these thoughts we decided I must have moved the car. I suddenly thought perhaps the photos I had taken might give some clues. My partner helped me unpick my whereabouts one photo at a time. I noticed one of my photos was of a street name sign. This was a clue that meant I may possibly have moved the car to a street by that sign.

I’m learning not to panic when I forget. But I don’t want the story of this man who lost his car 20 years ago, to cause too much havoc in my life . . .  not just because it would not be helpful for me, but it would be harmful for my partner.