Memory Health: Alzheimer's Support Group

Weird habits of the demented, chapter six: do you narrate your day (yet)?

Weird habits of the demented, chapter six: do you narrate your day (yet)?

OK time for some fun, depending on who you are. I am a pretty pro-active dude and if I can somehow strengthen myself for the future and make things better or maybe just stay better a little longer, I am all about that. Two things I have wrong in tandem or are maybe related is I can't multitask for crap and I have sometimes pretty bad expressive aphasia, essentially trying to translate ideas and concepts in my mind, even whats for dinner, into words can be an exercise in failure and pain. Sometimes it even feels biblical.

So I am always trying to figure out exercises and tricks to try and strengthen the weak parts of my brain with those to problems and one solution I have come up with may sound pretty stupid...and it sounds REALLY stupid I know but hey, its my insanity to live out so there. But what to do? The doctors are of little help or have little advice here...so along comes that purveyor of all Knowledge thats True and Golden....OK that was a bit much; meds are great tonight. Anyhow along comes Hollywood to the answer with the action/thriller The Long Kiss Goodnight with Samuel Jackson and Gina Davis....I snagged a key scene, like 20 seconds and uploaded it to Youtube to show what I mean:

If that doesn't work, imagine Samuel Jackson narrating what he is doing to the blues classic "I'm a Man", think Muddy did it first but who knows. The point is, as much of a plot device as that is, I realized that was a fantastically simple exercise for someone in my spot that will push all the right muscles because think about it: I am doing some task, walking the dog, doing the dishes, etc) and since I do not wish for my dog to attempt an escape at night, I avoid singing and settle for simply narrating what I am doing. The (juggling) act of staying focused on the task at-hand, while accurately describing the steps and turning them into natural English can be a tough one for me. Most days, its right at the edge of what I can do and the rest I can't.

I can feel/tell immediately if I can't even narrate doing dishes or walking the dog but as long as I try as hard as I can and do it so much it feels second-nature, I think it might keep the right bits active and alive as long as possible. So I narrate my day. Dogs don't care. Nor to the plants. People think you are crazy anyhow so if you are walking down the street having an apparently intimate conversation with your housepet, they expect it; there goes Jeff again. Fine. I am still working to a worth goal methinks. Is it actually helping? At least some, I think it is. I haven't put effort into really quantifying the results, just know that some things feel easier when in public or needing to be at my best mentally than if I don't do this at all. Nothing conclusive and it may help no one but me but there you go, Jeffs demented habit of the week...

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Jeff,

I haven’t come to the point of verbalizing my activities, the family thinks my changes to this point are odd enough without my starting talking to myself just yet. But I do have an inner monologue going most of the time saying now you need to put water in the pot, next put coffee in, etc... It definitely helps to “see” the steps in my mind just prior to doing them. That’s assuming I can remember that long. I picked my tablet this afternoon to look something up and couldn’t for the life of me remember why I picked it up. It came to me 10 or 15 minuets later and I was able to talk my way through the process. But the visualization definitely helps.

Randy

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