Tuesday, July 03, 2012

dementia from the inside

I'm a fat person.  Usually that's not very relevant to this blog and thus doesn't get mentioned much.  I lost almost 100 lbs on my own but now I gained back a little so one of my doctors has sent me for "medically supervised weight loss" which basically means shakes and bars and hardly any "real" food--and no carbs.  I'm eating maybe 500 calories a day.
I don't do well on low carbs.  I get really sick.  I call it "carb dementia".  And of course, with no carbs and no calories in me, and exercising 5-6 thousand calories a week, I'm very sick.  And I've figured out why it's so very scary for me to be this sick.
I feel like, if I ever get Alzheimer's, this is what it will be like Except that I can't eat half a tortilla and feel better if I have dementia.  It will be like this all the time.  And when I have carb dementia, I know it. Just like my dad knew that something was wrong with him.
I know that:
  • I am stupid  (my brain is hardly working)
  • I am not comprehending everything I read 
  • When I write, I don't always make sense 
  • My spelling is horrendous (worse than usual) and I don't recognize it if I don't have a red line telling me
  • Simple tasks like assembling an air conditioner, office chair, or IKEA furniture are nearly impossible
  • My hands shake when I try to do precision tasks
  • When I talk, I can't remember words or names (expressive aphasia, what my dad had)
  • I can't remember the point of what I'm saying by the time I'm done saying it
  • I'm perpetually exhausted and have to nap like an old person
  • My moods are bad; I am mean-tempered and utterly lack patience 
  • I am depressed; I cry a lot and sleep a lot and have no motivation to do anything
  • I stumble over everything when I'm walking, even things no sane person would trip over like a piece of paper
  • If I exert myself (such as shopping in a poorly air-conditioned store) I start to grey out and get tunnel vision (I work out in a pool so I don't overheat)
The thought of living like this the rest of my life is terrifying.  The doctors want me on this diet 18-20 months.  That's almost 2 years.  There is no way I can get a job or even look for one when I can't even rub two words together most days.  When I have to take a nap like an 80 year old after the slightest exertion.  When as part of this diet I have to eat their bars and shakes every 2 hours on a tight schedule.
For instance, it took me well over an hour to compose this blog post. It should have taken 20 minutes.  I have no idea if it makes sense.  There aren't a lot of red lines so everything is probably spelled correctly.
I have to wonder if it's worth it.  To give myself temporary diet-based dementia so I can live long enough to get real dementia. 
(image source)


Elderlink said...

Good article, it helps us all deal with our family's also....

Anonymous said...

Just landed on your blog via Google. Sorry to read about your plight. I haven't read all of your blog yet ( but I will) . I read an article yesterday that Metformin ( a pill for Diabetes) may help with AD. I am a highschooler who does concerts at Austin area nursing homes for folks who have AD. I get immense pleasure out of this. Good luck. http://www.harmoniesfortheelderly.webs.com/

Diana said...

Look up a paleo diet. You won't have to starve and you will lose weight.

Laura P said...

Your post is sad and real and honest. I'm touched (and a bit saddened for you). I just found your site as my mom has alzheimers and I have started my own blog with information and resources and my mom's story. I pray for a cure and I seek out natural options too. As for your weight loss challenges...I hear you and feel your pain. Perhaps you could find another doctor that has better options. I've recently learned of some other options when it comes to weight loss and 1. it's not your fault. 2. it's not about dieting. Dieting will not make you lose weight, at least not permanently. Anyway...just my small two cents worth. I hope I haven't offended you by offering my thoughts. Blessings...

Cassandra said...

I just stumbled onto your blog. I've been looking through your blog archives. Thank you for sharing your story. My mom was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia called Semantic Dementia. I, too, started a blog documenting our journey with this awful disease and am trying to bring awareness of it. There isn't a lot of information out there for this type of dementia, but all forms of dementia end up the same towards the end. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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