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If you're new to this blog and want some context for it, read this post from the day I announced my Alzheimer's disease and this post about the day I announced I had lost it. For more info, visit my website with my autobiography and all blog entries in chronological order for easier reading to catch up. There's also a sermon on the spiritual lessons I've learned through this journey through my damaged mind.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Is Every Mistake Alzheimer's

I’m interpreting so many mistakes I make in light of the dementia: typing mistakes, skipping words when I write, forgetting where I put stuff.  In the past, I have sometimes used my diagnosis of depression as an excuse to avoid things, to pull back from life’s challenges.  I don’t want to repeat that mistake here by interpreting everything through the eyes of this illness.

For instance, I’m scheduled to give a talk to a big audience at the International Street Medicine Conference.  I’ve been more anxious than usual.  It’s not so much the speech itself; I’ll write that out ahead of time and have Fred Taylor and Maria Barker read it carefully.  It’s the question-and-answer session afterward and the later conversations with interested people that precipitate my anxiety. 

So should I push myself regardless of the anxiety as a way of keeping my mind sharper?  Or should I remove such stress from my life?

I’ve already decided not to take any more of the large speaking assignments, though.  The level of anxiety is greater than I want to handle.  I’m okay now but will I be okay in three months to give a speech?  Will I feel too much pressure to continue against my better judgment? 

The more difficult question is whether I should cancel the classes I teach or should I wait until the diagnosis becomes obvious to other people?  Should I resign from my position as the bookkeeper at Eighth Day?  The questions are all a jumble now; I think I’ll wait to decide those things, but it’s unclear.

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