I used to love those self-help quizzes in magazines so now I have made up my own and taken in. I am not sure if I passed or not.
Who did the following, A (Alice) or R(Ralph), in the last week?
- Who asked repeatedly where the other was going today?
- Who asked repeatedly what the other was doing all afternoon?
- Who went to an Alzheimer’s support group Friday?
- Who took the dog to the vet?
- Who could not find his/her cell phone for two hours?
- Who doesn’t answer the phone when called?
- Who answered the final Jeopardy question right?
- Who got in the car without putting the dog in the house yesterday?
- Who left the eggs boiling on the stove last night?
- Who noticed and turned off the stove last night?
- R (Although I was only going to the gym) but also A (To remind Ralph he had a doctor appointment)
- A (Because I worry he just sits and smokes unless I push him to do a chore or activity); Not R (He has lost curiosity about my activities)
- A (Ralph refuses to go because he says one person always talks too much and he doesn’t get enough factual information)
- R (While I was at the support group actually; this was the first time he has taken responsibility for a chore in a while, and I was nervous about sending him alone. But he assured me that he knew the way and he did. The dog’s check up went without a hitch. The sense of normalcy was a good experience for Ralph and for me.)
- Well, I think that might be R and A, each on different days. (Actually I am not sure where mine is right now. Oops, there it is under an envelope on my desk.)
- R. (When I misplace my phone, I start calling it. When R misplaces his phone, he doesn’t notice. If I am out and checking on him, I get extremely nervous that he’s not answering. When I am the one home and he is not in the house and not answering the phone, I can get a little frantic. So far my worry has been needless, thank goodness.
- R (One advantage of having a husband with MCI/Early Alzheimer’s—he doesn’t lord it over me because he almost immediately forgets that he’s one-upped me)
- R (This was disturbing because, see 4., the dog is the area of responsibility where Ralph usually seems the most his old self; I took care of the dog without mentioning to Ralph who would have become very upset at his lapse)
- A (I put them on, left to check email and Ralph was the one who noticed and turned off the burner just as I was walking back into the room)
- R (See 9. Above.)
Answering my little quiz has been a good reminder to myself that the line between forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s related loss of memory is not always as clear. What is different is often more in the reaction. I fret while Ralph doesn’t know what he’s forgotten or that he’s forgotten. I think I may quiz myself more often to keep track of how we’re doing.