Surviving in echo valley.


Indeed we do at times seem to be living in an echo valley or a vale of repetition, constantly having to repeat what we say to the AP.

The AP’s short term memory is getting worse except where her money is concerned that is and then we manage a pretty good recall. She loves a bit of a flutter on the lottery and winnings are remembered with extreme accuracy although adding up can become a bit of a challenge. Astonishing really because for anything else, appointments, places we’ve visited and even people just met are forgotten almost immediately or the relevant information is not even absorbed in the first place. Stories become jumbled and information is relayed back to us in a completely random and often wrong format.

The LSO and I have to repeat everything at least twice for every appointment and every place we have visited.

The AP is also a real snooker groupie which is a good thing from several points of view. It does give her something to watch that she is genuinely interested in, albeit very close to the TV screen, but it also forces her to concentrate. We then get her to tell us what has happened during the sessions thus hopefully enforcing the learning process. It works only to a point because she does rather get stuck with the players who have been around for a number of years and have become her favourites to watch. So comments are often the same content as the day before or even the championship before.

A further odd brain fart to add to the echo effect is the satellite delay syndrome. The AP will be sitting quietly with a conversation going on around her and when that has finished she will ask the question that the conversation was about as if it had never happened. Or if someone has answered a question she will repeat the answer as if no-one had replied but slightly later.

The old grey matter and how it functions is a mystery and obviously as we age it becomes even more of a mystery. I read somewhere that we start going downhill mentally from our fifties onwards, and that to keep as many as our little grey cells as possible we need to exercise regularly both mentally and physically, eat a sensible Mediterranean-type diet and keep the weight down. EEEEK! I do need to lose weight and exercise more but the diet is ok as long as I don’t drink too much wine. Mind you I hadn’t noticed that being the case in Spain, France or Italy; they love their wine, am I missing something here?




Did I hear this correctly?


It is a strange situation that we find ourselves in, both 71 years of age and we have become the carers of a 99 year parent. As I have said in a previous blog, it is like riding an emotional rollercoaster. One day all seems fine and she is nice to have around then the next day you become aware that there is an atmosphere for no apparent reason. The AP has retreated into the past and this often is a sign that she has been eavesdropping again and has then misunderstood something she has overheard. Some weeks ago I had had a shower and was sitting at the dressing table in our bedroom when I heard the AP’s door open. There was complete silence and when I looked out she was standing stock still at the top of the stairs listening in to the voices downstairs. The AP had no idea I was there and when I asked if all was well she visibly jumped. We had guessed this was happening and although she claims to be deaf and wears hearing aids she can obviously tune in when she really wants to listen in. There is a humorous side to all this except when we are accused of things we haven’t said or done.

I am frequently told that we haven’t given her information that has in fact been discussed with her in detail the previous day but that short term memory loss we can cope with, it’s the cry of ‘you never tell me anything’ that really rankles usually said with a screwed up face and some foot stamping. Unfortunately she has also started to make things up to fill a knowledge gap and to decide an idea she has had is a reality. No I don’t think it is any form of dementia, it is just the natural degrading of the brain with old age. In many ways the AP has most of her marbles intact.

Oh well, it could all be much worse and we are now only fourteen days away from being able to breathe easily and freely for a full four weeks.


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