Fingers versus Voice……..

When I type it’s a one way process; thoughts to fingers – often no noise, not having to be questioned and then type an answer…..just my fingers translating my thoughts into words. The words inside my brain making their way deftly to my fingertips and then appearing before me on my ipad.

I could never speak at the speed and articulacy (is that a word? 🤔) of my typed words. My brain and my voice appear to tolerate one another now rather than be amiable companions. My brain and silent thoughts in my head annoyed and frustrated by the inability of my voice to speak their words.

But my fingers and brain are great friends still. It amazes me to see the words flow onto the screen. To still have this skill is not only a comfort but a way of escaping and outwitting dementia. It may think it’s silenced me through my voice but my fingers can still do the talking. Laughing at dementia as they speed along.

I wish I could type an answer to a question, let my fingers do the typing then read out the answer. But the complexity of listening, considering, typing then speaking is beyond me.

Yes I can still talk, I can still hold a polite conversation, give my views, albeit hesitantly but no where near as articulate and in depth as my fingers are able. As I’m typing this I’m in awe at the speed the words are coming as they certainly wouldn’t if I tried to speak them.

That’s why I found speaking with the words in from of me easier than being interviewed or speaking randomly. When being interviewed, you have to rely on the person interviewing to have done their homework. To feed me key words that ignite a sentence or story that I’ve told a thousand times. One man interviewed me and obviously understand the need for this and the first question he asked was one I’d never been asked. No familiar words to bring to mind a sentence, so instead there was silence as I couldn’t think of an answer……

We are often given a short limited time in which to speak at events and, doe me, it’s important for that time to be filled with the points I want to make, making the most of each precious minute allowed – that’s why I speak with the typed words in front of me.

I type each day as I don’t want my fingers to forget, as happened one Christmas when I took a fortnight off. It would be the end for me if this ever happened, as writing enables me to dispatch dementia to a corner and normality appears for that moment in time.

I’d love to see the image people have of me in their mind – those that have never met me or those who havn’t seen me for a while. What image do they have of me? My writing gives the image of someone even I don’t recognise and certainly not of the reality of me and my life.

I was relieved when other people with dementia started to contact me to say they too could type as if dementia had never entered their world. An American friend, who used to be an accomplished journalist is one such friend. She said in her latest blog:

“If this disease was about how well one scores on State Mini Mental Exam, I would not be deemed to have it. I score 29 out of 30. I can still do many math equations and can count backwards from 100 by 7. But getting out bed and getting through each day requires support and reminders and pushing myself through each task. I literally have to find the courage to make mistakes doing the simplest things now. Like chew my food and swallow. Wash dishes. Put on my coat and zip it, making sure I have my eyeglasses on, my purse and phone and keys, and go outside and walk to my friend Ruth’s apartment. It is insane how hard things have become.”

Yet she types fluently, articulately and with depth and understanding…………and she loves to paint and draw……

You can read more here:

https://suddenlymad.com/author/suddenlymad/

So I can understand how some people question and discredit me. Unintentionally hurt me. We don’t all conform to the classic image of dementia. In fact, few of us do, such is the complexity of the disease.

Twitter gave me a wonderful quote about intuition….our emotions remain in tact even though facts disappear within minutes

“It’s called emotive memory, and also referred to as the gut brain. It stays intact and grows stronger as the “head brain” de-links. People with dementia often have super powers of intuition, and we should recognize and encourage this”

I’m lucky to be able to type words quicker than I can think and speak them. I’m lucky and I know I’m lucky, but don’t let it become a reason to put me down, question me and criticise me and make me feel sad about typing….

My ‘super powers of intuition’ rarely let me down and I know instantly when I don’t like someone because they said or done something that’s hurt me, even though I can’t remember what that might have been……….

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

26 thoughts on “Fingers versus Voice……..

  1. Thank you Wendy. I am in awe of your ability to ‘talk’ to us through your blog. However, I’m also quite convinced that your words travel beyond the realms of those of us who might find some difficulty in recognising who and what we currently are compared with how we feel we used to be. I am sure (and pretty sure that you are aware!) that if you omitted the word ‘dementia’ from your writings and talks you would still have a ‘recipe’ that would provide all readers/listeners with uplifting thoughts in respect of living a full-filling life.

    That said, just carry on being who you are! And I’m pretty sure that will be your response!! Thanks again.

    Bob x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You,and your American friend, may be on to something. If more people had the confidence to publicise their experience of Dementia, we could possibly find, through everyone’s blogs, a “key” for further research, or, at the very least, a way of finding the “journey” easier.
      Thanks to both of you for your contributions. Inspirational.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My wife has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I find your blog gives me great insights into her new world and it is extremely helpful to me. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow what an amazing and honest blog. I can totally relate to everything you are saying. I often get muddled now when trying to speak to people but typing comes so naturally.
    Keep the blogs coming Wendy you really help me & many others with our diagnosis. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Wendy – Thanks so much for sharing this – your blog really helps me understand what my mother is going through with her life challenges living with alzheimers. I am so grateful that you continue to type and share and I am an avid reader of your blog. I hope if faced with the same challenges in the future I will have you and my mother as great role models to help me learn to cope. I also hope that our community will have learnt better ways to accept those living with dementia all because you can and do and continue to type. So whatever you do please don’t stop.all the best for now – from Teresa

    Liked by 1 person

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