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:
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……….