Mental Capacity?

Here is an extract from a post by Iain of Little House In The Paddy. How I appreciate what he is talking about. Losing ones grip, so to speak, ends up not being such a very bad thing. Causes one to appreciate what having a mental grip actually is.

I always notice in periods like this how much my brain feels as if it has been reduced to scrambled eggs. Vocabulary slips away and the ability to concentrate and think sequentially evaporates. It doesn’t take much to undermine conventional mental processes and that illusion of ‘having a grip’. It is that Freudian distinction between ‘I’ and ‘me’ I suppose, all the ‘I’ functions become undermined as your capacity to concentrate is lost due to fever and with it goes the possibility of keeping a short leash on anxiety, you just have to sit there with who you are and feel rough.

Under The Weather @ Little House In The Paddy.

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4 thoughts on “Mental Capacity?”

  1. Watching and speaking with my Dad as he slipped away with Alzheimer’s was, now looking back quite upsetting. Two fold as well. As I carried on as if he would get better and him hoping he could stem it.

    Sadly, as I watched him scan the photos around his room, how his eye moistened with sadness for fear of loosing the memory of my dearly departed Mam and his lack of go, I came to realise that he needs more love and kindness than he was getting, almost as if he was an infant. For many months, until the system was able to care for him he would wander the streets of Lerwick, cleaning up the town, trouble was he would fill the house with it. He tried to sort out what he had left but forgot what he was doing and threw those printed memories in the bin.

    Now he is at Viewforth, things have improved for him, though now I am an orphan of such, as the Dad I knew has departed his shell, but the Shell lives on.

    There are traces of humor still lurking within his mind, the love of the Goon Show and Flanders and Swan, the geometry of pictures interests him as does checking things, the occasional photo will light the dark holes that is his eyes and you can almost see a flicker.

    Looking at his life, and how it has interwoven with so many others I feel a little lacking. Then I think a wee bit harder and can see many folk I once knew and how we all have changed others lives, some good, some bad.

    He is now 71 and his body is racing to look the age it is, he was once a fit marathon runner. Now he patrols the corridors outside his room though he still has an eye for the ladies.

    We could not get him to talk about how he was as he traveled to this point, he was a proud man, ex RAF and involved with the Cold War.

    He knows he is Jim, that is what folk say to him.

    I wish he spoke a little more, but I think that may be to ease my thoughts.
    So, I will be doing more talking myself.

  2. Thanks Keith for sharing this piece about your dad. So many people are talking about parents who have some level of mental incapacity, and how difficult that is. And also there are the lighter moments, when the light so to speak switches on. Briefly.

    My own dad talked about the possibility of losing his mental grip as he got older and he said he would feel sorry for me having to live with that in him. He also said it probably wouldn’t worry him though. I found him saying that to me very helpful. Thankfully I did not have to deal with him with diminished mental capacity. He just dropped dead, on a railway platform.

  3. I had a brief episode with my dad when he was 91 & he went blank. I was scared & he asked me what he should do? I talked & talked to him & eventually played some music. I just happened on Beethoven’s 5th (I think) & it reminded him of wartime because he said it was only played on the radio at certain times – the notes are like Morse code & he said something about communication with the resistance in France. From this he talked more about his memories of the war & gradually the person I knew returned from the blankness. He had a few favourite pieces of music left out which was helpful on that day as I was able to pick up one which brought him back, as it were.

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