When there is a rock in our path, we can stumble over it or use it as a stepping stone.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

What Happens to Blogs By Dementia Patients?

I know that on good days, I can easily function at a fairly high level for up to a couple of hours.    After that though, if I don't take a rest break the type of focused concentration necessary for reading comprehension and writing a cohesive blog post feels like slogging through molasses.   On bad days, I know I need to lower my standards for what I expect of myself.     The best I can do on those days is to be honest with others that it is not a good day for me and let them know I am giving them the best I can.

As our dementias progresses, we will find ourselves with more days when focusing our attention takes more than we feel we have to give. When that happens, we become less willing to force ourselves to do the type of work involved in maintaining a blog.    Some blog writers will find that the inexorable disease progression fills them with negativity as they realize no matter how hard they fight, the dementia will always win in the end.    They begin to rebel against anything that makes them think about their dementias, which, of course, includes writing a blog about their journey.

Eventually every blog written  by a dementia patient will come to an end, such is the nature of our disease.   Before they reach the point of drifting fully away from their blogs, many may do what Bruce did, announce that they need to step back from their blog for a bit but leave the option open to return when and as they feel able.   I was very glad to see that Bruce has put up a new post and look forward to seeing more from him in the future.

As I begin my own renewed dementia blog (after a break of about 8 years), I am trying to find the best way to write a blog that will be useful for others to read (given how much it takes out of me to do it, there is no point in writing it if it won't  help others) while figuring out how to find the energy to do it while still maintaining the energy for the other things I enjoy that all seem to tap into the same "pool" of resources in my brain.

I found an interesting post on blogging energy units.   I am curious what others (those with dementia and those without) think of this concept.   Do you also find that you can only do a certain amount of blog writing/reading/Facebook, etc. before your brain says "ok, enough of that, time to move on to something else"?


D.B. Echo said...

I saw your blog show up on my SiteMeter referrals page, and I followed it back out of curiosity. I'm glad I did.

From August 2007 through December 2010 I worked on a production line in a factory, 12 hours per day, four days out of every eight, with extra days as available. (I had been in various technical and management positions at that factory for the previous 15 years.) From 2009 through December 2010 these days were actually nights, 6PM to 6AM. I had nearly an hour commute each way. Factoring in the time to shower, eat, and get my "lunch" together, I had very little time to do anything other than sleep, and that time was spent in a fog of exhaustion until I actually got to sleep. Under these conditions I felt my ability to blog, and write, and just perform greatly diminished. I decided that this was how "the man" was trying to keep us down: keep everyone too exhausted to think clearly.

None of which can compare to what you are going through.

If you haven't read it, might I suggest reading the short story "Flowers for Algernon." (It's been turned into a movie, "Charly," starring Cliff Robertson, and a play, "Charly and Algernon.") It's heartbreaking, but it shows the value of what you are doing with your blog as a way of documenting the time you have left.

Thank you for sharing your insights with us.

Stumblinn said...

Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog. I managed to find yours as I was randomly following a trail of links from one blog to another the other day. I love creativity so your blog name "Another Monkey" jumped out at me and I decided to check your blog out. I am glad I did as you have very useful information for bloggers in some of your posts.

I have only dipped into a few of your posts thus far but will continue to return to check out more of your blog.

I have heard of the story "Flowers for Algernon," but if I have ever actually read it, I don't remember the contents so I will look into it. Thank you for the suggestion.

It looks like you are in the job market. I wish you much success, may you find work that is both psychologically and financially rewarding.

D.B. Echo said...

Thank you!