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Luau 05-01-2012 07:32 AM

Unable to find things right in front of you an early sign?
Just a curiosity question. Is loosing something or unable to find something directly in front of you and in plain sight a sign?

This has been happening with increasing frequency, several times an evening. e.g. last evening in the kitchen. I was cleaning up; my lovely wife, L, was just hanging around.
L: Where are the peanuts?
Me: They are in the pantry (motioning to the pantry right next to her)
L: (opens the pantry, looks) Where are they? They are not there.
Me: The bag of peanuts is on the middle shelf, right in the middle and front.
L: They are NOT there!
Me: Your hand is almost resting on them. I can see them from across the room.
L: (getting a bit testy) They are NOT there! You find them.
Me: (walked across the room as delicately as i could, and got the bag of peanuts out) you might not recognize the bag. Seems they changed the color of the bag since the last time we bought them.

Sigh.... (the bag color has not changed. there is no new bag. it's the exact same bag for the last month, just less peanuts in the bag now).

ninamarc 05-01-2012 09:59 AM

Re: Unable to find things right in front of you an early sign?

Like you, I analyzed everything my FIL did wrong or funny.

The fact is she does not recognize or remember where the peanuts are. The details are not crucial. The fact is she forgot the details.
It is common that she would forget the details. In fact, she may buy more if she cannot find it.
It is common as the TV AD show: The guy keeps buying milk or lemons.

Face it, she has something wrong in her memory. Please talk to her doctor ASAP.

For sure you need to get into the trick mode now to remove her car so she does not drive like that for 2 or 3 hours again and got lost! It would be very dangerous for her. At times the patients with Alzheimer's got lost and are found to be dead in the winter. I heard a few cases like that here in Canada.

You need to act now. There are 2 kinds of tricks:
The first kind is when she is still smart: At this point, she is no longer clear about the laws or the rules in the society even though she can talk very well and know what she wants. Make up something or quote something real from the laws. My FIL refused to hire a caregiver until we told him the neighbor will sue us and told the social worker to take him away. (The neighbor did threaten us once because my FIL fell and had taken too much pain killer. So my husband flew there the next day.)
Say anything at all. Tell her the authority does not allow 6 dogs, tell her the DMV does not allow such drive. Tell her the check up is for her cancer (a lie) and tell her the sons will have the dogs so she is not worried too much about the dogs. (A lie too.)

The second kind is when she no longer remembers lots of things. You can just use the fact that she forgot and take away the dogs. She may forget the dogs' names and etc. one day. She could get worse in her memory in 6 months or 1 year.
My FIL remembered about his memory issue and DMV issue in 2006, but in 2007 he totally forgot what happened to the license and car. We donated the car behind his back as the car was broken anyway.

You really have to start some tricks before it is too late.
Since this happened, has it occurred to you that she may get another dog because she forgot that she had 5 dogs already at the moment?

I suggest that she needs a part-time caregiver next to her so she is not alone.

Take care,

EagleRiverDee 05-01-2012 12:17 PM

Re: Unable to find things right in front of you an early sign?
I don't know if it's an early sign, but can tell you that you're not alone. Lately I go looking for things and they will be right in front of me. Right where I'm looking. And I don't see them. It's very disconcerting. I'll ask my DH if he's seen the blue cup we use to feed the dogs with. And he'll look at me like I'm insane and say, "It's right there." and point, right to where I was just looking. I'm only 39. Only one person in my family has had alzheimers. So I'm hoping it's just a thing I'm going through right now.

Gabriel 05-01-2012 10:47 PM

Re: Unable to find things right in front of you an early sign?
Luau, (got it right that time :) Yes this is typical. Peanuts are what she wanted but her mind is seeing bags and boxes and cans. What is in a container can be a mystery. When Mom was in AL my sister left several cans of soup in the room. I guess Mom couldn't find the soups she wanted one night because every can was opened and put back in the cabinet. She would look for orange juice in the fridge and not find the biggest white container in there which had the OJ in it. As for her claim that the package had changed... that is also classic. They will make up excuses to cover up their inabilities. I would sound logical if you didn't know the package was the same... and she doesn't. She only knows that she didn't seen any peanuts until you handed them to her.

Love, deb

ninamarc 05-02-2012 08:26 AM

Re: Unable to find things right in front of you an early sign?
Eagle, it is common for regular people to be forgetful given stress. You can check with the doctor to see about that. It could be other conditions. Or it is just plain forgetfullness because of your life schedule. If you are very busy, you may overlook things.

Take care,

Gabriel 05-02-2012 08:49 AM

Re: Unable to find things right in front of you an early sign?
Eagle, Nina is right that forgetfulness can be caused by stress and a list of other emotional and physical conditions. Also know that Alzheimer's is not just forgetting but the lost of multiple cognitive abilities. Misplacing the key or not seeing them laying on the counter the first time you look doesn't mean you have Alzheimer's. In Alzheimer's there are memory changes that disrupt daily life. You ability to solve problems is decreased. You have difficulties performing familiar task and get confused to place and time. You have difficulties with visual images and spacial relationships. New problems with written and spoken words may develop. You lost things and can not retrace your steps to find them. You begin to have poor judgement. There are changed in mood and personality while you with draw from work or social activities. If you rush to the store and come out not being able to remember exactly where the car is have no worries. If you rush in the store and come out not knowing you drove the car there then worry.

If you do have serious concerns about your memory then go to your doctor and express these concerns to him. Have a complete physical to check for other reasons for the cognitive issues and ask him to give you a memory test such as the MMSE (Mini Mental Status Exam). Let the doctor decide if there is any validity to your concerns. It is better to know than to guess...

Love, deb

Linda1652 05-10-2012 10:05 AM

Re: Unable to find things right in front of you an early sign?
I think that is something to do with how our brains our wired. I have always been like that---it's like I see over things that are right in front of me. Mom is the same way. I have to make myself concentrate to find things. I don't think I have ADD!!

Gabriel 05-10-2012 10:39 AM

Re: Unable to find things right in front of you an early sign?
I do the same thing :) and I know I don't have AD... but the stress of care giving and living in the modern world will cause you to rush through and miss even what you are looking for.

Funny story... I spent two days looking for a paper that I thought I had. I had the other 6 safely in the appropriate file folder and decided I had lost number 7. So I obtained a new form and sent it off to be signed apologizing for having lost the paper. Turns out I never got it!!! It had never been mailed to me :) I just laughed at myself and kept going.

Love, deb

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