Ch. 71 Pat Forgets but then She Remembers
November 2020. (Note that we first covered this topic in Ch.62: Short- and Long-Term Memory Loss, that was written in April, 2020.)
Our family has a Zoom session every week. It’s a chance for family members scattered across the continent to share information about what and how they are doing. Near the end of this most recent session I casually mentioned that Pat and I had watched a great movie the night before: The Quartet, a film directed by Dustin Hoffman that takes place at a retirement home for musicians. Pat appeared startled. “I don’t remember watching a movie last night,” she said. This has been happening occasionally and usually Pat will recall things once I give her a prompt or two. So, I mentioned the plot, the stars (Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay) and the music. Nothing. No recognition.
Lewy Body creates many challenges to our daily functioning. Emotional fluctuation; confusion; fainting; slowed movement. And memory loss, although from what I’ve read and heard not everyone diagnosed with Lewy Body suffers from this condition. Unfortunately, sometimes Pat’s brain seems to have difficulty transferring data from short-term into long-term storage. That worries me. I also felt saddened in this situation because I had hoped we’d be able to share later the enjoyment we had felt when we watched that movie. When I shared this thought with my support group other members told me they had the same sense of loss. But, they added, it’s a reminder to appreciate in the present moments of closeness with our partners, even if they don’t produce longer term shared memories.
The Zoom session ended at 8 p.m. I suggested we try watching The Quartet again to see if Pat would remember it once she saw it. She agreed. At first there were no signs of recognition but eventually Pat did say she was remembering some of the scenes as they were playing out. The next morning Pat was able to recall both the name of the film and its main plot. I felt relief, of course. At least for now we are able to share this small memory of us doing something fun together.
Pat’s comments on Pat Forgets but then She Remembers:
I did remember some of the scenes as the played out, the name of the film and the main plot. I felt relief and it was nice to share the small memory of something fun together.
Well, I forget more than I used to. I have different things going on in my mind. If they all fit in that’s neat but if they don’t then I miss them.