There is something very satisfying about numbers. They are solidly logical concepts, and calculations are mostly right or wrong; there is not much gray. By ten years old, I was pulled out from regular math class and in advanced math. Then I switched schools and there were no advanced classes, so I spent several years reviewing known math material and with focus on the arts instead. Lost my momentum and by high school I was entirely lost for geometry or calculus, but still graduated high school as Business Student of the Year. Most of my professional years were spent at various roles in Accounting departments, again working with numbers. Finally, I designed and submitted all blueprints for our two-story home, and then our neighbors asked me to do the blueprints for their two-story home also (which they themselves wanted to design).
Surprise; one of my major dementia symptoms is something that I previously excelled in; numbers.
A year or two ago, I still had concepts for up to about 100, but now the limit gets closer and closer to 10. … and if words are inserted into the equation (ie story problems) then I am a complete blank. Now I cannot recognize numerical concepts for much above 12. Above 12, I am mostly limited to recognizing “lots” and “little” … or “less” and “more”. If written with numerals, then I can always recognize less or more (ie 37 is less than 73) but if I am hearing as words, or written out as words then often cannot even recognize less and more.
I have retained more writing skills than many of my dementia friends, but lost more of my math and reading skills than most of my dementia friends (the two areas in which I excelled during grammar school). Most days, I think I am probably pretty solid at about 5th grade for both math and reading.
… So guess what? I don’t “do” numbers any more. Husband now does all the bills, banking, etc. My name has been removed from accounts in order to assure I do not forget and spend more than what we have available for income.
I miss the satisfaction of having a spreadsheet that nicely balances with all verifications. I miss the precision, but I substitute with other things I consider important. … I now focus on the arts; mostly the art of writing. The art of documenting as much as possible in dementia symptoms of self and others … along with coping mechanisms in order to live a full life.
Because life is more than being “right” and “accurate”. I think the building blocks of life are relationships. This loss forces me to focus on exactly that; relationships. (( smile )).
“Partnership with Time”
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