A Haircut – Focus – Concentration – Vitamin D

Problems with concentration?

Problems with concentration?

I recently read an article about watching too much TV can being a risk factor in the development of dementia. Overall, in my lifetime, I’ve not been an avid TV watcher other than the news. So this doesn’t seem to apply to me. It is, however, ironic. The neurologist told me on my last visit to make sure I watch TV in order to make sure I can follow the entire show. I hadn’t noticed too much of a problem with that until recently. Talk shows give me not problem since there is no continuity over the hour long shows. But I’ve noticed that an hour long show or a TV movie is different. What used to be easy is becoming a little more difficult. An example would be that I tried to watch Law and Order last evening. Without my knowing it, I wasn’t able to connect the pieces as the show went along. I somehow was missing some important parts which resulted in my not understanding the rest of the story. I wasn’t even aware of losing focus until suddenly the story didn’t make sense to me. This has been happening more frequently lately. It is a very subtle phenomena. It actually seems unbelievable in a way. This is also parallel to not being able to maintain my focus with my crafts. Have been having trouble maintaining a simple 12 stitch repeat pattern on an afghan. It took me all day yesterday to complete just 3 rows. It just proves to me that the progression of dementia is baffling and cunning. So I’ll keep an eye on it and will make a more concerted effort to concentrate and to focus better. I am happy that I’m alert enough to still be able to write about it. Hopefully, this will help other with dementia as well as their caregivers to understand this disease a little bit better. Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

I’ve been trying to get more coffee into me but it is a double edged sword. The tremors, obviously, just get worse. Oh, and by the way. Chad’s Dr. told him 2 weeks ago that he wanted him to take a vitamin D supplement of 1000 IU daily which is in addition the the daily multivitamin that already contains 400 IUs. It’s made me become more conscientious about my vitamin D intake as well has the 2:1 calcium magnesium ratio. I’ve never understood why calcium is highly promoted for both men and women but magnesium isn’t emphasized. Calcium requirements are twice as high as magesium. I usually get the calcium supplements which automatically have the 2:1 ratio.

We’re going to Pam’s brother’s house for dinner this evening. Pam is going to trim their 2 year old son’s hair. It’s his first haircut ever. I imagine it will prove to be quite an event. I have to smile just thinking about it.

Pam saw the endocrinologist on Tuesday. The scans revealed a nodule which now need to be biopsied. She’ll see the specialist who does the biopsies first and then we’ll go down to Cranberry near Pittsburgh for the actual biopsy. She is understandingly frightened given her history of having 3 different types of cancer in the past.

It’s supposed to be in the upper 40’s and 50 degrees over the next 5 days or so. Spring is slowly coming. I plan to get out and start walking. The sun is once again refreshing.

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9 Responses

  1. David, my comment relates to maintaining a line of concentration. This has always been a problem of mine. My brain is like a butterfly at times, flitting from one thought to another with great speed (never been diagnosed as AD, though). If what I’m doing is not totally captivating, the mind decides to wander off to something more interesting. This includes needlework which you would think would be something requiring concentration!

    I recently heard a report that if you are trying to learn something new and there is background activity (such as TV, radio, etc.), you will not be able to fully exercise the newly gained experience unless the background activity is replicated. It seems the brain “learns” the background activity along with the new knowledge, joining them together. Perhaps there is some connection between all of these functions…

    Best wishes to Pam as she has her biopsy done. Please do let us know how she is.

    Lynn in Florida

  2. David, My husband wasn’t an avid TV fan either. He did seem to become agitated with the news, and became paranoid with some of it, so his doctor told him to quit watching it. That habit is more deeply ingrained than we realize sometimes.

    I don’t watch TV much at all. I have a difficult time hearing and like you loosing sections or parts of the show, I have a difficult time hearing the different parts.

    The same is with a joke. If I miss one word in the joke then it may be lost on me. I love a good clean joke as well as the next person.

    Don can’t watch any TV anymore. It is over his head.

    1400 iu of Vitamen D sounds like a lot to me. It isn’t water soluable and can build up to toxic levels in the body.

    I am most perturbed about Pam. As I am sure she is too. Bless her heart. But, let me tell you, my ex MIL whom I loved dearly, had cancer show up more times than I could keep track of. She had her first bit bout at age 35. She lost many big internal structures, including her stomach.

    Doctors at Cleveland Clinic did a fantastic job of taking care of her. She just wanted to see her childen grown. Well she not only saw that, but also saw her grandchildren. She was 78 when she passed away.


  3. Good article! I am praying for you both! 🙂

  4. David,

    I’m interested in the Vitamin D information. My friend Kathy was undergoing bone scans and other tests because her various symptoms (including significant pain in her leg) seemed to point to bone cancer. The scans even showed an area of inflammation in her leg. She was terrified as she has a 3-year-old child and, of course, was thinking about her future. In the end, it was a Vitamin D deficiency that caused all her problems! She faithfully followed her doc’s instructions about the vitamin, then got lax about it, and the pain returned.

    My daughter went to the doctor for constant fatigue — after a variety of tests she was told that although not “deficient”, her vitamin D level was quite low. Within days after beginning a supplement, she felt better.

    Friend Kathy’s doctor told her that we here up north can be prone to a lack of Vitamin D since we get so little during the winter months. Our bodies used to store it up during the summer, but we are so neurotic about sunblock anymore that we don’t acquire the same levels we once did.

    Food for thought. I think I’ll go stand in the window for awhile….


    • Good confirmation of what the experts are now saying. Thanks.

      Just how long are you going to stand in the window?? Ha ha


  5. Hi David,
    I found your post about concentration very interesting. My Mom still enjoys watching TV, but I don’t know if she “gets” most of it. She does enjoy watching concerts, or when there is singing (yes, she likes American Idol).

    I hope things turn out well for Pam. I’ll be sending lots of good thoughts and prayers.

    Maybe you might want to have some “smaller” types of knitting projects that are easier to work on when you find your concentration a problem.

    I smiled reading about the “haircut” party – thanks for writing about that!

    My best wishes, as always, along with hugs for you and your family,

  6. David, you never cease to amaze me. You may have trouble concentrating on the TV, but your writing is so clear and your grammar so good.
    The TV matter may be just because it’s not really important to you and your brain doesn’t want to make the effort. I’ve been 44 years in this country and still have problems understanding that fast talk of TV shows. I love Law and Order, so I set Subtitles for it, and it helps me. It’s just that they talk so fast that I miss many words. With the news is different because they speak more slowly and articulate the words very clearly. Only the news sometimes are so depressing…
    Your article on Vit. D is very interesting. I take it in my calcium tablet.
    I’ll be praying for Pam, give her my love. I can only imagine how worry she must be. I wish her good news.
    Hugs to both of you,

  7. Thanks David!
    I can confirm the loss of focus during TV programs with my Dad. We narrow it down to simple game shows and Golf. It seems the background noise and soundtracks and the fast talking and the complex narratives all get muddled. Easier for Dad to watch one thing at a time without too much quick edits or blaring music. Nature programs are excellent! Prayers for Pam and Happy Haircut for the first time ever.

    • Thanks. I hadn’t thought about nature programs.


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