Thursday, December 17, 2009

Get A Word In

Janet writes:

I keep cutting Tim off when he’s talking to me and he’s getting mad at me. He starts telling me something and the second I think I know what he is talking about, I will respond. This really doesn’t have anything to do with MS or cognitive issues. It actually has everything to do with the fact that we are married and I just think that I know what he is going to say. Of course, I don’t always know this, so I end up cutting him off and he gets mad. I should know better.

This brings up a very good point for all of you support people right before the holidays. Don’t let your loved ones with cognitive issues get shut out of family conversations. If you see your loved one having difficulty getting a word in, direct the conversation toward them and make sure he or she has adequate time to speak. If your loved one is stuck on a word or has just said something that doesn’t make sense, try to help him or her clarify points rather than just putting up with those awkward, puzzled stares from the cousins. Also, if your loved one is totally shut out of the party or is sitting off alone, make sure he or she is included, at least for as long as he/she can tolerate. Remember that cognitive issues can be just as fatiguing as physical problems, so don’t push your loved one’s limits.

Holidays are tiring and stressful, but also fun and a great time to reconnect with family. Make sure your loved one with cognitive issues is fully included in your holiday get-togethers. As for Tim and I, well, we’ll just keep working on that marriage thing….

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