I asked, and you answered. Resoundingly.
My question was, is there any way at all, even one tiny way, that you have found mild cognitive impairment to be a positive in your life?
(If you didn’t see that video last week, you can watch it by clicking here: Is there anything good about MCI? Here’s the answer I didn’t expect.)
Well, that video got more response than any single topic I’ve ever talked about. And today, I want to share some answers with you. I think you will find them truly inspiring.
But to give some context to these comments, let me briefly explain why I asked the question. It was based on a visit to Baycrest in Toronto, where they offer an amazing, ground-breaking program for people with MCI.
There are so many challenges and struggles and frustrations with MCI, and they can take a toll on you.
The experts at Baycrest know that, and they help people cope with all of those negatives. But they also offer a valuable message about the role that positivity can play in dealing with MCI.
In their book, “Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment,” they ask: “If negative mood symptoms can cause all these problems for you, then what can positive attitudes do?”
And the answer is, it can help a lot. That’s why you want to try to find something positive about MCI and to take as positive of an approach as you can to living with it.
What I offer you today are the words of people with MCI who are trying — and succeeding. Here’s what they have to say:
I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a loving family who help me, especially my husband. I just go with the flow on bad days and enjoy any time I can when I am in an understanding mode. I have MCI as bad — and with as many challenges — as most, but I find good things to see. I am determined to see past the MCI and on to what changes have happened. My family tells me it is their time to take care of me since I took care of them and the house (three kids and my husband of 49 years ) while working outside of the home full-time. They let me do what I can, but do what I can’t.
We have had feet of snow in Wisconsin this year, so I love looking out the window to see the beauty. We also have a lot of birds and other wildlife roaming through the yard all year long. I concentrate on the ‘task’ I am doing and not let my mind wander. Beauty helps me relax.
I have gotten to rely on God and my Guardian Angel more in my life. I am at peace with myself and take one day, one hour, or one minute at a time. My life is calmer and lower stress. I still struggle, but I know I have peace when I am feeling better. My possible prognosis of dementia doesn’t scare me anymore. We have all our long-term paperwork taken care of and my husband as POA for my health. My glass is half full most of the time. Life is uncertain for everyone so I just live my life the best I can.
I am going to try being more positive. I am working on a goal of crocheting a blanket. This will be finished in Dec. 2019. I am also going on Tuesday to see about clinical research and getting involved in that. I told my husband a long time ago that when I die, turn my body over to science. So I am an organ donor. Then I began thinking about, why not now, to try to help others and maybe myself in clinical trials since I am young in age? God is in control, so whatever the outcome brings tomorrow, it’s in God’s hands. Yesterday was a bad day but today is better after reading your post. Thank you.
From Mary Lee:
Thanks for beaming hope our way. I am thinking that with the loss of energy that I am experiencing with age, I am much more in tune with those in my presence and can listen more readily with the ear of my heart to what is so meaningful to them. So very many people long to be heard and to tell their stories. Bless all of you out there who are making lemonade out of the lemons in life.
I’ve been asking myself, what can I do to find a good life purpose given that I have a cognitive impairment? My former dream was to bring was first aid/CPR/pet care trainings to the community. I took the 3-day instructor’s training in another state and bought a lot of expensive presentation equipment/materials. I had thought about it for years, and it should have been a natural for me. Not being able to pull it off was frustrating and discouraging, and was what led me to find out what was wrong. The outcome was a diagnosis of MCI.
What good can I do now, how can I contribute, with so many doors closed to me? I’ve slowly been realizing that I do have something to give, something rather precious and powerful. It’s the sense of presence that I can bring to those in distress or in grief. The ability to just “be” with someone who is suffering, and not to have an agenda. Simply to offer compassion.
I am in my 74th year, and pray I don’t get ‘senile dementia’ as my dear dad did at this age several years ago. However, I believe in ‘The power of Positive Thinking’, and I am keeping active and still performing (I play mandolin and bass guitar as backing for my singer-guitarist husband). We entertained at a caravan park yesterday and I did well. When backing my husband on bass guitar, I had to sit out one song with a complex chord progression. Other than that, I was pleased that I did well on mandolin, poetry and bass guitar.
I have often thought about the positives of living with MCI. For me, since MCI invaded my life, I appreciate my life & everyone in it so much more. I cherish those little moments, even if I know that they will soon be forgotten. A positive attitude has always served me well throughout my life.
MCI helps me to help others by sharing my journey with them. It also makes me value the simple things in life and cherish every moment. I will also get wiser and grow stronger. I look at it this way: it can either make you or break you. So why not use it for the better? It won’t hurt.