Sorry I haven’t been able to post lately. I’ve been skirmishing with my cornucopia of miasms and the time I’ve had left has been spent resting between rounds of the battle.
I have talked before about gifts that come from illness, such as strength and compassion, but these two gifts that I want to mention are not happenings usually associated with FTD.
The first is unexpectedly increased creativity in some people who have FTD. A passage from a University of California website says “In our clinic at the Memory and Aging Center, we see people who lose certain abilities, like language, while gaining new ones, like musicality and artistic expression. We have met individuals, particularly those with semantic dementia, who never created art before becoming ill and are now making wonderful, intriguing artwork. One explanation for this phenomenon is that healthier parts of the brain compensate for the areas that are no longer working. Therefore, visual expressions such as a drawing, painting or sculpture bloom as the person loses their capability for verbal language.”
I am a writer and I had a big problem with writer’s block that lasted for years. A few years ago the dam burst and my mind was filled with many stories. My characters have always “talked” to me since then. I am the person who dictates what they tell me, and I do a bit of maintenance work on their pages.
Now, my characters constantly cut in line to try to be the first to tell their story. They are a rowdy crowd and sometimes I have to blow the whistle and say, “Let’s have some order here. I will get to all of you eventually.” I don’t think they believe me. They know my time is limited so they continue their bad behavior. When I am able, I try to dictate some of their words and I also have a “talk box” for each character who wants to tell me their story. I can type or use Dragon Speak to get their words out. Of course, it is only a temporary measure. When I am too ill to keep up the system, the mob is back. As of late, I think they have become more understanding. During this last spell of illness, they entertained me by telling stories one by one.
The other gift that I have recently received from FTD I discovered recently. I have no idea if others with FTD have experienced this with the illness. Recently, we went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
Selch wheeled me into the room of stones and quartz. I began to feel vibrations on different levels. I told him about my experiences and he positioned me so I could touch different stones. Each stone had different vibrations and the vibrations sounded like music. As he pushed my chair further into the rooms, I could hear a symphony of different vibrations. The colors, the “music” and the vibrations together were an amazing experience.
I wished that I could touch all the different stones that were behind the glass. Of all the stones I believe Amethyst was most pleasing to my senses.
Unfortunately, when we came into the room where diamonds were exhibited, there was a crowd of people. My experience was somewhat muted. Perhaps too many people block the flow of energy. This experience is so new to me.
The last stones I encountered were meteors from space, mars, etc. They also had their own vibrations and tones. Generally their vibrations had a deeper resonance.
I had read about the power of stones and crystals but never really paid much attention to it. We have a friend who is a jeweler and the last time I went to his house and he brought out different stones and gems, I did notice an attraction to some of them and I was also delighted to spend a few hours digging through different pieces of gold looking for real treasure (meaning higher quality gold.) By the end of the day, I found myself really interested in gemology and he gave me a book to take home.
I tried to read the book but after I was away from the stones I lost interest. Also my spiritual teacher had a collection of different stones and gems. He talked about their life force and healing properties.
If any of you that have FTD (or another neurodegenerative disorder) and you have experienced an experience of increased creativity or this phenomena with stones and gems, please share your story with me. Or if you are a loved one of someone with these disorders and have witnessed it.
Also maybe you or your caregiver might want to try or assist you with many creative activities to see if they appeal to you. I read about a man who had no creative talent who has FTD. He is now creating beautiful sculptures. I am not saying that we all will be able to do that but perhaps you or your loved one might gain some pleasure by trying different creative things.
I wrote in a past note that I had lost my ability to play the piano with my left hand or recognize notes on the bass cleft. We went to the music store recently and I did remember where to place my left hand on the keys. It is a start and after we are more settled, I am going to purchase a keyboard and see if I am able to resurrect some of my musical ability.
Never give up. We are traveling through the dark woods right now, but on the other side we will continue our journey to a better place.