Punctuation malfunction in my brain and my increasing fear of commas.

There are days when I notice my Alzheimer’s seems to be a bit worse and try to remember to record it for my Alzheimer’s Journey.

So, I will get an apology out the way first – sorry if my grammar and punctuation is all over the place but today my brain cells have gone on strike.

Cats woke us up extremely early at 6.30am – little darlings (smiling through clenched teeth :))) ), and I settled in my chair with my coffee to start reading a new book.

Right from the start I found I couldn’t understand the sentence because those pesky little tadpole commas seemed to be in the wrong place.  I read the first paragraph again slowly but it really did not make much difference.  As you know a comma in the incorrect place can put a totally different meaning on sentence but today for me, every comma seems incorrect.

As I write now I am having great difficulty in knowing if I am putting commas in the correct place and it has suddenly become a real issue.  I have no idea why I am stressing about it so much because if I stop maybe the fear of commas will just fade away again!

I am also misspelling words more frequently.  Being a touch typist I have no mental idea where my fingers are on the keyboard; I think and they transfer my thoughts by themselves.  If I had to think about where the keys are or how to form words I would fail to write anything.   Lately what I think is not what my fingers are typing, how can that be?  It is as if the diseased part of my brain has taken on an identity of its own, one which may be a little dyslexic and mischievous.  I can see words forming on the page that I have not even thought about and not even Freudian slips, but words that are incongruous.

I think sometimes that my macbook changes the words as I type and I fail to notice it which leads me on to how I read.

I am finding it really hard to read what I have written and with short term memory problems I usually have no idea what I have written minutes after writing it, so if it gets mixed up on the page I wouldn’t necessarily remember what I was trying to say.  When I am reading it back I am constantly questioning my grammar and punctuation but often than not I have no idea any more if it is correct.

I gave up trying to read my book earlier and thought I would surf the net.  I will read my own blogs from time to time because I don’t always remember what I have written and have a need to check that I have not made any major gaffs.  So, I looked at my latest book review – Broken Monsters, and was horrified to see that it was all over the place with spelling mistakes.  I am sure I proof read it before I posted it but guess now that I cannot trust my own ability to do so, which is why I  go back and re-read it the day after.

It makes me feel so embarrassed to make these mistakes for all to see because it somehow makes me less literate than I used to be (was I ever that literate!).

Dementia is such an insidious disease which is less understood than it should be.   As you can see I am not in the middle or later stages, but at an early stage so I am very aware of these small changes which I cannot do anything about.

Do you judge a blog by its grammar and punctuation?   I used to but now I understand that it is what people are struggling to say that is more important, but are people less likely to read a blog that has grammatical errors in even if the content is interesting?


Author: Gill

I photograph things that take my eye.

14 thoughts on “Punctuation malfunction in my brain and my increasing fear of commas.”

  1. Your writing is always spot on….grammar, content, organization….
    Plus, it’s a blog. We bloggers write to tell a story in a short sitting. I hope people still read mine in spite of the mistakes I make. Keep writing!


    1. Thanks Diane, I do a few ‘edits’ before I’m done with it! You tell a good story too I can always picture where you write about 🙂


  2. Punctuation is overrated. Your disease is nothing to scoff at, but we’re your friends here and we will understand – no matter what!! So don’t sweat the small stuff like commas.


  3. I don’t see many errors here, but your courage in writing so honestly is much more important than any misspelling. As I help my husband cope with his cognitive impairment, your example is such a help.


    1. Thank you. Your husband may wish to have a look at http://www.dementiamentors.org site. I am part of this and we have one to one online chats with each other. There is lots of information and videos that can help your husband to live well with dementia. Take care of yourself above everything 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I know. I think all the smartest people suffer from dementia or are aware of it more rapidly because they notice that there is such a decline in functioning from previous years. I used to be able to fly over they keys. Now it’s one peck at a time constantly staring at the keyboard. I’ll continue to follow your log.


  5. I also think that many of us demand perfectionism from ourselves. When we see the slightest symptom we worry that “now the decline is happening” when maybe we are too hard on ourselves.


    1. Yes I think you are right. I really don’t want to see myself decline in the slightest.

      I need to go easy on myself! Thank you 🙂


  6. Ahhh. The wonder and joy of a Mac. I forget how to spell the simplest of words some days, but fortunately my Mac corrects me all the time.

    Your early Alzheimers sounds very much like my FM intermittent ‘brain fog’ I used to mentally criticise poor grammar on people’s blog posts, but I am now much more gentle and receptive to grammar and punctuation errors.

    Stress & lack of deep restful restorative sleep back in my working days made me forget how to write letters of the alphabet too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I do not know your age but think it is very brave to share your story. My Alzheimer’s husband is 14 years older than I am. He would not be able to write about his experience so I try to chronicle it, from my point of view as well as his. He is 75, diagnosed right after Hurricane Sandy, although in hindsight it started years earlier and I missed the signs. He attends a social Adult Day Facility that is close to our home, approved of by The Alzheimer’s Association and most importantly he enjoys new friends, lots of live music, therapy dogs, memory games and special activities. Best wishes


    1. Thank you for your kind words. It is a terrible disease for you both to live with. It sounds like he lives well with his dementia with activities. I believe it is important to chronicle both of your experiences as you see it, I find it very cathartic, and hopefully it may be useful for others. warm regards


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