Some comments truly get your attention and pull you in. They also can change the way you see a person or how a person views himself.
I had a very nice visit with a new patient, a man aging in his mid to upper 70’s, who said, “I’m not a smart man”. After I heard this, I was a bit confused because a few moments earlier he mentioned having retired from a very active, and successful with humility, career in a large facility. He managed many staff in an engineering division and was responsible for the department, large projects, and the development of work details costing great amounts. For him to say, I’m not a smart man, seemed contradictory.
I asked what he meant by this and he went on to say that he was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago and simply felt that way. He felt that his memory was not as clear and by having these problems, that he wasn’t as “smart” as he once was. We chatted and I can say for sure that he was truly as smart as he was but simply had some recall of recent event issues but could recall with clarity past events. We talked further with his family and discovered that we were able to help his personal impression of himself.
As we improved his hearing, and with regular visits, I have found a special person within him and always enjoy hearing his sharing and knowledge. A brilliant man!
Improving his hearing has brought him closer to his family and connecting with people’s conversations. That’s helped him significantly.