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I have taught myself a ton about using computers to generate web content but since Alzheimer's came along it gets frustrating and takes way longer to do things.
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Now I Know It, Now I Don’t

Adobe inadvertently stresses me out

Text and photo by Tom Hintz

Posted – 7-1-2015

One of the really frustrating aspects of Alzheimer's is its impact on short term memory. And by short I mean SHORT! I can read a price while researching a review and by the time I turn back to the computer to type it into the text I have already forgotten a couple of the numbers. Having to go back and forth three or four times to get a simple price or other number right is just part of my work day and a major reason things take me so much longer these days. I still get the numbers right most times but that takes going back and checking way more than in my pre-Alzheimer's life.

Recently Adobe released a bunch of updates to software I use to produce my web sites. I know they feel the need to make things better and they think it necessary to change the look of the programs to let us know they changed stuff. For people with Alzheimer's these changes, even some of the cosmetic ones can be frustrating.

I’ve been using Adobe’s Dreamweaver software to produce my web sites for a decade or so and it was one of the programs they updated. For some reason they felt the need to remove (or hide) the simple “align” buttons that let me center a line of text on a page. I suspect that the “center” command is in there someplace but they have successfully hid it from me and that added at least an hour to releasing a web story yesterday.

What makes this more frustrating is that as I look through the software and try to eliminate parts I forget which ones I have already looked through. That means I look through the same areas of the program several times. I often remember looking under a menu heading but only after spending some time looking again when something finally looks familiar. Twenty minutes later I am liable to be back looking under the same menu heading and not remembering it until I have spent another several minutes looking before something again jogs my memory. This kind of frustrating repetition turns into a marathon quickly and my productivity suffers again. It is like Alzheimer's is a labor union in my head that is instigating sporadic work slowdowns.

I get email from people who are amazed at these little text-based looks into my mind on Alzheimer's. However, if they knew how many I forget about they would understand the disease a little better. Alzheimer's is actually quite fair in that it does not discriminate in what I forget. I am fully capable of forgetting dumb stuff just as I am important stuff.

Today I remember that I still don’t know where that dam centering command is in Dreamweaver and if I remember that later this morning (it’s 3:45am right now) I will spend some time looking for it in the new version of that program. Incidentally, if you know where the center command is in the 2015 version of Dreamweaver, email me, and remind me that I wanted to know where to find that command.

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