Saturday, January 31, 2004

Confusion Reigns

I had to go to the hospital this morning. It's a short foot started to hurt mid-week and by this morning it really hurt. Decided to go to the hospital to have it checked out only to come home with a cast on my foot -- a stress fracture. A couple of weeks on crutches and then we'll see. But, I was really confused at the hospital. I was so glad Ralph was with me. I was able to answer all the questions but I know if Ralph had not been with me I would have had a panic attack or I guess if truth be known if Ralph hadn't been around I probably wouldn't have even gotten to the hospital would I? I'm so grateful for my husband, my family.....and friends.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

In a Funk

I've certainly been in a funk lately. I have no desire to do anything .....don't want to go to work, don't want to get out of bed, don't want to socialize, nothing. I'm sure it is depression but I hate it when this happens. I just don't feel of much use to anyone so I'm pretty miserable to be around. The other night I was on my way home from work and couldn't make it home. I got disoriented and had to call my husband to come rescue me. I hate to be dependent on people. And knowing that dependency looms large in my future is depressing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

A new week

I have been pretty unproductive the last week. I seem to be really tired and just not in the mood to do much. That comes and goes but I hate it when I just can't pull myself up to do much. I find it hard to contribute anything to cnversations and I just really need some quiet time. It is hard to get thoughts to pop in my head actually. That sounds weird I'm sure but there just isn't anything there much of the time! That makes it pretty diffiicult to work.

I have been playing with my son's game boy for several years. I have myself believing that it helps "keep my mind active". However, last night I forgot how to play the game.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Random Thoughts

It's hard to know what to post here sometimes. It seems like everything I write is somewhat depressing.....but my life isn't that depressing. I'm still amazed by the things that I can do and sometimes only mildly annoyed at what I can't do. Friday was a bad day at work so having Saturday off was so nice. I have to go to work today but I don't have to think much so that is good. My brain needs more rest now than it used to.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

The Forgetting

Last night on PBS, there was a special called "The Forgetting" about Alzheimer's Disease. It was a wonderful show. I thought I would have a hard time watching it but I didn't. I hope a lot of people saw it -- it was very informative and was discussed in laymen's terms. I admire all the families on the show that shared their story with us.

One of the families, the Noonan's, have a history with AD. One of the family members, Julie Noonan Lawson has been communicating with me on and off for the past year or so via email. It was nice to put a face to her email address. How brave her family is and how I admire her. Since the program was taped Julie has lost her sister Fran (who has highlighted in the show) to AD and another brother has been diagnosed. There are 10 children in her family and Fran was the 4th member of her family to die of Alzheimer's. I cannot imagine what her family has and is going through. I know how tough it is on my family with just me to worry about. They are my heroes in coming forward with their story and sharing their lives with the nation on this show.

I could certainly relate to a lot in the show and I hope that my family will watch it. Although my husband did not watch it with me, I hope he and my son will both watch the tape of it. It's more for them than for me. I hate what this disease does to families -- it's much harder on them than the patients. I only wish they didn't have to go through it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004


Last night on television there was a story about face transplants. They talked to doctors that feel this is possible for people who have been severely burned or with birth malformities. I told my husband it would be nice if they could transplant a new brain in me. I feel like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz that needs a brain.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

An Interesting Day

I had to work this morning. We had an event in the building and my job was to take tickets for the event. There were only 300 or so people for the event so that was no problem. Except that some people tried to give me money for tickets, while I was taking up tickets. Then people wanted to carry on a conversation with me while I was taking tickets. I was doing well to say Good morning to people as I was tearing their tickets. I didn't figure on the fact that people would want to do anything else other than give me their ticket. That really confused me. Then, I had to pull box office reports and figure out the client's bill. I hadn't intended on doing that either. So it was a tough day. I can't do math in my head any longer and I can't do three things at once any longer. So I was doomed from the beginning of the morning. I had to have people go back over what I was doing and I don't like to do that. It shows my vulnerability I guess. And, I feel stupid. I went to a conference where others with Alzheimer's were speaking and that is one of the things one of them said is "How it makes you feel stupid". It's hard to get past that thought when you know you can do something or you used to be able to do something and now you can't. That's pretty frustrating.

The good side of today was that I got to see my son. He's the best thing that ever happened to me. And, although he's all grown up (you are at 20 you know) he'll always be "my little boy" and yes, he hates me saying that. We went to Atlanta to see him today for lunch. I really miss him and I worry about the day when I will no longer be able to recognize him and how that will make him feel. Although it was raining outside today, the sun always shines in my heart when I see him.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Getting Back to Work

I'm still trying to get back into the groove of work after my trip. Regrouping is something I don't do well anymore. The mounds of paper are still stacked on my desk. It may take a third person to go through and sort things for me, but I'm going to give it a try today and see what happens. I've always prided myself on being organized -- it's much harder to do now. It's very confusing. On a good day, I can do it. Perhaps I'll have a good day today.

My life is now described as "good days" and "bad days". I sometimes call my "bad days", "bad brain days" -- which is more accurate. I have more good days than bad days but this week a string of bad days made for a bad week. Hopefully, with some rest this weekend, I'll do better next week.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Trip

Yes, I'm back and the trip was much harder than I had anticipated. But, for all the wrong things I was worried about! The level of concentration I had to keep for such a long time was probably the hardest and most wearing on me. You don't realize how hard it is to think! I guess that is one of those things we take for granted until it becomes a a right handed person breaking their right hand and all of a sudden realizing how difficult life can be!

I know the city pretty well, so I wasn't worried about getting around. I prefer to walk in New York instead of taking cabs. I was very frustrated when I found that even though the streets are numbered I had a hard time getting around. One day I had four appointments. I was staying at 6th and 53rd. My first meeting of the morning was at 6th and 45th Street. My second appointment of the day was 7th and 46th Street. Pretty easy to get from one place to the next, right? Well, not for me. I was totally confused and found myself having to walk back to the hotel at 6th and 53rd and starting all over to get to 7th and 46th. That was pretty frustrating. I felt really stupid.....I knew what I had to do to get there but I couldn't do it -- so I started all over! I did the same thing for the next two appointments of the day -- went back to the hotel in between each one because I couldn't get from point A to point B. But, I got around to where I needed to go and on I shouldn't be complaining. I figured out how to do it.......eventually. Dealing with Alzheimer's is just dealing with your life a different way. When you can't do something you figure out how to do it differently. That's hard to do and I don't know how long I'll be able to do that -- think of the alternative way to do things-- but hopefully it will be awhile before that happens.

The noise was pretty overwhelming in New York, but I knew that was going to be a problem. Everything is noisy in New York.........cabs honking, sirens wailing, people talking loud. I was prepared for that though. I just wasn't prepared for some of the other things that happened and, I'm too tired to go into those things!

I'm exhausted from the trip. It took a lot more out of me than it should have. I've been back for two days and I'm still exhausted. Tackling emails, mail, meetings and phone calls when I got back was awful. It is hard for me to compartmentalize things so when I got back to work and saw the mass of paper that had accumulated on my desk while I was gone I was overwhelmed. I still haven't been able to put it into piles of what to do or what to throw away. It's too much. I haven't figured out an alternative way to do that yet.......but I'm trying.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

New York City

I'm going to New York City today. I think I have mentioned this before -- I'm not anxious about the trip to New York City. What I'm anxious about is all the "noise" in New York City. I'm going there on business and I have been going for many years. I know the city quite well and feel comfortable in getting around the city. But the noise confuses me. Being in crowded restaurants, city noises, cabs honking, sirens blaring, all can get me pretty confused.

It's strange how noise affects how I think but in talking with others with Early On Set Alzheimer's this is something we all deal with. The only way I can describe it is that the noise turns into "white noise" in my brain and I can't filter things out. That gets me confused. I'll have to try to stay focused and be sure I have everything written down as to where I'm going and what I'm doing. I'll be fine.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

The Moon

Driving to work today the moon was just beautiful. It was full and bright. No clouds in the sky. Sometimes we don't stop long enough to enjoy the beautiful things in life.

Sunday, January 04, 2004


There is a saying that says "You can never be too rich or too thin" -- well I think the saying should be "You can never have too many friends" -- because I certainly have great friends and I don't know what I would do without them. I count every one of them as a blessing -- and sometimes they get counted twice!

A friend of mine that I have known for almost thirty years sent me a necklace for Christmas. It is simple but beautiful. It's on a delicate chain and it says love on it on one side and a chinese symbol on the other side that I assume means love as well. For a long time I have noticed friends wearing a special necklace that someone close to them gave them and they never take it off -- kind of like a wedding ring. Well, since I have gotten this necklace I haven't taken it off. I'm sure that when he sent it to me he didn't know how much it would mean to me -- but it came at a time when I needed a boost and this was it. He's a great friend as are all of my friends.

This and That

Yesterday I went to the Georgia/Georgia Tech Men's basketball game. Although the game was exciting (Georgia won in double overtime) it was extremely hard. I've mentioned before that noise is a real problem for me. Well, I thought I could handle it -- but I couldn't. I've been doing well with the women's basketball games I regularly attend but they are definitely not as loud as the men's games. It was hard for me to keep focused despite the closeness of the game and after the game I was mentally exhausted. It was a quiet night in our house last night because I couldn't carry on a conversation, or follow anything on television -- it just wasn't in the cards. I guess I'll settle for watching men's basketball on television!

I'm going to New York in a few days on business. I am quite familiar with the city so the trip itself does not bother me -- although I know that I have to write everything down and be sure that I have proper identification on me in case something were to happen. But, the business end of the trip does bother me somewhat. First of all, it is very difficult for me to get ready to go. I'm not as organized as I once was -- and that probably isnt' even a fair statement. I actually know what I have to do to get ready, but I find that it is more difficult for me to pull things together. It is like when I am having a "bad brain day" (as I am fond of calling my bad days) and having to prepare dinner. I know what I want to cook but I can't get it all to come together --when to time out things so they will all be done at the same time. I know what needs to be done but I can't get there without assistance. It's rather frustrating. But I have started to get ready for the New York trip but it is just taking a lot longer than I had planned. I used to be able to spend a couple of days putting my work stuff together and one evening packing. I've been working on this process for over two weeks -- perhaps by Wednesday I will have it all put together!

Friday, January 02, 2004

The Holidays are almost over

It's been a long time for me to be off work -- almost 10 days. I don't usually do that but what a difference it has made for me. I didn't realize what so much concentrating to get through a day of work was "costing" me. I haven't had to really think and stay focused for long periods of time during my time off and it has been like a burden off my shoulders. I did work some from home and during that brief time period during the day I would be o.k., but I do realize what a heavy weight it is on me. I went to lunch with my family and some friends today and the noise in the restaurant was quite a bit for me to handle. One of my biggest challenges is sorting the noise in my brain. It is extremely hard for me to concentrate and carry on a conversation with lots going on around me. Thankfully, my friends and family know this -- and bless their hearts they still want to be with me! Gone are the days when Kris' monopolizes the conversation (that's probably a good thing for them).

Having my son home from college while I have been home has been great. I really appreciate the times we have together. Although it takes some getting used to having him being back at home. It is harder for me when he is home because of all the extra noise that is generated. I have a difficult time while watching television or listening to the radio when people are talking. I tend to leave the room and find some some quieter place. I forget when he is not here that my husband knows that we can't converse while doing something else -- so we don't. Or we turn the "noise" off. Simple things like this are easy to forget -- but it's just an obstacle we deal with. It's not life threatening and knowing what you need to do when it gets a little distracting helps. My family doesn't take offense to it -- they have learned to live it. I love them for that. Alan returns to school tomorrow -- that makes me sad.

By the way -- don't ever give anyone you love with Alzheimer's a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Christmas and New Years

Well this seems to be my first initial post. I have thought long and hard about what to put here and I keep changing my mind or I forget what I was going to post. Nevertheless, it is what it is. Christmas has come and gone and today is New Year's Day. I've always been a little down over the holidays but as the years past I seem to get more down. I realize that next year at this time I might not be able to remember what Christmas is about or to enjoy time with my family. I've been off this week from work and I didn't realize how tired I was. You don't realize the toll something takes on you until you take a break. I worked a lot over the course of December and with my new medication I think I can be the same old person that I was. I realize how silly that is........but one can always dream. I count my blessings every day and my family and friends are at the top of my list. Happy New Year everyone.