Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Alzheimer's Public Policy Forum

Last year I went to the Alzheimer's Public Policy Forum in Washington DC. It was very educational, enlightening but very draining. It was the first one I went to and it opened my eyes. The conference was held again last week but I didn't go. I wanted to, but I know how hard it was for my husband last year to go with me and I wasn't sure I wanted to put him through that again this year. But, I went on line to see what had happened on the Alzheimer's website. I am so encouraged with what everyone is doing to help the cause. On the website there are transcripts of testimonies that people gave that are very touching. One in particular was from an "email pen pal" of mine, John, who spoke about his lovely wife who was diagnosed with AD and how he has been caring for her and his devotion to her. What love he has for her and how I admire him. It's individuals like John that make a difference in this world.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Tennis and My Son

I've always had a passion for tennis. When I was growing up I was a big tomboy. My brothers were into all types of sports and I wanted to be too. They wouldn't let me play baseball with them so I would take my tennis racket and hit the ball against a wall while they played baseball. I did this for hours -- or so it seemed. Over the years I have played a lot of tennis. And, admittedly so, I am a tennis snob. Hate to lose, love to win, only want to play with good players, etc., etc., etc. I know how selfish this sounds, but at least I can admit it. I like to think that I am an EX tennis snob. I hope so, but I guess you would have to ask someone else to be certain. Today, I went out and played. I haven't played in about 6 months.

I was shocked at how bad my concentration level is now. I know I have mentioned the stuff about how noise bothers me and makes it hard to concentrate. When I was playing tennis there were people on other courts talking, some children out playing behind the courts and a family pulling a wagon over a wooden bridge. I couldn't concentrate on hitting the ball. My brain could not put into place the steps you need to actually hit the ball. I just had to stop until the noise quieted a little. I didn't ACT devastated but deep down inside I was. Another of the things I am passioniate about in my life has become an obstacle. Of course, I'm not going to quit playing tennis. I just have to pick quieter times to play.

On a brighter note, my son called from college this week and told us he had won an award at Georgia Tech which is the highest academic honor you can win. All of those nominated have 4.0 grade averages and then all of the other things they do plays a part in the award. I'm so proud of him. It's moments like this that I can share with him that make me the happiest.

Thursday, March 25, 2004


Me, my family and my doctor have finally decided it is time for me to retire. It has been a hard decision to come by but I know that it is best for me. Not being able to do my job and not being able to have a somewhat "normal" life at the same time has become impossible.

I let the staff where I work know today that I will retire at the end of June. It gives me a few months to get things in order. I was going to wait until May to tell them, but rumors began rumbling around the office and I decided that it was better they hear it from me than from rumors.

This is definitely a crossroad in my life. Having to admit that I can't do my job is hard. I know that the quality of my life will be much better when I'm not working. I have accepted it -- it is much harder for those around me to accept. They don't have to live with this everyday --I do. And, I know when the idea of it wears a little on them, they, too will know this is the best thing for me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Families with Alzheimer's

There was a news clip on NBC tonight about a family that has several members suffering from Alzheimer's. It's a different family than I have discussed in this blog earlier. But, they are having testing and research done on their family to see if they can help find a cure. I wish I could do more. If I knew what to do I would do it.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Getting Out

I don't "get out" much these days....and it is on purpose. I used to be the one that always wanted to be on the go, but now I am much more laid back and content on staying somewhere where it is quiet, not confusing, and peaceful. But yesterday, we went to see my son and his girlfriend and went to see a Broadway show. It was really great -- I was actually able to follow the story line! Then we went out to dinner. At dinner, I excused myself to go to the bathroom and then realized after I was in there that I wasn't sure where I was! There goes that routine again! Anyway, after a few minutes of trying to get my bearings I tried venturing out to realize I was in a restaurant. I located our table and the faces were familiar. Eventually, I was understanding where I was and what I was doing -- but it is a little scary when those things happen. Luckily, they don't happen very often!

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

It's been awhile

since I have written I know. I apologize -- but I forgot my password to get into this thing! So what else is new! The past few weeks have seemed like a whirlwind to me. Lots of things have happened and I can't go into detail about them just yet, but hopefully it will calm my life a bit. Stay tuned.

I spoke to a great group of people this week. I do a couple of speeches a month usually and I always think it does me more good than it does those I speak to. The people are really receptive to what I have to say about Alzheimer's and I hope that I am able to put a different face on the disease for them. It's hard to know what to say....sometimes I think I scare people.....but it comes from my heart and that is all I can do. I wish I could do more.

Thanks for checking on this site. I appreciate your comments and your feedback. I promise to get better about writing on a more frequent basis.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

The weekend

I've been totally useless this weekend. I've not gotten out of the house but to go to the grocery store. I don't know why -- but I just didn't feel like doing much. Some times you just have those days. I worked around the house but felt pretty useless other than that.

My son comes home for Spring Break this week. That always perks me up. He always cheers me up.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

The doctor's visit

I went to the doctor yesterday. I wasn't having a good day so I had a pretty good feeling that my "tests" weren't going to be real positive. And, they weren't. I didn't do very well on my mini mental test he gives me. It's very frustrating. I have to cut back on the hours I'm working. My husband went with me and we discussed my work situation and the possibility of how long I will be able to continue to work. It's getting much more difficult for me. I think we have pretty much come to the conclusion that my working days are limited. That's a hard thing to accept, but there comes a point where you have to embrace it....and I'm pretty close to that.

Sometimes I feel as if the disease is taking hold of my neck and choking me! I want to choke it right back!

When I got home last night I received a package from a friend of mine, Pody, in Illinois. It was a scarf that she had knitted for me. The funny thing about it is that if you knew Pody, the word knitting, would never be used in the same sentence as her name. However, she has taken up knitting and she sent me a sample of her work. I really love it and I love the fact that she thought to send it to me. Friends are great that way -- it seems like they are always there for me when I need them the most -- even when they live far away!