Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Call for Action

OK everyone, I'm asking you for a favor. Yesterday, the Today Show on NBC ran a story about Alzheimer's. The main message was the current research and where we stand on a cure, early detection and current drugs on the market. If you didn't see the piece here is the link . Hopefully, that will work. If not, go to and click on the Today Show.

What I would like to ask of you is to email NBC and thank them for running the piece. It doesn't cost you anything and it just takes a few minutes. We need more stories about Alzheimer's running on the airwaves and if people take just a minute to let the news organizations know that we want more info out there it will help. The address is

During the month of October CNN is going to be running four one minute segments on Alzheimer's during the Headline News. They are the "Healthy minute". My family and I are featured in one or two of them as well as some the experts in the field of Alzheimer's research. This started out being only one "one minute" segment, but because the information was so good they are doing four different segments. Yes, it is only one minute -- but it is CNN. The segment will be broadcast several times during the day. The first one is scheduled to air on October 6th. I will let you know when the others are going to air. But, I'll be asking you to do the same -- after they air to email CNN and thank them for the coverage.

I would appreciate everyone helping me do this. We can all make a difference. Thanks!

Monday, September 25, 2006


I've always enjoyed sports. Growing up there were not too many opportunities for me to play competitive sports because Title IX wasn't in effect back then -- guess that shows my age! But, I'm not sure if I would have done it even if it were. I enjoyed the "backyard sports" as well as tennis and golf. Having two brothers around the house who devoured sports and statistics as well as having rivalries between their professional sports teams, sports always seemed to be a part of my life.

Nowadays, I enjoy watching sports on tv and of course the weekends give me many opportunities to watch a number of sports. I find it is more difficult to keep up with them these days -- I'm glad most of the stations keep the score on the screen all the time, because sometimes it is hard for me to remember who is winning. Plus, I'm kind of bad about switching to different channels to watch different games so it is harder to keep up. But at least I can still enjoy them. Attending large sporting activities has also become more of a problem. All the noise, the crowds get me confused. I wouldn't go it alone these days that is for sure.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I always have a hard time come up with titles for my blogs. I always want to be cute and clever, but I don't seem to be as cute and clever as I used to be! I get so frustrated some times because I can't think fast enough -- there have been many times (especially when I was still working) that someone would say something and I had a great line to come back with. Even though I have longer to think about a title every time I write -- I still can't think of much. That is why today I'm leaving it blank.

I've been pretty lazy since coming back from the conference last week. I think I'm still somewhat tired. We were going to drive to St. Louis this weekend for my husband's niece's wedding, but for various reasons we aren't. I'm glad we didn't -- not sure I was up to that and all the things that go along with a wedding right now.

Yesterday my husband took me to the grocery store. As many of you know, I have a problem with his driving. Around town it isn't as bad as when we go to Atlanta or a different city. Yesterday, I got really anxious when we went to the grocery store because he didn't park in the same area that I normally park in. I know this sounds silly to any of you reading this, but I lose all sense of where I am at, what I am doing and become confused. If he is with me I am better, but that whole routine thing kicks in -- like I have to go the same direction in the store or go to familiar stores to shop. This part of me is getting much worse. But, I'm still going to try to do as much of the shopping as I'm still able to do. I don't want to give that up just yet.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Week That Was

The Dementia Care Conference was great. A little overwhelming, but great. I've worked with three people for the last eight or nine months -- Dr. Scott Roberts from the University of Michigan, Michelle Barclay with the Alzheimer's Association in Los Angeles, CA and Kristy Klein with the National Alzheimer's Office in Chicago. It was nice to finally meet Scott and Michelle and to see Kristy again. They were all wonderful to work with and helped me along in the process.

Although the conference was geared to professionals in the field of Dementia Care I learned more than I thought I would. A lot of emphasis was given to early stage dementia and those attended seemed to want to know more. It's just a baby step in this disease.

But it was exhausting. It has taken me a couple of days to feel my feet under me again. The day I came home from Atlanta it was pouring down rain and the fog was awful. It took me two and half hours to get home (normally it takes one and half hours) and I was white knuckle driving the whole time. When I got home I felt wasted. I was tired and pretty non-communicative to my husband. Yesterday wasn't much better -- I felt like I was in a comatose state most of the day. Needless to say these last two days have not been "good days" for me.

I stayed in Atlanta for three nights. The conference was at the Westin and it was so nice that when I was feeling tired I could go up to my hotel room and retreat to the quietness of it. Coming home on Wednesday I actually felt annoyed that there was someone else in the house (my husband) and he was invading my "silence time". It was so hard to come home to "noise". I got to the point where I was feeling mad at my husband and it wasn't his fault. Those of you that know my husband know how quiet it is. It was just that I had gotten used to the sereneness of my room and no distractions. When I got home the noise of the television, the sound of my husband's voice and even the meow of my cats was getting on my nerves and making me very agitated. I finally had to seek some quiet time in another part of the house, and then rested as well. This seems like such a silly thing, but it is so upsetting to me. I'm getting used to the noise around the house again. I'm glad I don't have a lot of kids around or dogs barking all the time!

Well, I have rambled on enough for now. More soon.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Dementia Care Conference

I'm off to Atlanta for the National Dementia Care Conference for a few days. I promise to post when I get back.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

I hope everyone got to rest up a little on this holiday. Our day was filled. CNN came to do an interview with my husband and me for their "Healthy Minute" segment. It stems from the National Conference that I have been working on for the National Alzheimer's Association. The conference is next week in Atlanta and many professionals in the field of Alzheimer's will be there to share their work, their research and their experiences. CNN will be talking with some of the doctors there as well. Early On-Set Alzheirmer's caught their eye and that is what the piece will be about. Judy Fortin is the reporter. I'll let you know when it airs and I would encourage everyone to email them after it is over to support their exposure to the disease. We need more of this!

Tomorrow I am heading over to Atlanta to shoot some Public Service Announcements for this year's memory walk. The walks are starting all over the country this month and will go through November. I know I have discussed them here before, but, if you are reading this, you have some interest in Alzheimer's. I'd like to encourage you to walk or donate to the cause. More information can be found by clicking on one of the references to the left of this post. OK -- I'm done with all of that for now.

I think I have rested since the trip, but already with things going on this week it is overwhelming. The conference is next week and then perhaps I'll be able to get back to my routine. My panic attacks continue to be bad -- but I have put myself in situations that make them worse. Fortunately, I've had someone with me most of the time, and it doesn't seem to be as frightening when someone is there. I have to be better about not getting myself into these situations.

My son starts his second year of law school tomorrow. In about 4.5 months he'll be able to say he's half through! He was fortunate to make the Stanford Law Review so he will be kept busy by that this year as well as his school work.

On another note -- I recently read an article on Michael J. Fox and his struggles with Parkinson's Disease. I have read many, but this one was especially poignant to me. I so admire what he is doing and speaking out on behalf of himself and others with the disease. He has been able to reach so many people with his message and raise quite a bit of money for his cause. I certanily wish him well as his Parkinson's progresses.