Friday, February 29, 2008

The photo above is of a daffodil that starting growing this week. It was 70 degrees at the beginning of the week and then by the end of the week we had snow flurries and high wind. The daffodil got "blown over" by the wind and didn't last long. I think a squirrel must have transplanted this daffodil last year because it certainly wasn't planted there. It seemed awful lonely there.
I went to the dentist -- not good news. Two crowns are needed right next to each other! Two cracked teeth. I knew it wasn't good but I didn't know it was that bad. I'm sure our dentist doesn't have a coupon floating around for Buy One Get One Free -- but I should get a discount. He can't do both at the same time either. I go for one today.
The state association of the Alzheimer's Assn. has a new director. She will start in April. And, the national office has just hired someone to head up The Early Stage initiative. That's progress and I'm glad to hear it. We are getting some preliminary reports back on our work study issue that I wrote about a month or so ago. It is kind of staggering to see the ages of when people were diagnosed and what they have had to go through in the workplace. Results are still being tabulated but it should prove to be quite an eye opener.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Busy Weekend

OK -- so I said my week was going to be slow but my weekend made up for it. And, I have had two days without a nap so I'm not doing real well tonight. Saturday I had a Memory Walk mini retreat/meeting in Atlanta with people from six other walks around metro Atlanta. It was a good meeting but long. They we went to meet Alan's fiancee's parents for dinner. That was delightful. They are such nice people -- we really enjoy being with them and I'm sorry we don't do it more often. It's nice to compare notes about our children -- most of the time anyway!

Today was a women's basketball game at UGA. We played good ball today and beat a good Auburn team by about 15 points. Several weeks ago they beat us by 30 points so we did a great job today. We need to with the SEC tournament coming up in just a few weeks.

My teeth hurt. I've mentioned this before and I went to the dentist and he told me a lot of my problem stemmed from grinding my teeth. But there has also been this one tooth that we have "been watching" for some time that he has told me that will need a crown and possibly a root canal -- well it is time -- as much as I hate to admit it. My wallet doesn't like it either but something has to be done or I won't be eating much for a long time -- which might not be a bad idea. Hopefully, I can get in tomorrow and he we can have something happen soon.

On a funny note (or not so funny note depending on how you look at it) -- I have to look at it as funny or I would totally lose my mind. When I was getting ready to go to the basketball game this afternoon I was brushing my teeth with my battery operated toothbrush. My husband had gone to play tennis and I was riding to the game with friends. Anyway, after brushing my teeth I couldn't remember how to turn the toothbrush off. I thought about it for awhile and knew that I couldn't put it on the counter top because it would vibrate and fall to the ground. So, I decided that I would just put it in the sink and several things could happen -- 1 -- the batteries would just wear out, 2 -- my husband would come home and shut it off -- or 3 I would remember before I went to the game what I was suppose to do. In the end, a few minutes before my ride, I remembered -- thus not having to get questioned by my husband as to why I would leave the toothbrush running in the sink. What fun I have sometimes!

I'm going to bed early tonight!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

LB -- your comments are great -- don't worry about my time! In answer to your question, I cannot explain to someone when this is happening to me. Like for example, when I find that I can't make dinner -- at the time I can't tell my husband why I can't -- I just tell him I can't do it and he does it. Sometimes when reading the paper and I can't understand it I might ask for help but even after it is explained to me I still don't understand it. It may different with other people -- I usually liken it to an "out of body" experience -- like I know what is happening but I can't do anything about it. Just being there as a silent partner as you mentioned is comforting -- it is to me anyway. I know someone is around and if I can't do these things someone will do them and I don't worry about it. I hope this helps. This disease is so much harder on the caretaker and I always feel guilty about that. It's hard for us to explain what is going on and you're suppose to know -- it isn't always that easy is it!!! Thanks for your comments.

Foggy Days

I recently had a comment on my "foggy days". Someone asked if I would describe what that means so they can understand how their spouse is feeling. I'll do the best I can with it.

On my "foggy days" nothing seems to really be in focus. It is like I am a step behind things. I don't think clearly.......not enough to really throw me off, but enough to know that I am not myself. An example of this is when I am reading the paper. I can't understand the headline of a story -- I will re-read it several times and it just doesn't make sense to me. I can then read the article and get an idea of what it is about the headline throws me. Or I look at the comics in the paper and I can't figure out why something is funny. Some days my "fog" is trying to cook or do something in order. I know all the ingredients I need to make something and I know how to make it -- I just can't do it! I can't physically take the steps to do it. I make handmade greeting cards and some days I can work on all the little embellishments that I put on the cards, but I can't actually put the pieces together to make a whole card. It sounds so simple, but it isn't on those days.

Another symptom of a foggy day is when I can't put all of my thoughts together to make a coherent sentence. I know what I want to say -- I just can't. I enjoy sports and follow them pretty regularly but on some of my foggy days, I have a problem keeping score, figuring out whose playing and just following the game in general.

These episodes may last a few hours or all day. I never know when it is going to hit me -- I struggle with it, get frustrated by it and sometimes get mad about it. But there isn't much I can do about it.

I hope this helps. Others that have Early Stage that read this might have some more comments, but it is the best explanation I can come up with today!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Last week was a long one. I had something going just about everyday and it certainly took its toll on me. This week I have nothing on the calendar. I need to be better about scheduling myself for things. I think I can do it and then I get so exhausted I can't keep up.

Plus, my writing skills have been so bad lately that it takes me forever to post here. I have gone back and read some posts and some emails I sent and I know everyone must think that I didn't graduate from elementary school. I just can't see the errors when I am doing this or proofing. Most of my problems come from the words that sound alike but have different meanings -- and I can't think of the word for that right now -- but like reed and read. It's so frustrating.

I'm trying to work on some of my homemade cards. That seems to relax me and I am selling them for money for the Memory Walk this year. I enjoy doing it and although sometimes it takes me a while to get to the finished product, I feel a sense of accomplishment.

More soon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Save the Date -- Georgia Town Hall Meeting

On Saturday, April 5th there will be a Town Hall Meeting for those with early memory loss, mild cognitive impairment and early stage Alzheimer's. The event is free and open to the public. It will start around 11 and end at 1:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided. The event will take place at the Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Buckhead.

If you have been following my blog you will know that the Town Hall meeting concept is something that is being done all across the country. It was intiated by the National Alzheimer's Association. The purpose of the Town Hall meeting format is for those with early memory problems to be able to share the struggles they encounter and to meet others that also suffer from the same thing. Caregivers are invited to attend but the forum will only be open to those suffering from early memory loss, mild cognitive impairment or early stage Alzheimer's.

More information and a sign up will be posted to the website for the state chapter soon. I will also post a link when it is available.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I can't believe it is almost the middle of February. February has always been birthday month for my family. My father and both of my brothers all have (had) February birthdays. My husband shares a birthday with one of my brothers (tomorrow, the 11th) and one of my best friends also celebrates her birthday tomorrow. Later in the month another friend shares his birthday with my other brother. I'm always amazed at how many people I know share birthdays. My husband will be 64 tomorrow. I'm only 52. And, yes, the age difference becomes much greater when you get older. But, when we got married almost 30 years ago, you couldn't have told me that!

The next few months are busy ones. I have a few Alzheimer's meetings and I am going to be a keynote speaker at a meeting in March in Albany. I've thought a lot about that particular speech and can't decide on the direction to go with it. I've learned so much since I started speaking out about Alzheimer's, that I am never quite sure what people want to hear. I'm sure I will change the presentation several times before I realize what I really need to say.

April 5th the Georgia Chapter is going to have an Early Stage Town Hall Meeting. I've mentioned these before in this blog and I would encourage you that if you are in the Atlanta area and have early memory loss, this is the place you want to be. There have been many Town Hall Meetings across the country and it is a great forum for those of us with early stage, early memory loss to get together and share ideas -- and to share ways of coping with it. There will be more information about it soon and I will post a link to it when it is up on the Georgia site.

My women's basketball team (UGA Women) are not doing too well as of late. We lost a close one to LSU today. We play again on Thursday night at home and can hopefully pull out a "W". The SEC tournament is in Nashville at the beginning of the month. We need to win a few more before getting into tournament action.

My husband and I are looking forward to meeting Jennifer's (my son's fiancee) parents for dinner in a few weeks. It's a shame we don't get together more often since they are just in Atlanta. I'm sure our respective children shudder when they think of us getting together -- especially since the wedding is just a little over six months away.

Our Memory Walk meetings start up this week. The walk isn't until November, but the whole planning thing needs to happen soon. The committee that works on our walk here in Athens is great -- they let me sit in whenever I want to. I really don't have anything to do per se, but I do kind of keep up with what is happening. The group is really committed to the cause. This year's walk is going to be November 8th.

There are many more things I was going to post today, but I will save them for another day. It's taken me a long time to write this so I'll try to post again soon.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

One of Those Days

I'm having one of those days -- panic attack days! I am real anxious today and there is no reason for it. I just get like that some time and there is nothing to do but wait it out. I feel more comfortable at home when I have these days and luckily I don't have anything planned until later this evening. And, my husband will be with me so it will be o.k.

I have a lot I want to write in here but can't seem to put my thoughts into order today. Some call these "foggy" days -- and I guess that is the best way to describe it.

More soon when the cloud lifts!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Another Life Lost

A young man in our community just lost his life in Iraq. It was his second tour of duty. His older sister went to school with my son and his mom and I were friends through PTA and other various school activities. His funeral is tomorrow. My husband and I are going. It will be very hard. I get much more emotional these days -- but losing a life so young is always hard.