Monday, June 30, 2008

This and That

The weekend is over and ended with a huge thunderstorm. The wind blew over a tree about a block down the street and knocked down some power lines. We were without power for 6 hours. It was about 9:00p.m. when it happened. It was extremely warm in the house so we had to open all the windows. The bad part was that a fire truck was sitting idly in front of our house until the power company could come. The power company showed up around 2:00 a.m. with chain saws and started cutting up the tree. Finally the power was restored, all trucks left and I could finally go to sleep. The tree fell on a car parked on the street, but luckily there were no fires and no one was hurt that I am aware of. We think the wind blew the tree over but ther was some powerful lightning in the area but none of the neighbors heard anything that sounded like lightning striking the tree.

Balance issues were plaguing me a great deal this weekend. I'm not liking this one bit. I met three other ladies for brunch yesterday and had difficulty walking to the buffet line and out the door. I held on to someone to help me the rest of the way. Around the house I'm just sure not to "walk with sharp objects in my hand".

I forgot to mention that we had our captain's meeting for this year's Memory Walk about a week and a half ago. With the economy the way it is this year it may be a little more difficult to raise money but we are certainly going to try. A new friend of mine from Atlanta came over to speak to our group -- her mother is "young" like I am and has the disease. She did a great job.

Last week I went to an assisted living center about 20 miles away that has a monthly support group and talked to them. They were great and it did me good to get out and speak. I say that it is as much therapy for me as it is for them.

It's likely to be a slow week this week with the holiday. Jennifer and Alan are driving to Georgia from California starting today. They are hoping to be in Atlanta by week's end. Ralph wants to play golf tomorrow, but I'm not sure if I can play with the balance issue. Guess I'll have to wait and see.

Everyone have a great week.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I have been having some problems lately. Nightmares have plagued me for awhile now. Not only do I get them at night but when I take a nap. Most of the time someone is torturing me -- not sure what that is all about but it is very scary. It leaves me tired because I'm not sleeping well. Which makes me not to want to go exercise.....which leads to other things.

The other problem I have been having is a problem with balance. I know this is an Alzheimer's related problem and I haven't experienced it before. I'm falling down and having difficulty stabilizing myself sometimes. I am hoping that this is something that is off and on, more off than on!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I haven't posted in a while. Lots going on but can't seem to put everything into words. Plus, I'm fighting a cold so I haven't had much energy. I have a speaking engagement this evening so I will probably try to rest a good bit today. Don't have much else planned this week except for a couple of conference calls for Alzheimer's business.

Have enjoyed watching the UGA Baseball team in their quest for a College World Series title. If they win this evening, they will win the title.

Ralph and I are still dealing with Social Security. They paid us one of my disability payments but have yet to pay the lump sum of over $55,000 still owed to us. We were awarded our judgment at the end of January. One payment since then. It's a pretty pathetic system. I get confused dealing with them and the insurance company that still pays my long term disability payments through my last employer, so Ralph has to do most of the talking. I think it frustrates him as well.

Alan is in Washington DC this week interviewing for some clerkship jobs for the '09 year. Yes, he does have a job with a firm in Washington for the coming year and they know he is doing this. They work with those that want to take a leave for a short time to do clearkships and that is a wonderful thing. He and Jennifer leave California on Monday to head back "home". They are busily selling off things before moving.

More soon.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tim Russert's Memorial Service

I mentioned in my blog a few days ago about how saddened I was at Tim Russert's untimely death. Of course, I didn't know him, but was very sad by his loss, as was it seems the nation. I have been watching lots of the coverage that has aired on all the stations recently and realize what a "larger than life" person he was. He touched so many lives. His son Luke, is a testament to his father. I cried openly yesterday as I listened to his son giving a loving tribute to his father. You look at a young man like that and realize his future is bright and going to be filled with great things. How proud his family must be of him. For someone to only be 22 years of age and command the respect he did is truly amazing. There are many wonderful and amazing young people out there that we don't get to see much of. They are making their way into the world and we will hear from them in due time I am sure.

I'm sure my son is reading this at some point and he knows how proud I am of him. I thought of him a lot yesterday while watching Luke Russert speak, thinking that he reminded me a lot of Alan. Alan has a few years on him and has not had the privileges that Luke has enjoyed but they both seem to have worked hard to get where they have gotten and are very mature for their age. I know that all parents are proud of their children and we probably don't tell them enough what they mean to us. It's never too late to tell them. Alan shared with us last night that he was ranked in the top ten percent of his graduating law school class at Stanford and for a class size of 180 that is pretty's actually better than pretty good! I think I used the word amazing last night but I don't think that is the proper word either! It is well deserved. You did good kid! Now go pay off that law school debt!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I continue to get lots of comments from the recent articles and many phone calls as well. Thanks for all your support. To "grits" -- if you will email me at I will be glad to answer your questions.

One of our advisory board participants is interviewed by US News and World Report. His story appears here

This has been a rough week for me. I have lots of unfinished business to take care of and I'm not able to get it done. This, too, shall pass.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

Yesterday was Father's Day. After my father passed away, many many years ago it was difficult for me to go into a card store where they sold Father's Day cards. And, sometimes, even now it is difficult for me to look at the cards celebrating Father's Day. I felt especially sad this weekend when I heard the news about NBC's moderator of Meet the Press, Tim Russert's passing. Of course I didn't know him, but I felt as if I did. And, I know from watching him for so many years, he was so proud of his son Luke. I kind of felt like part of my family passed away with him and I know that sounds silly. But, I really enjoyed watching him. I particularly liked his book "Big Russ and Me" about his father and their relationship. I remember reading that and thinking that many times he was describing my relationship with my father.....which was indeed special. He's been gone for 25 years and I still miss him.

Go hug your father, mother, son or daughter.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Always By My Side

is the name of the book that sportscaster Jim Nantz just wrote about his father who suffers from Alzheimer's. I have been a big fan of Mr. Nantz's for a long time. So, I was very interested in his book. It talks about the special relationship he has with his dad, and how the sports career that he has had has influenced his life. It is an easy read and I really enjoyed the book. If you are not a sports fan, though, I am not sure you would enjoy it as much. Since I'm kind of a sports junkie I could relate to many of the stories he told because I remember them and I've kept up with lots of the players in the book over the years. His relationship with his father, and other people, like former President Bush (#41) is very interesting to read about. The struggles they have faced with Alzheimer's in the Nantz family are no different than the ones faced by you and I, but he puts a different spin on it. I would certainly recommend the book.

It has been extremely hot here (as it has in other parts of the nation). I got a little dehydrated over the weekend so it has taken me a few days to recover. I'm suppose to be playing golf tomorrow but it is only suppose to be in the low 90's -- as compared to over 100 degree temperatures for several days here this past weekend.

Things are kind of quiet around our household these days. That's good -- it is the calm before the storm I know but it is still good. T-Minus 61 days until Alan and Jennifer's wedding.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Week

Well, this week started out pretty quiet. I think I needed that. I was having a hard time getting my thoughts clear enough to getting much accomplished around the house.

Once the news article ran, my blog got lots and lots of hits and I really appreciate the notes and comments that have been left for me. I haven't published all of them for various reasons, but please know how much that means to me. Hearing from others diagnosed young is always nice, although I wish it weren't the case. There are many many people out there speaking out with the disease and I thank all of them for standing up to it and making a difference. Together, we can all fight this!

I heard Jim Nantz (CBS Sports reporter) on the news today talking about a new book he had written about his father who has Alzheimer's. Jim Nantz has always been one of my favorite broadcasters and I'm anxious to read what he has to say -- it sounds like a great tribute to his father.

It's extremely hot here in the south these days. I went to a baseball game today and it was well over 90 degrees. Zapped me of much of my energy but at least I was able to go. Last week I went to one and it was so noisy and I wasn't having such a good day, that I wasn't able to last long. But I try!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Recent News Article

I must say that since the article recently written by Lauran Neergaard of the Association Press on Early Stage Alzheimer's has been released, the traffic on this website has increased significantly. I hope that those of you that are looking at this and are seeking more help about Alzheimer's will go one step further and contact the Alzheimer's Association if you need more information.

After my initial diagnosis the first place I went to was my local Alzheimer's Association and asked for the help. I basically said, "I'm 46, have Alzheiemer's --what am I suppose to do". And, although they can't offer a cure, they have certainly been with me every step of my journey since finding out I had this disease.

Many of us are writing about our experiences since being diagnosed. Some days it is harder than others to put into words what we are feeling and experiencing. So, there are some days you will read this and not see anything about Alzheimer's. I can't dwell on it all the time, and the reason for this blog is more to let my friends and family in on what I'm going through when it is appropriate to do so. Early on in my diagnosis they would ask me "How are you feeling?" and I would just say "fine" instead of going on in detail how difficult some things had been for me. Through this, though, as things happen I can share the experience of living with Alzheimer's. It's not always fun sharing, but sometimes it can be funny. It's easier to laugh at myself when I do stupid things, than to admit how stupid I feel when I do things! I don't always get it in the right words, but I try, and that, in essence what this blog is all about.

Thanks to Lauran for writing the article and hope that it helps start more of a dialogue about early stage Alzheimer's.

Monday, June 02, 2008

I think that all my traveling has finally caught up with me. I'm extremely tired and have been fighting "the blues" as of late. Every little thing seems to bother me way more than it should. Hopefully, this too, will pass.

I've mentioned the book Still Alice before on my blog and I know that many of you have had a chance to read it. I heard from the author today that her book was picked up by a major publisher and will be in bookstores beginning the first part of 2009. Congratulations Lisa -- what a great accomplishment to you. I think anyone who reads the book will certainly understand the trials and tribulations of dealing with Alzheimer's through Alice and her family.

I'm closing now because I can't quite seem to get my thoughts together to write much more. I will try again in a few days.