Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween to everyone! Alan received word today that he passed the bar exam. We are so happy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Odds and Ends

I've spent the last two days in the hospital. I was having some chest pains over the weekend. I had had them earlier in the summer, but this time they seemed a bit worse. I just had this sensation that someone was standing on my chest. So, I went to the hospital on Monday morning. Going to the hospital is never fun. There are two hospitals in Athens and we usually go ot the same one every time -- although I'm not going to say which one. We have never really had a bad experience at this hospital -- until this trip. The good news about the whole experience is that I didn't have a heart attack and there is no damage to my heart. I have extremely low blood pressure and always have. That could be my culprit. But I'm fine now and enjoyed being in my own bed for a full night's sleep last night. The bad news is that the as I mentioned the experience on this trip was awful. I'm not going to go into it hear, but I did take lots of notes and plan to write to the hospital. There is another option in town, and perhaps next time I'll take that option. I felt my "Alzheimer's" kicking in when I became very frustrated and stressed while there. It wasn't pretty!!!

Many of you have asked about Alan and Jennifer. I know I didn't post much when we returned from Washington but it was a quick trip. Their apartment is nice -- really small -- but nice and in a nice new apartment complex. The roof has an area where you can go sit and there are even hammocks! I liked that part. I'm not sure how much of the year you can enjoy being on the top of the roof and not freeze to death -- but the weekend we were there it was delightful. They live a close walk to the National Zoo and we walked down there to see the pandas. Alan commutes every day on the metro. There is a metro station connected to their apartment building and his office sits on top of a metro station so he really doesn't have to deal with the elements too much on his daily commute. Jennifer has not found a job yet. I hope with the economic downturn we are in that she will get one -- it may take her awhile but we are hoping the best for her. Alan finds out this week if he passed the bar exam. He enjoys his job with Hogan and Hartson. He's working a lot but I don't think much more than when he was in law school since he spent so much time studying.

Memory Walk is in a couple of weeks. Donations are down and that is probably a reflection of the economy. Don't forget to vote if you haven't already. I went the second or third day of early voting and didn't have to wait at all. Now I know the lines are long -- but it is important for everyone to vote.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Speaking Engagements

I've been busy with speaking engagements lately. Last week I spoke to a graduate level course at UGA in Gerentology. Their class was fun -- they had some interesting questions. It's nice to get a chance to talk to young people about Alzheimer's. I think it helps to look at it from a different perspective.

Early this week, I went to Acworth Georgia -- a little north of Atlanta to speak to a group that was having a fund raising golf tournament. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful location. Thanks to my friend Brenda for going over there with me.

And, a few hours ago I got back from Atlanta after speaking to The Georgia Association of Homes & Services for the Aging workshop that was on "person centered care". People from a broad spectrum of health facilities were there to hear what every one had to say. Bob Balfour, another early stage patient from Atlanta and I were on a panel with Genny Helms from the Georgia Alzheimer's office. Everyone was very receptive. Hopefully, we made a difference -- even if it was only in a small way. Thanks for inviting us and holding the conference.

Tomorrow, we have a fund raiser for the Memory Walk. Then, next week another event on Monday night and I'll be finished with boot camp. Then I plan to rest!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I know I have been bad about updating this blog. So sorry! I'm off to Atlanta today and then again on Thursday and Friday for some Alzheimer's events.

I've still been going to boot camp. My husband dropped out after two times. That only leaves four of us left. I won't kid you by saying it is easy. I'm sore all the time! I have one and half weeks left and hopefully by the time it is over I won't feel as bad.

Happy birthday to my son today. 25 years old. That makes me feel old, but by the same token if you had asked me five years ago if I would still be able to know it was his birthday I probably would have said no. I'm happy about that.

Our trip to Washington was fun. We didn't do a whole lot, but we did get back down to the Newseum which has become one of my favorite places to go. It is a museum about the News and is relatively new. George Stephanopalus does his ABC Sunday show from there each week, and we went down on Sunday morning to see if he was there. We got to see him, Cokie Roberts, George Will and Paul Krugman. The next day Paul Krugman won the Nobel prize for economics. Pretty neat, huh? We got there just as they were finishing their taping so they were walking out of the studio. They were all kind enough to say hello.

Well I need to work on my remarks for today's Alzheimer's event. I promise to try to do better about updating this blog.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We just got in from a long drive from Washington DC. We visited Alan and Jennifer in their new apartment. It's nice to know and see where they are living and calling home. It was a quick trip. Jennifer made me a birthday cake with her new Kitchenaid mixer and we ate it all weekend. Thanks to both of them for making my birthday celebation a good one. Alan turns 25 next week and that makes me feel older than me thinking about my own birthday!

When I got back today I received an email that American Express has awarded the Alzheimer's Association 1.5 million dollars in their Members Project. Thanks to all who voted. One of our members of the Early Stage Advisory Group, Patty Smith, her husband actually put that project forward. The project is to help with early detection of Alzheimer's Disease. Last year there were a couple of other projects nominated and they both got high votes, but didn't win the top prize. I was going to nominate an Alzheimer's project this year if one didn't get submitted, so I was glad to see Jay's project and so glad it won! Thanks to Patty and Jay for all they do! We were just near you but knew I didn't have time to get in touch. Hope you are both doing well.

More soon -- when I have rested.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Mind and Body

I try to go to the gym on a pretty regular basis but I don't push myself. I do a lot of things, but I honestly could do better. So, I decided to "jump start" things by signing up for "boot camp". Three days a week for an hour, being drilled -- and yes drilled is the best way to put it. I have been wanting to do this for awhile and each time I was going to sign up my husband talked me out of it. This time, I wasn't going to have that happen. Instead, he decided to do it with me. I think he was feeling guilty that he wasn't doing something "healthy" as well, so he decided to join me. Well, that was probably a mistake. Of course, he is a lot older than most of the people there and it is grueling. I'm not sure if he'll make it for the whole month -- he says it is harder than army boot camp -- which I cannot imagine. I think that it has been so long since he did that he has forgotten. Anyway, it is getting better for me, not so much for him. Today is was pouring down rain and we were outside doing our thing -- that's dedication don't you think? We'll see if it really helps me motivate myself to work harder in the gym. I figure I can't do much for my mind, so I might as well do someting for my body!

We are going to visit Alan and Jennifer in Washington DC this weekend. We are driving and I told my husband that we need to stop to take exercise breaks so we won't be so out of it when we return to boot camp next week. He didn't seem to like that idea.