Thursday, April 02, 2009

This and that

This goose along with another goose made it to our house today. We have had so much rain in the last week or so that in the background you can see the water standing in our front yard. I don't know if these geese made a detour on their trip up north or what but they were certainly looking for food. We feed the crows, the squirrels, other cats and whatever comes our way in the back of our house. We usually feed them cat food -- I know it sounds weird but they eat it. The geese didn't seem to care that much for it. But they were lovely to watch before they flew away.
Today I went to a funeral. The father of a man I used to work for passed away. The service was lovely. He was loved my many and it showed. Life is just too short.
Friday Night Lights is a show that airs on Friday nights about high school football in Texas. Last week while I was speaking at the Alzheimer's Conference there I had the pleasure of meeting one of the character's grandfather. His grandson, Jesse Plemmons, is a Champion for the Alzheimer's Association. Jesse's grandmother had Alzheiemer's. Coincidentally, in the show there is a story line that involves another character on the show with his grandmother who has Alzheimer's. Although it is not clearly stated that that is her condition, it is understood to be -- at least by me. Anyway, the show has been dealing with this story line in a very dignified manner. But last week it struck a chord with me. I could see myself in the character and it is scary. Just as I saw myself in the Still Alice book. You can talk about this disease a lot, but when you see yourself, it is scary and becomes even more real. It's hard to explain, but it is also hard to watch.
HBO is coming out with a series beginning in May about Alzheimer's. They have been working on this for about two years. I have been to several conferences where they were shooting. I believe it starts May 10th and it is a four part series. It will be good I'm sure as they have put a lot of time and effort into it. I'm not sure if it is something I can watch either -- I know I'll tape it and watch it over time, but I'm not sure if I can watch it all at once.
Terry Moran, one of the hosts of ABC's Nightline program just did a short series on Alzheimer's. He has Alzheimer's in his family and he goes the through the process in his piece about getting his DNA tested to see what his chances of getting Alzheimer's are. Here is a link to the piece He also interviews Meryl Cromer, a member of Newt Gingrich's Alzheimer's Study Group (ASG). I had the pleasure of working with Meryl on a prelude committee to the ASG about a year and a half ago. She is a true crusader. And, in the piece she also finds out what her chances are for developing Alzheimer's. She now cares for her husband and mother who both suffer from the disease. Please note that the tests that they had only were indicators of developing Alzheimer's not that they would definitely get Alzheimer's. During my diagnosis I had a spinal tap which indicated that I carried one of the genese for Alzheimer's but it didn't necessarily mean that I would get Alzheimer's -- it was just one of many markers in my diagnosis. The story is interesting and I thank ABC and Mr. Moran for doing it.
I'm off to Illinois again on Saturday to visit my ailing brother. I'm hoping to find him in better spirits and in better health. I'll report when I return.
Thanks for reading and sharing your comments with me.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link to the video. I teach at UGA and am doing a lecture on Alzheimer's on Monday. I will most likely show this piece. I met you in Dr. Glass' class a year or two ago when you were a guest speaker and your talk really made an impact. Thank you. -Tamar

K said...

Dear Kris,
I've been surfing the web, reading Alzheimer's informational blogs..etc., and I happened upon yours.
First of all, let me say that I'm so sorry you have this horrible disease, but thank you for sharing your life experiences with others.
I think you're doing a wonderful job of expressing yourself!
My husband is 70, and he was diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago, but I started noticing signs of Alzheimer's almost 10 years ago.
Thank you for the information about the TV Special that's coming up in May.
Thanks again,