Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This and That

It's been awhile I know. I just haven't had luck getting my words out right lately. I did an interview with a young student yesterday from UGA for a journalism class that she was doing. I did awful -- I didn't even make sense most of the time. I guess it will give her a chance to use her editing skills. I knew exactly what I wanted to say, but couldn't get it to come out the way I wanted it to.

Since I last wrote, Ralph was in St. Louis for almost a week for a family funeral. It was nice to have the house to myself. Alan and Jennifer visited Jen's sister Christine in Chicago over the MLK weekend, and they also got to visit with my friends the Atterberrys. I went to Alabama for a women's basketball game and am going to South Carolina this week for another women's game.

Thanks to all that have commented lately -- it's interesting to see what people have on their minds. Thanks to to Barry Petersen for making my friend Suzanne a very happy lady! You made her day.

I'm having a partial knee replacement done next month. Not looking forward to it -- more on that later.

Monday, January 10, 2011


So far we have 6.5 inches of snow on the ground -- according to my ruler of course! For the last few hours we have had sleet and freezing rain. Schools/businesses have been closed all day and they are already scheduled to close tomorrow. It's just not suppose to do this in the south! We are hoping that we don't get much more freezing rain, as we certainly don't want the power lines to come down. We've been there before!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Left Neglected

is a new book out by Lisa Genova. Lisa is my friend that wrote the best seller Still Alice about a young woman with Younger On Set Alzheimer's. Lisa's new book is about a woman who has a condition called "Left Neglect". It is where a person with this, does not recognize his/her left side. Lisa first told me about this condition a year or so ago when she was working on the book before Still Alice even came out. I was intrigued with it and looked up what I could on-line. It's a very interesting brain disease. I'm sure this book will bring loads of attention to Left Neglected.

As I said with Still Alice, run to the bookstore to get this book, don't walk. I was mesmerized by it and it is an easy read -- even for someone with Alzheimer's. And, while I don't suffer from left Neglected, it is a brain disease just as Alzheimer's is. And, like I could relate to Alice in Still Alice, I can relate to the character in Left Neglected, Sarah.

In the book, Sarah has a car accident and ends up with a brain injury - Left Neglected.

At one point in the book she is working on her physical therapy and her son is by her side. Her son has Attention Deficit Disorder and while he is working on his homework, he declares himself stupid because he can't get his homework right. Sarah asks him if he thinks she is stupid because she can't do some things right. He tells her no. Then Sarah says, "Right. Neither of us is stupid. Our brains work in a different way than most people's do, and we have to figure out how to make ours work. But we're not stupid, okay?" How this hit home......I feel stupid a lot of times because I can't do some simple things. It's easy to say your stupid, even though you're not. I guess it is the easy way out, but I fight this on a daily basis.

In another instance Sarah remarks on all the changes that have been thrust upon her in the last few months....getting used to it and redefining "normal". I feel like I redefine the meaning of normal everyday!

In another instance Sarah talks about being helpless. She is crying to her mother that she doesn't want to be helpless. Her crying intensifies as she says the word helpless. Her mother tells her she is not helpless, she just needs some help. They are not the same." I had to really stop and take a deep breath over this one. While I am not helpless (now) I know I need help and it is hard to ask for help. But there is a difference and I need to recognize that and keep moving forward.

Thanks, Lisa, for writing this book. You have another winner on your hands.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

National Alzheimer's Project Act

was signed into law yesterday by President Obama! Thanks to all who helped support this and asked their legislators for their help. Here is a link to the full story on the Alzheimer's Association website.....http://www.alz.org/news_and_events_Obama_signs_NAPA.asp

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Happy New Year

Something I like most about the holidays is hearing from everyone through Christmas Cards. I know a lot of people have stopped sending cards in favor of electronic greetings. But I love seeing the photo cards that come in the mail and can't believe seeing everyone's children or grandchildren growing up so fast. And, I like hearing about what everyone has done the past year. Staying connected with people is important to me. And, I appreciate the cards I get each year --that people are still willing to keep in touch with me. Then, out of the blue, I'll get a phone call from someone I haven't heard from in a very long time. That happened again yesterday, when Patty Smith called me from Falls Church Virginia. Patty was on the Alzheimer's Association Early Stage Advisory group several years ago. Patty and her husband were also the driving force behind the Alzheimer's Association getting a multi million dollar grant from the American Express company for the Alz. Association. How nice it was to talk to Patty and hear her voice. That meant a lot to me. I also heard from other former advisory members over the holidays that I haven't heard from in awhile.

The holidays were a little more trying for me this year. I think a lot played into it, but I must do a better job of pacing myself, as well as not trying to get so overwhelmed. The latter is a little harder to do because you never know when one of those simple projects you start, are going to turn into something different -- thus the result is not so good. But, I guess I need to relish in the fact that I cans till do so much -- although not happy with the outcome much of the time.

My son and daughter-in-law were here over the holidays. I'm sure you have figured out that is them above. It was nice to have them home. I really appreciate the effort they take to get here -- with traveling during the holidays. Luckily the snow we got in Georgia and the snow up the east coast didn't get them stranded anywhere with the times they were flying.

The new year brings on lots of new challenges for me. I think I need to look at them more as opportunities to keep me going.

Thanks to the UGA Pyschology class I spoke to for the lovely note they sent to me after speaking to their group. One of my followers asked what type of questions they asked. Some wanted to know if I still drove, how did I deal with the fact that I could no longer do things I once did everyday. I shared with them how I had a difficult time crossing the streets in large cities because of all the signals flashing at once and this was a little hard for them to understand. And, when I told them how difficult it was for me to talk on the phone and that I relied heavily on email and they asked if I was able to utilitze all the new technology with smart phones, texting and the like. I told them that I had a hard time learning new things and had a difficult time with all the new "lingo or abbreviations" they used now! Although, my old phone does not have a regular keyboard -- I'm still relying on the phone key pad and that takes me forever to text a message to someone. It's interesting to hear the questions that the students ask. The older students have a different perspective on things. Most everyone in the classes I speak to though have known or do know someone with Alzheimer's so they can relate in some way to what I am saying. I think the most awkward question was when someone asked me how Alzheimer's affected my sex life!

Happy New Year to all!