Saturday, March 05, 2011


I'm in Nashville with friends for the women's SEC basketball tournament. One day, when the UGA women weren't playing my friends took a little side trip and I found myself alone in Nashville. Lots of things within walking distance from the hotel, so no problem. Except......the little problem I have about crossing streets by myself. I know, it sounds silly and stupid. But, if you think about it, we don't cross the street by foot much anymore. We pull up to the grocery, or the bank or wherever we are going and then walk into the business. Or at least, that is the way I usually do it. I don't find myself having to walk too far on the streets in Athens. So, I ventured out into the streets of downtown Nashville and came to my first cross walk. I panicked. I forgot that this is a problem for me......mainly because I don't usually do this and normally I have someone with me. The problem is that there are too many conflicting signals for my brain to decipher. Thwe blinking cross walk sign, the traffic signals and traffic noise don't move smoothly through my brain. They collide into a huge mass of confusion for me. I don't trust the other people walking (because I don't know them) and that people walk when they are not suppose to. I didn't want to turn back the block or so that I had walked from the hotel so I thought I would venture on and see what I could do by myself. Sometimes, I am just determined to do it come hell or high water! I stood at the corner for a good while before deciding to move. I only went across the street when there were absolutely no cars coming. This, by the way, was after the lights had cycled maybe three times. I'm sure if there was someone watching me they were thinking this lady is a lunatic.

Down the next block I saw an officer and thought I could ask for his assistance at the next block -- which I did. All the while thinking, what happens if this police officer is not here when I come back? I always try to think of a contingency plan -- and it is so odd that I can usually come up with something to work (for now anyway) but I can't figure out how to get across the street! Anyway, this officer was very friendly. I explained my situation to him and he told me that in the direction I was going there were police officers on every corner because of the high volume of people in town --- thank you Nashville! I ran into one officer that was on a segue way and he helped me for several blocks. After walking around for an hour or so, I made my way back to the hotel with help from mainly the men in blue. But, I haven't ventured out alone to walk since then. I have stayed in a pack with my friends and they help me get by.

Just another adventure in the life of someone with Alzheimer's.


karen said...

you did good. I don't like to cross streets either. The ones with lights anyway. I would rather cross streets with no lights and just rely on my eyes and my head saying go there are no cars.

Anonymous said...

I have just started reading your blog, and I find your optimism inspiring and I admire how open you are. I am sure you are up to date on all of the latest alzheimer news but there is a newsletter that the Shirley Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research center puts out a few times a year you can read here!