Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I am a prisoner!!

Last night, as I started to relax for sleep, I started a thought process about what I would do if my Wife would predecease me.  My thoughts immediately went to leaving Pensacola, moving back to Virginia Beach and all my friends.  Getting an apartment in an over 62 community.  Buying a new pick up truck and getting back into shooting!  Then, in a shock, it came to me;  Who was going to manage my medicines?!  

You see, without Linda, I can not put my medicines together for the week, well enough remember to take them!  I also cannot manage the budget, taxes, or the events of my day.  Oh yes, and I am not supposed to drive alone!  And, most likely, the next Neurologist's visit, I will not be able to drive at all.

The, I realized, I am where I will love until I die.  I am a prisoner for life.  Oh well, it is a nice place to be a prisoner.  The food is good, the living conditions are great, there is plenty to do, and the weather is good.  I guess I can deal with tis prison.

Today, I got to know another LBD patient!

I started a Dementia Support Group that meets every week here at Azalea Trace.   There is an individual that still lives in independent living like me, that I knew had Dementia of some sorts.  I ran into him at a local store and invited him to our meeting.  Today, him and his wife came to our meeting and I found out, he has LBD.  WOW!! Was I happy!!  Someone just like me.

He has many of the issues I have and he was as happy as I was to discuss issues with someone who has the same issues.  This is my dream come true.  His son is a Neurologist and agrees with his Father's diagnosis.  This is a gold mine for me and we both intend to continue to explore our condition.  I will keep you posted!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Loosing the ability to Preach

Since we moved into Azalea Trace, I have voluntarily helped the Staff Chaplain anytime he asked me.  I enjoy doing God's work and Jim provides me many opportunities.  He is very busy with funerals and hospital visits, considering the community I live in.  So, helping him, helps him serve others and for that I am glad.

The last four weeks I have stood in for Jim for the Tuesday Chapel Service in Skilled Nursing.  It is a well attended service complete with hymns, responsive reading, music provided by two very dedicated musicians,  and of course a Sermon.  Each time I stand in for Jim on Tuesday, I have to set up the entire service including selecting the Hymns and Responsive Reading as well as writing and delivering the Sermon.   It is the Order of Worship that has cause dmd increasing difficulty.  It seems I cannot translate the Hymn names and numbers from the Hymnal to the printed Order of Worship.   This confusion has become a source of humor for the two musicians.  They have to figure out what Hymn I really want.  One time, recently but not in this four week run, I used the wrongHymnal all together!   That caused some confusion for all of us!

I am also having issues and difficulties delivering the message.  I get confused with verses, cannot find them in the Bible unless I mark the pages or print out the verses on my script, and even then, I get confused.  More and more, I am feeling disconnected and disoriented even in familiar surroundings and doing familiar tasks.  

Many people do not catch my difficulties, but the Organist and Pianist both do.  They are kind about it and even find some humor in my difficulties which they share with me after the Service.  I actually appreciate they humor and enjoy the laugh.  But, things are getting difficult and I know m ability to deliver an understandable service are drawing to an end.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


The Activities Director is planning a trip to the USS Alabama next month.  It is on a Tuesday and I want to go.  Not as a tourist but as a tour guide for others.  I know more about Battleships than anyone here and most living people.   But, there is a problem, the trip happens on a Tuesday and that is one of my Wife's Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) days.  She told me I should not go because I get disoriented and tree and I most likely would have difficulties.  And she is very protective of me and does not want me alone if those issues occur.  So, I am restricted to Quarters!

I agree with her, in principle, but I think someone on the trip could help me if I needed it.  But, would they know what to look for in my actions and mental capabilities?  The obvious answer is no.  But it still bothers me that I no longer can go places that I want too, on my own.  It is an unavoidable fat of my LBD.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Changes, challenges, and frustrations

The last two weeks have been difficult.  We are completely moved into our new apartment.  Everything is in it's place, although we sometime have difficulty finding that PLACE!  But, we have not established a routine and that is causing me great difficulties.  I have not had a nap in two weeks!  My days do not have order.  That coupled with being busy since Christmas filling in for the staff Chaplain and I am overwhelmed.

I have become more confused, I have noticed my BP running higher, and last night I wet the bed.  So, the move has negatively impacted me and my LBD has definitely progressed.  Even writing this post is difficult because I cannot connect my thoughts to the keys.

Today, I had difficulty Preaching in Skilled Care because my ability to remember and deliver what I wrote was severely impaired!  I was not prepared for this and I am concerned I will not rebound, ever.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Why did we move to a one bedroom apartment?

Living in a retirement community, you have to understand that many people want to monitor what you do.  Naturally, there is the management and staff.  That make perfect sense since they are responsible for our well being.  Then there are those "inquisitive" fellow residents that just have to know everything about you and your personal business!  Believe me, they ask some very personal questions!

So, naturally, we have been fully questioned about the reasons for our move.  Now, I know a number of folks that have "downsized" since we moved in over two years ago.  And I am very sure their under ware was thoroughly inspected also!  Still, it is a little aggravating to have the "Spanish Inquisition" directed at you every time you go for a meal!  But, here are the REAL reasons we moved.

First and foremost was our budget.  When we were offered the Two Bedroom Master, we did not thin we could afford it.  But, we were assured we could.  Well, numerous government programs and no COLA's convinced us we were right.  Now, we could drain our saving and sty in the two bedroom of another ten years.  But we are not people that spend every penny we have.  The move reduces our monthly outlay by $710 a month.  Nothing to sneeze at!

Second, having rooms you seldom use, furnishing them, cleaning them, heating and cooling them, makes little sense and also makes the electricity bill higher!  Additionally, people here at Azalea do not come to your home to socialize.  They socialize in the common areas.  The lounges, card rooms, Dinning Room, auditorium, and recreation facilities.  Their apartments are their private refuges.

Third, this move with it's reduction in rent, will also reduce the cost of any higher level of care either go us might require.  Now, we have to be in the One Bedroom for one year before we need that increased level of care to receive that benefit.  But, it is still a definite benefit.

Fourth,  a smaller, more cozy, apartment makes me feel more secure.   Remember, I have to know, every minute of every day, where my wife is.  If she was in the master bathroom and I was in the living room, I would call out and ask where she was!  In the one bedroom apartment, if I sit in y recliner, I can see every room and who is going where.  Seems silly to you, I know.  But that is how my LBD mind works.

And finally, I know I will most likely be a charter resident of the new Memory Support Facility that ACTS is adding during the soon to be started Assisted and Skilled Care facility expansion.  A one bedroom apartment would be good for my Wife with me living in a different part of Azalea.

So there you have it.  Our reasons for our move.  Oh, how do I answer the inquisitions here?  "WE moved because we wanted too!"

The MOVE; Post mortem

I wrote before that  the move, just 50 feet or so around the corridor, was very difficult.  It has impacted me in various ways.  Hallucinations have increased.  I am seeing people that obviously are not there.  I am more lost when we are in the car.  And I am very agitated!

Yesterday, we had to move a few things OUT of the apartment that just did not fit.  Our Son came to help and we were done in record time.  Now, all of the pictures are up, we have put almost everything in it's place, and our "Tiny House" apartment is starting to look like home.  I like it here!  I just have to get used to where everything is.