Friday, April 29, 2016

200,000 Views!! Thank you.

Today, this blog went over 200,000 views!  I appreciate all of your views and even more so,all of your comments of support, encouragement, and help.  When my Wife and Dr. Mary Alliston Bowles, practicing in Norfolk, Virginia, recommended I start this blog as a manner of therapy for me, I never thought I would meet so many wonderful people and receive so much love and care.

While I write this blog to help me, I also write it as a way t chronicle my experiences with LBD and to also help others dal with Lewy Body Dementia.   The truth is, LBD has few first hand reports of the journey and even fewer support groups for those of us suffering with Lewy Body Dementia!!  If I have one complaint, it is that those of us with LBD have no one to discuss our disease with!!

However, I have all of you, and I appreciate that fact very much!!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Loss of control of my life

I realized tonight, in my nightly sundowning that I have lost control go my life.  I cannot do anything on my own.    I cannot drive, so I cannot go anywhere only own.  Even haircuts are dictated!  The lady that works in the beauty parlor also cuts men's hair.   She tries, but the person that cuts our poodles hair could do better.   But, I cannot go out and find a barber shop and my wife is certainly NOT interested in that search.  We will spend hours finding anything she is interested in, but, none for me.  I don't drive.

Then there is what we do.  If it is not something the wife likes to do, it does not happen.   So, I peruse few gun stores and even my occasional trip to the local gun show is short because I ride with my son and his schedule is always full.

There was a time that I had my own vehicle, and I went places alone.  Shooting competitions, Gun Shows that were 250 miles away, or visits to friends in the area.  Now, I am restricted to barracks.

Now, I do have a social life here at Azalea Trace and I cherish that.  I enjoy my billiards days and I enjoy conversations with the other residents I am friendly with.

But, I still have to meet certain conditions that my wife, intelligently imposes on my when I am out of the apartment.  Like;  DO I have my emergency button with me, do I have my cell phone with me, when will I be home, and where am I going.  All of this is prudent considering my condition, but it still causes me issues, because I am not in charge of myself like I was before LBD.

I realize I am more free than I will be this time next year.  But, the restrictions still rankle me.  And I would really love a good haircut!

Time to quit!

I realize my mind is not as sharp as it once was.  I also notice that when I tell people things that I am concerned about, they dismiss my views, out of hand.  Well, maybe they are right.  How I view things is impacted by my LBD.   I will freely admit that.   So, I now think it is time for me to sit down and shut up.   Because, based on peoples lack of response to my concerns, I must be totally off base.  A person who thinks that he is right and everyone else is wrong is delusional.  And, since that is how I feel, I must be getting delusional.

So, from now on, I will keep my opinions, concerns, views, and ideas to myself.  That is no issues for me, since I forget my opinions, concerns, views, and ideas, very quickly.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Lost, Disoriented, Confused

I was just out walking the miniature poodles.  We are a group without a direction!  Marcel is almost completely deaf and blind as a bat.  His nose still works, so he smells his way around.  Cheri see's better, but she is so "Smell" oriented that she gets into a smell circle.  I feel lost, confused and overwhelmed when I am out of our apartment or in the well known confines of Azalea Trace.

Recently, we have noticed that I am uncomfortable whenever we are out.  I know I have written about this issue before, but it is getting more pronounced.   I like to be in my apartment and in the portions of Azalea Trace I know.  For instance, I have no issue walking to the Chapel in Willow Brooke Court.  I know the way, I know the people, and all is familiar, as long as I stay in the hallways.  If I get out of the normal halls, I am confused and in a small panic attack.

Oh well, it is the normal progression of my LBD.  And trust me, it is progressing.

Throw away people

In case you are new to my blog or have as bad a memory as I have, I live in a Continuing Care Retirement Community.  Folks move in her and live in Independent living.  For the most part, they are social, energetic, mobile, people.  At some point, some of them are moved to Assisted Living or Skilled Care.  Both of those care levels where I live are s good as they can be.  Assisted living offers some assistance with daily issues and three wonderful meals a day.  Skilled care is Skilled Care.  However, here it is done with a more "Human" approach.

I visit people I minister to in Skilled Care.  Many of them are still mentally active.  Some, have declined.  And still, some have Dementia to the point they are no longer interactive.  One of the things I have noticed is, people that are moved to Assisted Living or Skilled Care, without their spouse, are forgotten after a short period of time.  How is that?  Forgotten?!

Yes, forgotten.  They are not visited by their spouse, their children, or even their friends in our community.  The people I know in Skilled Care and Assisted Living hunger for a conversation a loving touch, even a smile.  I know of one nice lady, who is mobile, and very confused by Alzheimer's.  Her husband seldom visits her.  He tells me, she is better off that way.

Look folks, even if the person does not recognize you, they at least know you are friendly and they will talk to you, smile, and want your attention.  They are not dead!! 

It seems little has changed in the attitudes people have of the elderly.  Put them in a nice facility, and forget about them.   After all, there are people there, trained and paid to take care of them.  I have my life to live.

Even people living in Independent living have few visitors and even fewer overnight guests.  Mostly, people come to eat dinner in the dinning room and then leave, spending two hours with their supposed loved one, at best!   I guess thy come to see when they will receive their inheritance check.

King Solomon was right;  Every thing is vanity.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Another, unreported issue

Another issue I have not reported is my skin issues.  I have bumps that arise, resemble pimples or boils, hurt, and some times erupt in clear liquid or blood.   These bumps also open up when I wash with a wash cloth.  They are occurring on my face, arms, back of my neck and in my hair.  To say the least, this is annoying.

The bleeding may be exacerbated by my blood being so thin because of the prescribed large doses of Omega 3 and aspirin.  I have always told you I am a science experiment.

So, as I said in the last posting, the symptoms and issues are increasing in occurrence and intensity.  My body is breaking down, my skin is breaking down, and my mental capabilities are breaking down.

I guess long term investments are not in my future!

Not yet recovered from yesterday's SCARE!

Yesterday's aspiration event has left me feeling weak and tired.  But, I am also feeling mentally diminished  I feel like I have been dropped another mental level and my wife has noticed it also.  I am not sure if this will last, but it is definitely here right now.  

I used my inhaler again today to clear out my lungs again.  I feel weak and sluggish.  But the real issue is how this impacted my outlook.   The truth is, death lurks closely around any dementia patient, especially when a dementia patient is in the second half of the game as I am.  I am not frightened by death,  I am a Born Again Believer and I trust in God's promise.  But, I have never died before, so I am frightened of the process of death.  I have a friend in California.  She is the widow of a Navy friend and mentor.  She took care of her Father and Mother in their old age.  Her father had a heart attack and was without any vital signs for a period until the paramedics revived him.  When Chester woke up, he asked Cathy; "What happened?"  She said:  "You died!"  Chester replied:  "That wasn't too hard."  I think I will dwell on Chester's experience.

 have had a very good first half of my LBD journey.  I have NO complaints.  But, the second half is picking up steam and my symptoms are getting worsts and more frequent.  My energy levels are low and my desire to do anything is very little.  I have lost most of my desire to fight and my interest in anything worldly.  I still enjoy, immensely,  serving God in any capacity He presents.  For instance today, while walking in the hallway, the staff Chaplain, Jim Dietz said to me; "I need you to preach two weeks in June."  I was immediately excited!

So, I will accept each day as a new opportunity to serve God, knowing that each time may be the last.  I spend as much time with the love of my life, my wife Linda.  She watches over me like a hawk.  But she knows the score too, yet she never voices it.  Much like the manager of a team that is loosing badly.  She always looks for the rally!

Again, it has been a great journey and I have been blessed to communicate my journey to all who read this Blog.  I deeply appreciate your comments and readership.  I will keep writing as long as I can.  Don;