Sunday, January 30, 2011

Good things, Too!

I have been very open in describing how I am doing and what I am going through in my postings on this blog. I find it therapeutic for me, and I hope informative for the readers to be honest and open. There is also the issue of my fading memory. If I don't tell the truth, I will not know what I told to whom!! Remember when you were young and you might have told a "little" lie to one person, and another "stretched" story to another, and they got together and compared stories? Bad scene, right? So, the truth is the only way to go. In any case, if I tell you what is wrong, I should also tell you what is going well. So, there has been some positive development in the area of my sleep at night. I have posted in the past that nights were difficult for me,and that was and is still true, but, recently nights have been a little easier to manage. Linda and I have discovered that we stay up until very late, say 1 AM or later, I can sleep until 5:30 or so. What we are doing is staying up until I am dead tired and then going to bed instead of going to bed when I am merely sleepy and waking up with a dream. I am still dreaming, and some are violent, but I seem to be able to manage them better, or at least I am so tired that I can and do go back to sleep. Another issue is, we have all but stopped taking afternoon naps. I miss my nap, but I will give it up for a quiet night's sleep for both of us. I also seem to be more rested in the morning. So, this is a good development and a welcomed one.
On a negative note, I am finding that I am more uncomfortable in familiar settings than before. Today in church, I became uncomfortable and disoriented in the opening moments of the service. I grabbed my wife's hand and the feelings subsided after a few moments. That goes along with how I felt when we were out to lunch last week with Linda's co-workers. But that was an unknown location and we have been going to this church and I have been an active member for 7 years. So, I just chalk this up to what's happening with me. As long as Linda is with me, I am fine. That's reassuring to me. This week we will celebrate our 38 th wedding anniversary! She has been a real help to me for a long time. She is my partner and co-laborer in good times and difficult times. We have found a way to enjoy life through all circumstances. I thank GOD everyday for Linda's love and caring.
So, all in all, I am doing as good as I can. I do appreciate all of you who help me and pray for me. Thanks for being there.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Technology

I am going to track the number of hits my Blogs receive and I am using a computer program called technorati.com to accomplish this. To do this, I must publish in my blog, one time the following code; M773Z8DSQNH8
It is not the government tracking what you or I do, just me, trying to find out haow many people read my ramblings. Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NCIS, Tuesday, 18 Jan, 2011

Tonight, on NCIS, Bob Newhart was the guest star. So, naturally, I watched. I like Bob Newhart. I liked his television shows, I like his comedy, and I liked him in "The Librarian" series made for TV movies. He is a good actor, funny, and believable. Tonight, he portrayed a retired medical examiner from NCIS' past. The present ME, known as "Duckie" was his friend. What no one knew, including the viewers was that the retired ME, Bob Newhart, had Alzheimer's Disease. Mr. Newhart's character was portrayed as a mid-stage AD patient. He portrayed the part of an AD patient exceptionally well. Appearing normal, rational, and in touch one minute, and spaced out, unable to function, and in a fantasy world the next. I am very happy that this sub-plot was woven into this series at this time. My wife saw things that I do, and she misses, in Mr. Newhart's character. I hope all of you watch this episode. It will give you insight into my life, and the life of others in my shoes. Mr. Newhart said, in character, that he was loosing what he was, and sometimes could not remember what he did. He returned to NCIS headquarters to try to regain who he was and his self-worth. I too, am afraid that I am loosing my identity. Much of my past memories are fading. I can't remember the old standard jokes I used to tell, my sea stories are fading, and when I try to remember, my mind is a blank. Mr. Newhart's character said he used to be able to replay all the cases he worked on in his mind, and NOW he can't remember any of them. I used to remember ALL of the electrical, electronic, and hydraulic circuits of the MK 42 Mod 9 & 10 gun mount and could quote you valve designation, circuit symbols, and how they interfaced for the entire gun loading and power drive system. Now, I just don't remember. Part of me is fading away. I really don't like that and there is no way to restore what is lost. People who judge me, doubt me, question my honesty need to watch this episode. I wrote today on the Alzheimer's Association Chat room; "People don't think someone had dementia or AD unless they are peeing in their pants and drooling on their shirt." Much like cancer, AD and Dementia have a start and a finish. But unlike cancer, there is no way to treat what I have and no hope of recovery. Please watch this episode.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Nights, my new found terror!

The title is not overstated. I find nights terrifying. I seem to feel pretty good during the day. I am on an even keel, emotionally. And, even when I have memory issues, which is more often than not, I can laugh at them and not be too bothered. When I loose my balance , for no reason, I can laugh and say; "The room moved" as if I was still on a ship and we were at sea. But, when the sun goes down, my mood turns very dark. I am frustrated and angry at everything. Noise sends me into a rage that I can presently keep internal most of the time. Little things become insurmountable. I have difficulty concentrating on anything for any period of time. That does fit with today's television shows; i.e. 5 minutes of content followed by 4 minutes of inane commercials. (Sorry for the editorial comment.) Relationships are difficult and I am convinced that most people are out to get me. No, I am not overstating the facts. As a matter of fact, I may be understating them. And to top it off, if I do go to bed, I know if I sleep, I will dream and that most of my dreams are violent and frightening. Last night, I went to bed, angry and I worked myself into a fit of rage that I knew would lead to horrific dreams. So, I got up and occupied myself with the computer playing Free Cell and Solitaire and reading and rereading the sites I look at. I even got on the Alzheimer's Association web site and entered their area to post things, looking for help. That did not work either. So, as usual, I stayed up until I was dead tired. Then I went to bed and passed out. Last night, my faithful miniature poodle, Marcel, would not even stay up with me. So, I was all alone, in my rage. What was I angry at? It does not matter. Will it happen again? Yes, I am certain. And before you ask, Yes, my neurologist and GP know of this problem and the neurologist has prescribed some drugs. Actually we are on the second attempt at solving this problem with pharmaceuticals, with little or no help. I have even thought about drinking myself into a stupor every night. But then, I will feel bad in the morning too! So that's not a viable option. What to do? I am at a loss. I have an upcoming neurologist appointment and we will discuss this then. Until then, I will be up, and angry or sad, or some other negative emotion, until all hours of the night.

P.S. I made a spelling error that I noticed after I posted this. That little mistake sent me into a rage of self hatred. I need to find a way to deal with this.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dealing with what's happening with me.

I am sorry that I have not posted on this blog in a while. While I could offer many excuses, the fact is, I have found it difficult to put my feelings into words. As many of you know, I have been writing on my other blog, "The Master Chief's Lair" and I find that forum an escape from the progression of my condition. Additionally, when I write in "The Master Chief's Lair" I feel like I am still on active duty, still the Master Chief, and still pertinent to the Navy. Yes, I have wanted to escape from thinking about how things are progressing. Also, I find myself confused about what I have, how it came to be, and what the future holds. Let me explain some of that. Recently, an acquaintance of my wife and mine has put us in contact with the Alzheimer's Association. They were looking for some volunteers with dementia or related issues to participate in a study. Linda and I are both open to being participants in studies in the hope that we may help someone else. The Alzheimer's Association believes, and their research backs this up, that dementia is the symptom of Alzheimer's. So, my question is, do I have Lewy Body Dementia or Alzheimer's? That may be a fine line to you, but it is something I want to know. The old Gunner's Mate in me always wanted to know what was the root cause of the failure of the gun system. Why, so I could prevent it from happening again, or at least, so I could fix it when it did happen again. It seems medicine is not like that. So, that is a frustration, and ALL frustrations are magnified for me because of my disease.
That brings me to another issue. I am becoming more and more paranoid. I feel that people are following me or spying on me. I have extreme difficulty trusting anyone except my wife and my closest friend. My sleep patterns are terrible even though we have doubled up on the "Don't Beat Linda Up" medicine at night. Yes, that was done with my neurologists direction. My dreams remain about my days in the Navy. While they are a comfort to me sometimes, they mostly are situations that cause me anguish and confusion. My attention span has decreased, my short term memory is limited to hours. Today in Church, a friend asked me how my week was, and I replied; OK, as much as I remember, and I was not fooling. He apologized for not coming over to help us with exercises last week, and I really did not remember that he had planned to. The bottom line is, whatever I have is getting worse, and my isolation within myself, is increasing. I have little interest in being with people, or doing anything. Conversations are limited, because I just don't have anything to say. I live, in my mind, in memories and stories about the past. Right now, I can see myself doing this, I am afraid that soon, I will not realize this fact and I will slip away into the past as I saw Linda's Dad do so may years ago.
While it does me good to write about this, it also brings it to the forefront and upsets me. But, never fear I will continue to write, until I can't.