Monday, August 29, 2011

Things I would like to know before...

There are some mysteries in my past that I really would like to have the answers to.   Not, who shot JR Ewing, or what someone would do for a Klondike bar, but there is one question I want to have the answer too.

Those of you who know who I am, may know that I was raised by some marvelous people, who loved me dearly, and I love them, but were not related to me genetically.  My mom and Dad did not have legal custody of me until I was 16.  By then I had got myself in a heap of trouble and my Mom took my shovel away to keep me from digging the hole any deeper!  She was wonderful!   You may also know that my biological Mother was in my life and friends with the people who raised me.  The question I always had, was who was my biological Father?  I was told fabricated stories about my biological father that are not worth going over again.  When I was 32, I found my biological Father and called him.  He denied the connection and I called my biological Mother and confronted her with the truth.   She called my biological Father and they worked out the problems of the past and called me back, telling me the truth and then I called my biological father and talked to him.  He did not really want to talk to me, so I got little information other than him telling me how bad a lady my mother was.  How bad could she be, at least she stayed in my life!!  I talked to him once more, a few years later, and got the same response.  He died in 1989.

He had a son, with his wife, about 6 months after I was born. He has the same name as me and since he is from the same hometown as me, he has a Social Security Number that starts with the same first three numbers, most likely!  I called him once and he was nice, but has never contacted me again and has refused to return my calls.  I understand their reticence since they probably think I was trying to get an inheritance , which could not be further from the truth.  My half brother is a successful, published, electrical engineer and a senior officer in an electrical company.  He has succeeded and I am happy for him.  But, he IS my brother, blood related to me, and I would dearly love to get to know him, to learn from him, about my biological father, and the medical history of our family.

Through the miracles of Ancestry.com, I have found my biological Father's parents, my grandparents, their immigration dates, death dates, names of my uncles and other family members.  I even met, briefly, my grandfather at a car dealership he worked at.  I was 16 and purchasing an automobile.  Of course, he denied being related.

I am 60 years old, dying from a progressive neurological disease that was most probably caused by exposure to a neurotoxic chemical related to my Navy career.  I don't need any one's money.  But I do need to be accepted by the people I am related to..  My biological mother had three other children after me that were ALL adopted out and I, most likely, will never find them.  But this brother, with the same exact name as me, from the same home town as me, I do know and can have contact with.  But HE does not want to know me.  And that bothers me, more than anyone knows.

How does this relate to my Lewy Body Dementia?  It sets my end date.  My memory is failing.  My ability to deal with reality continues to diminish.  Before my mind quits working, I want to sit down and have a long conversation with my brother, in person.   I believe I deserve that.  Now, those of you who raised me, have stood by me through all of my issues in life, and who stand by me now, know even more than I do.  These secrets have been well kept, guarded, for my protection, and I understand and appreciate that.  But I have to believe someone knows my brother and, maybe even the other children, that my mother had.   I want to meet then, not rob them.  What could you possibly be protecting me from now?   Someone do something, before it is too late.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thanks for the comments.

I really want to thank each of you who read this blog and specially to those who send me replies.  I began this blog looking for a connection to those who are traveling down the same road as I or are a care taker of a person on this road.  I deeply appreciate your experience and encouragement.  It is good to know others are on the same road as I am, even though I may not see them all the time.  You are probably old enough to remember the Citizen's Band Radio (CB) craze of long ago.  I remember we used to drive down the highway, looking for someone a long distance ahead of us to give is the road conditions and a "Smokey Report".  That's what this blog is, people looking down the road, looking for information that will make their trip easier, more comfortable, or maybe, just to share our experiences with. 

Almost anyone has had a tooth filled, a broken arm, or their appendix taken out, so we can always find someone with those conditions to commiserate with.  But Dementia of any kind is still not that common and finding someone to compare notes with is difficult.  But through this medium, and others like it, we can share and learn about our journey.

Again, THANKS for your comments and concerns.  You are all in my prayers nightly.  Keep your sense of humor and keep the faith.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Keeping your sense of humor.

I have really curtailed my travel plans for the summer and my canoeing has been limited by the heat and my upper body strength loss, yet I still find thing about my disease that make me laugh.  For instance, I check to see if I closed the garage door numerous time throughout the day, yet I almost always fail to zip my fly after going to the bathroom!  That strikes me as funny.  Another quirk is that, even though my wife manages my prescriptions, I must know how many pills I take at each dose and I count the pills numerous times before I take them.  If I go to bed and don't personally check to see if the doors are locked, I must go back and check, twice.

Another quirk is that before my diagnosis, I took at least one shower a day.  Now, I really find showers annoying and only take a shower when I am going to be with people.  And, I only shave on Sunday!  I cannot remember to get a haircut and only go when my hair touches my ears.  Then I get it cut extremely short.  I used to get my hair cut every two weeks!

Still another change is my new introvert nature.  As I have written before, I always liked to be with people, crowds, and at events.  I drew energy from large groups of people.  But now, I only want to be home, with my wife, or with my best friends.  I enjoy only what I am comfortable with and do not like new experiences or locations.  I can go to our best friends home and be perfectly comfortable.  Why, because I have been at home in their home for 30 years.  But take me to a new place and I am not comfortable and I clam up.

I guess, I am just moving into the next phase of my LBD, at least that is what I read on WEBMD.  My inability to deal with extreme temperatures, extreme sweating, inattention to life's details, all point to my progression.   No big deal, just the facts.  As a tech rep friend of mine says; "It is what it is".

So, that's where I am today.  I am still interested in what tomorrow will bring.