Friday, October 28, 2011

We are now Floridians.

We are a day away from getting our furniture, but we now own a home, again, and we have Florida Driver's Licenses and our car has a Florida tag on it.  So, we are officially Floridians. The home closing was a bit difficult, drawn out, and frustrating.  We were supposed to close at 3PM and did not sign the papers until 6:30 PM.  But, it is done.

This move has been harder than I thought on me.  Yes, I wrote about the expected issues before, but I am really having issues with energy levels and attention span.  I am good for about two hours and then I fade into a fog.  I cannot pay attention to any details, have problems staying on track with a conversation, and have problems formulating sentences.  I guess this was all to be expected, but I am still somewhat unnerved by it.   I hope these declines in my mental ability reverse after we get completely settled, but that may only be wishful thinking.

Our furniture gets delivered Sunday.  The driver called today and asked to make the delivery Sunday instead of Monday because he has an issue at home.  Who am I to say no.  Our refrigerator does not come until Wednesday, but that will have to do.

Every step in this process has been painful to me.  But I still think it will be a good move, after the dust settles.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The NEW mortgage rules!

One of the BIGGEST stressors for me and my wife is the new mortgage rules.  I did not provide this much information to get a Top Secret Clearance to work in Nuclear Weapons!!  They want every financial statement, every five minutes.  The loan officer just explained to me it is because of the issues with the "Sub Prime" mortgages.  He said we were fine, but we have to meet the requirements for no loads!  Today, we were required to prove we had the money in the bank to cover a "Certified Cashier's Check" that is already cut and sitting in my brief case!!  Now that is stupid!   But what is even worse, is that things like this drive me to the point where I can no longer function.  I really feel that we should have paid cash!

I have really lost my ability to objectively look at anything at this moment.  I believe I will go to sleep.  The moral of the story;  If you are a great credit risk, you will be treated like a no load.  Why work your entire life, following the rules of the society, if there is no benefit.  I could have been a "No Load" and be treated the same way,  This country is falling apart with this treat everyone the same stuff!!  I will sleep now.

More move experiences.

We got here Tuesday evening and have been busy since then. We are lucky that we can stay with our Son and his family.  Today, Wednesday, we traveled the area getting all the services set up for the new house.  Nothing is in the same location, but all the people were friendly and helpful.  Water, sewer, trash, insurance, check for closing, we have been everywhere.  One thing was reinforced, I have a limit of things and time that I can be mentally and physically able.  And that time limit is decreasing.  About three hours is it!  After that, I begin to fade and get grouchy!

Another problem that continues to plague me is my need to know where everything is.  Since all of our possessions are in a moving van, somewhere on the east coast, and not scheduled to arrive until Monday, I am in a constant worry about where my stuff is.  I don't even have my own coffee cup!!

Yet, all in all, this is going fairly well.  I am overwhelmed, but I seem to be able to deal with things fairly well.  I will keep you informed as things continue.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A fond farewell

I write from a hotel room in Augusta Georgia.  We are completing the first leg of our relocation cruise.  We will be in Gulf Breeze Florida tomorrow.  The movers from Bekins Movers did a wonderful job packing us out and moving us!  We were packed n Friday and they loaded the truck today.  We were on the road by 2PM.

Yesterday, my Church, Grace Community Church off Virginia Beach gave me a great send off.  I had the opportunity to preach my last sermon, at least for a while, and my brothers and sisters in Christ made Linda and I feel loved.  Our best friends, Jerry and Marcia were there as well as Nancy Allen from the Virginia Beach Senior Services.  It was the hardest part of our move to Florida.  I truly love all of these people.  They are very important to me and I will miss them, tremendously.  Yes, I know this move has many good points.  Finally being with my Son, Daughter in Law, and grandsons again, is a dream come true.  But these friends have been a life line for me.  I will miss them and I hope they come to visit us soon!

More driving tomorrow, busy Wednesday getting ready for the closing on our home, Thursday closing, Next Monday the furniture arrives!  We are going to be busy!  So I will rest for now.

Thanks Virginia Beach!!    

Friday, October 21, 2011

Move stuff.

Well, today is the day.  The movers come this morning to pack our belongings.  In other moves, my wife and I did this.  I remember her carefully wrapping and re-wrapping our china.  That was always the first thing she did.  But, this time we are trusting the "Professionals".  How am I doing?  As good as I can be expected to be doing.  I have a "Fight or Flight" feeling right now.  I am very apprehensive of what is going on and I have a need to talk to people.   I will be very glad when this is over.

I went to my neurologist's appointment a day or so ago.  My long time neurologist has a new member in the practice and she wanted me to see her.  I must say, she was very good.  She had extensive knowledge about LBD and she explained things about my disease that I had nerve been told.  She also "Confronted" me about facing the reality of my future.  She aggressively encouraged me to seek counseling to help me face the future and also my present state!  Again, she was very direct yet very concerned.  I liked her approach and I am sorry that I will not be able to continue with her.  She recommended I seek treatment from the University of Alabama.  Her statement was any neurologist can "Baby sit" me, but to get the proper testing and up to date information I needed the University setting at least once a year.  I am sure my wife will take that advice and act on it.

Another "close out" for the move comes Sunday.  I believe I have told you that I am an Ordained Pastor at my local Church.  Positionally, I am the junior Associate Pastor.  But it was an unbelievable honor to have the members of my Fellowship vote to Ordain me.  This Sunday is our last time worshipping with these wonderful people.  The Senior Pastor has given me the honor of speaking this Sunday.  I have preached a number of times in this Church, but this one will be difficult.  I have my sermon done, and I am ready.  But I do not think I am ready for the emotions I will experience.

In any case, the move progresses, with or without me.  I am trying to stay engaged.   But I must admit, I would be much more comfortable in my bed with the covers pulled up!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I am not as young as I used to be!!

OK, I admit it, LBD and age are really doing me in!  We are having professional movers do this move but, we are packing most of the art work and some things that are precious to us. Just doing that, really HALF of that today, has really worn me out!  Used to be, I could work all day, party all night, and repeat that sequence for a week!  I was a hard worker, strong, resilient, worked and played hurt.  Now, I just cannot keep up.  There was a comedian, from the early days of Red Foxx, her stage name was "Moms Mably".  She made it on the nightly talk shows.  She was mainly known for "Blue" humor.  But, one night on the Merv Griffin show, she said; " My get up and go, got up and left!!"  I now know what she meant!

My energy level is very low, no matter how much sleep I get or what I eat.  I realize this is a symptom of LBD, but I thought it would manifest itself later.  Guess what, later is now!!  No big deal, I just have to pace myself.  Pack a box, nap for an hour, pack another box, another hour's nap.  Sounds like a good theory to me.

Tomorrow, I have my last appointment with my neurologist's office.  That should be interesting.  I will let you know how that goes.  Now, it's nap time!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The hardest parts of leaving!

If you read my post of a few days ago, I told you about my Doctor's view that my symptoms will get because of the move.  He did tell me he thought the move would be good for Linda and me, but he cautioned me to expect a worsening of my symptoms.  I can tell you that I am already seeing issues.  What causes this degradation?  Stress, change, the unknown, the loss of my known safe environment, and the general uprooting that a major move causes.  On my other blog; "The Master Chief's Lair" I wrote about my emotions over leaving my long time best friend and his wife and family.  Leaving my Church family is almost as tramatic form Linda and me.  Tonight, we had a communion service together.  Since this will be our last communion with our Church family, it was bitter sweet to ssay the least.  We have grown greatly in out faith and Bible knowledge under the teaching of ouf our senior Pastor.  He is a gifted teacher and an accomlished Bible scholar.  But there are others in our Church family that have equally help us to grow.  This fellowship is truly a family.  We are one, regardless of good times or bad.  We work together, pray together, bear each others problems, and love each other.  We all know that, no matter what, we can call on our Church family for real help! Not just a cursery: "I will pray for you", but real work.  I remember when I was putting a roof on our home.   missed Church on Sunday because I had so much to do and I hurt so much from the labor of re-roofing a house.  Instead of giving me a hard time for missing Church, the majority of the Church members came to my house after Church and helped me clean up by picking up the old shingles on the groung, raking the yard and sweeping the drive way to ensure there were no stray nails to hurt someone or flatten a tire.  I can give you ten other examples of this fellowship's love in action, but you get the idea!

I will miss this Christian family.  I am not sure if there is another one in the world like them.  I will miss them and there will always be a part of my heart missing because of this move.

You cannot live somewhere for 28 years and not feel the loss when you move away.  Yet, this move will be positive.  Having my son and family close will help Linda and me.  We have been away from them way too long.  I need this family connection now, more than ever.  So, broken heart and all, it's off to Florida we go.    

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Issues to expect from the move to Florida.

I had an appointment with my Primary Care Physician yesterday.  He is a great Doctor and friend.  He was very aggressive in finding my disease and has followed up on every turn of this prognosis.  I told him of our planned move and he was shocked, to say the least!  He offered some insight into what I should expect as far as my LBD is concerned.  He told me to expect a down turn in my disease.  In other words, I should expect to get worse.  My memory will suffer, and I assume other mental issues will decline.  He did not say if that decline would be permanent but I believe he meant it would.  How much of a decline is yet to be seen.  He was also very adamant me not doing yard work.  That was one big reason we sold the last house.  I have lost so much muscle strength and mass that I get exhausted and over heated doing the simplest physical labor.  I could ride a lawn mower, that is no work, but I even sweat and get tired doing that at the church.  My son has assured me that he would take care of the yard work.  I am sure he will.

The preparations to the move seem to overwhelm me also.  Taken in small bites, I do well, but I notice, and my wife does too, that I quickly tire and loose my ability to cope with people, noise, and being away from home.  So, we are doing things in small doses and managing my time as well as we can.  Of course, you can't manage the people who you come in contact with.  Some are very good and some,  not so good!  We went to Best Buy yesterday to purchase a refrigerator, washer, and dryer for the new house.  The associate we worked with was very good!  He was knowledgeable, efficient, and caring.  He made fast work of our order and I was impressed.  

So, all in all, we are handling the move pretty well.  I am excited about the new home and the prospects of being with my son and his family.  I am concerned as to how this will effect me, but life effects me anyway.  So, we will see what we see.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The stress of moving.

I went into visit my friends where I worked before I retired.  I knew today, or more so, this week was probably the last time I would have the ability to visit my old office.  The next few weeks will be filled with the rush of moving preps and packing.  My wife is doing a stellar job of getting our financial affairs in order for the move.  I am taking care of the few items in the apartment that I have to take down, patch, or remove.  Actually, I don't have much to do.  That's good, because I don't think I can do much.  I am increasingly overwhelmed with this move.  Yes, I know it is good for us.  And, yes, I think it will be good for me once we are settled.  However, I am very concerned how this move, the uprooting of me from my routine, will effect the progression of my disease.  Do I think we should not move to Florida?  No, since I think it is good for the entire family.  But, everyone involved needs to know and understand the stress this brings on me.  I will have NO ROUTINE!  Nothing will be as it was!  My friends, doctors, stores, locations of everything in the home and out, will be unknown to me.  My best friends have been close to me for over 30 years!  Now they will be 900 miles away!  I am unnerved and this is the first time I have acknowledged this.

Some of my friends at work voiced their concern for my well being but even they agreed that this was a good move.  Again, I know we are moving for all the right, sensible, reasons.  And I cherish the idea of being close to my son and his family.  I know Linda and I will receive abundant love and support from them.  But, there is still the real issue of how this will effect me, for the short and long term.  I know Linda knows this and has considered it in the move planning.  I also know she will carry a tremendous amount of personal stress and worry over my well being.  This also concerns me.

Another fact to discuss is, as I write this, I am very connected and rational.  However, I have had increasing bouts of decreased rationality and connection to the present.  Even today, during my visit to work, I found myself drifting off into a disconnected state.  It seems the present that surrounds me fades away and I am left in a disconnected no where.  I have often described this as the feeling you get as you get increasingly drunk.  I was a quiet, solemn, drunk.  Very few fights, just a mellow, retraction, from the world around me.  That is exactly how I feel during these times.   I loose track of where I am, what time or even what day it is.  Familiar people become strangers to me.  This sensation or state of mind seems to be increasing in frequency and length.  Again, much like my hallucinations, it does not frighten me, I just find it interesting.    

So, as this move progresses, and I again must tell everyone, i support this move, regardless of the effect on me, I will be interested in how it effects me and how I react to the changes.  More to come.