In a few days it will be 2012! Happy New Year! I look at the changing of the calender with interest and maybe just a little pensiveness. I just read a new study that presents the idea that Lewy Body Dementia patients have a life expectancy shorter that like aged Alzheimer's patients. I found that interest and a little unnerving. Yes, there are individuals with LBD that have survived 20 or more years. Yet, the study found that the average life expectancy was eight years! Now, don't get all weak knee on me. It is a study, and that is an average. But, it still causes me to pause since I am at the 4 year mark and I am seeing an increase in symptoms and a speeding up of their development. For instance, I have written about the increase in muscle cramping and pain, especially in major muscle groups. Today, while driving on Interstate 10, I had a muscle spasm that caused me to speed up and slow down, maybe 3 miles per hour, just for an instant. No big problem yet, a big problem. I don't tailgate, so it would not effect me there, unless the spasm lasted longer. I drive now, but I wonder how much longer.
Another issue is perspiration. I break out in major sweat just doing minimal labor. Like removing the sheets from the bed. I know from reading that the automatic functions of my body are impacted by the LBD. But, it is still increasing and therefore an issue to look at.
I am more emotionally impacted in the evening, and this has increased somewhat. I need my quiet time. But, I also need to get out and about, even if I don't think I do. For instance, I had no thought of going anywhere today. But, my wife knew I needed a day out. Again, I did not know that. But, I agreed and we left the house at 9 AM! We were out until 4:30 PM, a long day for me. I enjoyed it and she knew it. My wife always knows what is good for me.
Back to the New Year. I am not afraid of the future. I am interested in how it will unfold and I am concerned over the suffering my family will go through as I deteriorate. This is inevitable, but still it causes worry. So, as I look at new medical and scientific information and compare that to what I know I am experiencing, it causes me to pause. When we are young, we want the days to pass quickly as we wait for those milestones in life. Christmas, our driver's license, graduation, even retirement. Now, as I enter the home stretch of life, I am not so anxious for that quick passage of time. Yet, I also know what the future holds. The question is when, not how.
Remember, I write this blog to describe what I am experiencing as a way of release for me and a resource for those sufferers of LBD and their care takers. It truly does help me and I know it helps others because they have told me so. Their communications with me is also a great comfort. I am able to communicate these feelings, emotions, thoughts now. In the future, I am sure my wife will take over the writing to continue this string to it's natural conclusion.