Monday, April 30, 2012

I was told this move would cause issues.

We have been in Florida for six months and for the most part, it has been good. The family time is great!  The winter was warm and I seem to be getting acclimated to the area.  But Florida has it's own issues too.  When I used to talk about moving to Florida, before my son and his family moved here, my wife would rattle off a list of negative issues about living in Florida.  Bugs as big as cats, snakes, BIG snakes, sink holes, hurricanes, are just the beginning of the list.  Of course, when the grand sons moved here, we moved.  Yesterday we spent around the pool at my sons house.  We came home about 8PM.  As we drove home, we noticed swarms of bugs in the air!  When we got home, one of my neighbor's garage door would not close because the swarming bugs were blocking the safety sensors!

WHen we got home, in the garage, our door would not successfully close in power either.  I looked at the bugs and I thought they were flying ants.  Then we went into the house and noticed hundreds of these bugs crawling all over.  On the wall in our bedroom, there were bugs boring holes in the dry wall!  They were termites!!  I called the company I have the pest contract with, an absolute requirement in Florida, and they came out today.  We have Formosa Termites!  I can't get normal north American termites.  I have to get the exotic types!   The pest control folks are taking care of convincing the termites to move some where else!

Florida, not just a state, it's an adventure!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New issues

A few new issues have surfaced that I wish to bounce off of you, the readers and care takers.  One is an issue I have written about before, my blood pressure.  It has been running consistently high.  My GP had me purchase a good, automatic, blood pressure machine to take readings daily.  Either that machine is reading high or I am about to pop a gasket!   Sometimes I feel like my head is pressurized and other times I feel normal.

Another issue that may be associated with blood pressure is that I have very low energy levels and I get exhausted doing the easiest tasks.  Tonight I moved the sprinkler hose and actually got winded.  On the other hand, I can walk with my wife for 30-45 minutes with no ill effects.  So, I don't know what is going on.  The GP seems to think I am OK for now.  At least he did not seemed too concerned when I saw hi last week.  SO, I guess we will just wait and watch.

But, if anyone has similar issues, please let me know.  You are my support group!  Thanks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Planning for the future.

I have observed individuals suffering from numerous diseases over my life.  Recently, with my own diagnosis of LBD I have observed other individuals with dementia related diseases and most of them share one issue, they had no planning for their future.  Yes, I know that no one thinks they will have a terminal disease when they are young.  As a young person, we consider ourselves "Bullet Proof"!  But as we age, we find out we are not.  But planning is your best friend for the future.  Purchasing long term care insurance when you are young ensures the cost is lower and the coverage is better.  Saving for future retirement early will allow your interest to compound and your investment to multiply many times over.  These are concepts we all hear about but pay little attention to.  We would rather drive that Corvette, have the big house, or take that vacation to Tahiti.  But those luxuries will not be there when you need cafe in your senior years.

My wife and I have toured many Continuing Care Communities and attended many Senior Health Fairs in order to learn more about our options.  We have also attended Alzheimer's Association's events and have gained a wealth of information from that wonderful organization.  Your city may have a senior services bureau like Virginia Beach does.  All of these resources help you plan your future.  But the best information I can offer you is to Learn, plan and act on your future.

Some people question us about our proactive approach to our future living conditions.  They would rather react to the circumstances of life that being as prepared as they can be.  But trust me, it is hard to get insurance after the doctor tells you that you have a terminal condition.  It is like trying to get car insurance to cove an accident you have already been involved in!  So, plan ahead, as far as you can.

Another area of importance is Elder Law.  Who will make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated?  Who will handle your financial matters if you cannot.  These are big issues when the individual is medically incapacitated.  Some people tell me; "My wife will do it."  Maybe, but in some states selling houses requires a power of attorney specifically stating the sale of real estate.  Again, do your research BEFORE you need this help.  Contact the Alzheimer's Association for more information.

Lastly, discuss this information with you family.  Let them know your wishes while you can and get them written down in a legal document.  DO your research and protect your rights as well as your family's rights.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I realize more than anyone what I am going through with my LBD and the other medical issues that have came along like my Hypothyroidism, a little bit of asthma and allergies, hearing loss from my Navy days, a constant ringing in my ears from the Navy, my skin condition from the hydraulic fluid in the Navy and other minor issues.  I am not complaining, just stating the facts as they are.

I am also still dealing with the emotions of having a degenerative neurological disease.  I have not fully dealt with this issue, as my past neurologist informed me and I am in agreement, finally.  I am also dealing with the emotional shock of moving from Virginia Beach to Florida.  Not that I don't like being with my family.  I do!  But I am away from everything I was used to!  All my friends, the Navy, my Church family, my Church duties, and all that I knew for almost 30 years.  I can't get anywhere here.  I am lost when I leave the house, just near.  And I have not found a friend in the six months I have been here.  No Navy friends to talk too, no shooting friends, and no where to shoot!  Hell,  might as well take up knitting!

I always read the obituaries from the Tidewater area.  Last week, the second Admiral that I worked for at SURFLANT passed away.  He was 80.  Admiral Donnell lived a full life but his death still hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was thinking about calling him recently.  I wish I had.  We had been in contact through my Civil Service career after we both left the Navy.  He was always supportive of me and I appreciated him.

Of late, I have been feeling like something has been taken from me.  I have a sense of loss.  I feel like I am drained and without energy and interest.  This overwhelming emotion is beginning to consume me.  Yes, my Wife and I go places.  Any where she wants to!  Truthfully, if she did not want to go out, I would stay home!  There is no where I want to go.

Today, my Grandson and his friend mowed my lawn.  My Grandson's and Son and Daughter in Law are always helping me.  I got to take a couple of turns on the riding mower, but they did the majority of the work including the trimming.  My wife makes sure I don't do too much or get over tired.  She follows Doctor Dowdy's instructions to me.

After the boys were done, we took them back to the house and we had a moment to visit with my Daughter in law who has recently had a heart attack.  She is doing well but is still dealing with the recovery process.  Of course, this event came as a total shock to me and has served to add to my emotional state.

The bottom line is, I put on a brave face, stand tall, and act tough.  But on the inside I m falling apart.  When I am alone with my thoughts, I suffer from this overwhelming feeling of loss and despair.  I used to make it through cruises by projecting my thoughts to the end of the cruise.  In doing this, the events of the day, the stress of doing my job on a Navy ship, seemed to speed by.  Now, I cannot do this.  There is no "End of the Cruise" and my "Home Coming" will be when I go home to be with the Lord!