Monday, November 28, 2016

My caregiver

My wife was writing to one of her work friends back in Virginia Beach and she was describing her life.  A leader in Bible Study Fellowship, a leader in our Churches Women's Fellowship, organizing our Church Library, and working in the Library here at Azalea Trace.  I commented that she was not giving herself credit for being my full time care giver!

She looked at me like I was crazy, but think of it.  She cannot tell me to go to the store and buy this,  because I don't drive.  I cannot run errands, and if I need to go to the doctor, dentist, or anywhere else, she has to take me!  Then there are my meds!  If she does not monitor me, I forget to take them.  Not good.  Additionally, I do not know what I take, so I cannot organize my many meds.  I cannot order them, keep them straight, or deal with the pharmacy or the insurance companies.  As for our budget, forget it!  I have not dealt with that job in years.

She constantly monitors where I am, all the time.  If I stay too late at Billiards on Sunday or Wednesday night, she is checking on me.   She does leave me alone for 3 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.  but I have so much to do on those days and I am so dedicated to accomplishing those chores, she is sure I will not wander.  But if I ever do, she will never leave me alone again!

It is my opinion that my wife vastly underestimates the stress, workload, and responsibilities she has because of my LBD!  But I know what she does and I appreciate her!!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Starts and Fits of LBD

LBD is an interesting disease.  It does not follow a logical progression.  Instead, there are good days and bad days, good hours and bad hours.  Many times, I feel good, even connected to the world around me.  Then, just as quick, I am disconnected, agitated, angry, and disoriented.

Another thing I have learned on my journey, the downturns happen in "Steps" instead of slopes.   I will be going along on a "mental and physical plateau" , a new normal, and then, "BANG!", I drop to a new plateau.

Another thing that is maddening is that as long as I am discussing the past, I seem normal to those around me.  But "Today" is something I am not connected to and seldom discuss or even think of.  Instead, I mentally live in my past, remembering and discussing things that happened to me in the Navy and before.  Some of these events make me happy and others upset me.  But, that is where my mind lives.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sad Day

Just over three years ago, we rescued an almost 13 year old Miniature Poodle named Cherie.  She was in bad shape!  Her human parents had died of old age and her last months with them were spend confined in a cage.  She had numerous medical issues but with the help of a great Vet, she improved.  Since then, she was our constant companion.  She immediately bonded with Marcel, our now 13 year old Miniature Poodle that has been with us a long time.

Cherie always had bladder issues due to degenerative bone disease in her spine.  She actually had 6 vertebrae that were only shadows in the X-Ray.   But, she was spry and loving.   Recently, she has spent much of her time in our bedroom, sleeping in her bed.  She has all but stopped eating, except for human food.   Her bladder issues had also increased.   And cleaning up her urine was a burden on me.  She also developed difficulties walking and climbing steps.  Her back legs caused her pain and the pain medicines the Vet gave her were not working.  She would pace much of the time and this morning she could not lay down comfortably.

This morning, we knew it was time.  So, Cherie died peacefully this morning.

She was a wonderful dog.  She will be missed.  Her passing hurts.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Holiday Season

Christmas and New Years have always been difficult for me.  I do not have the warm, fuzzy, emotions about this time of year.  My Christmases were filled with guilt, arguments, and my forever self questioning of why the man who was my biological father never wanted to have anything to do with me.

That being said, again, this Holiday season will be even more difficult for me.  We are getting ready to move not our one bedroom apartment, after the first of the year.  That requires some downsizing and sorting of old files, belongings, and memories.

Then, my recent blood tests for my doctor's appointment have turned p a potential issue of undetermined origin.  It seems my white blood cell count is elevated.  It may be nothing.  But, add to that a new pain in the left side of my chest when I take deep breaths, a difficulty to get that deep breath, and a history of asbestos exposure and I am sure you can see where I am a little concerned.  Now, this may be nothing, but it did come out of nowhere!

The move to the one bedroom was my idea.  We really expected to get a one bedroom apartment when we moved in, but the large two bedroom was available and we took it, knowing, it was too expensive. Then some unforeseen financial hits happened and we were very tight.  This move will prevent that from happening again, I pray.  The move is actually comforting to me, but the process if maddening and anything but smooth.   I had expected to be moved by Christmas.  But, that will not be the case.  Another frustration.

The new apartment, reminds me f the television show, "Tiny House Nation".  Yes, technically, since the apartment is 612 square feet it is not a Tiny House.   But, downsizing from 1200 to 612 square feet still requires planning, sorting, and reduction of stuff!  Once we are moved, I am sure we will be more comfortable, financially and emotionally.  

So, once again, health issues and frustration issues are driving my LBD into the limit stops.  Oh well, I will probably forget all of this sooner rather than later and all will be right in my world.  But, I thought I would let you know I why I had not written a post in a while and how I was doing.  More later.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Making Adjustments

A number of changes are happening in our lives.  Some directly related to LBD and some related to our future as it is impacted by LBD.

First, we have been on the waiting list to move to a one bedroom apartment here at Azalea Trace.  We originally moved into a 1200 sq ft two bedroom that is magnificent and expensive.  We wanted a one bedroom when we moved but nine were available.  We tried the two bedroom, but it is time to move to the one bedroom and one is now ready for us to remodel.  Not a big remodel, but some to make things the way we want them.  We will save $800 a month!

Why move?  Budget for one.  Our retirement income has dropped ever since we retired due to increased taxes, Medicare part B increases, and increases in the REAL cost of living without any COLA for four years!  So, to ensure our future financial health, we decided to make the downsizing move.

But, there are other benefits.  This big two bedroom is too much for my Wife if I am in Assisted Living/Memory Care.  And that is where I am headed, sooner than later.  So, this move to the One Bedroom will make our future easier logistically and financially.

Now, on to new LBD symptoms.  To say my memory and mental executive function is getting worse is an understatement best illustrated by the following.  I was sitting on the toilet, doing my business, when I got the urge to get up and leave the bathroom.  Mind you, I was not done doing my business!   Messy to say the least.  I actually forgot what I was going, even though it was still going on!

I have also noticed that my irregular heartbeat issue may be getting worse.  How?  I could never tell I had an irregular heartbeat by taking my own pulse.  The other day, I had my had on my until, with my legs crossed and I could feel my pulse stop and start!  It would got for a number of beats and then stop, and then start again.  Interesting.

So, things are progressing as I say.  And all the budgetary and living accommodation changes will make future financial issues easier.  Oh well, as long as I know where my coffee cup is!