Monday, April 30, 2018

Another piece of me is GONE!

Today, at Noon (CST) I turned my Driver’s License in and became a documented non-driver.  I have been driving since I was 13 and license to drive since I was 16.  That is 50+ years of driving!  My Florida Driver’s license had “Safe Driver” on the bottom!   I am depressed  and upset over this, but I do realize it is the right thing to do for many reasons.

But, it is just another part of me that exists no longer.  I have listed many of these things before.  And YES, most LBD and other Dementia patients have to deal with this issue.  That is why I am addressing it.  It will most likely impact each of us the same way.  I feel personally diminished!  Less of a man!  More unable to do for myself.  Sound familiar?

But continuing to drive would put my wife and me is extreme legal jeopardy!  Do you realize that is you have a Dementia diagnosis and the Doctor has advised or directed you NOT TO DRIVE, and you continue to drive and have an accident, your Insurance is invalid!?!   They do not have to cover the damages because you did not follow the doctor’s directions.  Yes, you can get a lawyer and say the doctor did not notify DMV to have your license revoked, but you are the one responsible form your actions!

I did not like doing what I did.  But, it is the right thing to do.  Yes, I am sulking right now and I doubt I will ever be happy with this decision,  But I would have been even more unhappy if I continued to drive and caused an accident!


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Why am I in Assisted Living?

I get asked that all the time!  Like it is anyone’s business except Linda and me.  But, I was sitting here in the Cabin, playing computer games to relax and this post came into my mind.  I get very agitated and angry with people’s attitude towards me.  Azalea Trace is full of “Landed Gentry” people that are convinced their solid waste does not have an odor!  Here in Assisted Living, there are many folks that are nice and some that look at me like I have dog poop all over my body.  These snooty folks have gone to the nurses and asked “Why is HE here?”  Some have even asked me and then when I explain why to them they tell me I am wrong and there is nothing wrong with me!!  Yes, one of these days, someone is going to get a knuckle sandwich..   I can see it coming.

But, I am here because three medical professionals, the LIng Term Insurance inspector Nurse, my wife, and myself, know this is the best place for me.  The question you may ask is why.

For instance today, my wife was out of the apartment and I was at my Memory Support Group.  A group Linda and I established!  When I returned to the apartment where my wife now lives, she was gone and I did not know where she was!  I was upset and agitated over this.  When she returned she told me she had told me this morning and last night she was going to help with the day BSF class!  I remembered that when she reminded me, but that did not help before she came back.  Leaving me alone is not a good idea.  I get upset and worried.

Also, some things in my life continue to change because of LBD.  For instance, I do not drive.  As a matter of fact, I have an appointment to turn my driver’s license into Florida DMV on Monday!  I am not happy about this, but I have not driven in a long time.  So, it makes sense when my brain is functioning near normal.  I also cannot have normal bowel movement anymore because of Autonomic Dysfunction.  And I am unable to perform sexually for the same reason.  Oh, and my BP and body temperature fluctuate wildly during the day!  And I get dizzy when I stand up or lay down.  And I have difficulty walking when I first get out of a seated position.   Not to mention loud noises, tension, and other normal things make me terrible agitated, angry, and almost violent.  Then there is the issues with my vision.  I hallucinate, have distance vision issues, and when I ride in a scar, I want to verbally attack everyone around us!!

I no longer watch any news programs, dramas, military shows, or movies because they agitate me.  I cannot go to a movie theater because they have surround sound and it is pitch black in there.  Those two things turn me I to a raging basket case!

Yep, I am normal and need to be living in my own home away from any care!!
 
One point, my GP, Neurologist, and Psychologist all have told Linda and I that I am very brave in the manner I am handling the progression of my LBD.  That helps me know we did the right thing.  But, as Jackie Gleason often said; “ One of these days, ONE OF THESE DAYS,  POW!!!  Right in the kisser!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

"Touch" Hallucinations

I have had all sorts of hallucinations since I was first diagnosed.  Sight, touch, sound, and smell Hallucinations have been my constant companions.  Yes, they increase and subside in intensity and frequency.  But they have never gone away.  Sometimes I have one one type or maybe two types occurring and then they subside and others take their place.  Recently, touch hallucinations have taken the forefront.  For the last week, I have been woke up numerous times by the feeling of something or someone walking on my pillow!  Since Zeus the Wonder Dog does not spend nights with me in the Cabin, it can't be him, but he is what I reach out for when I feel my pillow depressing next to my head.

It is somewhat unnerving to say the least.  To be startled out of a sound sleep by the feeling of your pillow being depressed as if someone or something is walking on it!!  

In the past, hallucinations have seldom frightened me or put me on edge.  These have.  Must be a new phase of LBD development.  Joy!

Monday, April 9, 2018

A well planned day the went astray

My Wife and I had today all planned out.  First, my Psychologist visit, then go to the next county and turn in my Driver’s License, then lunch, a haircut, and a visit to our GRandon to get some Skype training.  It did not work out that way.  We arrived at the Psychologist’s office with 20 minutes to spare.  But, they messed up and did not have the appointment scheduled for me, even though my Wife had the appointment card!  OK, I was angry, but I kept it in.  Then to the Tax Collecter’s Office in the next county.  The informed us since I did not live in Santa Rosa County, I could not turn in my Driver’s Liscense to them!  OK, I lost it!  This is the state of Florida!! Not the state of Escambia County or Santa Rosa County!!  What a stupid way to run a state wide system.  I was screaming at my Wife to get me out of Florida!!!  This state is run by uneducated Hicks missing their front teeth!

So, now I am agitated, angry, cussing, and my Wife is trying to deal with all of this.  I am screaming at cars around us!  But, we call the only Men’s barber shop in the five county area that makes up the panhandle of Florida to see if one of the only TWO barbers that are skilled at cutting regular Men’s hair are available to cut many hair.  I was in luck, if we got there in 20 minutes, before the only barber working today went to his three hour lunch, I could get a haircut!  We were successful and I got a good haircut.

Then, we went to a nice lunch since we were too late to make lunch here at Azalea.  After lunch, I was spent and so was Linda, so we came home.  One home, we tried to make sense of the day, and then the people installing the retrofitted fire sprinkler system came to our apartment!  After they, I went back to Assisted Living to decompress.  But, the Azalea Bill was there!!

It was a shock!  And It was all I could do to keep my cool.  Not that I was surprised.  I expected it to be large, since we had to pay for my Assisted Living room above our normal rent until the long term insurance kicked in.  But, the LTC folks had not yet informed us if they approved my request to use the insurance we had paid on for 10 plus years.  So, I went back to my Wife’s apartment and shocked her with the bill!  She then called the LTC folks and found out all was approved!  Praise God!!

So, the day turned out OK.  I am relaxing in the Cabin, my Wife is working on Poems or BSF.  And I may be able to sleep tonight.   I HAVE HAD A ROUGH DAY.   And so has Linda!  I am so sorry my Love.  Thanks for being so understanding.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Tough Day

Today brought some of my major LBD issues to the forefront.  They are beginning the installation of retrofitted sprinklers in our apartment.  The one my wife lives in now.  I wanted to be there for the first briefing of what was to be done, but Ialso had my Dementia Support Group at 10AM..  The meeting was scheduled for 9AM.  I was there at 8:15 AM!  The construction noise in apartments around us began at 8AM!  By 9:15, no one had came for the scheduled appointment!!  I was ready to explode!!  My wife, calmly suggested I go get ready for my 10AM meeting.  I left, but I was agitated all morning!

Today, we also finally took me off the auto insurance.  Yes, I was told not to drive by my Neurologist a while ago, and I don’t.  But, I still have my driver’s license.  We made the decision to turn my DL in.  Wow, is that a psychological punch in the gut!

Both of these issues along with some things that came up at group today really focused me on where I REALLY am.  I put on a pretty good show in public most of the time.  But, I am really not that well!  And today, I admitted it public and  and to myself.  Both difficult things to do.

I am not the self-reliant, tough guy, I used to be.  I am s shell of my former self, and I do not like myself this way.  Difficult day!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Am I happy in Assisted Living?

Many people, including residents of Independent Living here at Azalea Trace have asked me, sincerely;  Am I happy in Assisted Living?  My resounding answer is; YES!!

Why?  Well, the rooms are large, comfortable, clean, modern, quiet, well lite, have large windows, and exceed my needs, wants, and desires.  Then there is the staff.  They also exceed my needs, wants and desires!!  The people that work here have our happiness and health on their mind 24/7/365!!  The are friendly, helpful, and ready to help in ANY way!

Yes, there is at least one person in Willow Brook Court, what Azalea Trace calls Assisted Living, that is not happy.  That individual would not be happy in Buckingham Palace with an unlimited staff at their becking call and an unlimited budget!!  There are some folks that just refuse to be happy no matter what you do!

I feel at home here.  I feel welcomed by the entire staff here.  And I know I am cared for here.  I can ask for nothing else!  Thanks to ACTS and Azalea Trace for my wonderful care.  I am truly blessed!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Cabin Update

The last week in the Cabin has been good.  I am more relaxed, less agitation, and I have only had one or two anger outbursts.  I spend each night, from about 7 pm until 8 am in the Cabin and the surrounding community.  I also eat most of my meals here.  Sometimes, my Wife eats lunch or dinner with me.  Last night, Linda wanted me to spend the night with her in our apartment.  I did and I noticed more agitation and more irregular heart beating when I went to bed.  Of course, there is much more noise and commotion in Independent Living, at least in the corridor we live on.  And, Linda kept her normal nightly routines of working on projects when I am needing to go to bed.  That is not her fault.  I need to go to bed earlier than her or most folks!

I still am convinced we made the right decision for the right reasons.  We have not yet heard from the long term insurance folks.  I expect that reply this week.

On another note;  I have had a continuing problem with constipation.  I have been taking Myrilax.  It did work, but much slower than advertised.  My Neurologist recommended it, so I feel safe using it.  But, these issues need to be tracked in Dementia patients!!  Becoming uremic or septic is a big issue for us with Dementia.

More later.