Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day

I have lost many friends and shipmates in the wars and police actions of the last 40 years or so.  Saying "Happy Memorial day" is blasphemy to me.  One of my forgotten Shipmates, GMG1 Robert "Red" Mills was killed on the USS Benjamin Stoddard, off the coast of Northern Vietnam in 1972 while the ship was in a gun battle with a NVA shore battery.  The President, a lying bastard named Johnson, who trumped up a lie called the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, sent ships north of the DMV to engage the NVA.  In any case, Red had a foul bore and HOT GUN, and in trying to get the MK 42 5"/54 Rapid Fire gun mount back in action, it exploded, killing him and three others.

He has been on my mind for quite a while and I decided to call his widow.   She remembered me! We talked last night and had a great reunion.  She made the best of his death by going to college and becoming a teacher.  She taught for 30 years and then retired!!  It did me good to talk to her and it did her good to be remembered.

Red never got any heroism awards.  His name is on the Vietnam Memorial and his widow and sons were provided for, as they should have been.  But Memorial Day is much more than picnics, and a day off to me.  It is a day to remember those who gave the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE for our freedom!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Hallucination and anger update

Nobody who ever knew me would describe me as easy going, calm, or unemotional.  However, I could keep my cool If the situation demanded it.  After I retired from the Navy totally, I did calm down somewhat.  I have had some very emotional, violent, episodes that I am not proud of..  But, I have tried very hard, to control my temper because I knew it would get worse as the LBD progressed.  Well, the LBD has progressed and my anger, agitation, and explosive episodes have EXPLODED!!

Yesterday, the FEDEX delivery driver came speeding past the dog park doing at least 50 mph!  The campus speed limit is poster everywhere, at 15 mph,  He had just gone over a speed bump at 50 MPH!!!  I had seen his individual before and at that time, I could not chase him because I had the dog with me.  But this time, I was alone, doing some maintenance in the dog park!!!  I beat feet, cane and all, to the administration building where I knew he was going.  The landscaping person bear me ther in his small cart.  He had just nicely told the individual the speed limit was 15 and he was speeding.  Then, Lee, the landscaping person, tole toeh second in command here, who was outside of the admin building about the incident.  When I came on the scene, the FEDEX driver was getting mouthy with Lee and the manager!  I exploded!!  I told the FEDEX driver his day was about to get really bad.  Then the DIrector of Azalea Trace came on the scene and she took over.  Well, she took control of me and calmly walked me into the admin building.  She told me she would take care of the situation and I should go to my Cabin and relax.  I knew she was right and she handled me so respectfully and gently I wanted to do what she wanted.  But, I really wanted to kick that moron’s ass too.  But, I was a good boy.

These event happen more and more and I now feel I need to isolate myself from most group events.  Recently I also. Got agitated at a Town Hall meeting here.  Not a good thing.

Some of my agitation and anger is coming from the people at the Federal Long Term Insurance office that are handling my claim.   The have not paid us yet and now owe us two months,  We have had to pay Azalea Trace out of our pocket.  That cannot go on much longer.  Every time our bill gets submitted they find fault with it.  Either they are morons or Azalea Trace cannot submit a simple billing to and insurance company.  Either way, I am pissed about this issue 24/7!!

There there is the increase in hallucinations.  I saw a new Chrysler/Fiat Jeep Grand Cherokee in our drop off area when I was coming back from the dog park with Zeus yesterday.  It was a bright, clear day.  I clearly saw the Jeep, it was white, shiny , and I recognized it as one of the new residents.  But, even though I was only 50 feet from where I saw the Jeep, before we got to the Jeep it disappeared!  It did not drive off, or park in a space.  It just wasn’t there anymore!

This stuff is wearing on me!!    

Friday, May 18, 2018

FEAR!!!

Let me be truthful.  I am a lot farther into LBD than most people understand.  My wife let on in her recent post that she has seen this.  She also told me today.  I was a fearless Navy Master Chief Gunner’s Mate.  Or, at least I could control and hide my fears.  That is what bravery really is;  being able to control your fears and do what is expected of you, regardless of those inner fears.  Well, now, I cannot control my fears.  For instance, travel.  Two years ago we took a trip to the ARK in Kentucky, then to Cleveland to see my family, and then to Iowa to see Linda’s family.  All went well except our credit card got “HACKED”!!  No issue, Navy Federal handled it brilliantly.  The trip went off without an issue.

Last year we planned a trip to Virginian Beach.  I backed out!  This year, my wife is trying to get me back to Virginia Beach one more time, to see very good friends.  It will be good for me.  But, I am overwhelmed with fears that I cannot control.  First and foremost, I no longer am licensed to drive and I am a terrible passenger!  Things seem much closer to me than they actually ware and I am continually telling my wife to stop, watch out!  Or I am ducking because I am sure we are going to be hit!  And that is just on a trip to the store at the corner!  Then there is Zeus!  He does not ride well, so far.  Maybe he will settle down on the road.  Then there is the credit care issues of getting “Hacked”.  Then there is money issues.  Our Federal Long Term Insurance is being difficult so far.  Then there is where to stay with a dog, or not and the cost, and eating, and who the see, and the stress of being out of my environment.  I am overwhelmed and frightened.

LBD has made me a prisoner in my own body!  And I do not know how to deal with this issue, or even “IF” I can deal with this issue.  I never thought I would be so crippled with fear.  I remember how disoriented and frightened my Father in Law go when we took him out for a meal from his Nursing Home.  He had Alzheimer’s before all the new drugs and understanding.  I am now my Father in Law.  Disoriented, lost in my own mind, fearful, paralyzed by fright, and unable to make a decision!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Linda's Take on Assisted Living

Several viewers of Don’s blog have requested that I describe my take on Don’s move to Assisted Living. I have been mulling around in my head trying to form a response that is truthful and neither sugarcoats, downplays or is overly critical of the situation. 

            Don thought about assisted living a lot before he made his choice to actually move.  We would talk about it listing pros and cons and each time I felt we both were on the same track of remaining in our one-bedroom apartment at Azalea continuing to cope with changes as they occurred.   It was frustrating for me because I felt strongly that Don & I were safe and togetherand that was all that mattered.  My preference is Don and I together, braving whatever comes together.  

            I remember the times when Don was on sea duty, with 6 to 8 months cruises; in one week, out the next; duty days; broken gun mounts that required 24-hour days to fix.  We always found time to be together whenever he was in port.  Sometimes he would call at 2:00am and I would grab up our son, get in the car, pick Don up and have him back at the ship at 5:30am. It was our togetherness, our connection to each other.  We were at the center and everything else came second.   That is how I felt and still feel about us. I want us together in the same apt. us against the world.  But… that is not what is good for Don.

            So now.  At first, I felt abandoned.  It wasn’t our togetherness he needed but solitude.  How could that be?

            Lewy Body Dementia is a hard taskmaster.  It demands more and more of Don (and each person who suffers from it) until it fully consumes.  What Don was telling me and I wasn’t hearing is that he needed a quiet cocooning space to not only reenergize but to hang on to his inner self.  From what I can comprehend with Lewy Body life is different in ways that we who don’t have it can barely understand.  A simple everyday phone call is a jarring strident noise that disrupts the psyche and sets him on edge.  Add to that the tv, the commercials that come on in loud decibels, the dog whining, my voice droning on about things that overwhelm him, residents going down the hallway conversing loudly.  Cacophony, chaos, winding him up like a tight spring - with no way to vent before an overwhelming explosion occurs.  Life with Lewy Body is a quiet hell of inner turmoil… how could I continue to hang on to “you need to be with me” when Don needed a quiet, safe place to detox in solitude, to renew, refresh, bring back as much harmony, serenity, and quietude as is possible.  

            So, I have come to terms with the change.  Because I love Don I accept and feel grateful that there is a place Don has that is his lifeline.  Because Don loves me he is willing to leave his place of peacefulness to brave the turmoil of everyday life to be with me.  We have created our togetherness, different from the Navy times, but still our togetherness that is the center of us.  We are and will always be tuff together!!

            There is still rough road ahead.  Lewy Body is like the flowing lava we see as Kilauea erupts and consumes everything in its path.  I believe Don’s hanging on to his inner self will be harder and harder to do. There is the possibility Don won’t always recognize me. There will be fear, anger, loneliness, sadness, how will we cope with all that possible horror?  
            I have to trust that God knows best and will cocoon Don with His presence and trust that God in His mercy will help me through the future horrors. For now…   I cherish this time together. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

A GREAT story about Robin Williams' battle with LBD

How Robin Williams was being Torn Apart

Click on the link above to read the recent story about Robin Williams fight with LBD.   The more his battle is publicized, the more people will begin to understand our battles.  Please read this and pass it on tho others.
  

Thursday, May 3, 2018

More hallucinations

The other night, I was asleep in the Cabin.I was awakened by the sound of heavy rain on my window and on the roof.  After a few minutes I decided to get up and look out my window into the parking lot and check on the rain.  I was not forecast to rain but here in East Lower Alabama, the weather guesses is seldom right.  In anywise, it was pouring out!!  No thunder or lightening, just a frog strangler rain.  I went back to bed after watching the rain for a few minutes.

The next morning, I looked out of my window after opening the blinds and the ground was bone dry! The path over to my Wife's apartment was bone dry!  Obviously it did not ran the night before.  O well I enjoyed a rain store in my mind.