The past 3+ months have been the most difficult months of my life. Worse than my ice skating concussion (never skated again). While my life recently has been all consuming with my broken, but healing leg, there is not a day that goes by that I wonder how my brain is doing. Pain medication is a must but what is it doing to my brain. I know many medications can affect your cognitive function. I am thankful it does not cause tangles and plaques but any decline in my cognitive function just adds to the confusion and my ability to function fully. Oh Brain……… so complexed and so amazing.
I feel that the toll physically and psychologically of the pain I have suffered has worn me down. I feel that my brain may have suffered. Quite frankly I feel a normal brain going through this pain, isolation and sitting all day would suffer. I do try to keep my brain busy with my beginner knitting; some water coloring and today Tom and I will do some planting of my new Hibiscus, a center piece of mixed plants for outside and some veggies and herbs. It’s important for all of us with Alzheimer’s, as it is with all people, to keep your mind engaged and stay physically active.
Things that make me happy:
Because of my readers own religious and political beliefs I made a promise to myself to not include either in my Blog. I want to say one thing and that will be the end. I am glad I found my new church as it has helped me more than they will know (yes, that’s where I took my fall) and I do not like politics. HA!!! I am also glad I have a few friends to talk to, a super Son, my In-Laws, my wonderful and my overloaded, non complaining husband and my Villa neighbors. All of you know who you are so from the bottom of my heart – Thank You. To one of my support volunteers who is going through his own struggles you mean the world to me and you are my greatest hugger. I miss you.
On to the Alzheimer’s brain.
I did not have time to research or to think about asking of the effects of anesthesia on the brain during the first surgery. My first and second surgery had to be done so I thought that outcome was out of my control. I did talk to the Anesthesiologist for my second surgery and he suggested some alternatives. The third time I was put under anesthesia I asked for the same thing I had during my second surgery. I read many articles like the one below and decided the procedure needed to be done. I could not worry about losing more cognitive function. So many things are out of our control.
"The majority of patients typically come through surgical and anesthetic experiences quite intact. However about 10% of people of over age 65 have some problems postoperatively (i.e. following surgery). There are two types of problems: 1) delirium, which is a sudden decline in attention, focus, perception and thinking, causing a person to appear confused and out of touch with his or her surroundings; and 2) post operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) which includes problems with memory, attention, concentration and planning (also known as executive function.)"
Many of us in Early Stage Alzheimer's generally know when something is not right. We forget a word, we substitute a word (mine are a little off the wall) but many of us rely on our Care Partner to guide us. I may be different from others as I want to know when I've made a foo-paa, especially a funny one. A little humor on these long days goes a long way.
This is an article written about a Music Wellness Program.
The persons living with dementia and their care partners experienced JOY, PEACE and SOCIAL SUPPORT by following the HealthRHYTHMS Group Empowerment Drumming Protocol. I’m so GRATEFUL to facilitate this wonderful group and to allow RHYTHM, STRUCTURE and CREATIVITY to enhance their quality as they are THRIVING and LIVING life in the PRESENT moment.
This Music Wellness program was conducted at St. Timothy Lutheran Church as part of the Early Alzheimer’s Support and Education (EASE) Socialization program. St. Timothy Lutheran Church received a Community Impact Council Grant to provide socialization for individuals and care partners in the Early Alzheimer’s Support Education (EASE) program through the Alzheimer’s Association.
This program is for individuals with Early to Middle Stage Dementia with their Care partners and other Senior in general, with the realization that we all have symptoms of aging. This program focuses on healthy memories from the past to be brought to the forefront to create new and happy memories with the Care partner, which they do not always have with the process of the disease.
The session included an overview of the benefits of group empowerment drumming: increase socialization, decrease in stress, increase in the natural killer cells in our bodies to enhance the quality of life, and decrease sense of isolation. The purpose was to “Swing into SPRING with RHYTHM” and to feel and experience the Benefits and Power of MUSIC as a LIFE ENHANCEMENT TOOL.
The session included an introduction, wellness exercise, icebreaker (shaker pass), rhythmic naming, ABC of drumming, group empowerment drumming, entrainment, wellness exercise and closing comments.
The beat and pulse of the drum and the laughter of the session intrigued other church staff members to join and participate! Reflective comments from the group included “JOY, Energized, Relieved, Relaxed, Enlightened, Wonderful and FUN”. Wouldn’t this be great for you or a loved one with Alzheimer’s?
As you can see, I am improving every day. I can now partial weight bear – I’m still not sure how much weight that is but I push down on the bad foot until it hurts and figure I hit that partial thing. I now have a walker with wheels so I can zoom along but my stamina lasts about 5 minutes so we usually use the wheelchair for long trips. My main goal is to drive so I will do anything physical therapy asks so I can get to that point. I’m hoping in about 2 months to be strong enough to hit the break. There are a lot of bad drivers out there. Our neighbors and family have been great about taking us to the grocery store and physical therapy but I’m itching to go shopping any time I want. When ready we are heading on a road trip – a short one but I’ve seem enough of my house. We need to hit the road as we do not know with this disease will rip my license right out of my hand. A fear we all have.
Enjoy the Spring as Summer is coming soon.