by Sharron Warren

Archive for August, 2015

Another Year of Learning

 

az back to school

WOW, to be a child again.  How many times do we say that?  September is a great month!  The weather has cooled down a little, time to plant some lettuce and get that last summer vacation in.  I’m hoping that I can continue to float around the pool for a few more weeks.  Now, back to the school children.

Starting back to school – fresh New Year, new beginning.  How wonderful it would be to go shopping for new clothes, shoes, lunch totes, backpacks, pencils and paper.  Children seeing old friends and making new ones, hoping they will not have to sit alone at lunch.  They have so much joy, energy and anticipation.  I wish for my two little grand children and my great-grand daughter that this year will be full of joy, learning and socializing.  Life is so short.   We NEED a cure so these children will be able to live Alzheimer’s free.

I think many of us would like to go back in time.  I’d love to see and talk to my parents.  They both left me too soon with so many unanswered questions.  I do not want that to happen to my son, grand children or great grand children.  I want them to ask questions and get to know me, Going Back to School – asking questions and learning.  Like many families I have close family and some not too close and some who I may have lost forever.  I hope that I will get a chance to talk to them while I am able.  I want them to follow this journey with me.  To my family who FOLLOWS me please share this with all the others.  Help them to understand the importance.  One in six people will get Alzheimer’s.  It’s time to learn – just like going back to school.

I met a new neighbor this summer who was shocked to learn that I have Alzheimer’s.  “You can talk so well and it was your outgoing personality that made it easy for us to connect”.  I sent her this:

Since Alzheimer’s is really a memory problem and not a social problem for most of its course, patients often realize that they are having a major problem, and they use their social skills to cover it up. But, this can be so tiring, that it uses up all their resources, and those who are with them afterwards, often see the sad effects of these exhausting efforts. Alzheimer’s patients can “rally the forces”, meaning they can work exhaustively at trying to “keep up” and interact.”

Understanding and accepting Alzheimer’s behavior is very difficult.  Thinking about having Alzheimer’s, watching what I say, remembering names, what I did yesterday, planning and more planning wears me out.  I still love socializing and it is usually the better part of my day.  Speaking of planning, September is a great road trip month.  We already have a few trips planned!

Enjoy the beautiful month of September

september

So, how are YOU feeling Sharron?

Very glad you asked! 

  I have good days and bad days followed by really bad days.  I’d like to change that to many good days with a lot of great days thrown in.  My leg is interfering with those good to great days but we (Doctor and me) may have found the problem and it will be take care of at the end of the year.  This will mean more surgery.  My brain does not need more anesthesia but this surgery has to happen.  Bring it on!

My Alzheimer’s has a way of behaving most of the time then BAM.  My thoughts are all over the place.  I’m having more trouble with my words and getting words out.  This makes it frustrating for Tom to figure out what I’m trying to say.  I am sad that this is happening and sad that Tom has to deal with it.  The word Patience is slowly flying out the window.  For better or for worse???

My mantra most days is to not care about the weird words on my tongue, try to stay quiet, try not to question what I don’t understand, and practice being alone.  This will make life easier for now.

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October 24th is the Alzheimer’s “Walk for the Cure” in Williamsburg.  Last year was my neighborhood’s first walk and we raised over $3,000.  This year I am hoping to top that amount.  We all need to help find a cure.  Big or small, every donation helps.

I have raffle tickets for this beautiful RED 2015 Camry LE – $5 each or 4 for $20!

Alz car raffel

Please contact me if you’d like to join my team, make a donation or buy a raffle ticket.  Remember that joining my team does not obligate you to walk.  It is a show of support.

This link will get you to my Walk Team’s page to join or donate.  If you are not going to be a fund-raiser – donating in my name would be appreciated.

http://act.alz.org/goto/sharronwarren

You can always email me with questions:

slbeach703@hotmail.com

I hope to hear from you!alzzzbanner

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Challenging Changes

IMG_1895North Carolina Sunrise

The next few paragraphs are by Sharron’s husband, Tom. This is my observations on the changes.

Very often when Sharron tells someone of her problem they minimize it, saying things like, “I forget things all the time”. “Just the other day it took me 5 minutes to find my keys.” “You seem so normal.”
Cognitive impairment is not like that. My perception is there are basic mental processing issues. Not affected are things like motor skills; the ability to see and react; and the ability to talk. Thinking processes are affected. Things like logical problem solving, and dealing with the unexpected.
When you lose something, your keys, you think back such as what I was doing when I got out of the car, trace back your steps and find those keys. Now if you have no idea what you did over the past 5 minutes, where would you look?
On the subject of communication, I remember one day in 2011 when I told Sharron she is using too many pronouns. If you cannot think of someone’s name, you can just say “she”. If you cannot think of an item, you say “pass that to me”. In 2014 I heard “pass me the flipper over thingy” and “That temperature measuring device.” Now in 2015 the word challenge is progressing to sentences. Imaging getting half way through a sentence and forgetting how to end it. The loss of words is frustrating for both of us.
We need to separate conversation into 2 different types. There is what I call ‘shooting the breeze’ like friends just sitting around chatting; then there is ‘direct’ communication, where information is conveyed to someone. When Sharron is shooting the breeze everything seems normal. Words flow; there is a normal two way interaction. Sharron can be telling a wonderful story of our last trip, but her color commentary will have fractured some facts. I like to say she can be talking about or trip to Florida when we actually went to Georgia.
Direct communication is much more challenging. Because recall of recent events has been confounded, passing information that you have had that pain for one week becomes twisted to something like ‘a couple of months’. To address this Sharron is writing many events in her journal or day planner.
Even with the challenges we still live our lives. We have overcome a serious leg fracture, and are back to living. Last week was at the beach.  We have plans for more travel in place. We are not letting Alzheimer’s control our lives.