by Sharron Warren

Archive for October, 2015

THE COLOR OF AUTUMN IS PURPLE

a walk blog nov

If you are receiving this by EMAIL please click on link below to see the complete BLOG.

https://sharronwarrensjourneywithalzheimers.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/the-color-of-autumn-is-purple/

Loneliness has been found to be linked to mental decline – therefore I am glad that I am able to be social.  I continue to PLAY a mean social game but I have to admit that I really miss our community pool.  I did my best socializing in that water, floating on a noodle.  Wintertime seems to be more for hibernation – I need to fix that.  Add that to my list.

I also try (word is TRY) daily to cut my losses, things I can and can not do and carry on the best I can.  Some days are harder than others, as most days are for all of us.  My attitude is that I hate to cut anything and I continue the best I can.  No matter how far you are down – there is a way up.

My ways up are not very graceful as most of my losses this year involve my “healed” leg.  Healed to the Dr. and a daily pain for me that flows over to Tom.  Physical pain on top of the Alzheimer’s can some days be too much to bear.  I won’t describe the outcome but think of a toddler throwing a BIG tantrum.  Get the picture?

I have had a wonderful and busy October.  I’ve been so lucky to enjoy dinners out with neighbors and friends – think ALL YOU CAN EAT Sushi! UGH for some and divine for me and Tom.

When I talk about a dinner out with neighbors that included a big slab of beef do not talk to me about my diet.

A very special meal was at a friend’s house with take out Chinese and 3 hours of wonderful and funny conversation.

Quote, just for ME:

“For most of my life I was (and still am, I admit) a “busy person.” I pretty much came out of the womb with a list of things on my to-do-list, and as I got older that to-do list became longer… and longer… and longer….” How long I can make a list is not for me to decide but I am praying….for a long time. It’s the making of the list, not completing it now that makes me content.” Just ask Tom. He works so hard to help me complete my lists.

I worry about my restlessness and wonder if this is what it is going to be like for the rest of my life.  I have this need to fill my days with something—anything—so I wouldn’t have to face absolutely nothing.

BUT…..

A wise person once said, “Don’t just do something, sit there.”  So take some time out of your busy schedule each day to just BE.

No computer, no phone, no Internet, no TV, no music, no reading, no talking. There are just you and your own crazy thoughts.  You might be surprised at what you find lurking in the deepest corners of your mind. Peace, joy, forgiveness, clarity?  There’s only one way to find out.

Meditation makes you realize it’s not so much the silence as it is the not being around people that’s so profound.  No human interaction, a human break if you will, is its own simple kind of joy.

a yoga for blog Nov

Mediation:

Find a quiet time and place (come to my house)

  1. Sit comfortably
  2. Focus on your breathing
  3. When your mind wonders bring it back _ ha, too funny for some of us
  4. Start at about 10 minutes working to 20 minutes.

So Sharron how are you doing?

My emotions are all over the place and I can snap in a second.

I get angry at myself for not being able to remember something.

I get angry at Tom for not being able to figure out what I want.

I get upset with new procedures such as figuring out a new phone or computer.

So far I can keep myself under control in public.  If I feel uncomfortable, ready to have a meltdown or are in a too crowded area I tell Tom and we leave.

This is the disease.  I am not always in control.

I want you to know how I feel

Let me be independent. Let me do as much as possible

Love me as you always did.

Speak directly to me.

Talk to me or read to me. I do not want to lose the ability to talk.

Loving touches are so important.

Continue to let me, or help me do hobbies or activities I enjoy.

I want a say on who helps out – I chose who I do and do not want around when I start progressing.

I want reliable help that I like.

Let me take care of myself while I can – see friends, go out to lunch or dinner.

Keep me engage with family and friends – even if I do not know their names. Have friends and family visit.

Make me feel safe – where I live now.

Celebrate the small things I can do.

Do not treat me like a burden.

Talk about how I want the end to be. Tom and I have talked about staying home as opposed to a facility, what measures I want at the end, who I want with me.

One thing to remember is that I am still a person. When I can no longer remember names of family and friends and you talk in front of and around me like I am not there you do not know what is going on in my brain.  I may well understand what you say.

Be respectful   Preserve my dignity   Treat me as an adult

Speaking all of the above Tom and I made Banana Bread and Muffins today along with a big pot of chicken soup.  He is so kind and patient and helps me do the things that I enjoy.

I look forward to a couple of vacations this month. A cabin on the Shenandoah River and a trip to the Caribbean.

a blog campfire Nov

THANK YOU

I’d like to thank Brookdale for including me in their Kick-Off activities and Williamsburg Landing for giving Tom & I the wonderful opportunity of speaking to their Alzheimer’s Support group, staff and residents.

Talking keeps me going.

I thank the Alzheimer’s Association for again asking me to talk at the Williamsburg Walk Opening Ceremony. My pleasure as always.

I also want to thank my WALK team for making October 24th so awesome for me.  Most of the team are my neighbors at the Villas at Five Forks.  Thanks also to a super woman from my church for pitching right in and 3 people from my support group.  All of you have a special place in my heart.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jms9E31A-xQ&feature=youtu.be

a walk 6 2015

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SUMMER’S END AND PUMPKINS

pumpkin

Well, not quite so for us beach lovers!  Memories should be made all through ones life but I have to admit that our traveling is not only for memories but we just plain LOVE the beach.  Summer can not be over – really??

I DO NOT like packing – never really did but it’s worse now so a lot is left up to Tom.  He has our beach list that we double check and then triple check and we still either forget something or bring too much.

Our vacation in September started at the San Soucy Winery Shrimp and Wine Festival with great friends. Then Tom and I headed to NC for a week of SUN and a week in SC, not much sun.  I have a cousin I’ve not seen in a few years who has 3 new grandchildren and lives in Charleston, SC.  – I was so excited that we were able to see everyone.  We were also able to met friends of my son for dinner in Charleston. Such good times and food.

Memories do not need to involve traveling…..do a “stay-cation” and enjoy friends and family at home with cook outs, wine hours or church.  Do day trips to a winery, take a ride to the beach or the mountains for a day.  We had a cook out and a great time with a “bring your own food” pool party this summer with neighbors.  Most importantly do things that you enjoy with people you enjoy.

Tom and I are participating in the Faith in Action at our church on the 18th.  We will be filling boxes of food but the best part is that Riley and Emma will be helping out.  We will get fed lunch and for dinner we head to a park with food by Carrabbas with games for the children and a bonfire.

 

WHO ME? THIS OLD DRESS? MY THINNING HAIR?

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I read a great article on “compliments”.  Being self conscience of my leg, my age, my wrinkles, my hair and my memory bank it’s hard for me to accept a compliment so instead of excuses I’m learning to just say “Thank You” and take picture of myself in black and white!!  We all need to feel special.  And black and white is so flattering.  Just kidding but taking pictures may be helpful to you and your family if a loved one has Alzheimer’s.  Memories may fad but pictures will be around for a long time.

WHAT DIAGNOSIS?

There are many articles out recently discussing why Doctors are reluctant to say the word “ALZHEIMER’S.”

People can go years with symptoms and no diagnosis.  Along the way, these people lose opportunities to live life on their terms.

Patients and families can be reluctant to bring up memory loss. And doctors don’t always share their suspicions with patients.

People who know they have Alzheimer’s can make sure their Care Partners and family know what they want — and don’t want — as their disease progresses.

Patients who know early can participate more actively in decisions about their health, finances and how they want to proceed – all the way to the end stage.

Early diagnosis also can give this person the opportunity to participate in research that could lead to a new treatment or a cure.

In addition to planning ahead an early diagnosis can also lead to support groups for those with Alzheimer’s and their Care Partners.

If you know something’s wrong, you need to keep pushing your loved ones physician for a diagnoses.

Then – please do not wait to seek help from the Alzheimer’s Association.  They are a wealth of knowledge and support.  The Alzheimer’s Association can provide all the necessary information and to help travel this journey.  You do not have to do this alone.  They are amazing.

MORE FACTS

If you are a baby boomer (1946 – 1964) you best start pushing for more funding as 1 in 6 WILL get Alzheimer’s – that is a fact.  There are a lot of baby boomers therefore without Federal funding many insurance companies will go out of business as might Medicare, and yet as you can see, Alzheimer’s is not a priority – very scary isn’t it??  I believe all health diseases need more funding.

ALZ3

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SO SHARRON HOW ARE YOU?

THANK YOU FOR ASKING AND THINKING OF ME.

This month I was honored to have an article written about me in the online version of the Health Journal.  Thank you Marie.

http://www.thehealthjournals.com/sharron-warren-alzheimers/

What a nice Christmas present for me.

Since my last post I’ve been to see my favorite handsome Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon and his side kick, the awesome and equally handsome pain management physician.  I will be having my leg hardware, plates (2) and screws (18) removed on December 17th.  This will mean more anesthesia and two + weeks of MANY staples (76).  This will be done out patient and I will be able to bear full weight that day.  Now that freaks me out.  All those screw holes in my leg and I can walk??  Not sure about that!

In the past 2-3 months “we” have noticed a few more deficits in my speech and thought process.  When this happens I have been known to freak out but I try to remember that this is part of the disease so I need to continue to exercise, stay engaged with people and pray it slows down.

I recently started this section for those of you who would like to ask how I am with the Alzheimer’s but can’t seem to do it.  I can only think of 2-3 people asking me that question outside of my support group and my primary Dr.  I realize that this is uncomfortable for many, just as we may not know what to say to someone who has lost a love one.  We all know you think of us and we love you all for unsaid thoughts and prayers.

JUST TO DABBLE

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Anyone can be “artsy” – it’s good for the brain and it makes one feel good.

I’ve mentioned before that I love arts and crafts, especially coloring. Adult coloring has taken off but I don’t always remember to carry my books and pens/pencils with me. A friend recently turned me on to coloring on my phone – an iPhone app………Colorfy. It is awesome. I find coloring relaxing and being able to do it while waiting at the Doctors or in traffic is wonderful. I need to check out more free Apple apps and see what I’m missing. Keeps your brain working – I need this, so do you.

 

FINALLY, THE END IS IN SIGHT

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This is the last month to support my Walk to End Alzheimer’s as the walk is October 24th. I think we will have a good size walking group and a nice send off that morning by my sweet neighbors. We also have special friends coming from Crozet, VA. So we are excited! I so appreciate all my neighbors, friends and their support *** thank you all.

If you’d like to join the walk, donate or buy raffle tickets (for a sweet RED Camry) please let me know. To join or donate online go to:

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

 

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Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.

Alfred Painter