PEACE AT THE BEACH

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Some people do not even know about Facebook, others do not care to be on Facebook, some enjoy keeping up with friends and some are downright outspoken………freedom of the press.  I have always been opinionated and have no problem sharing that opinion where others may think it but do not share.  I will remain true to myself – freedom of speech.  This is a terrible time for people like me but I try to remember that everyone has the right to have their own opinion – right or wrong.

As this disease slowly progresses my moods along with my opinions are harder to keep in check.  Instead of tolerance and understanding I get looks and remarks like “WE don’t discuss things like that” – well guess what – I DO.  My days are exhausting and more so when I have to tip toe on eggshells.  I am the real thing and you get what you see.  No filters as it’s too much work.  If you do not want to hear me then stay away.  If you want to understand me and this disease I welcome your friendship.

For those who enjoy a little Facebook you will find these quirky little quizzes.  How Facebook comes up with the results is beyond me.  Here is one I did recently – quite amusing:

“You are a loving and kind person! That is why you always remain on the right path and would never even think about hurting another person. You don’t accept injustice of any kind and can get a little mean when you encounter it. You don’t hide who you are and always stay true to yourself. Stay the way you are!

 

THE LOSS

Memory loss is the symptom everybody worries about the most with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.  It’s the main focus. After all, it’s distressing — and increasingly obvious. Yet there are other common symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia that can turn up even earlier, researchers say.  Most people do not associate these symptoms with dementia.

Sometimes, as I stated before, even doctors miss early dementia signs because they’re focused on memory loss to the exclusion of other symptoms.

It has been found that more than a third of adults who go on to develop early-onset Alzheimer’s (the kind that appears before age 65) have the following symptoms early in the disease, even before memory loss is apparent. These symptoms can also be the first to appear among adults who develop Alzheimer’s after age 65.

I may have touched on these signs in past posts but if you’re like me you may have forgotten!!

 

#1: Personality change

A warm, friendly loved one may seem to morph into a bit of a grouch — at first occasionally, and then increasingly.  A personable person still jokes and talks a lot but begins to say inappropriate things or make odd accusations.  A mild-mannered loved one begins cursing, as was the case of my Mother.  All of these are examples of the kinds of personality changes that can predate memory loss in someone with dementia.  Often, it’s only later that friends and family look back and realizes that behaviors they found off-putting or upsetting weren’t intentional but related to the Alzheimer’s.

#2: Problems with executive functioning

Trouble carrying out basic, familiar tasks can creep up slowly but surely.  The person may, for example, have difficulty doing something that involves multiple steps, like following written directions or instructions.  A longtime cook may avoid complicated recipes ( I can not handle a recipe with more than 5 ingredients).  A hobbyist may simplify the form of his or her craft.

Other trouble areas: making plans and not following through, whether for a vacation or an activity.  Not being able to solve simple problems, things they were once an easy fix. Not being able to keep track of bills and expenses.

#3: Vision problems

Problems with depth perception or visual-spatial coordination can precede memory problems.  The person may have trouble driving or even walking well without tripping on stairs.  It can be hard to judge distances or see contrasts between like colors, which can lead to accidents.  In a more severe example of a perception problem, the person may not recognize himself or herself in a mirror or when passing his or her reflection in a building or window on the street.  Not that I enjoy looking at myself but I am thankful that part of dementia is not a problem.

#4: Language problems

Word retrieval and getting out the right words can become apparent before friends and family notice the more common communication problem of repeating stories or questions. YES, that is me for sure.  An example is when a person having trouble may stop in the middle of a sentence, unable to think of the next word. (This can happen to anyone, but when it’s a sign of dementia, it happens with alarming frequency, and sometimes the person isn’t even aware of doing it.)  Or the wrong word may come out — “mouth cleaner” for “toothbrush” or “picture stick” for “TV remote control.”  I have a few dandies of my own…………..just ask Tom.

 #5: Social withdrawal

Early in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, the person is often well aware that something is amiss, even if he or she isn’t exactly sure of the source of the problem.  I knew something was wrong almost 2 years before admitting it.  It can be frightening to feel that you’re not quite in control of your faculties all of the time.  This can cause the person to use more and more energy to stay in self-command.  That is why I am always tired.  That leaves less energy to interact with others.  Sometimes the person isn’t even aware that he or she seems to be losing interest in friends and family, because he or she is concentrating so hard on just getting through the day.  Again – guilty!

Social withdrawal can also be caused by a desire to avoid embarrassment or by depression — which often develops alongside dementia.  The right side of your brain helps with socialization and I am lucky to still have some of that function – it is still exhausting.

 

So Sharron, how are you doing?

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I love summer but this is too hot – never thought I’d say that!  My internal thermostat is not working too well either.  I am tired and pooped just like all of you.

Because I have a hard time is controlling my emotions and opinions I feel people drifting away instead of staying by my side.  These are things I can not help, but I do try very hard – daily.  Desertion is the hardest part of this disease.  How do we change this?  EDUCATION!

We have our home for sale and have bought another one.  There is a lot of pressure with owning two homes – keeping everything spotless for “Showings” that may or may not happen and then there’s the packing.  Some how packing and spotless do not go together.

We have a week coming up to spend at the beach – fingers crossed for 80 degree weather.

The October Alzheimer’s Walk is growing near and I am having my knee replacement on the 25th of October.  A very busy time is coming up.  May this please be the end of the leg that keeps on giving?

 

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The 2016 Williamsburg Walk to End Alzheimer’s®  is on October 22nd at Matthew Whaley Elementary School. This will be my 3rd walk.

In 2015 our chapter (Southeastern Virginia) raised over $735,000 through 6 chapter-hosted Walk events.  My wonderful team – The Villas of Five Forks – raised over $4500 and we placed 5th in Williamsburg – right below all the LARGE corporate teams.  WE ROCK!!  My aim is HIGH for 2016. 

 

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I have raffle tickets for a new RED Rav-4 XLE – $5/each or 4 for $20.  Please call Tom at 757-209-1977 or email warren450@hotmail.com  for information on raffle tickets, donations or joining our walk team – The Villas at Five Forks.

 

Thank you as always for you love, support, understanding and taking the time to read my BLOG.

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