he hugged me and began to cry

I visited with a caregiver. His wife had recently passed away with alzheimer’s disease. We spoke of her and the journey they had taken. He said family and friends had long since stopped staying in touch. He enjoyed our time together so much. He smiled a few times. We sensed that I needed to leave. He shook my hand, hugged me and began to cry. This man was 89 years old. 

Alzheimer’s disease really sucks, as does the loneliness that may accompany it.

my helping mom days

Mom is 87 years old and soon will be 88. 

I arrived at her home on January 24th. Her husband was experiencing serious health issues. He passed away on March 12th, of this year. I have been with mom every day since January, 24th. I spent night away to attend my grandson’s birthday party. When today ends, it will be 7 months. She needs help with a few things and I, along with other family members have provided that help. 

I fit in aerobic, light resistance workouts, abdominal excercise and stretching. During the 7 months here, I have managed 802 miles jogging and speed walking.  I have completed 5 counties on the “Around Georgia” project. 

I continue to read and post concerning alzheimer’s disease, for the purpose of raising awareness. 

ORMF – 70 years old

The Alzheimer’s Association Chapter in Oklahoma City drove me to ORMF in 2013. I had heard of Dr. Tang’s work concerning alzheimer’s disease. He was very kind and extremely patient. 

Here is part of article I found about Mr. Tang. It was a great day all around. Thank you Alzheimer’s Association. 

. Jordan J. N. Tang

C.1930-Present Induction Year
2008 Profession
Medical Researcher Oklahoma Connection
A transplant from Taiwan, Dr. Jordan Tang came to Oklahoma State University in 1955 as a graduate student in biochemistry.
Dr. Tang’s discoveries have led to breakthroughs in such diseases as stomach cancer, hypertension, AIDS and Alzheimer’s. Bio
Dr. Jordan Tang holds the J.G. Puterbaugh Chair in Medical Research at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), where he heads the protein studies research program. Dr. Tang came to Oklahoma from Taiwan in 1955 to attend Oklahoma State University, where he earned a master’s degree. Later, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma and completed postdoctoral training at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. In 1957, Dr. Tang joined OMRF, where he became one of the world’s leading experts on proteases, a group of proteins crucial to human health. Over the next 51 years at OMRF, his work has led to a deeper understanding of these vital proteins and to a new treatment for HIV/AIDS, hypertension and, most recently, an Alzheimer’s drug that is undergoing human clinical trials. Dr. Tang has lectured and taught at 50 universities on five continents and has published more than 200 articles in the world’s leading scientific journals. His research has been recognized and honored by the Guggenheim Foundation, National Institutes, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the United Nations. He is the only Oklahoman ever to receive the Alzheimer’s Association of America’s highest research prize: the $1 million Pioneer Award.

dropped their bombs and went home

That is terminology I heard last night from a caregiver. This is her description. 

“I’ve been caregiving for mom, alone, for a little longer than 2 years. My only sibling, a sister, and her family reside approximately 200 miles away. They rarely visit. They have cared for mom for 2 days. When I returned from my 2 day rest they spent about an hour telling me I was a failure as a caregiver. My sister and her husband both joined in. I knew I was doing a good job, but it hurt anyway. Since then they continue to rarely call, and visit, and when they do, it’s mostly to question my ability to be a caregiver. 

The caregiver said during a recent call, her sisters husband started giving her the third degree. She said she stopped him dead in his tracks and told him to come get his mother in law, take her to their home, walk around in “caregivers” shoes for a few months, and then “we will sit and chat.”

She went on to tell me they are coming for a visit next week, and:

“If I see the bomb bay doors begin to open, I will have no problem showing them the door.”

thoughts about August 22, 2016

The more I hear of the plight of alzheimers caregivers, the more I realize how important “patience” is. 

Some of the decisions that have to be made concerning an alzheimers patient take a lot of time and thought. Sometimes the input comes from several family members, senior care facility staff, hospice, and others. 

Here is a quote that came to mind: 

  • “The road to success is always under construction.” — Lily Tomlin

This picture is from the 2013 “Epic Journey” across America. 

I’m doing a pretty good job of staying fit.

the August count for alzheimer’s 

According to the information on the Alzheimer’s Association website, every 66 seconds a new diagnosis for alzheimer’s is made in America. 

 40,579 human beings begin a horrific journey this month

caregivers – no rest & limited food

Many caregivers provide full time care, in their home, for an alzheimer’s patient. Many of these have no one helping them. In this group I am slowly narrowing down, are millions that have no resources to pay for rest. 

Many of these caregivers are not even able to purchase their own medication. Many of them cut back on food for themselves. 

I have no answers. This post is to make the reader aware. 

going to increase the noise

I lay on my back with wires attached to me. I was in the Intensive Care Unit at Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Ga. 

I prayed. I told God that if he would allow me to leave the hospital “alive”, I would get in good shape and I would help as many folks as I could for the rest of my life with no regard for me. 

I chose the fight with alzheimer’s disease. I know a little about a lot of things now, concerning this absolutely, horrific disease. 

I not only plan to continue making noise, I plan to step it up a bunch. 

I enjoy this quote from Dolly. 

Whenever I’ve wanted something real bad, I find it helps to make as much DANG noise about it as possible”               Dolly Parton 

some time off 

Tomorrow and Tuesday I will pack up the Bobomobile and on Wednesday morning I will head west. 

Their are some tasks I wish to start, some I want to move forward a bit and a couple I will complete. 

Mom will, of course, be very well taken care of. 

awareness 

Raising awareness refers to telling the general public that an issue exists, and speaking of the problems it creates. In my particular case, the issue is alzheimer’s disease. 

Informing the population that alzheimer’s is a serious threat is the first step. I believe a majority of people in America know the word, but that most may think the only real problem associated with it is “memory loss”

Most, so called experts in the field, believe that raising awareness is often the first activity any advocacy group engages in. 

I have asked this question hundreds of times. “Do you know about alzheimer’s disease?” Most answer something like this: “It’s when people forget things”. I have no way of doing a scientific poll, but I believe enough folks know the word and the short description “when people forget things”.

In 2015, a little west of here, I was interviewed by a local television personality. After finishing, I asked if he had an alzheimer’s connection. He didn’t have. He had a few minutes so I ask him if he knew about incontinence, violence, family breakups, caregiver stress, financial devastation and costs to taxpayers. To say the least he was surprised. That was an eye opener for me. I have since asked that same set of questions to family members of an alzheimer’s patient. These were not caregiving, and most were surprised. Most admit their visits to the alzheimer’s patient and caregiver were not long enough to witness such things. Some answered they did know of some of these problems, but “out of sight, out of mind”

I am told we need laws and money to solve “the alzheimer’s problem”. So, we need the electorate and the lawmakers to be made aware. In my very humble opinion they all should be subjected to the full definition of “the alzheimer’s problem”. 

Some folks say that speaking of the horrors of alzheimer’s scares folks. 

What I believe is scary is having your life consumed in one way or another by an utterly “Horrific” disease. 

If you speak with me, be prepared to hear of the harsh realities. Patients and caregivers deserve that truth to be told. They live with some of the horrors on a daily basis.