Monthly Archives: March 2016

no social media ?

I have had the pleasure of meeting four folks, travelers, that were either crossing America or traveling around in it. Two were on bicycles and two on foot. The unique thing about these particular four was that no social media was involved. Two strollers and two bicycles. I happened up on three of them and was told of the fourth. Two of them doing it for a cause, proven by signs and two of them doing it because . . . they wanted to. The two with the strollers expressed that lots of folks stopped them to speak to them. The two on the bicycles said folks spoke if they were in a resting type position. Similar demeanor with each.

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Thursday, March 31st, 2016 blog post

I read today that Dr. Alzheimer had witnessed others with what he called
the “Disease of Forgetfulness”, but they were in their seventies. Augusta Deter was only 50 years of age. He was fascinated.

It continues to stick in my mind that the National Alzheimer’s Plan called for $2 billion a year beginning in 2013 and continuing until 2025 when a cure was expected. Now, I read where Hillary Clinton hopes we can get to $2 billion by 2025.

Staying fit. I tell my brain every day that it needs to keep me healthy. I do that not with words, but with activities.

If your grandmother wants to get up and do something, let her do it. Don’t take away her body movement by being what you think of as sweet. Movement automatically tells your brain to “keep me going, keep feeding and repairing me”

Been a good day.

the Mojave National Preserve

Paul Staso introduced me to the preserve in 2013 with memories of his crossing a few years before.

In 2015 I found myself within a couple of hundred miles of one of the entrances.

I drove to Goffs, California and turned north onto Lanfair Road. I ran a symbolic ten miles. It was exciting. I spent a good bit of time there, jogging and walking around on the paved road and on a dirt one.
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near Goffs, California

Everything about this part of the country calls me to come back. I saw one live creature besides me. I had stopped and was looking to the west and a lone dove landed within about two feet of me. I playfully asked if he might be lost. With that, he flew off.

Here are a few pictures I took in the area.

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a note to dad

June 30th, 2000. I remember it well. We were all in a nursing home in Jesup, Georgia. We watched you slip away. No more pain.

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We knew something was wrong when you pointed to the woods and told Denny and I that you bought a new car there yesterday. You were standing beside your same old car when you said that. Months later when I thought you recognized me, it turned out that you thought I was the maintenance man.

See ya up there one day dad! Hey, thanks for taking us fishing so much! You made it fun.

It was never meant for me to do anything great

but it was meant for me to be a part of something great. Something great because of all of you.

I could not begin to put the names on here of the folks that helped.They know who they are and I do think of them often. From the depths of my heart, I thank you!

I could not try to name the help that was given to me. I think of that help often. Again, from the depths of my heat, I thank you!

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Mrs. Deter, is the first documented case of alzheimer's disease. The other photo is Dr. Aloysius Alzheimer.

Here is a picture of an alzheimer’s survivor.

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no picture, no survivors. The 6th leading cause of death in America!

All diseases that cause sickness, loss of life, loss of dreams and pain are horrific and alzheimer’s sure fits that profile.

I wish I could do more and I would try, if I knew what more would be.

I will continue on every day, doing what I do.

Doing the right thing . . . . . family

This post is about several things. The health situation of mom’s husband that passed away March 12th, mom’s health and last but not least, my priorities.

At several times the last 3 years I felt the need to change things due to the health of mom and/or her husband.

Yes, I made the right decision each time. Was it easy? No, it was not easy. I argued back and forth with myself on each occasion. I concerned myself with many factors.

This last time, when his health hit a critical point, and hers was diminishing, I came to Roberta, Georgia. I have been here since. That was January 25th, 2016

I know I was right each time. I have a hard time believing I struggled so much with each decision, but I did struggle. I got aggravated because I believed in what I was doing. Also, maybe in the back of my mind, I did not want to become a caregiver. That was for someone else right? I struggled, but made the right decision each time.

This time it’s different. Watching mom doing the struggling, has put a clear face on how important she is to me. Mom is 87 years. She still enjoys life. I want her to enjoy as much as she can.

Yes, my personal fight with alzheimer’s is pretty damn important, but it is second to my family.

I post this so times such as these may be remembered by me. I will try to remember it all!

Here, let me excercise for you . . . . .

Yeah, like that will help the person you said that to, right? It probably will help you get or maybe stay strong.

I spoke with a psychologist a few weeks back. She asked me to try something when I speak with people.

If someone looks at you and asks – “What day is today?” try asking them, in a kind way, “what day do you think it is?” – she told me I would be amazed at how many folks then go through the excercise of figuring out what day it is, and then say it. Mental excercise is important, especially when we get older. This may apply when your mom or dad say “I need to take the garbage to the street.” Maybe, that is some of the excercise they need, to remain healthy. If we do it for them, we get the excercise.

Mental and physical excercise ward off a lot of disease.

If we do the excercise for them, it doesn’t help them. It helps us.

Wow, this may sound cruel, but actually, it may be the most loving thing you can do.

Just a thought. I want my mom to get mental and physical excercise!

Hope for figuring alzheimer’s out

Hope. Yes, lots of it. We have always figured things out. We will continue on that tract. The study of the brain is both fascinating and extremely worthwhile.

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In fact, alzheimer’s disease has made it a necessity. Lots of folks think the brain has the ability to do a lot more than we are doing with it now, but at the same time, scientist admit that some cultures have advanced at light speed with the ability to control heart rate, blood pressure and such. I think Dr. Griffin was right when she looked me in the eye and said the next bunch of years are going to be exciting ones Jack.

a brain theory

I Googled “theories about the brain”. I read and I think I understand. This is by Pibram.

Even if most parts of a brain are damaged, the entirety of a memory can be contained within even a single remaining part of sufficient size. Pribram and others noted the similarities between an optical hologram and memory storage in the human brain. According to the holonomic brain theory, memories are stored within certain general regions, but stored non-locally within those regions. This allows the brain to maintain function and memory even when it is damaged. It is only when there exist no parts big enough to contain the whole that the memory is lost. This can explain why some children retain normal intelligence when large portions of their brain—in some cases, half—are removed. It can also explain why memory is not lost when the brain is sliced in different cross-sections.

the hymn singers

I sat in a room with 5 or 6 alzheimer’s patients. Most were sitting, heads drooped but some were shuffling about. The door to the room opened and in walked a lady with a brief case. She went to the piano, opened her case, put sheet music in a holder, and proceeded to play old hymns and sing. Most of the folks came to life. Some smiled and some sang the words, the right words. The complexion of the room changed dramatically. That in itself is not abnormal. A lot of us come to life when we hear music we like.

They showed a couple of the ones that had sang, the words on paper, leaving some of them off and the singers could not remember one word. A few minutes before they had sang them.