Surviving in this time

from the millers (3)I find that I have been having a lot of panic attacks these days.  I think it is because my usual routine has been interrupted so much with this Coronavirus.  I’m also worried about it which is adding stress to my life.  But these panic attacks hit at the most unusual times, when I am safe in my home doing simple tasks.  But it is overpowering.  I swear I am having a heart attack when it happens.  I have breathing exercises to do when this happens and some other techniques I use, but when they hit, they hit with a vengeance.

I need to come up with a routine and post in my house like so many are doing with their kids each day.  I am sure this would help. It is just doing it that is the problem .

On a lighter note, our Walk To End Alzheimer’s Walk committee in Athens is starting a challenge today entitled the Athens Flower Challenge.  We have “planted” Walk to End Alzheimer’s Flowers around town in certain subdivisions.  We are asking folks to go out and find the flowers and take photos to share on the Athens Walk To End Alzheimer’s Facebook page.  We will have prizes for those participating.  It is just a way to “color” up our world with the Walk To End Alzheimer’s Flowers and help raise awareness.

I have been serving on the state board of the Alzheimer’s Association for the last 8 years. I have had the pleasure of working with a lot of great folks including a lovely lady named Joanne Truffleman. We are both rotating off the board this year and the Alzheimer’s Association posted this on their blog today. Thanks for lots of great memories. You can read the blog here: Alzheimer’s Volunteers

 

 

 

The “new normal”

Will we ever get back to normal?  I am beginning to wonder.  And, when we do what will that look like?   It’s going to be a whole new world I think.

About six or seven years ago there was a study done by some institution (can’t remember who) regarding pandemics.  In it, it stated a pecking order in which people would be saved.  At the time, I was really upset about it, because people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias where at the bottom of the pecking order.  I remember my husband saying not to worry about it, because it would never happen in our life time.  And, he said, “besides, if it is that bad, you probably don’t want to be living anyway.”  I have often thought about that — and now I think about it a lot.  Many doctors are talking about “who gets treatment above others”. It isn’t something I want to think about, but I am not sleeping well — so maybe I am thinking about it too much.

Tomorrow is April Fool’s Day.  It would be nice to wake up and realize this is all a joke — we wish don’t we?  Three years ago on April 1st (no joke) I found out I had breast cancer. So, I find it rather ironic that tomorrow I will be going in for a mammogram and ultrasound for another breast problem. I don’t expect the same result but just the same, you worry.

So I have to find things I am grateful for.  My friends and family keep me entertained with their humorous social media posts, email, online chats and video calls.  I hate not being able to see my son, his wife and two kids, but at least I can see their smiles on a video call.  So far everyone in the family is healthy. My friends are healthy. I do miss my pickleball buddies and the exercise that provides.  One day — we will be together again.

 

This is Us

I don’t know if you follow the popular drama, This Is Us, on NBC, but last night was a tear jerker. The main character, Rebecca, has just been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment which can lead to Alzheimer’s. I would encourage anyone that didn’t see last night’s episode to watch it if you have on demand. If you have never seen the show before, there are lots of flashbacks but the emphasis is the last half of the show. Her interaction with son Kevin hit home with me. I know my son doesn’t normally watch the show, but I am going to encourage him to do so.

Happy New Year

I know it has been a very long time since I posted.  The holidays overwhelmed me a lot. I am glad the season is over and my house is back to normal. As I write this we are on “baby watch” — my daughter-in-law is due with our new grand daughter any day now.

The holidays brought many joys — getting to take my grandson (now 3) ice skating for the first time.  He did great — only a few falls. I got to visit with lots of out of town folks and spend quality time with my friends and family.

The holidays also brought sadness.  Three deaths of friends in three weeks.  Four friends had to put their spouses in assisted living facilities or Memory Care units as they too are suffering for Alzheimer’s or other dementias. That is a lot to deal with. My heart breaks for all of these families.

If you or someone you know is dealing with Alzheimer’s and you live in the greater Athens area I would encourage you to check into something the University of Georgia Institute of Gerontology is doing.  Under the direction of Dr. Jenay Beer and Dr. Lisa Renzi-Hammond they are developing the UGA CARE Center.  CARE stands for Cognitive Aging Research and Education.  In the fall they held a three week class on understanding and caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. The new year will bring some additional programming as well as support groups.  If you are interesting in finding out more, please message me through this blog and I will get you the information. Your message will be private and confidential. The more we learn about this disease the easier it is for everyone.

Happy New Year!

 

Bad Days and Good Days

One of the things that always bothers me about Alzheimer’s is not knowing when you are going to have a good day or a bad day.  Today I am having a bad day — all things are foggy to me.  I can’t quite put my thoughts together.  I have lots of things to do but can’t seem to figure out how to do them.  They will just have to wait for another day.

New Developments

Some of you may have heard that Biogen is going to ask the FDA for approval for one of their drugs to treat memory decline. This drug had been pulled after clinical trials but after re-assessing the data, it is moving forward.  The press release from the Alzheimer’s Association is in the link below.

Alzheimer’s Assn. Press Release regarding Biogen

We will be keeping a close eye on that.

Our Walk To End Alzheimer’s is on Saturday.  Rain is forecasted for the day but we will be walking anyway!

 

 

It’s World Alzheimer’s Day

Today the World unites in recognizing the importance of advancing research and fighting the stigma associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  Help us fight this dreaded disease.  A lot of people ask me what they can do to help — and here is one way.  Become involved with a Walk To End Alzheimer’s in your area.  Help us raise awareness of this disease and to help us find a cure.  Pictured below is my team, Team Athens, from last year’s walk. IMGP1865

I love everyone one of these people.  They will be with me again this year and you can join us or donate to Team Athens. Together, we can make a difference. To donate click here Team Athens 2019 Walk To End Alzheimer’s

This is what I have been up to lately — knee replacement surgery. IMG_4839

It’s been three weeks but I am healing nicely.  I miss exercising and so does my brain.  I can tell the difference in my cognitive function when I don’t exercise.  I am doing physical therapy and my routine is starting to ramp up so I am hoping things improve.  Exercise has been proven to help cognitive thinking so remember that when you are trying to decide if you should go for that walk, or go to the gym.  Do what you can to help yourself. You will feel better I promise.

Back from Traveling

Well, I made it back from Italy in one piece.  It was a hard trip — very tiring but I am glad I went.  We travelled to Rome, Venice, Florence and Trieste.  We were part of a group of fans accompanying The UGA Women’s Basketball team.  They had three games while we were there (we won all three) and we enjoyed touring with them.  My “basketball family” made up of fellow boosters helped me get from point A to Point B. When going through photos I can’t remember where most of them were shot but by going over the itinerary I think I can try to piece the trip together.

In a few weeks, I will have knee replacement surgery.  I have had both of my knees replaced — but one of them needs to be redone.  Not looking forward to this at all, but I need to get it done so I can enjoy the holidays –hopefully pain free.

Our Walk To End Alzheimer’s here in Athens is shaping up.  Please consider donating to our cause.  I just lost another friend last week with this disease.  There is information on  donating in a previous post.

I hope to post some photos of the trip soon.