Announcement: Help Needed

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Now that I am a 24/7 caregiver we are looking for a renter that will help make up the difference between our monthly costs and Cindy’s fixed disability income. We seek $500/month. In return the renter gets room and utilities … Continue reading

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Announcement: Moving Forward with Hope for Alzheimer’s

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This blog reports on two journeys that represent Hope for Alzheimer’s in different ways. The first journey was a 5,000 mile, year long hike of the American Discovery Trail. The public purpose at the time was to promote the virtues … Continue reading

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Brain Health Checklist – Music

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We get a liberal dose of music each day in this household. One of the venues is my guitar playing as I continue to work on the American Discovery project, intended to raise funds for brain health research. Though I … Continue reading

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The Problems of Amyloid Beta

There have been quite a few experimental treatments for brain health and Alzheimer’s research that get reported as having promising results. Currently there are two latest and greatest hopes: a new drug that I can’t spell from memory yet and … Continue reading

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Brain Health Checklist – Quality of Life

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I’ve entertained a few names for this section: atmosphere, environment, conditions. Just now the light bulb came on for what I mean by the next series of items important for brain health, key factors for the quality of life. The … Continue reading

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Brain Health Checklist – Meditation

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Officially, I’ve seldom meditated. That is to say I have not sat down in a lotus position or chanted any mantras to meditate. Unofficially, I’ve meditated hours upon countless hours while hiking. I always suspected something healthy came from that; … Continue reading

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Don’t Worry

This house has witnessed two generations of men with spouses who have Alzheimer’s. There are similarities between the generations, as well as differences. Then there is one similarity that has become a difference.

Pop (my father) was not afraid to die. That was evident when he enlisted in the Navy during World War II, at age 35, which may or may not have been the right thing for a father of three sons to do at that age. After the war two more sons came along and we moved to this house in Norfolk. As I grew up in this house Pop’s acceptance of death was evident right up until he died on the operating table. He always wanted to predecease Mom and got his wish.

I shared Pop’s lack of fear for dying. After this episode in my life passes I know I will reacquire that attitude as I hike in foreign lands where danger lurks. I say “reacquire” because at the moment I am ¬†afraid of dying.

In the grand scheme of things it was good for Pop to die first; taking care of Mom would have been difficult for his volatile nature. Fortunately, I inherited some of Mom’s calmness and used that to take care of her. Now that calmness and experience helps me to care for Cindy. The tables are turned in that I hope I outlive Cindy, fearing the consequences to her quality of life should I go first.

Recent events reveal the problem with such fear which, as ironic as this may sound, interferes with embracing life. The case in point surfaced a couple months ago when I started getting an unfamiliar type of headache. My family’s medical history includes brain aneurysms, the cause of Pop’s death on the operating table. This led me to worry about the different type of pain I experienced, and the possible consequences for Cindy.

I’ve identified this now as a self-perpetuating infliction with what starts as a “sadness headache.” The night of the worst headache after the first one followed an event of particular sadness. Fortunately, now having understood the cause, I am better at managing the consequences. No doubt my new healthy diet and lifestyle contributes to the avoidance of aneurysms as well. However, my main point is the fear of dying does not serve anyone for embracing life, but rather hastens the worrier further on a path toward its end.

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Embracing Life

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As I reached and kicked and stretched along with Denise Austin, Cindy wandered in and out of the room. No longer capable of following the exercise video, her short attention span leads her to flit back and forth, now petting … Continue reading

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Brain Health Checklist – Learning

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I earned my PhD at age 50, after earning three other degrees and what amounts to eight minors along the way. About the only subjects I did not study at universities were economics, politics and cultural anthropology. Those were the … Continue reading

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“Have a Good Life”

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Cindy and I have been watching our Cheers DVDs lately to get into a lighthearted mood. An episode we watched a few days ago is not so lighthearted but remains my favorite season ending episode of all time. At the … Continue reading

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