Showing posts from July, 2009

Health Care Reform Bill & The Alzheimer's Association

We haven't talked about this in any detail, but I wondered how our organization (click on the title above to take you to the Alzheimer's site) sees this bill, so I put in a call to my counsellor Suzette, who put me in touch with Kathy Simpson, the Advocacy Manager for our organization (meaning she tells us advocates to contact our congress persons and stay on their butts about AD!)

Because I am dog-tired from trips back and forth to the hospital to be with my SIL, Kathy has graciously allowed me to copy and paste the following. Please read, and tell me what you think, okay?


Our message to Congress remains clear: Congress must pass health care reform that includes long-term care services and supports this year.

Current Proposals include our asking Congress to:

1. Provide Medicare care coordination services for people with cognitive impairments and their caregivers

2. Pass health care reform this year t…

In A Rush

Back to the hospital in Atlanta. Betty's not doing well, and we need to be by her side. I will try to sign on again from the laptop this evening, but let me leave you with this very funny snippet my friend Helga from Australia sent me.

I'm afraid this happens to me all day long, though in different ways:


This is a story by David McClure from the Dallas News Community Opinion page.

$5.37. That's what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bueno said to me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Emo hairdo said the harshest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, "It's OK. I'll just give you the senior citizen discount."

I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of ch…

A MALE "Nurse Ratched"????

Continuing with updates on my sister in law Betty, we encountered a very poor excuse for a nurse a couple of days ago.

Here's what happened (as a former medical professional, I despise this kind of behavior in my peers):

1. Betty has rheumatoid arthritis and there's a BIG sign over her bed informing the staff of this and that she cannot raise her arms above her head and to be gentle.

Well this guy Mark walks in and proceeds to roughly move her up in the bed, causing her visible pain.

2. He then informs my two nieces that they need to "stay real" and realize their mother is "paralyzed" and may not recover. This was said in her Neuro-ICU room.

3. Then to compound this idiocy, he's overheard commenting on her prognosis with the statement: "We're not doing anything for her. She's just taking up a bed."

At this point the family decides to complain to the nurse in charge, who tells this jackass he needs to apologize.

So said jackass comes to the do…

The Shelter Challenge Ends

Results from this morning show that we didn't budge from 11th place, but I know for sure it wasn't because we all didn't give it our best shot.

I forgot to click to see how many Georgia shelters participated, and now I can't get to that page, but I think it was more than 300 (please correct me if I am wrong), so 11th place is a great effort.

ETA: In all 400 shelters participated in the Challenge, of which 44 were not ranked, (probably because they had no votes?) so reacing #11 was pretty damn good!

Thanks and Enjoy! My friend Becks sent me this video, and I think it fits what we were all trying to do, for what cause:

And remember to continue to click and feed! I don't always remember to add the link-button (CRS), so you may have to remind yourselves or have the site send you a reminder in your e-mail daily.

A special thanks to Johnny L A on The Straight Dope & The Dome for starting and helping to keep things going!

ETA: Quick update on my SIL: She's still unresp…

It Ain't About Me Today.....

It's about my SIL who is fighting for her life.

Her husband and three daughters have been constantly at her side, and me and D are goin' back and forth and trying to be there as much as we can.

We talk to her one at a time, so we don't confuse her, and we remind her of all the things she loved and loved to do.

Right now her respirations are in the high 20's (still to be expected after coming off the vent)but they really need to slow to 12-16 pretty soon, and as I said before, the bloodwork needs to stay normal.

The last time I saw her was at Cracker Barrel, where we all gather for everyone's birthday, and she and I had a small disagreement about Hank Williams Sr., her favorite singer.

She said she thought a song about "changing locks" was one of his "cutest" songs, and I told her it was Move It On Over, but she disagreed
with me, so I did a search and found only this one:

I'm looking forward to playing it for her when she recovers enough, but in th…

C'monnnnnnn Y'ALL!

Only two days left to go! Please help!

ETA: Just a quick update on my Sister-In-Law (Man! That word just hit me! Where'd we get that from, anyway? Sounds like we're both lawyers, don't it?):

She's off the ventilator and breathing on her own, but the next 24-36 hours are critical. She's got to maintain her breathing, cough and deep-breathe a lot, and her blood-work has got to stay within normal range....

The family's all pulling for her, praying and thinking positive thoughts, and if you're reading this, would you also send some very good "vibes" her way, please?

We've all got "High Hopes"!



Bad News/Good News

First the bad: My sister-in-law has had a stroke, and she's in the hospital on a ventilator. It was kind of a blow to the family, because she's always been one of those "take-charge", stalwart women and much loved by the entire family.

Now the good news: It looks like she's going to recover, but she'll need a lot of rehab, which starts next Monday after she's weaned off the ventilator. (This is done by decreasing the amount of oxygen and the amount of machine-initiated breaths, until she's completely - or nearly - breathing on her own. Right now she's on 30% of O2. You and I breathe 21% oxygen in room air.)

More good news is that I'm going to become involved in her at-home care with pulmonary rehab. I won't be able to administer any medications or do any invasive procedures (such as draw arterial blood or re-intubate her, God forbid), but I can help her with breathing exercises and helping with her physical and mental well-being.

And further

So What Do YOU Think?

Do you think Howard Hughes might have had Alzheimer's????

There are no pictures of his late days (that I could find, anyway) but here is an artist's rendition of what he may have looked like during them:

He sure did some goofy shit during his life, didn't he?

And goofier shit toward the end of it, fer sure!

My two favorite things he invented were:

1. Jane Russells's bra:

Oh, Christ, didn't she cause "inflation" of a certain section of my pubic bones???? And I never missed the Sears & Roebuck catalog after I saw Jane!

Hamana-Hamana-HAMANA! Only guys know that sound and what it represents!

2. "The Spruce Goose":

That thing only flew for a few minutes (look it up), but he sure thought BIG, didn't he?

So that brings us to yours truly, and his "ailings".

I know some changes have already happened:

1. I forget shit

2. I no longer give a shit... and

3. I have taken a liking to foods whose names end in "A-Roni"!

I'll keep y'all po…

Life's "Little" Pleasures

Friends: Like you guys who follow the blog. I have always told you I would be honest with you about how I am feeling, and right now, my ass is draggin'. The mental one and the physical one. I very badly need some "motivation".

I'm not getting a whole lot of "fresh air", and that isn't the "Bill" from a year ago. I need to find him again.

Bert: Bert is my "Domestic Long Hair" orange and white cat.

This is him:

He also goes by the name "Mr. Ice Cream/Drooly Mouth", because he has an "orange sherbet" - like mark on his nose, and because.....well... he drools! He also likes to lay right on top of his daddy and drool and knead ("makin' biscuits") at the same time.

Bert is the sweetest kitty I have ever had. He's not a bit "stand-offish", like most cats, and he loves being picked up and held.

Dondra: I forgot how much she and I had in common as far as being on the same "level" intelligen…

And Sometimes, You Just Want To Leave It All Behind

Do y'all have days like those too?

Well, instead of a bar named Cheers I go to my own world, called "Azeroth", and you have read of this before on this blog.

It is part of a "Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game" or......


What this allows me to do is explore the "inner" me: The Bill who has a kind and chivalric heart and who, in real life, would be a little "tough" to accept that way.

I have tried to show it in real life with my compassion for my patients and my love for animals and their welfare, but in the former, people are likely to say (and have), "Well, that's what you were getting paid for, wasn't it?", and in the latter (Because I am so deeply involved), people tend to think of that as a kind of fanaticism. *sigh*

So, I go to Azeroth (World of Warcraft) and, as "Wolkenlaufre" ("Cloud-Walker" in German), my character, I am assigned various "quests" I have to complete, and in…

Sometimes.. What Your Friends Say.....

..... is a whole hell of a lot more important than what you say.

Sometimes, what your friends say, may be about you, even though you may not realize it at the time.

"I went sky-divin'...."

What that means, is that sometimes other people have more insight into who you are ,and blah, blah, blah......

Thanks, Becks, for another wonderful, meaningful clip!

Y'all have a great weekend, and don't forget the 4-legged ones, okay?



Here's To New Friends

Nothing major to write about today. It's been one of those blah-ambivalent days.

You know - one of those "auto-pilot days" - during which you just sorta go through the motions and do just the bare essentials?

I can have one of those, right?

Yet there are a few things I want to tell you about me that you might not know from what you have read heretofore (I love that word! Kinda archaic and "snooty", but I like to get the chance to work it into a conversation when I can):

I like finding out about different cultures and different ways of life, and am very proud of the fact that I have a lot of international friends: Germany (of course!), England, Australia, New Zealand and now, Scotland (my new musician friend Bill Dalziel whose music you heard a couple of entries back).

That is not to say that I don't also treasure my American friends, who occupy almost every state in the Union thanks to the International message board called The Straight Dope (on which I also fir…

I Wish I Were A Mousie

Y'all have read where I've hammered on this before: "Studies show....", "Research Indicates...." "Consuming mass amounts of ______ is strongly linked to a cure for........", and on and on ad nauseam.

I even spoofed it in a previous blog entry: here (be sure to click the video for a laugh)

Now it's coffee, 5-6 cups a day according to a couple of links my friend Helga of Australia sent me this morning

And here

As Helga wrote, "Wouldn't it be great if it was the be all to end all?"

Oh, yeah! If all I had to do was drink 5-6 cups of coffee a day, you'd better believe I'd have me one of those cappucino machines in a "New York Minute!"

Thanks, Helga, and we hope to see both of you next year here in the US!

Now, I know I have to take all this with a grain of salt, and at least they're out there trying, right? It's all part of research, and I hope to God it leads us somewhere positive, because right now, once we'r…


Been thinking about that a lot lately, and although it's not related to AD, apathy is still apathy, right?

Besides, I've got this John Denver "thing" going on with me right now, and it seemed like a good segue into one of the most beautiful songs ever written. *wink-wink, nudge-nudge*

Thanks to Face Intentionally Left Blank over on The Straight Dope for the link!



Brain Games

My AD counsellor, Suzette (U rock, GF!) sent me this list of "brain games" you too can play even if you're not sick in da head! I play the raindrops game on lumosity, and it's fun.

Some guy has found a way to get rich off Alzheimer's and he sells this interactive computer with a touch-screen that connects to the internet and one can play cognitive memory games on it.

IF one can afford it, that is.

The price for the console with screen is $2300.00 and then there's a $19.95 monthly subscription fee.

In his clever internet pitch, he states that he decided to form his company after watching his father suffer with AD for 13 years.

Obekaybe, but most of us just cannot afford your set-up, Mr. Michel, so I guess we're SOL, huh?

Here's the website, if you'd like to take a look:

If you see something I&…