Sunday, November 29, 2009

Not A Good Weekend For The German Boy

Eye infection is back, this time with a vengeance, and, as I can barely stand to sit at the computer for very long, this one will be short and sweet.

Going to the opthalmologist(?) Monday to see why this keeps happening. I sleep with a cold washcloth over my eyes and we have some Decadron ointment, but it only lasts about an hour, and as it is a steroid, I can't take it too often.

D and I thought it might be because I spend so much time on the computer doing research (otherwise known as playing World of Warcraft), but we're not sure. My computer stays on 24-7 (heretofore, I mean), but I am going to start shutting it down and see what happens. I hope I am not getting allergic to Bert. He's a long-haired domestic, but we keep him brushed regularly.

I wanted to re-visit the definition of Dementia vs Alzheimer's, and rather than write it all out myself, I want to link you to a very informative site. Just click on the blog title to take you there.

I didn't know this one had words, did y'all? Anyway, kind of a pleasant way to end a Sunday evening, and no toe-tapping allowed! J/K

For the four-legged ones. And the shelter.

The Animal Rescue Site

Thanks, and y'all have a great week!



Margaret said...

Hi Bill,

I hope your eye problem clears up soon. You know, eye strain from work at the computer can make your eyes red, but there has to be some germ (bacteria, virus) that gets in them. I suspect that like my guy, you may be touching or rubbing your eyes and infecting them.

You can train yourself out of the habit, if that is the case.

I've been thinking about you and reading what I can about pseudo-dementia. Unlike dementia that is brought on by aging or by vascular problems, it is a reversible cognitive impairment,and can be cleared completely-- provided you get the right treatment. In other words, if you're not feeling any improvement yet on the meds you're taking, it might be wise to speak to your doctor about a change.

Try not to freak out when you have a forgetful episode or when you choose the wrong word. It serves no purpose and scares people like me who experience similar episodes and used to just shrug them away. When I tell my son that I make stupid mistakes, he tells me that NOW I have the excuse of age, but he reminded me of an incident that occurred when he was about 10 years old-- where I put hamburger meat in a dresser drawer and my keys in the freezer. I clued in and "found" my keys when alerted by the smell of spoiled meat.

Please, don't stop working towards getting past this. When you believed you were suffering from AD, I could see the purpose of blogging the evolution and the decline. Now that you have a different diagnosis, the way you handle it is still very important, but referring to your mind and its deterioration do give me the impression that you're giving up.

It would be wonderful if you beat this depression/pseudodementia and got in good enough shape to work with the patients you loved so much.

Part of me wants to erase this post... I don't want to hurt you, I really mean to help, so forgive me if any part of this seems too bossy or critical. I'm the oldest of 10, so bossiness has been an ingrained trait.

Hugs to you and D,


Bill Craig said...

Hey Margaret

You should NEVER be reluctant to speak your mind here. That's what this site/comments section provides: an "open forum" for discussion of ALL ideas - pro and con regarding ANY kind of dementia.

I appreciate all your comments and your concern and wish I had some good answers for you, but I don't. And I am sorry I frighten you when I write about my frustrations, but I have always maintained that if I cannot express my feelings honestly here, then there's no need for the blog.

You're right, I have the (provisional) diagnosis of "Pseudo-Dementia", but ever since the depression and forgetfulness began (and the depression started way before last March, I have gone from one anti-depressant to the next. It was always 'Well, let's try this one - let's thry that one". And I was always, "Okay, let's do it."

So right now I am "maxed-out" on two: Welbutrin and Lamiktal. Those are in addition to the Namenda I am also taking in its highest possible dose.

But now, not only does the SPOKEN word fail me, but the WRITTEN one as well.

Is it due to the depression?

Hell, I HOPE so!

Because if it is, let's up the dosage even more and see if that makes a difference.

Since March, I have been to 7 doctors, had two cog tests, 2 sleep studies, a shitload of meds, and yeah! I'd LOVE to get some kind of a "toe-hold", but other than "I believe your dementia is brought on by depression - here take THIS!", that's all I have to work with.

Meanwhile, I see myself pounding away at my keyboard, KNOWING what it is I WANT to say, because I formulated the sentence in my head before starting it, but then all of a sudden that one word "leaves me", and I have to sit here, close my eyes and rock back and forth begging for it to come back.

When it doesn't, I substitute a word, hoping the "failed" one will return. Sometimes it does, sometimes I forget that I NEED it to.

In closing, I am sorry my frustration frightens you.

I'm frightened too.



Margaret said...

Dear Bill,

Sorry I put it that way, I didn't mean to control what you're writing on your own blog!!! :) As for the fear, I do have occasional fears when I read about your difficulties, but that's on me. I think I may be projecting my own fears about my own mind and the effects of aging (I just turned 63). I shouldn't be moaning on your blog. I apologize.

I take back what I said about trying to find a treatment, you've been doing a lot.

And damn it, Bill, the written word isn't failing you, you're doing just fine. I'm looking forward to reading your posts, and, in the near future, to reading your play (hint, hint).

Just don't stop fighting for your health. Hang in there. I'll try to stop nagging.


Bill Craig said...

Hey Margaret,

I NEVER thought you were telling me what to write and if we hesitate in sharing our feelings with each other, the blog would have no purpose. :)

And I do NOT think you're "moaning" if YOU are then I am as well.

Either we're ALL moaners here, or no one is. Which is it? :)

Margaret, what I find frightening is what's ahead after 12.31.09.

You may have read that the COBRA goes up astronomically after that, and there won't BE any more doctor visits nor drugs unless I can get them free. I am working very hard right now to get something "in place" that will serve as a temporary safety net, but don't know what that will be. VA? Medicaid? Both have disquaified me already, so hopefully with NO insurance, ONE of them will "kick in".

Margaret, I may not say it enough, but I am VERY appreciative of your concern for me. Yours AND Becks's and ALL the others.

Sometimes I do forget that I am not in this alone, and that's something *I* have to apologize for.

Podcast coming soon!