Saturday, April 23, 2011

"The Notebook"

I have begun carrying a black 7x5 inch notebook with me wherever I go, and it isn't far from me when I'm home either.

I have noticed when I'm in a conversation with someone, I don't always remember what my reply is supposed to be as I am listening to the other person speak, so the conversation has a "gap" in it while my speaking partner waits for me to comment. This is very awkward for both of us, hence the notebook.

Admittedly, it looks a little strange, me furiously scribbling, taking notes as it were, but it's better than saying, "Excuse me, _______, I don't mean to interrupt you, but just in case you're about to say _________________, this is how I am going to reply."

One of my musical heroes, Ludwig van Beethoven carried a notebook everywhere he went, and in it he wrote not only his musings, but his music along with reminders regarding correspondence to be answered and finances.

While I'm no musical genius, I identify with the Maestro, because I think that in his later years he too carried the burden of dementia and must have suffered greatly not only due to it and the ridicule endured, but his deafness and other physical ailments as well. For him to continue to compose under these circumstances is awe-inspiring and gives me hope and strength.

Historically, think of how many people were subjected to the hideous tortures of insane asylums, such as ice baths, restraining chairs, induced epilepsy and worst of all, the frontal lobotomy - a simple but horrifying surgical procedure, and only because dementia was mistaken for insanity.

My point is, I wonder how close Beethoven came to being sent to an asylum if it hadn't been for his talent?

These were my thoughts today as I did my run on the UWGA track. I think the exercise has been good for my dementia because somehow the endorphins released are also "opening up" those grey cells a little and keeping me more focused and less depressed.

I wish you and yours a Happy Easter!

Click to feed the animals, please!

The Animal Rescue Site



Monday, April 4, 2011

Time Out

I'm going to see if I "still have it" as a journalist, and spend the next month and a half compiling some information and doing some interviews with others like me who have "Younger Onset Alzheimer's Dementia".

I hope that when it is all done, I'll have something more than the usual facts and figures and the requests for funding from the congress-people we will be seeing in May. See, I don't want to just lobby them. I want to bring this whole thing "home" on a personal basis. Hence the reason for the interviews, which, if I cannot do them live, can be done over the phone or in e-mail.

So this blog has a message and a favor:

1. Message: I won't be updating the blog unless something earth-shattering happens, so I'm taking some "time out" until after the Forum.

2. Favor: If you have someone in your family with Younger Onset, who would be willing to communicate with me, leave me a note in comments and I'll be back in touch.

The Alzheimer's Assocation has a very good definition of what "Younger Onset" is and who it affects, and the link to it is embedded in the title of this blog entry.

So, while I'm on a "working hiatus", please don't forget to click to feed the animals:

The Animal Rescue Site

And here's something from our past which may bring a smile and explains how our congress works:

Thanks and see ya!