After all the moving to our new place, waiting for carpenters, plumbers, electricians and painters to do their thing, we're finally at a point where I can sit down and peacefully write a few lines and report on the recent Alzheimer's Advocacy Forum Dondra and I attended along with hundreds of other folks representing every state in this great country of ours.
Beep! Beep! Beep! RUN-ON SENTENCE ALARM!!!
(Boy, I can sure tell it's been a while when I set off one of those ROSA alarms! :=))
It was an eye-opening three days, and, after listening to people such as our own Kris Bakowski from Athens, I came home from Washington DC with a whole new appreciation for the battles we have won and those we have yet to face.
I am currently at work finishing an article for the Georgia Advocacy newsletter, so what you're about to read will be an overview with the most salient points (and there were many of those) as I remember them and from my notes..
As a "Rookie" I was very fortunate (we were fortunate - I wasn't the only "newbie on the bus") to have our "coach" Kathy Simpson who helped all of the Atlanta area advocates with structure, facts and figures and the mission as a whole.
After being overwhelmed by the size of the hotel (The Omni Shoreham) and wondering why all those folks in black and white were so friendly (hope I tipped enough!), D and I settled down and got ready for the weekend, and it was fun as well as educational.
One of our main goals was to visit with our congresspeople and let them know we needed their support for: The Alzheimer's Breakthrough Act, The HOPE for Alzheimer's Act and the National Alzheimer's Project Act. That was quite a lot on our plate and we were ready to "get 'er done", but in the House, where my group was supposed to visit, all the Representatives were on break and we had to speak to staffers, who assured us, however, that our visit would not be ignored and a couple even told us that their boss knew about our requests and was already "on board". So this was good news.
Dondra, I'm afraid, was one of our "walking wounded", as she had much fluid on her ankles which had to do with her recent surgery, when her life was in danger. When we finally got home, we admitted her to the hospital where they drew off 16 pounds of fluid. She is much better now, and no longer needs the cane we got for her.
There is a lot more that I want to tell you, but for now, let me leave you with the latest facts and figures: 5.4 million of us have Alzheimer's which costs 183 billion anually. It's the 6th leading cause of death and there are 14.9 million caregivers who are unpaid.
If you're a caregiver or even if you just care, why not join us and become an advocate? Find out how at www.alz.org. Just click on the title line of today's blog to go there.
As for me, I'm very excited because our new place allows me to have my own music room, where I have my drums, guitars, basses and keyboard all set up, and I plan to spend a minimum of 1 hour a day practicing them.
I am also very excited that due to a grant, my dementia counsellor Suzette will be coming to our house weekly to visit with us and help me deal with some things which are bothering me, such as my deteriorating memory. Dondra is making notes and I read one of them (surreptitiously) in which she noted I was having trouble with my eating utensils.
Here's a little something to cool you off on these hot days, and hopefully make you smile!
For those of you following me from Paulding County and have pets you need spayed, there will be a "Spay Day" on July 27th. Scheduling is conducted using voicemail. Please call #404-974-2885 for further info!
And don't forget to click to feed!