Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We're Back!

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!




The Animal Rescue Site


Thanks

Bill

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Goodbye, Norine (norinew)

It is with a great deal of sadness I must say goodbye to a friend and faithful follower of this blog. Norine New passed away recently after an extended illness I did not know she had.

Norine was one of the many "Doper" friends from my online community, "The Straight Dope", who helped Dondra and I so much during what we have come to know as "The Troubles" in both our lives after I lost my job, filed bankruptcy and endured the long haul of obtaining my disability. Had it not been for her e-mails and posts of encouragement on the Dope, the way would have been much harder for us, and we are both very grateful to have been a part of her life, brief though it was.

We didn't know each other face to face, no, but from what I do know, she is a follower of the Bahai'i faith (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bah%C3%A1'%C3%AD_Faith), a gentle people who came together for Norine's "Celebration of Life" this week.

You may visit her tribute page online by clicking on the title of the entry and if you care to contribute, a list of her charities appears below her announcement.

Goodbye, Norine, I will miss your kind and loving heart and we will never forget you.



Bill and Dondra Craig

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Back From The Hospital.....

....... and she's as good as new! HA-HA! Now all I gotta do is keep her off the salt. (DOUBLE-HA!) See, when she had her abdominal surgery last year (when she almost died, remember?) she started retaining fluid and the diuretics alone just weren't getting rid of the swelling.

She finally got to the point where it was affecting her breathing and her doctor decided (finally) to get aggressive and admit her and draw the fluid off with IV therapy and leg wraps. So now those fine looking gams are back and they drew off like 10 pounds of fluid (YIKES!).

Home therapy to be performed by yours truly: putting her compression hose on both legs which is very painful indeed (they are pressurized down to 40 mm of mercury which means they are VERY TIGHT!), to the point where she cries out and has tears.

This morning we did a trial run and instead of slipping the stockings onto bare skin we used powder which wasn't AS painful, so I had the bright idea of picking up some WD-40 on the way home to make it even easier. (Just kidding!)

So we're home after 4 nightds and still got the move ahead of us. Since we're both "walking wounded" (both of us with the arthritis) we're paying to have someone move us, but we're packing ourselves. Also, I'm not letting anyone touch my drums, guitars and keyboard but me, so I will have that little bit of lifting to do - which I won't mind a bit.

Still got lots to tell y'all about the Alzheimer's Advocacy Forum D and I attended in Washington DC, so stay tuned and let me get settled (should be next week, now).

It's in the mid 90's down here in Georgia already, with not much humidity today, so it's kinda like an ocean breeze when the wind blows.

Thanks to Ann and Becks for the well-wishes and I'll be back soon. Remember to click to feed and here's one we'll dedicate to ME!



The Animal Rescue Site


Thanks!

Bill