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G-J’s Blog

G-J blogs about caring for her spouse while they raise their teen-age son.

Donuts, Taylor Hicks and Eyes

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Last month my cousin e-mailed me to make sure everyone at my house was okay because I hadn’t blogged in a while. Since February 4th, to be exact. Frankly, I have composed some brilliant, witty blogs – all in my head! I just haven’t found/made the time to put those wonderful thoughts on the computer. Sometimes once the moment passes, whatever I wanted to write about doesn’t seem like such a momentous thing and I ... Read More »

Not Jeannie or a Genie

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I am not Jeannie, as in I Dream of Jeannie, nor am I a genie. I do not grant wishes, I don’t look like Barbara Eden, I don’t live in a bottle or a lamp, and I don’t have a master. I think I’ve given the wrong impression that I might be a genie, though. Either that, or my husband thinks he is Captain Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Many times during the ... Read More »

The Alien in Our House

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My husband has dyslexia, so he’s never been a reader. He peruses the newspaper (yes, we still get a daily paper) and if he reads anything, it’s an article in the business section. My husband doesn’t like to swim. He grew up in a house with a pool, was certified as a diver, was even a lifeguard, but has always told me he doesn’t like to swim. Over the years I’ve seen him lounge in ... Read More »

GOTCHA!

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Things have been going very well here since Steve moved to a lower dose of one of his medications. He has been reading, his spirits are better, he seems to be remembering things, he’s napping less and he planned ahead and purchased a Christmas card and gifts. In the past when this has happened, I have wondered, Is he better? Has it really been something other than MCI all along? Yeah, I know, wondering if ... Read More »

The Energy Crisis

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Steve lives with an energy crisis – his own. If he does too much one day, he isn’t able to do much the next. The catch is what defines “too much” and how and when it will impact him. Sometimes it’s obvious when Steve’s done too much. Last week, Steve attended a meeting at his former employer’s. After the meeting he visited with people for a couple of hours. He told me he knew he ... Read More »

The Memories You Save

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“The memories you save could be your own.” Can you think of any better reason to do everything you can to help advance Alzheimer’s prevention research through education, advocacy and study participation?  There is a way that you, and everyone 18 and older can help. On November 13th, I participated in a webinar with Banner Alzheimer’s Institute to learn about the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry.   First, a quick education about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia because ... Read More »

Where to Next?

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On November 2nd, my husband, a friend and I joined a few thousand people to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Huntington Beach, CA. Our team, Where to Next?, raised $2,440. It was an incredibly beautiful morning; the type that you picture when you think of Orange County, California. The weather was perfect! It was warm, but not hot, with no breeze which is so unusual! Often it’s cold and windy at the ... Read More »

Speechless

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“My goal is to live until our son turns 18.” “13 months from now? Is there something you’re not telling me?” “Well, I didn’t expect to be on disability at 55, and I think it’s important for a child to have their parents until they are 18, don’t you?” I was quite a sight with my mouth open like a fish’s and tears spilling out of my eyes. “Frankly, I’m speechless. My goal is to ... Read More »

World Alzheimer’s Month 2013

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I wrote a letter to the editor of our community paper about World Alzheimer’s Month. They published it Friday. Here it is for you to read. September is World Alzheimer’s Month, making this a good time to talk about the stigma of Alzheimer’s and all dementias. First, to clarify, according to the 2012 World Alzheimer Report 2012, “Dementia is a syndrome that can be caused by a number of progressive illnesses that affect memory, thinking, ... Read More »

I Can C.A.R.E.

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Steve and I are part of a support group for people with early to moderate memory loss and their spouse. The group starts together and then breaks into separate groups for the caregiver and the caree. In my group, the caregiver has given us the acronym C.A.R. We should not confront, argue or rationalize with our caree. I am tired of being told what I can’t do, which I know probably makes me sound like ... Read More »

Back to…

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It’s back to school time! If you are raising a child, they have either started school or will be returning to school very soon. With the start of the school year comes excitement, anxiety, new clothes, new school supplies, the outlay of a lot of money, and a busier schedule. If you’re also a family caregiver, you may be wondering how you will juggle everything. You might be an experienced family caregiver who has been ... Read More »

Déjà Vu

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Earlier this week, you might have read my blog, “The Juggling Caregiver” about my husband, Steve being sick last Friday night. Well, we’re having a repeat performance tonight. Steve met a friend for lunch today and our son and I went out on a few errands and enjoyed lunch out together. Steve told us about his lunch, we discussed a few things and he went to work drawing out plans for a project to add ... Read More »

The Juggling Caregiver

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Announcer’s Voice: Ladies and gentlemen! Today we bring you one of the most daring feats known to mankind.  We have with us a woman, measuring in at 5’ 1 1/2” who is going to try to dazzle you with her juggling, and not just any juggling! She is going to try to juggle two men! Yes, you heard that right! Previously, she has attempted juggling two men and a boy with less than impressive results, ... Read More »

Congratulations! Your Situation is Catastrophic!

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Never did I think that being in a catastrophic situation would be a good thing, but when it comes to Medicare and prescription drug coverage, it isn’t bad. Since Steve is permanently disabled, last year he became eligible for Medicare. We selected a Medicare Advantage plan.  His plan has four drug payment stages, but Stage 1 does not apply to Steve’s plan, so he starts in Stage 2. He stays in that stage until year-to-date ... Read More »

NOOOOOO! Not the Cat!!

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I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, so please bear with me while I say again that if you’re a caregiver, other things should go smoothly in life. It’s like there should be a deal with the universe that you’re already dealing with something HUGE so you don’t have to deal with any other problems or potential problems. We have a kitty, Sagwa, that we love. Our son picked him out at the shelter when ... Read More »

Full Moon

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It was obvious that there was a full moon recently.  There has been a slight change in things, but I don’t know if it’s temporary or permanent, which adds to the challenge. Saturday morning the three of us were talking. Our son said something and repeated it and Steve still didn’t seem to hear it so I said it louder. Steve told me not to yell, and said that if I don’t want to answer ... Read More »

The Test

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Tomorrow I’m having a colonoscopy. From here on out we’re referring to it as The Test because c-o-l-o-n-o-s-c-o-p-y is too much to type. This has been scheduled since early last month. I let Steve and our son know and had already arranged for a friend to take me for the appointment. She’s not a morning person, yet, she’s picking me up at 7:15 tomorrow morning. What a friend! Most of the time, Steve’s memory issues ... Read More »

How Others Rationalize Away Helping

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My neighbor’s wife has cancer. I found out around Christmas when I went to their house to deliver the trail mix that we make for them each year. The cancer was in her jaw and she had to have reconstructive surgery. I didn’t know his wife was ill, and neither did the other neighbors. I did the usual thing and asked if he needed anything and of course he didn’t. I told him to let ... Read More »

Unexpected Gifts

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Sometimes we are handed unexpected gifts and if we aren’t observant, we miss them.  Earlier this month, Steve had an appointment with his neurologist.  His goal was to get 100% on his tests.  There really isn’t such a thing as 100% on the tests, but it was a good goal. The next day, Steve was disappointed in how he did on the cognitive testing.  Steve did his best on the tests and found them to ... Read More »

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

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Today, Steve and I participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  Our team, “Walk for the Health of It!” had four members who raised money and walked.  As a team we have currently raised $2,700 and are in fifth place for fundraising.  Pretty cool! I was asked if I would speak at the opening ceremony.  I agreed.  It took me a while to write my speech.  I just couldn’t seem to get started and yet ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor

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We receive two free newspapers each week. These are the type of papers my Mom called “throwaways”. You don’t pay for them or subscribe to them, but they appear. They carry the local news. Very local. In honor of World Alzheimer’s Month, I wrote a letter to the editor of each paper. It was published this week in the Wednesday paper. We’ll see if it is published in the Friday paper. Today I received an ... Read More »

Unusual, But Good

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Last week was an unusual week.  Not bad, just different in positive ways, actually.  Monday we went to the local university, not for testing this time but to be interviewed for a new story.  On Friday we would be participating, for the second time, in a panel discussion at an Alzheimer’s conference.  We were one of three interviews being conducted at the university to promote the conference.  We were with the news crew for about ... Read More »