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Home > Author Archives: G-J

Author Archives: G-J

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I am a caregiver for my 59-year-old husband, Steve, who was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment in December 2009. His employer put him on disability and he had to retire one year later when he couldn't return to work. I am also the mother to our son who is now a high school senior. We have a cat, Sagwa, who rounds out our family. In addition to blogging here, I volunteer at my son's high school in the scholarship office, teach a class I created called, "Keep Your Brain Buff" at our city's Senior Center, lead a writing group at the Alzheimer's Association, and advocate for people with all types of dementia. In November, I will be participating in my third Walk to End Alzheimer's.

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 »

Trade-Offs

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Life is full of trade-offs.  If you spend your money on a new car, you may not be able to take a vacation, for example. I wish the decisions in caregiving were that easy! Steve takes several medications, one of which is through a patch. He has been on a particular dose of the patch since he started on in. In December, his neurologist suggested that Steve might be able to tolerate a higher dosage ... Read More »

What Dementia Cannot Do

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There is an inspirational poem entitled, “What Cancer Cannot Do” which you may have seen on the internet.  I started a list of What Dementia Cannot Do and would love to have you add to it.  (Dementia is being used here as that umbrella term encompassing dementia as well as Alzheimer’s, Frontal Temporal Dementia, Lewy-Body Dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment and every other diagnosis that falls into this category.) - Take away your accomplishments - Remove ... Read More »

Who We Are – An Update

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Last month I wrote a blog, “Who We Are.”  It’s three weeks later and  I thought it was time to give you an update. Since my husband was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) in December 2009, I have noticed that when someone is diagnosed with any type of dementia, they are only thought of by their diagnosis. Unlike other illnesses, a dementia related diagnosis is usually received by someone young who then has to ... Read More »

Activities To Help Your Children And Your Caree Interact With Each Other

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Quick!  What do these things have in common: photos, music, and a video camera? They are all things that can be used to encourage positive interactions between your children and your caree. These suggestions can be used by anyone, not just a child and caree. Even if you don’t have children, you might enjoy them! A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a chat here on caregiving.com and offered suggestions to one member who ... Read More »