Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saga Twelve

“An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth.” ~~ Bonnie Friedman
Our second camping trip with Sally and Jake. DH is obsessing all week about what is bothering him. So is Jake. When we get to Lake Manatee State Park, however, all obsession seems to be forgotten. We have been invited to a group of campers that Sally and Jake have been camping with for years and if we camp two times with this group, they will either vote us in or not. I wonder if they want another Alzheimer's husband in the group.

Other things besides the husband's obsessions are forgotten also. We are at our campsite and Sally and I disperse our husbands to go and get Jake and Sally's chairs. Guess what! Neither of them remember and they take a walk around the circle until we see them. No camp chairs! How many other wives whose husbands do not have dementia disperse their husbands to get something and they do not come home with the item?!

The group has
been together
camping once a month
for years
except during Florida's
hot summer months. Fine folk from several different churches in the Tampa area. Next month they will vote on our membership when we also join them. I think Sally and I have a great time camping with our husbands and we might as well do it while we can.

Friday night includes eating at a restaurant. I drive the four of us so Jake doesn't feel bad about his not driving now. At Cracker Barrel DH and I buy each other anniversary gifts that we each select for ourselves. I get some costume jewelry--necklace and earrings. DH buys a cap because he forgot his at home. (He also forgot his cell phone or else lost it again.) He thinks his cap is funny--it says "My IQ Test Came Back Negative". Now if he were seriously worried about his Alzheimer's, I don't think he would buy such a cap. But he isn't worried.  

Saturday includes a potluck lunch at noon. In the evening at 5:30 there is dessert and leftovers from noon. The group all sit around and chat after both meals and other times. Saturday morning Sally and several other ladies go to a neighborhood yard sale. DH and I are sitting at our site when Jake comes driving by on his bike. He doesn't know where his site is and where Lana is. I tell him all is well that Lana is with the ladies at a yard sale. Saturday afternoon the guys chat and Lana and I join a group for "Mexican Dominoes". My back can't take playing many games and so DH and I take off to get a smoothie at O'Brien's down the road from the park. Meanwhile the men return to their sites and Jake cannot find Sally again; he takes off on his bike to find her and people at the dock help him return to his site. Sally feels bad that she had her cell phone off when he was calling her. Sally came in second in the Mexican Dominoes game, however!

O'Brien Family Farms.  My husband, dog Ziggy and I enjoy this excursion. The farm lets you pick standing up and includes field trips from school age children. We take our pictures in the stand and enjoy our smoothies before returning to camp.
Since we hadn't gotten cards for our anniversary today, we wrote them. I wrote:
On this anniversary I want to say how much I do
love you. I cherish our camping this weekend
and appreciate the LORD's help in all the
adjustments we keep making in our senior years.
Thanks for letting me be me. I promise to be the
best wife I can be to you as we take care of each
other. Love praying with you each night also.
DH  wrote:
No other place I'd like to be than here.
No other person I'd rather be with than you.
Ziggy and I love you. You are in our dreams always.
I am enjoying my husband's love and hate the thought that one day he may not recognize me as other Alzheimer's spouses experience.

When you have a used popup (we bought it from Sally and Jake for $50), things may not go smoothly. It has been repaired in two shops. This morning I used the microwave for the first time to warm up coffee for DH. I blew a fuse! But when Jake and Sally came by later for fresh coffee we had then made outside the camper, Jake checked out our fuses and fixed it with our spare fuses and now I know how to do that. I thanked Jake profusely.

DH just does not do problem solving with fixing things anymore, and he has less energy. He even forgot that the electricity had gone out as we talked later. I just have to use that microwave outside with a separate extension chord in our gorgeous Florida weather, and I have to keep learning how to take care of things my hubby used to do. Sally is even learning to drive a bigger RV now and back it in. I am learning all I can about this popup camper.

Thank you, LORD, for our anniversary and for this weekend.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Turmeric Coconut Oil Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

There has got to be compensation for short-term memory. See Brain Cell Compensation . I do think my husband uses other parts of the brain to help him even if there are less neurons and neurotransmitters in his hyippocampus. When something is significant, he seems to compensate. Yesterday he had an appointment with a demotologist and today he was talking about his possible skin cancer. He also takes a lot of notes. While I worked today outside the home he got some energy up and cleaned our bathroom floors and mowed the lawn. I am so proud of him.

I am standing by coconut oil. It has so many benefits. I have written about it here since the summer of 2009. But I now am adding the spice of turmeric.

On the Alzheimer's Reading Room Vit. D3 and Tumeric:
UCLA researchers have identified a new biomarker that could help them track how effectively the immune system is able to clear the brain of amyloid beta, which forms the plaques considered one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. Scientists ID possible biomarker to gauge Alzheimer's prognosis, effect of therapies

The pilot study, currently published online in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, demonstrates how the immune gene MGAT3, which is essential in clearing amyloid beta, is expressed differently in different Alzheimer's patients. The finding may be useful in providing more highly individualized disease prognoses in the future.

It may also help researchers understand which patients will respond to therapy with vitamin D3 and curcumin, a chemical found in turmeric spice, both of which were shown in previous studies by this UCLA research team to help stimulate specific immune system cells to clear amyloid beta in a laboratory test.
From India, curmunin from Tumeric "demonstrates neuroprotective action in Alzheimer's disease" and other illnesses.

Now I can't get my husband to like fish or fish oil. More from the Alzheimer's Reading Room on Fish Oil He does take flax seed oil tablets which also contain omerga-3. I asked his primary care physician about D3, but we didn't persue this strategy at this time.

One can get turmeric as a spice. I put it in dishes now. Here is my simple recipe for toasted cheese sandwiches:

Put coconut oil on the outside of bread sandwiches and place them in a sandwich maker. I have had my Snakmaster for maybe twenty years. On the inside sprinkle turmeric as shown at the right.

Then place two slices of cheese on each sandwich. Close the lid for about four minues. My husband loves these sandwiches and he gets both coconut oil and tumeric!

I serve these sandwiches  with  a "parfait" I make from  Activia, blue berries and Kashi cereal for the crumbles.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Saga Eleven

The days go by so quickly.  I know Sally has a lot on her plate with Jake not driving and complaining that he can't drive. DH asks when will we get together with Jake and Sally again. We do go out to dinner with them and the conversation revolves around how mad Jake is about not driving; however he does say that Sally is a good driver (he wasn't so sure before). I know Sue has a lot on her plate also; she even had to Baker Act her husband due to his Alzheimer's. Pray for my friends in a similar situation. 

I am up to my ears with things to do. Probably every one is. I am working on a counseling degree, have taxes, and have never really finishing organizing the house, desite FlyLady and Barb's Cleaning Up the Clutter. Last week I worked  out of the house six days. I have yet to put DH's monthly Facebook photo album up to remind him of what we did in March and it is already April 5th! The home is not in the condition that I wanted at this time. We go twice a week to the chiropractor now. I was hurt more than DH in the crash last December, and so my moving boxes, decluttering in the house or working in the yard sets my back "back" until the next chiropractor visit.  I have sewing to do, etc., and was reminded that I am behind in blogging here. How can I get 70 followers who pray for us and for whom I can pray if I don't blog! I have so much more to write here.

However,  DH is doing just great! I think the brain health supplements (Ribonucleic Acid from Whole Food Supplements and the CoQ10) recommended by our chiropractor for DH and the Turmeric spice I add to foods are helping him. He has such a great attitude and strives to keep on top of what is going on. He is not on any anti-depressants as some dementia patients are.

We are making some financial headway because we don't have any car payments now (due to the crash) and  have Preferred Care instead of AARP. When I get a chance I want to find a coupon buddy here in Plant City and start saving money on our food costs. But everything takes time.

What do I accomplish?  I every day read Scripture, again going through the Bible in one year with The Daily Audio Podcast. I don't only listen--some days I only read the OT, NT, Psalm and Proverbs selections without listening. So this was in my dailly Bible reading this week from Luke 10:40-42:

Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “LORD, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the LORD said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details; There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
LORD, enhance the Mary in me. I better not turn into a Martha concerned about what I don't accomplish or who should be helping. I will just prioritize and not be weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9). D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes in Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure (one of my course books):
You are tired and weary and you feel at times it is too much for you? Go back and look at your life and put it into the context of eternity. Stop and ask yourself what it all means. It is nothing but a preparatory school. This life is but the ante-chamber of eternity and all we do in this world is but anticipatory of that. Our greatest joys are but the first fruits and the foretaste of the eternal joy that is coming. . . . We are too immersed in our problems. We need to look ahead, to anticipate, to look forward to the eternal glories gleaming afar. The Christian life is a tasting of the first-fruits of that great harvest which is to come. (pp. 200-201)
LORD, thanks for my "to do" list. Help me not be weary, to prioritize and realize this world is not all. Amen.