Monday, June 20, 2011

Defining Issue of Our Age

It is June and I finally sat down to watch the May Larry King Special, "Unthinkable: The Alzheimer's Epidemic", saved on our Bright House cable box. However, this May special  wasn't there. My husband must have erased it. Did anyone see it?

I did a little research. Maria Shriver  (bless her heart--shame on Arnold)  in a promo for this video says Alzheimer's is "the defining issue of our age". She points out there is no remission and the Alzheimer's loved one becomes your child. I guess goodbye husband, hello child.

I also went online to and got an account there as "other health care provider"  and from that site I learned more of what was on the King special.
  • Ronald Petersen, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease said "If we don't do something about Alzheimer's disease right now, Alzheimer's disease in and of itself may bankrupt the healthcare system. "  By 2050 the numbers are expected to hit 16,000,000! I will be 106 then. Yes I am turning 67 this month, and my husband is turning 74 in December.
  • Angie Dickinson had a sister with Alzheimer's. She recommended, "Love them and I don't mean just love them with your soul and your head, but with your arms and your company and your touch and whatever pleasure still might be there for them, and don't ever let up," she said.
Angie's advice is what I can use now. Plan days with him. We started to go to the gym, but my husband didn't want to go at the end of last week. We went this morning.  He wanted to plant an orange tree and a grapefruit tree and we got those last week--fun to go shopping. He didn't have the energy to plant the trees and so Jake came over to help my husband. Jake said earlier last week that he needs someone to need him. We needed him as my back is a problem and DH doesn't have much energy.Sally and I enjoy our husband's friendship. Both Jake and DH get bored. That's why the days have to be planned even if they don't remember what happened. DH's clipboard list I typed does help him remember what is happening each day. Jake and DH may not remember events, but they remember our love.

Sally is applying FlyLady organization to her home. I need to do that also, even though my back still hurts. Company motivates me. We have company coming for dinner Wednesday night and for my birthday next weekend.  My beloved sister-in-law is coming into town! Can't wait! She is driving all day to get here without my brother whom she is dropping off somewhere to golf for his weekend.

Now the defining issue of our age for me used to be driving after drinking. Several times during the year I teach the twelve hour class for impaired drivers--the ones who have gotten their first DUI arrest. I try to get these students to never ever drive impaired again. If you follow this blog you realize that ironically we were hit by an impaired driver last December--that driver's blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit when he hit us. Our lawyer recently contacted us to say that he had no way of receiving a settlement because the driver was not insured and so the case is essentially over. I can write about what happened now, but impaired drivers is not the defining issue for me.

Daily I pour into Scripture to help me cope with my husband's disease. He is basically happy and I need to apply Angie's wisdom and the wisdom from Bob on the Alzheimer's Reading Room. Yes, my daily Scripture is what gets me through the day. This morning I read my daily Scripture from the New Living Translation of the Bible to my husband on the backyard deck. Here are highlights:
1 King 22:5 But first let’s find out what the LORD says. Acts 13:32, 33 [Paul to Jews and Gentiles at Antioch of Pisidia on his first missionary journey] And now we are here to bring you this Good News. The promise was made to our ancestors, and God has now fulfilled it for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus. . . .Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in him is declared right with God—something the law of Moses could never do. Ps. 138:3, 7, 8  As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength. . . . Tough I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endured forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me. Prov. 17:17 A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.
I have several comments on that Scripture.
  • Always find out what the LORD wants.
  • Jesus Christ is still the defining issue of this age. Whether you or your loved one has Alzheimer's, you are declared right with God and have a home in heaven. This life is not all. See link "Two Ways to Live" on right.
  • My sister-in-law coming to visit reminds me of Proverbs 17:17. I have told her that if my brother were to pass away, I would be there for her and she always is for me. I have two younger brothers, but she is the sister I never had.
What is your defining issue?
What gives you peace in the midst of your storm?


  1. Reminding myself of God's sovereignty brings peace to my heart in the midst of trials. Knowing that God is not a liar and has promised to work ALL things together for my good (Romans 8:28) and that the 'good' is to conform me into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29) is a soft pillow which I often lay my soul to rest.

  2. Hi
    I'm a new reader who found your blog via Solofemininity. My mother has Vascular Dementia and Anxiety, and is very, very frightened in respite at the moment. We are praying that a new drug her specialist has put her on will soon soothe the anxiety.

    I am glad to have read the article on Carolyn's page, and to have found your blog.

    Blessings to you on your family.


  3. Hi Jenny! Welcome to this blog. My husband also has Vascular Dementia as you might have read. The deline with Vascular Dementia is supposed to be slower than if the patient has just Alzheimer's.

    Questions. I don't follow solofemininity. Is Carolyn the author there? Is your mom in respite? Usually the caregiver goes to "respite" time for a break.

    I also am praying for your mom today that the drug will help her anxiety. I know "Living on Less Money" will also be praying for you and your mom. Read the post here about anger where there may be some clues. As her daughter you can calm her with the LORD's help.


  4. I didn't watch the Larry King special, but I don't watch very many things concerning this subject. Maybe I bury my head in the sand, but I don't really want to know anymore than I already know about this disease.

    The comfort of scripture, prayer and good friends such as you are enough for me right now.

    I'm so glad you all have Jake and Sally..... it's such a comfort to have friends to travel this journey with.
    God bless!

  5. I am going to check out that site . Thanks for the info. My aunt watched the show and called to told me all about it.I never seem to be able to watch anything much on Alz's. I makes me cry. I have to shape up.