Monday, October 31, 2011

Alzheimer's Disease: What If There Was a Cure?

Earlier in the blog I did review The Coconut Oil Miracle and how it helps diseases. But I have been eagerly waiting for this book at the left to come out for two years. Dr. Mary Newport and I even e-mailed each other about the topic of coconut oil and how it can help someone with Alzheimer's. I read the article she wrote here.  Her husband has Early-Onset Alzheimer's and you have to read their love story. I ordered my copy through Barnes and Noble, but you can get it through Amazon with e-books to follow.

This summer when finances were tight, I wondered if coconut oil was really necessary. When I read her book this month, however, I knew my husband needs to have that coconut oil once again.

  • The ketones in coconut oil provide an alternate fuel to keep the brain cells alive. Lots in the book about the science of ketosis.  
  • Dr. Mary's husband's energy returned.
  • Steve Newport's personality and sense of humor returned.
  • His gait or walk returned.
  • Coconut oil seems to take the fog away.
  • I think all of this is true for DH as well.
There has not been significant clinical testing to determine if it works. People tried to stop Dr. Mary's crusade. She was able to speak in Europe about it, but not in our country. Humm. This is the same thing that our chiropractor said about Ribonucleic Acid and CoQ10 that he recommended my husband take. There aren't studies. But we think these supplements do help.

Dr. Mary recommends a combination of MCT (I get this from Vitacost) and coconut oil (I get from Tropical Traditions).See my links at the side. You can't heat coconut oil over 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  You can use coconut oil from the drug store section at Walmart.

I am just using coconut oil, however, and had trouble lately adapting recipes that my husband would eat.  While coconut oil in oatmeal worked for a time with my husband, he got tired of oatmeal for breakfast.

New recipe. There is a simple recipe in this book that may have helped my husband pass that Alzheimer's driving test for the second year in a row--"Coconut Fudge". Lately I have been serving this to my hubby after I got Newport's book and before he took that driving test last Friday.

Melt  chocolate chips and combine with an equal amount of liquid coconut oil. Freeze in ice cube trays. You can add walnuts and/or shredded coconut before you freeze. When frozen, pop each fudge piece out of tray and refrigerate. This works with my husband. I know it does, and he likes the fudge.

This is not a formal review of Dr. Mary's book, folks, but I just had to get the word out. Is coconut oil a cure for Alzheimer's once someone has it?  Probably not, but coconut oil may help prevent health problems in general and improve the quality of life for the dementia patient.

This is good news!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saga Nineteen

THURSDAY. I reminded my husband that the driving test was tomorrow morning and he spend almost two hours reading the Florida driving manual. I was amazed he could still give attention to reading. He also pointed out that he doesn't have to drive anymore--that he is content to be driven around. His attitude about driving has certainly changed in the past year, and due to the totaling of one car with the crash last December, we have only one vehicle anyway. "Just do your best, honey," I pointed out. "What if I were in the hospital and you needed to drive to visit me?" So when we prayed Thursday night, we did just put the result of the driving test in the LORD's hands.

FRIDAY. Amazingly I believe my husband passed his driving test yesterday at the Memory Disorders Clinic at Morton Plant Mease Hospital in Clearwater. He did about the same on the written computer test as last year, and therefore needed to pass the physical driving test as he had last year. His only mistake, said the examiner for the physical driving test, was to not look over his shoulder at the blind spot when turning left. Later he remembered her comment and told me that then he would not be paying attention to the road if he had looked over his shoulder.

Because I am conscious of the precious time I have with DH and wanted to enjoy this "date", when we got to Clearwater for the 9:30 appointment, I used my time in the waiting room to research what we might do after the appointment. I had googled "things to do in Clearwater" and none of that was to pan out. Instead a headline in the Clearwater Beacon newspaper provided an opportunity. We would go see a movie produced in the area.

Clearwater, Florida
DOLPHIN TALE. The dolphin "Winter" is the star of the movie. We went to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see her, but it was raining and we decided to not spend the time and the money to see her. Instead we headed to the area of the Cinema Cafe where there was a 4:15 showing. With a little time on our hands, we went to Sam's Wholesale where DH sat in the food area while I stocked up on dog food and other non-perishable items I like to get there. Then back to Cinema Cafe for the showing. The tickets were only $5 for seniors and we paid at the end of the movie. We sat in a comfortable chair with a small round table. We ordered drinks and a pizza. Hubby had a Scotch and Water and I had coffee because I would drive home. I don't want to spoil the movie for you, but it packs a huge emotional punch. I cried and hubby could follow the plot.

SATURDAY--today. My Fundraising Goal for the Alzheimer's Walk Today was $150 and I raised $200.00. Thanks to all of you who contributed. Sally, a friend of hers, and I walked today in the rain. DH and Jake hung out at our home in the meanwhile. Because our husbands need things to do, we four went to Starbucks after the walk. I had not been to the Plant City one before because I guess I didn't feel the need to spend the time or spend the money. But it was relaxing to be there.

TO COME. Review of Dr. Newport's book. Consciously this week I cooked with coconut oil again. I found new ways to use it, where hubby had been bored with coconut oil in oatmeal for some time. Could it be that hubby passed the test due to the coconut oil?!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saga Eighteen

My husband just asked when we are going to Disney.

"We went yesterday," I replied.

We met Sally and Jake a year ago and the great supportive friendship we have with this couple has developed over this time. In October of last year we went to Epcot with them. Yesterday the four of us went to Disneyworld in Orlando.

It became apparent that my husband's energy is going downhill from a year ago because he could not participate in a day at Disney as he had a day at Epcot.  We chose activities that involved sitting such as three calm boat rides and shows. I took pictures of Jake and Sally on the Tomorrowland Speedway--great fun for Jake who is not allowed to drive now because of he didn't pass his Alzheimer's driving test. When we went to the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, Sally was part of the program; her picture appeared up on screen, and a cartooned character interacted with Sally in the program. How do they do this?! We really did have fun at Disney. Sorry hubby couldn't recall his fun this morning.

My husband keeps his charming personality and is really happy, thank God. Last Tuesday night we went to Barnes and Nobel for me to pick up my ordered book on Dr. Mary Newport's book on Alzheimer's and coconut oil. (Review to follow.) Then we went to dinner at Smoky Bones next door. I asked DH what was on his mind. He said,

"How happy I am!"

The young man who waited on us also chatted with us because business was slow. He is going to medical school. I told him to consider finding a cure for Alzheimer's. Hubby told the waiter that he feels fine and loves being retired. I have reflected on this and realize how fortunate I am to have a happy husband. Others experience the anger of their Alzheimer's loved ones. I have rarely experienced that and am claiming Proverbs 26:2 if I do because it is the Alzheimer's that causes the change of personality.

Sally and Jake had a power shortage at their home and are having to replace some appliances. This is hugely confusing to Jake and Sally misses her once capable husband who took care of items such as this. My husband just tends to let me take care of things. A year ago he weeded I noted on the calendar. Now I weed and don't keep up with it. Hubby keeps putting off mowing the lawn. A neighbor has noticed this and has mowed our front yard twice. I need to learn to mow the yards--front and two backyards. When we had a minor plumbing problem recently, my husband just calmly let me handle the situation and the $216 check.
Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble. . . . Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.  from Psalm 90 NLT
"Can we do something fun today?" hubby asks.

"When the lawn is mowed, "  I say. Midday after I started this post he goes out to mow the lawn. Thank you LORD!

Next week's anticipated blogging posts: 
  • Review of Alzheimer's Disease: What If There Was a Cure? by Dr. Mary T. Newport
  • My husband's second ALZ driving test 
  • ALZ walk--support if you haven't by clicking on top right link

Monday, October 10, 2011

Learn as You Go or Prepare Ahead?

“It is best to learn as we go, not as we have learned.”
― Anonymous

Some things I have learned as we take this Alzheimer's journey:
  • My pastor and trusted friends can't really always advise me. They can pray.
  • My husband's children don't know what to say. I think they admire our journey from a distance and certainly hope they remember us in prayer.
  • My husband has a VERY poor sense of time, not just short-term memory. Because he knows this, he regularly checks with me.
  • My husband enjoys his life. He lives one moment at a time. This includes seeing movies repeatedly. His favorites include "The Titanic", "Walk the Line", "Fireproof" and "Pearl Harbor". Old movies are best because the new ones have too much action and intrigue often to follow.
  • My husband loves me. We tell each other this often. I am with him in his journey.
  • I learned to accept sundowning episodes and the anger of my husband because of the missing neurons in his hippocampus. When he called me an A-Hole the other day, I was calm. Later I told him what he had said and he apologized.  We marry a man who doesn't swear, and then they get Alzheimer's and swear! This is God's lesson to me to rely on Him for MY patience.
  • There is a wonderful blogger network out there. We encourage each other.
  • Provide a lot of clues for hubby to manage on his own when I am gone.
  • Get in a support group. Sally and I are in one that meets monthly. Hubby and I are in one that meets monthly.
  • Scripture keeps speaking to me with my caregiver's stress.
  • Have an Alzheimer's driving test. Hubby will have his second one Oct. 28th.
On the other hand, there are some things I have to prepare for:
  • My own health. I got into emotional eating when I realized that he has Alzheimer's. I need to prepare for the Alzheimer's walk on Oct. 29th also and appreciate those who have contributed. You can do so on line. Great encouragement to me and "Ann", my Alzheimer's Association support group facilitator. Her team that I am no needs to raise more money. Click on the link at the top right. I have  thanked people who contribute in person or by e-mail. 
  • Simplifying our life. Keep things in the same spot that my husband is used to. Use priorities as in Staci Eastin's book reviewed here.
  • Get credit cards paid off while I can work extra jobs.
  • What I can't prepare for is in the LORD's hands. Questions remain such as what if I can't take care of hubby in the future. Yet the Lord is my great Caregiver.
Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Proverbs 12:25 NLT

Thanks to my Associate Pastor who e-mail me that he and his wife are praying. This was an encouraging word today and to his wife and others who contributed to the Walk or contribute by prayer.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Amazing Grace Author and His Memory

John Newton, author of favorite hymn "Amazing Grace":

My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things:
That I am a great sinner,
and that Christ is a great Savior.
I love the sweet prayers of my Christian Alzheimer's husband. The soul and emotions of an Alzheimer's patient are intact and they will have super quality time in heaven. From that great hymn by the hymn writer who lost his memory:

I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see. . . .
When we've been there
Ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days
To sing God's praise
Then when we'd first begun.

Hank Hanegraaff on this video UTube Q & A on Alzheimer's Patient reinforces the soul of the Alzheimer's patient. It continues. One day it will be reunited with a whole, healed body at the resurrection of the saints.

Meanwhile God does not hold accountable the anger and confusion of our loved ones with Alzheimer's. Jesus died for those sins and confusion. But we have the privilege of having the divine CAREGIVER, our Father in Heaven,  to help us earthly caregivers.