WORLD ALZHEIMER’S MONTH

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http://www.alz.co.uk/world-alzheimers-month

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If this horrific condition has touched your family, you are all too familiar with the frustration associated with it.  When you so desperately want to FIX something for your loved one…  but you can’t.  To watch a person once so quick-witted and sharp become a person you no longer recognize is so difficult.  Alzheimer’s touched our family – and it touches many families around the world.  The symptoms usually show up in older people over 65 years of age.

The most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease are:

  • Memory Loss.  We’ve all walked into a room and stood there wondering why we went there.  Maybe I’m speaking for myself – I’ve done it.  Sometimes that’s just because your mind is fragmented in so many directions and you’re having difficulty keeping it all straight.  True memory loss is when sections of your day seem to be forgotten easily.  That’s why it’s so important for seniors to try to stay active and use their minds to solve puzzles or do research on a subject that interests you.  When you just sit in front of a TV set all day, that’s not really working much of your brain – unless you’re watching game shows like Jeopardy where you have to come up with answers to questions.
  •  Problems Performing Tasks.  As we age, it gets more difficult to accept change, but it can also be a challenge to learn new skills and retain the steps of how to do the task.  Sometimes an individual has done the same task for years without a problem but suddenly it seems daunting and confusing.  If someone you love seems overwhelmed with everyday tasks, it’s probably time to see a doctor.
  • Not Paying Monthly Bills.  As much as we’d like to forget to pay bills, it’s not good when they don’t get paid on time.  It’s not good to have the electric shut off in wintertime.
  • Visuoperceptual Difficulty.  When what we see and what we perceive in our brains seems to disconnect somewhere along the way.  This can result in illusions, misperceptions and misidentification.  It broke my heart when my mother looked at me and called me “Frankie” (her sister who passed away in the early 1970’s).  I never corrected her, but just smiled, knowing that she loved her sister so very much and was devastated when she lost her.
  • Loss of Motor Skills.  Confusion, memory loss and visual issues can all impact one’s fine motor skill set.
  • New Problems with Words in Speaking or Writing.  It goes a bit beyond just finding the right word to use.  It’s the inability to follow a conversation, or when writing, I refer to it as “the train of thought derailing.” 
  •  Misplacing Things / Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps.  When you find your car keys in the refrigerator but are unable to retrace your steps to figure out how they got there.
  • Questionable Judgment.  When you start giving large amounts of money to organizations, or start buying everything that is sold on TV.  When you start to ignore basic daily grooming.
  • Withdrawal From Social Activities.  Showing a lack of interest in hobbies, church or sports.  It could be too difficult to keep up, or it may be that other symptoms of the disease have taken a toll and made it a challenge to participate in activities that once held interest.
  • Moodiness or Change in Personality.  Imagine how frustrating it would be to deal with confusion, suspicion or depression with this disease.  It can make a person fearful or anxious I’m sure.  Sometimes they are easily upset with friends or family, but especially when they are out of their comfort zone.  This was true when my mother and I went to a funeral together.  She was not in her little world for a couple of hours, and began complaining about everything.  She was like a person I didn’t recognize and I had to be the adult, telling her it would be alright and that she’d be back home soon.

I love this!  They use poetry to connect with those living with Alzheimer’s Disease!  Check this out.  ❤

http://www.alzpoetry.com/

I am a caretaker for a 92-year-old veteran with Dementia.  I have been with her for 5 years and have witnessed the decline.  However, I’ve also witnessed some beautiful moments and had the opportunity to write and share her great wisdom.  She may not always make sense but when I listen to God translate for her I get the message.  I’ve written over 25 poems inspired by this sweet lady.  Sometimes her children don’t understand why she’s still here.  When she passes I hope to put a booklet together of the poems and comments made about them, and give to her family so they can see that even thorough her Dementia, God was still using her.  – Lucinda Berry Hill

Here are some poems and the statements and stories that made them come alive.

Today is tomorrow.  – Mrs. C

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She gets her problems and puts them into baskets.  – Mrs. C

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Nothing would ever hit you except your own mouth.  – Mrs. C

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I could never do it, unless I did.  – Mrs. C

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It’s a good time to have a good smile.  – Mrs. C (during prayer)

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Take Him to your friends.  – Mrs. C

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Maybe the sun is better than candy.  – Mrs. C

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Hang up your blessings.  – Mrs. C

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It’s good to have a son in the basement.  – Mrs. C

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If you’re hungry, wear your color.  – Mrs. C

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I gave Mrs. C some tea and she asked do I have some.  I told her I had coffee.  And she asked, ‘Do you like electricity in your coffee?’  Talk about being caught off guard!  I thought, ‘There’s a poem there somewhere.’  – Lucinda Berry Hill

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Mrs. C’s daughter was upset because nothing was going right for her one day.  Mrs. C put her arms around her and said she was a good person and she loved her.  – Lucinda Berry Hill

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Mrs. C, when praying to God, will state what she has, followed by, ‘And we thank You for that.’   One day she prayed, ‘It’s a day we can’t do by ourselves, and we thank You for that.’  My first thought was, ‘It sounds like a bad day, what’s to be thankful for?’  But then it all made sense.  – Lucinda Berry Hill

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Mrs. C was looking at her copy of ‘Coffee with Jesus.’  She looked at the title and said, ‘Coffee with Jesus,’ maybe He’ll wake up and take us!’  – Lucinda Berry Hill

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He’s a good kid.  – Mrs. C

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I don’t like eggs before me.  Only when I’m not eating them.”  – Mrs. C

eggsIt’s not easy to be the family member dealing with someone with Alzheimer’s.  Patience on the part of the caregiver is short sometimes, and you learn to cry in the rain, in the shower, at the gym…  there are creative outlets for emotions.  Once the journey is over and you look back, it’s good to be able to say, “I didn’t lose my temper and I did the very best I could to care for my loved one.”  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)I joined a gym.  I didn’t want to go to a gym where Barbie and Ken dolls strut their stuff all over the place and make people like me feel like a fat speed bump.  After careful and prayerful consideration, my husband and I landed at Planet Fitness.  I like the NO CRITICS signs and especially the LUNK sign that says if you drop weights or judge another person, you are a LUNK.  There are also signs around that say THIS IS A NO JUDGMENT ZONE.  Other signs say YOU BELONG.  Please LIKE their facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/Planet.Fitness.Wichita.KS.Maize/?fref=ts

Even though I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin quite yet, I feel comfortable there – I know I will reach my goals in that kind of environment.

We have been consistent so far, and I’ve not gotten discouraged at all, so I plan to continue this lifestyle for the long haul.  For the first time in such a long time, I feel hopeful about weight loss and finally FINALLY getting my health back!  I have hit the wall…  I have no choice.  It’s either get healthy or pay over $400 a month for the rest of my life to take insulin.  I’d rather pay the gym and do the work.  I can do this – I WILL do this!  I have to do this. 

I have to share what happened on June 3rd.  As I said, there are signs all over the place.  They also have TV’s mounted in the center of the gym so you can watch any station you choose.  There is a PF TV that shows music videos and the PF advertisements in-between videos.

As I was walking on the treadmill I looked up at a sign on the PF TV that I knew should have said, DON’T FORGET TO SPRAY DOWN THE EQUIPMENT.  I know you’re going to think I’m off my rocker, but I promise you, when I looked up at it today, it said, DON’T FORGET TO PRAY.  That’s all – the “S” was too far to the left of the screen to be seen, and the rest of the message was too far down and off the screen completely.DON'T FORGET TO PRAY

Did anyone else see it?  I don’t know.  Did God mean for anyone to see it but me?  I don’t know.  I saw it though and obviously He meant for me to see it.  All I know for sure is my God is so good and so creative!  If He wants to remind you to pray, He’s gonna find a way and do it.

Tears came to my eyes.  If I had been among my own kind – my own “tribe”, I would have said, “HEY, LOOK YOU GUYS!!!”  Obviously, I was not among my own kind, so I showed great restraint and kept walking, wiping tears that rolled down my face (maybe others thought it was sweat).  I had to look up and smile, because for whatever reason, my God cared enough for me to remind me to talk with Him today.

It’s not a hassle, it’s not too time-consuming, it’s not a problem to converse with Him.  Call me crazy (go ahead, I’ve been called worse, believe me) – but at the moment I saw that sign, it was like God was letting me know He really looked forward to our daily conversation, and He would miss me if I didn’t show up.  I love that He loves me and wants my company!  Remember the song that Larnelle Harris sang called “I Miss My Time With You” – ???  Yeah – like that.  ❤

I’m loved, I’m protected and I’m heard by Him!  How many people on this ol’ earth can you say that about?  Most people just wanna talk and never listen.  God hears me – He always listens because He is a gentleman.  When I’m done talking, it’s His turn to talk to me.  I gladly listen, study His Word and look for signs everywhere I go – even the signs at the gym!  🙂

 

THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

TL 11-25 INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

THE WINDOWS OF THE SOUL

Violence is such a buzz word in our society.  There is violence all around us.  Times are tough right now.  People don’t have jobs (or more than likely they have a couple of part-time jobs and still can’t skate by).  The stresses of life can build up and if you don’t have an outlet (the gym or some other release), you might strike out at the ones you supposedly love the most.  But abuse is NEVER right – NEVER. 

Let me tell you about a woman who experiences violence behind closed doors.  Behind lead-glass French doors, I might add.

It’s the heaviest burden she will ever bear.  It’s the darkest secret she will ever hide.  She will go to great lengths to make it look as though everything is perfect to outsiders – neighbors and friends.  She will make every excuse in the book to “cover” for her abuser, saying, “He just had a bad day” – or “Wow am I stupid, why did I make him angry like that?”   She turns the fault on herself – every single time.

After a while, she begins to believe that lie.  She has internalized the blame for so long that eventually – everything that goes wrong is somehow her fault.  It doesn’t matter if it does not make logical sense – it is still her fault.  Her abuser has her right where he wants her…  frightened and vulnerable.  She’s afraid of her own shadow and unable to make simple decisions anymore.  She is completely paralyzed and spends time over thinking things that the rest of us don’t think twice about.  She questions her own sanity at times.

She’s lost every ounce of self-esteem and beats herself up and may even cut herself because she “deserves” nothing less in her mind.  Her abuser has convinced her that she is less than in every respect.  She is not as pretty, as smart, as skinny, as understanding, as – anything.  She thinks if only she was all those things, then finally she would be good enough and her abuser would stop verbally  and/or physically abusing her.

If she has children she feels especially trapped.  If she does not have children there is a chance she can get away, but she knows she needs a plan.  It’s frightening to plan her escape because up to this point she does not believe she has done one single thing right.  She asks herself why this plan would be any better than anything else she’s done.

She keeps replaying the conversation she had with her sister before the wedding.  Her sister expressed concern about specific times when his temper flared or he seemed too controlling.    The blushing bride patted her sister’s hand and assured her that it was nothing, but thanked her for being concerned.  She recalls quickly changing the subject at that point.

But now she knows her sister was right about him.  Those moments were red flags – signs.  She ignored them.  Why did she choose to ignore them?  She thought she loved him.  A nervous  laugh becomes audible as that thought passes through her mind.  She quietly said under her breath, ” What a cliche’!”  Now she knows that the only One who ever loved her gave His life for her.  Love was never a part of her marriage.  It’s always been about survival.

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She has a best friend who stays closer than a brother – His name is Jesus.  He knows her name – he knows what she is thinking and how she is feeling about herself.  He will help her through this.  She prays for her abuser as she scratches and claws her way out of this pit.  She listens to teaching that helps her hold on to threads of self-esteem.  She spends time alone with God to gain strength.  She found a loving circle of support from good Christian folks who  encourage her to take another step.  She just needs the courage to leave.  She needs a plan.  She prays that one in her circle can be trusted to help her.  She asks God who she should confide in and ask for help.

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If you are a man who abuses a woman – know this…  God is watching.  You may control your woman through violent behavior or verbal vomit, but when you have to stand before God one day (and oh yeah – you will) – you won’t have enough honey-covered words to get you out of that situation.  GET HELP – get it now.  Stopping is a process but it has to begin TODAY.  Find a good reputable Christian counselor and begin sessions.  Abusing a woman (or anyone else) does not make you more of a man.  If you have anger management issues – it is YOUR problem – don’t make it hers too. 

That woman you have – she is a bright, brilliant, fragile and loving soul that God entrusted you with!  Treat her with all the tenderness you possibly can.  If you will do that, you will be AMAZED at the love you receive in return!  Get on your knees and thank God for her every day.  Instead of belittling her, lift her up – it really does not take much to make a woman smile.  You know what, Mr. abuser?  God counts that woman’s tears – every one of them.  On judgment day He will show you that bottle of tears and ask for an explanation.  But the smiles you put on her face – now wouldn’t you rather see images of the smiles from God and hear the words WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT…  ???  😀

 

 

STAR WARS DAY

TL 5-4 STAR WARS DAY

https://youtu.be/TLXcHYBWGZU

PARKER

Ok my story to u as if I’m fighting Darth Vader is that my lows is hard to fight back every once in a while I get low and I start feeling like I’m not myself and it feels like I’m getting lifted in the air from the force so every night I have to go get my tablets and start eating them like Luke Skywalker getting his light saver before Darth Vader kills him so that’s my story.

Sincerely,
Parker Konsdorf, age 15

For a Type 1 Diabetic, it is crucial to keep blood glucose levels just as “normal” as possible. Is it easy? No, not at all. When those lows hit, just as Parker explained – it makes him like he’s not himself. Sometimes getting the blood sugar back up is like fighting Darth Vader – it’s a battle and the enemy is diabetes.

I’m not a Type 1 Diabetic like Parker. I’m a Type 2 Diabetic, but like Parker, I have a story about fighting with evil diabetes to keep my blood sugar levels under control too.

When blood sugar is too low, there is shakiness, confusion and agitation. When I’m low I turn into the wicked witch of the midwest! I know when my blood sugar is dropping because I lose patience with everyone and everything. My sugars tend to run on the high side most of the time. I don’t feel like myself either.

I feel as though I am Princess Leia after she’s been drugged by Darth Vader (I KNOW that didn’t happen in the movie – work with me here!) High blood sugar makes me feel dull-minded and listless. I can’t think straight and my eyelids get very heavy. I just want to sleep! I don’t want to fall captive to Darth Vader, but when my blood sugar is too high, it’s very difficult to get it lowered again. I have to force myself to walk or ride my bike. It would be so much easier to go sit in the recliner and turn on the TV. I would fall asleep – I know I would. But exercise is the only way I can get my blood sugar to come down.

I decided to dramatize the effects of low and high blood sugar with Star Wars and Darth Vader because today is STAR WARS DAY!!! I know there are some fans of Star Wars in the Diabetic Online Community (DOC) and I hope they especially enjoy this post.

Hopefully, this little dramatization has helped my non-D friends (yes, I am jealous) understand how our blood sugars can affect us. Sometimes a mood or a bit of listlessness in a diabetic can be a sign that blood sugar is out of whack. Non-D friends need to be aware of warning signs. If blood sugar is too high, we can go to sleep and slip into coma. If blood sugar is too low, we can seize and that can lead to death. We all need to be looking out for one another. Either extreme is very dangerous and if we all know the warning signs, then we can all fight Darth Vader (diabetes) together!!!  😉