WORLD ALZHEIMER’S MONTH

tl-9-21-world-alzheimers-month

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

hamburg-1508785_1920

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

today-is-tomorrow

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

a-womans-baskets

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

dont-be-hit-by-your-own-mouth

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

take-a-leap

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

a-good-time-to-smile

Take Him to your friends.  – Mrs. C

take-him-to-your-friends

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

sun-and-candy

Hang up your blessings.  – Mrs. C

hang-up-your-blessings

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

a-son-in-the-basement

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

colors

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

a-tribute-to-coffee

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

her-actions-speak-love

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

we-thank-you-for-that

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

if-jesus-drank-coffee

He’s a good kid.  – Mrs. C

the-kid-of-the-king

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.”  🙂

Advertisements

OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

TL SEPTEMBER IS OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS DAY

5-8 OVARIAN CANCER SYMPTOMS

http://www.whyteal.org/

I know that May 8th is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day, but the month of September is dedicated to educating women about ovarian cancer.

For me, it was not so subtle – and the timing was a God thing.  Since I’m retired, I don’t typically dress up for any reason unless it’s for church.  It’s not unusual to see me in sweat pants in the winter or capris in the summer with a large tee shirt most of the time.

But it was around Easter and I went out to buy an Easter dress.  I tried it on at the store and it fit fine.  I got the dress out on Sunday and when I put it on, it was suddenly too tight!  I knew that was strange because it fit so well in the dressing room at the store.

A voice – inner voice – God’s voice – prompted me to call my doctor.  I told her what happened and she asked some questions, then referred me to an OB/GYN.  Things happened very quickly from there.

I hardly had time to think, let alone process.

The bottom line is, the more information we share about this killer, the more likely women are to pay attention to changes in their bodies… and that’s what needs to happen.  If you ignore them or pass them off as getting older or eating a little too much, you could wait too long and it could be too late.

The ovaries are so small and the cancer does not stay contained there for long.  It doesn’t take long for the cancer to begin to spread.  Once that happens, it’s much more difficult to treat.  I’m not saying that to frighten you – but if you suspect something and need to be frightened into getting it checked out – then I’m glad I scared you.

http://wotv4women.com/2016/09/01/ovarian-cancer-awareness-month-symptoms-risk-factors-and-more/

Ovarian cancer is not detected in any routine test.  It really is up to every woman to know her own body and when something odd happens, call for an appointment immediately!

untitled (2)

Menopause is not a picnic, but it beats the alternative.  Don’t get me wrong…  I’m ready to go to Heaven, but I’m thankful that God still wants to use me here on earth for a while longer.  Maybe God knew that I’d work to help educate women by telling them about my experience and encourage them to see a doctor if they suspect something is not right.  🙂

 

 

DARE DAY

TL 6-1 DARE DAY

https://youtu.be/y_vVQ9i9e8w
Aging is something out of a Stephen King novel!  Scary does not begin to describe it.

From a very early age, I wanted to be scared.  I think that I wanted an emotional engagement with something that was safe, something I could pull back from.  – Stephen King

Today is DARE DAY!!! I feel as though Mother Nature has just issued me the greatest dare of them all: I DARE YOU TO GROW OLD GRACEFULLY. You know what? I’m gonna take her on – I’m sure gonna do my best to accept that dare and be the most graceful old lady ever!

I’d rather have a few laugh lines than worry warts!  – Unknown

My mother used to tell me it was her greatest wish to “grow old gracefully”. If my mother was alive today, I would ask her to have a seat on my sofa and I would apologize to her for not being a better friend to her as she got older.

I would tell her – “Oh mom – NOW I understand how you felt! I know not only the physical symptoms (which are horrific) but also the emotional symptoms that you try to stop in their tracks, but somehow can’t.”

This is nothing like anything I’ve experienced before in my life. I want to tell people, “Please PLEASE have patience with me. This is unfamiliar turf – uncharted territory!!! I’ve never BEEN this old before, so I’m not very good at it yet. Give me a little time to adjust. I’ll do better, I promise!”

I’d like to go see this show!

Back in the 1990’s, doctors could hardly wait to put their menopausal patients on hormone replacement therapy. They were chomping at the bit to shove those drugs at you. But over the past decade, doctors have realized that these treatments were causing more harm than good for their patients. My doctor is flatly refusing to discuss hormone replacement therapy with me.

I wish I could carry a sign around with me that says, “If I am cranky please forgive me – I just lost my entire supply of estrogen and did not realize how important it was – until it was all gone!”

Estrogen must have kept me sane and emotionally balanced. Again, roughly ten years ago, it seemed that estrogen was the proverbial “fountain of youth”. They have completely changed their opinion about that as well. In spite of books, such as the popular book written by Suzanne Somers entitled, “Sexy Forever” which opened a new discussion about the more safe alternative called bioidentical hormone therapy. From all I have read and heard, this is a good alternative for a woman who has a great deal of money to spend. Women like me can’t afford to go that route.

This does not sound like something that would be covered by my insurance plan. If you are a successful actress, then go for it. If you are a plain person like me, then perhaps a better alternative is to just ride the wave and try to keep a positive attitude . That, by the way, is easier to say when I am not in the middle of a hot flash! Wow – would somebody please get me out of this toaster??? Excuse me, but there is a volcano erupting inside me – could somebody call 911???

I’m beginning a brand new chapter in my life. I don’t know what to expect because I’ve never been here before. I want to walk through the door with my head held high, a positive attitude and a lot of cold water! That’s the plan – to grow old gracefully!

True style is timeless. Jackie O taught us that, didn’t she???

Class and grace never go out of style at any age.  I’m young at heart, just older in some other places! I’m glad I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to get older because many are not given the privilege. Thank You, Lord!

WORLD OVARIAN CANCER DAY

TL 5-8 WORLD OVARIAN CANCER DAY

When we are faced with grief and loss, where can we go?  We can go to the foot of Christ’s cross.

 

PLEASE READ AND SHARE THIS POST!!!

Wear teal today – it’s WORLD OVARIAN CANCER DAY!!!

Today is the day we raise awareness about ovarian cancer, the women’s cancer with the lowest survival rate for which there is little awareness and no cure. On this day, ovarian cancer awareness organizations from across the world will aim to have a singular focus and talk about ovarian cancer and its symptoms.

World Ovarian Cancer Day will take place on May 8th each year.

I am so glad that there is a day to make women aware of the dangers of ovarian cancer because it has the lowest survival rate of all gynecological cancers. There is a frightening lack of awareness of symptoms and late stage diagnosis which is almost certainly a death sentence.

Today is the first World Ovarian Cancer Day.  Ovarian cancer organizations from around the world will unite to educate their communities about ovarian cancer and its symptoms. For women living with the disease, and their families and friends, World Ovarian Cancer Day will build a sense of solidarity in the fight against the disease.

My message to you today is – Keep your appointment with your OB/GYN.  If you do not have one – get one!  A total hysterectomy is a very scary thing to face, but it’s sure better than facing ovarian/uterine cancer! 

Every year, nearly a quarter of a million women globally are diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, and it is responsible for 140,000 deaths – largely due to late-stage diagnosis!  Statistics show that just 45% of women with ovarian cancer are likely to survive for five years compared to up to 89% of women with breast cancer.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • All women are at risk of ovarian cancer
  • Awareness of the early warning signs of the disease could save lives
  • Diagnosis at an early stage vastly improves a woman’s chance of survival
  • Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage.
  • The cervical smear test (Pap test) will NOT detect ovarian cancer

Symptoms of ovarian cancer can often be confused with other less serious conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders. Symptoms include:

  • Bloating that seems to be persistent
  • Increase in abdominal size
  • Feeling full all the time
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent urination

If you notice changes and you have an uneasy feeling about things – a sense that something is not right – see your OB/GYN.  I would rather keep the appointment and be told that I’m wrong than to not keep the appointment and find out that I was right.  By then it could be too late.

The earlier you receive a diagnosis of ovarian/uterine cancer, the better your chances of survival!!!

Here’s the bottom line to every woman reading this post and every man who loves a woman and will tell her:

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!!
SYMPTOM LIST:
4-5-13

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!!!  😉