Tuesday, February 05, 2008

169 Obesity treatment may help AD? & feeling lonely

This is an interesting little blurb I came across totally by accident: New Obesity Treatment offers hope for Alzheimer's Patients. (Screenprint is here--article actually vanished between bookmarking it and writing about it!)
Doctors pushed electrodes deep into a man's brain during surgery in an effort to control his appetite. Once the electrodes were stimulated, vivid memories were unlocked of an experience 30 years earlier.
The article doesn't say that they have actually TRIED this on anyone with AD. Personally, I don't think it sounds like it has much promise. #1, AD isn't about "forgetting", it's about physical degeneration of the brain. Dead neurons, plaque, etc. Can an electrode make the neurons grow back? #2, from what I understand, doctors are VERY reluctant to go inside the skulls of living AD patients and muck around with their already screwed-up brains. "Pushing electrodes deeply" sounds messy and imprecise and not like it would work well even on overeating, except in the case maybe of those Prader-Willi people who have no sense of satiety and eat themselves to death.

about me: I've been feeling lonely and cut loose in the 2 or so months since my dad died. Maybe I miss the drama of having a dying father and all the attention I got when he died. But it seems to me...maybe I'm crazy...that people are avoiding me now that he's died. The same people who couldn't pledge enough support during those two horrible final months have vanished. I finally said something today to one of my best friends about it...she expressed guilt over neglecting me, and said it wasn't because my dad died, but she really didn't give a reason. And that's just how it's been. People I used to see once a week (or more) have dropped to every other week...once a month....can it really be I haven't seen some of these people since my dad's memorial service? Yes, indeed, that is true.
Having never lost a parent before I'm not sure if what I am going through is normal or not. I am sad, true, and often at odd times (usually when I am driving long distances alone, especially if I end up going past the exit for the nursing home), and at those times I might leak a little around around the eyes, but I'm always ALONE when that happens. I don't have crying breakdowns around other people. There's no reason for them to avoid me. Or maybe they just all got their fill of me in October and November. Who knows.


Malinda said...

I check in here on you a couple times a week. As long as you keep posting in here, you will have us. We will come to read and lend you a virtual shoulder to lean on.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for this post. As for the deep brain stimulation thing, you are right that there's much more to Alzheimer's than simply forgetting things or events. I haven't researched this yet, but it sounds like yet another answer that's too easy.

As for the being alone part, I think this might be normal. I can only speak from my experience, of course. I think people help when the can, but it's up to us to do the work of processing our grief, the meaning of a person's life and death, and hopefully the meaning of life overall. And someone who hasn't lost a parent probably can't understand what you're going through anyway. My advice (worth what you're paying for it) is to give yourself some time, and BE CAREFUL DRIVING!!!

Take care Bert,

Mona Johnson
The Tangled Neuron

e said...

Hmmm... Speaking for myself and myself only, I tend to withdraw from a relationship a bit once a crisis has "passed". Not that I would not want to be involved, I figure that the person with the crisis has had enough of ME and would probably like to get on with their own life/grief/healing process. Also, I am not a patient person by nature and I might tend to be a bit of a bitch if there is what I might perceive to be "too much whining"... So rather than risk losing a friendship, I will pull back a bit. I'll certainly admit that I never thought people would notice (I think personally I would be grateful for the space, but that is just me:-)).

Have you called your friends? Just a thought, maybe they are waiting to hear from you, too?

And of course, of course, you can expect to be 'leak' a bit-or even a lot-from time to time. Indeed that is why in certain cultures and religions there is a specified time set aside for mourning-often months-(I'm thinking of Judaism, specifically). Not only to allow and encourage people to grieve and accept their loss, but to set a deadline--if you will for you to "get back to life"

Two months is not that much time. 6 months-maybe. Next Christmas and Thanksgiving are not going to be a piece of cake either. That might be a good time for a vacation away from familiar surroundings.

Best of everything to you. There are many of is here is the ether with you.

Mauigirl said...

Bert, it's probably just because they feel as if, now that your dad has passed on, that, as "e" said, they feel the crisis has passed. And sometimes people forget that one doesn't get over the death of a loved one right away, that it takes time, even a year or so, before they can move on, and would still appreciate people's concern in the meantime. Perhaps just let them know you're still lonely and would love the company; they may be thinking you want to be left alone. It can't ever hurt to ask for what you need. True friends will respond.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how parallel our live are.. but comforting to know that I'm not alone in this journey & neither are you. I last posted after my father passed away from AD, roughly the same time as yours.
I know how it is to lose a parent, my mom died 4 years ago, unfortunately it is in times like these that you find out who your true friends are. People who are uncomfortable around you, yet are there regardless. Since my father's funeral I have not heard from most of my family, I alienated them when I took on the responsibility for caring for my dad (not literaly - he was in a nursing home), for them it was easier to forget about him, so it wouldn't hurt so much to lose the "other" parent.
Just so you know.. I only cry alone in the shower, I have 3 little ones, who I feel have been through enough, without watching mommy crumble again.
I can't seem to NOT post anonymously, so my name is Karen.. God bless you for this blog... I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds comfort in it. (Horticulture_chick@yahoo.ca)