Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Alzheimer's song

Someone sent me this video of a song about Alzheimer's.

Hi Bert, I saw your 'Alzheimer's Dad' site. I'm a musician &; we recently completed an Alzheimer's-themed Music Video in Oregon. It's called 'The Forgotten Man' & is dedicated to my grandparents, Stan & Alma & others afflicted with the disease. Stan became 'The Forgotten Man' once Alzheimer's took hold of his wife. If this video & song can serve a purpose for anyone, please feel free to post or share. The link & lyrics are below. Thank-you for your time, Pennan. (sorry for the long lyrics...)

'The Forgotten Man' by Pennan Brae


It’s another rainy night
In this cold shore-lined town
Water beads down my window
Dies without a sound

Leaves fly through the sky
Trees dance back and forth
Winds announce their presence
Howling from the North

Sit here silently
Watch the scene unfold
Grown man weeps utterly
Can’t believe what he’s told

His girl of fifty years
Can’t recall his name
Eyes the storm outside
Feels the anger feels the pain

If you don’t mind
Just sit low
Tell you a story
You’ll want to know
‘Bout the old man
Whose love forgot about him

He was an old man
He didn’t understand
What happened to the woman
Whose life he gave
What happened to the woman
Who forgot his name

Thunder softly speaks Past the lightning of the sky
Sunshine rays stray slowly in
Once clouds take heed and die

Hurting tears always fall
Past the strike of the heart
Tears of joy overcome
As the darkness departs

Sit here with hands in lap
Tears flow from his eyes
Want to give him all my help
Just a boy am I

He’s seen the world at war Times that caused him strife
His soul is hit again
He loses the love of his life

I’m sorry man but I don’t know what to do
I wish that I did ‘cause I feel bad for you

Though I see not the years
Of wisdom that you do
Reunited you will be
Forever in your youth

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

dementia from the inside

I'm a fat person.  Usually that's not very relevant to this blog and thus doesn't get mentioned much.  I lost almost 100 lbs on my own but now I gained back a little so one of my doctors has sent me for "medically supervised weight loss" which basically means shakes and bars and hardly any "real" food--and no carbs.  I'm eating maybe 500 calories a day.
I don't do well on low carbs.  I get really sick.  I call it "carb dementia".  And of course, with no carbs and no calories in me, and exercising 5-6 thousand calories a week, I'm very sick.  And I've figured out why it's so very scary for me to be this sick.
I feel like, if I ever get Alzheimer's, this is what it will be like Except that I can't eat half a tortilla and feel better if I have dementia.  It will be like this all the time.  And when I have carb dementia, I know it. Just like my dad knew that something was wrong with him.
I know that:
  • I am stupid  (my brain is hardly working)
  • I am not comprehending everything I read 
  • When I write, I don't always make sense 
  • My spelling is horrendous (worse than usual) and I don't recognize it if I don't have a red line telling me
  • Simple tasks like assembling an air conditioner, office chair, or IKEA furniture are nearly impossible
  • My hands shake when I try to do precision tasks
  • When I talk, I can't remember words or names (expressive aphasia, what my dad had)
  • I can't remember the point of what I'm saying by the time I'm done saying it
  • I'm perpetually exhausted and have to nap like an old person
  • My moods are bad; I am mean-tempered and utterly lack patience 
  • I am depressed; I cry a lot and sleep a lot and have no motivation to do anything
  • I stumble over everything when I'm walking, even things no sane person would trip over like a piece of paper
  • If I exert myself (such as shopping in a poorly air-conditioned store) I start to grey out and get tunnel vision (I work out in a pool so I don't overheat)
The thought of living like this the rest of my life is terrifying.  The doctors want me on this diet 18-20 months.  That's almost 2 years.  There is no way I can get a job or even look for one when I can't even rub two words together most days.  When I have to take a nap like an 80 year old after the slightest exertion.  When as part of this diet I have to eat their bars and shakes every 2 hours on a tight schedule.
For instance, it took me well over an hour to compose this blog post. It should have taken 20 minutes.  I have no idea if it makes sense.  There aren't a lot of red lines so everything is probably spelled correctly.
I have to wonder if it's worth it.  To give myself temporary diet-based dementia so I can live long enough to get real dementia. 
(image source)