Going Off Topic

Blogging Sounds So Easy

Blogging can sometimes be difficult. Especially when you are slightly ADD and suffer from dyslexia. We are attempting to come up with weekly topics and create articles and memes around those topics. Sounds easy enough, but not so when I start staring at the keyboard. I have a general idea of what I want to do in my head. Then I try to put it into a meaningful structure that can be understood by our readers. More end up in the hyperspace trash bin than onto the internet blog space.

Partners in Frustration

My blogging partner Kim had asked me this weekend to look at some articles she had started that were in edit mode. For those that are not familiar with blogging here is a screenshot of part of our blogging console.blog console

It shows how many are published, how many drafts are unpublished, and how many are trashed. Trashed here is the digital equivalent of wadding it up and tossing it at the trashcan. It is still there just not on your desktop in your face. It can be permitted deleted = shredding. Or we can restore it the digital equivalent of smoothing the wrinkles out on the paper on top of the desk.blog console2

In my case more go to the shredder than make it to the World Wide Web. Another thing for me is a lot of my articles never make it to the blogger draft console. They are still scattered across various avenues that I travel. Two computers, desktop, and laptop, then there is the tablet which is almost always with me, but the tablet is the hardest for me to compose a meaningful post on.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I often start with a simple outline of one line ideas saved in Microsoft Word or Google Docs. This is where the ADD causes issues. What format did I use? If it was word what did I name it and where did I save it. The default should be Microsoft One Drive (The Cloud). If the format was Google Docs which account was I logged into (I have 6 Gmail accounts) between personal accounts, blogging accounts, and business accounts. I try to stay logged into my main personal account but sometimes I am forced to log out of that account and to log into another account. Which account did I save it to and what did I name the file. That is not always so bad, sometimes I come across those old notes and I am off and running on something to write. Other time they are trashed during housekeeping they are just clutter taking up space.

ADD Get Back on Topic

Oh, back to Kim she had asked me this past weekend to look at some of the blogs she had in the draft. Well, three days later I looked and nothing. Found them in the trash. WHAT. She is home not feeling well today, but the jerk-in-me sent her a chat message anyway. Yes, she intended to wad them up and toss in frustration to the digital waste pile, okay I’ll leave them but I did not send them to the digital shredder.

For every word, on this blog, every meme The Meme Queen creates. They are created out of experiences, frustration, feeling, tears, anger, happiness, and laughter.

We are shearing heartfelt life experiences there are stories behind the stories. Not sure if we will ever be able to share all of the tears.

Help Wanted

If you would like to help us we are looking for contributor’s people with a story or stories to tell and editors and editor and contribute proofread and correct articles.

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Instrumental Playlist

I thought that I would share another playlist this morning. This playlist is mostly instrumental pop and rock music from my wife earlier years. If you like music from the 60’s and 70’s you will recognize must of these tunes.

It makes for easy listening background music. I use it sometimes at bathtime, bedtime, and to just to sooth when I notice agitation coming on.

If you have an Amazon prime or an Amazon Music unlimited account I think you can download and play the playlist. Otherwise, I think you can view the list and get some ideas of your own.

 

Thanks, Clifton

 

 

This Weeks Topic Was Going To Be Communication, But

We are attempting to have a weekly focus on an issue that affects a PLWD (person living with dementia), their caregivers, and others whom may interact with a PLWD. Our topic this week was going to be communication. However I am spent, exhausted, brain numb. I’m not sure that I know what writer’s block is, but if it is not being able to write a cohesive four or five-paragraph blog post. I have it today and most Mondays.

Monday is kind of my day to relax, weekends are hard here. They are a deviation from the rest of the week. And I am starting to think deviation is not good for a PLWD they need a routine. While they may not know what is different they know something is different. I think this causes confusion, which leads to anxiety, followed by agitation. The agitation may lead to outbursts and sometimes violent behavior. I am lucky in the fact we have limited violent behavior.

Typically I survive on about 6 to 6.5 hours of sleep per night. This is usually interrupted at least once and sometimes twice or more. On the weekends, if I am lucky it will be 5 – 6 hours sleep per night. Thus Monday brain-fog.

Communication becomes challenging when one or both is agitated.  Here is the best advice that I have today.

Let the emotions play out, whether it is tears, laughter, joy or anger. I think they need to experience their emotions, try as best you can to go with the flow.

I found the following statement on the “Social Care Institute for Excellence” ‘People with dementia often lead very emotional lives. Anxiety and grief may be quite near to the surface. Don’t shy away from tears. Stay with the person and offer them natural support.

You may not be able to fix the cause of the anxiety or grief, but seeing this through with them and not being afraid will help them enormously. Never underestimate this. Likewise, having a belly laugh together over something silly is a great way of getting to know each other.’

Hopefully the rest of the week will be better; otherwise, communication may be a two-week topic.

Thanks For Taking The Time To Read My Post

Clifton

 

 

 

Playlist

I thought I would share one of the playlists that I use. I use this one several times a week. This is just an example and suggestion. It is a soothing playlist, it sometimes calms the agitation.

Artist includes Ed Sheeran, Josh Ritter, Leon Bridges, Seal, B.J. Thomas, Sam Smith, Van Morrison, Adele, James Taylor, and Aaron Neville.

 

Soothing playlist cover

 

Sharing Is So Incredibly Hard

Unless you have experienced what happens as your love slowly disappears before your eyes. I am not sure you will understand nor, am I sure that I can put into words what it is like. I wake some mornings with my wife wanting to know who I am and wanting to know what I am doing in her house.  That may be followed by moments later with her wondering where she is, and why she is here. While it is sad and disturbing for me, it has to be incredibly frighting for her. She will retreat to the bathroom and have a conversation with herself in the mirror. This is where she feels safe.

As I attempt to soothe her anxiety by making sure she is hydrated, fed and no other discomforts. There are times that she does not want me in the room or anywhere near. So I will leave a plastic sippy cup of sweet tea and a breakfast bar where she will find it. I’ll check back in, I am never more than an earshot away because she has fallen multiple times, I’ll replenish her tea and breakfast bar as needed. This ritual will last from several minutes to most of the day. Sometimes the only thing that will change the situation is what I call a ‘reset’.  A change, for us now a reset is our friend and caregiver Kim coming in. I think she can better relate to another woman now, but I am unsure. It is, however, a change, something new, a distraction from the previous battle. Does the trick most of the time.

As I sit here watching her pace the floor.

I’ll have to finish the story later, it is just too hard.

My Days Are Randomized

2I just finished updating the header photos on the website. These pictures will randomly load when someone visits the website. I chose pictures that may help explain what my wife is experiencing today. The day started off good better than most days have started off here lately.

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That was followed by her wanting to go somewhere. The where was not important, she just wanted to go see some ‘peeples’. She starves for social interaction so she will ask statue-417262_1280several times a day where are the ‘peeples’. However, she was not dressed. I attempted to explain that she needed to get dressed first then we would go out somewhere. Like I said the where is not important.

She had shown very little interest in eating so she had not eaten very much. Her agitation level is somewhat proportional to her hunger level. She has never been one who could go long without eating breakfast. Or going very long without eating. After eating a couple of breakfast bars and drinking some ice tea. Her anxiety started to ease. We always keep plates and bowls of food out for her to eat. Fresh fruit, cheese, vegetables cut up into bite-size pieces, small bites of some form of protein.

beautiful beauty blue bright

For those who have followed me on Facebook, you should know I employ music therapy, as an emotional regulator. Soon after she had got up this morning. I put on some music that she finds soothing. About 30 – 45 minutes after eating she was dancing to the music. Her anxiety and agitation levels were now as calm as a glassy lake.

This calm lasted a couple of hours before restlessness returned, but we are still not fully dressed. This time the anxiety was brought on by the need for a bowel movement. She is not able to fully communicate what it is that is bothering her. So we a left to guess and make educated decisions. We only get so many attempts before anger sets in. And she will pop off with a remark like ‘whats wrong with you are you stupid’. Rule number 1 never argue. A typical reply at least for me is. Maybe, can you help me?

word-cloud-679919_1280Failure to determine what is causing agitation will lead to all kinds of other issues that will have to be resolved. These issues will wreak havoc on everyone involved.

What has not happened so far today is we have not hit a wall. However, the day is not over and sometimes those walls come at night when she refuses to lay down.

stonewall

Thanks for visiting

WhatAreKeys

The Story Behind The Name

Thanks for joining us as we share our stories, experiences, knowledge, good times and bad times. About the terrible disease of dementia. 

You might be wondering what the name has to do with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Well, I first came up with the name several years ago, after my wife had spent several weeks with her mother out of state. She was at the house and wanted to go somewhere our teenage son was at the house and had the car keys. He called me a told me that mom wants the keys to the car. After a little inquiry, I told him to go ahead and give her the keys. He protested, but I explained that I had installed an app on her phone and that I could locate her if she got lost. I knew where she was going and felt comfortable with the Nissan keyroute and felt that she knew it well enough to drive without getting lost or endangering her self or others. So, we hung up and a few minutes later my wife was calling me screaming that “our son” would not give her the keys. I spoke to him and he told me that he did give her the keys. I could hear my wife in the background saying “that is not the keys”. Granted it was not a conventional key but an electronic dongle which just needed to be in the car to start it. However, I knew at that moment we were at the end of her driving days.

It is one thing not to know where your keys are, but it is a totally different thing not to know what keys are.

As I am writing this we are into our seventh year of coping with this devastating disease that slowly steals the very soul of the people it possesses. It is a long slow journey that not only takes its toll on the PLWD (person living with dementia) but also the people around them.

That brings me to the second meaning of ‘What Are Keys’. I am forced every day to find new keys to help my wife as we battle this disease. I hope to share some keys that I and others have found that may help to unlock some of the anger, frustration, anxiety, that Pile of keys.jpgbefall the PLWD, caregivers, family, and friends. The key that worked yesterday may not work today. The change may be slow, or it may be sudden. Not only are forced to find new keys but you must have several locksmiths on call. Because the key may be lost, and you need someone to help may a new one or change the lock. I have several locksmiths in my life, support groups, Alzheimer’s Association, friends and family, outside caregivers.

Revolving_DoorAs the disease progresses you and the PLWD will pass through many doors. Some will be like a revolving door just going in circles, other will be like the fun house at the county or state fair fun, silly and happy, but the next door is fraught with fear. Some of the doors you will pass through many times. However, all the doors will eventually be locked the keys thrown away and the doors boarded up and nailed shut never to open again.

This disease is terminal, there are no survivors. There is no known cure. There are no known causes. Yes, it is known that Alzheimer’s suffers have plaques within the brain, but there is no smoking gun as to what caused those plaques. It is a very slow death as the brain deteriorates and the PLWD slides backward in their mental age abilities until they are but a shell of their former self. It is not just a disease of the elderly but strikes people in their 50s, 40s and even in their 30s. By the time most are diagnosed they have been living the disease for years.  The third meaning of ‘What Are Keys’. Misidentified keys or unknown keys. Have you ever looked at a keyring or old keys you have stashed in a drawer or box somewhere and tried to remember what those old keys went to? Well, I have, and I missed a lot of keys prior to my wife being diagnosed with dementia. First, I never thought that she was suffering from dementia. Second, I did not know the warning signs. Most cases of dementia are usually diagnosed in the later stages rather than the earlier stages. The keys and the doors were there, but we fail to open them. As we look around and go past the doors for 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 or more years, earlier detection may help to slow down the progression of the disease.doors_instu

LocksmithThat brings us to the fourth and final key within ‘What Are Keys’. The keys researchers need to cure this disease. By detecting the disease earlier rather than later they have a better chance of following the progression. You or someone you know could be that key. It requires early detection and enrolling in a clinical trial.