Here I Am Again

It’s time I showed my face again. New ideas running through my head about writing and about life. I’m living every day as if it were my last. When I’m feeling good that is. Life is all about attitude. And I keep my attitude working hard to stay in the right place. All with a smile.

I am writing again, and this time, loving what I’m doing. I’m reading and rereading books on writing, and doing an actual story. I might need some help brainstorming in the near future, so stay tuned.

Howard is doing fine. Still going to the Neurologist about the new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. She calls him weird. He is not impaired, and he does better on those tests every time he goes there. She wants his brain, but he told her she had to wait until he died. I love his sense of humor.

This time around Howard is reading my writing. He never did that before. I have to say he is quite enthralled with it. I suppose he never knew I had a little bit of talent in writing. Neither did I, which is why I never showed him any of it.

Life is good, at 84, a little bit limited. We can’t do the things we used to do. Now I am the driver, and we get out to doctors, errands, and our kids. We are so fortunate to have so much family close to us. My almost six year old geat granddaughter lives a half mile away. We see her at least 3-5 times a week. And daughters and granddaughters come for dinner too, so four nights a week we are busy.

Living in a 55 plus small community also has it’s perks. I started a writing club here and we have been doing this for the fourth year. I play Mah Jongg when we can get a game, and Meditation when it is being done in our center. That is enough for me. I also do a little bit of knitting when I have the time.
But, right now is writing time.

See you all soon. Remember Alzheimer’s isn’t contagious. Adopt a caregiver in your neighborhood, and let that person know you care and want to be able to listen. Do it by email, phone, text, just be there for that person. ISt is the gift that keeps on giving and costs nothing.
Love and Kisses to all.

World Alzheimer’s Day

It only takes a moment to remember those who are afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. It is a terrible waste of mind and body.
And while you are doing that, please take a moment to remember caregivers, who give their all to their loved ones.
Please, next time you talk to a caregiver, ask them how they feel. Too often the caregiver gets lost in the shuffle of finding out how the patient is. Not enough attention is given to those selfless beings who give up their whole world for days, weeks, months and years.

Adopt A Caregiver: Find someone in your community who is a caregiver. Become her/his friend. Email, ask how they are doing. And when they say fine, because they don’t want to talk about it, remind them you are their friend. Get them to open up, to vent. Do not judge, not until you stand in their shoes.
Please Adopt A Caregiver, I know there is one in your neighborhood. Give the gift of friendship, it lasts forever and costs nothing.

Hopefully, one day soon, there will be a cure, but until then, remember that Alzheimer’s Disease is not contagious.

Keep love and kisses in your life.
If you don’t know what a caregiver is going through, check out my book, Behind The Mask

My World, Your World

Is my world so different that your world on this Thursday, August 22, 2013?

So, if you read my other post you know that my husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease for the second time in twenty years. Are there any other people you know who have gone through this? What do they have to say about it? I don’t even know what I should say about it, except that the diagnosis, or course, was wrong the first time.

The numbness is wearing off, and the feeling is returning to my mind and my body. I am meditating for my mind, but boy does my body hurt, as Fibromyalgia is alive and well. Momentum is building up; what’s next?

I’m very blessed and very lucky that I have a great support system all around me. My family lives close and remains close to us, and have already started to feel very protective towards us.

My writing group here at our senior center is going well. Although there only about 210 apartments, we have a core group of 7 who come every week. We keep it interesting and fun at the same time.

Everyone is asking me if I’m going to start another book about Howard and Alzheimer’s Disease. I might, although it’s a little early to have too much to write at this time. Although the Neurologist has already started talking about doing a study. I, for one, have so many questions about that. Have any of us gone through a study, and how did you feel about it at the beginning, and then at the end? Would love to hear from you about it.

Remember to Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

 

An Old Post That Is Still Meaningful

 

Today is August 20, and this appeared on my blog several years ago.

The most important things in my life are my family and friends; my passion for writing, reading and knitting; and my self respect.

My book, Behind the Mask, shows the complete range of emotions a new caregiver goes through each day.

Alzheimer’s disease is not contagious, yet the caregivers are usually left alone without the support of friends and neighbors, even family. This disease can last for many years, leaving the caregiver worn out and alone.

Adopt A Caregiver is my unique way of giving back. All you have to do is check your neighborhood, your social clubs, church, synagogue, your doctor’s office, the Alzheimer’s Caregiver’s message boards, and the Mayo Clinic message boards.

Just send an email or phone the person who needs a friend, listen and come back often to let him/her know you care and are thinking of them. Just being there to listen is a huge help.

Adopt a Caregiver. Give something back: Contribute to the well being of people who are so busy caring for others.

The above was on my blog a few years ago.

Now I’m faced with my husband’s new diagnosis, early stage of Alzheimer’s Disease,

We are taking it one day at a time, making memories each day and being grateful of the time we have together and with our family. They are our greatest supporters.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Alzheimer’s Disease AGAIN

Can you believe this one? My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease 20 years ago. Obviously whatever was going on with him then never got much worse. But we had to keep it a secret because he was still working. As the years went by, and it was obvious it wasn’t A.D. the doctors would not take him off the A. D. medication. So from 1993 to 2000 he suffered from terrible stomach pain, that came and went for years.

Transfer to today, August 16th, 2013. We learned two days ago, by a second opinion, that this time he did have early, mild Alzheimer’s Disease. Even the Neurologist smiled and said, “Funky case, never saw anything like this one before.”

Anyone out there with this same experience?

The last time I kept everything inside, and published my journal from those years, Behind The Mask…..I thought it was so good to rip off that Mask.

Now that I can talk about it, I haven’t shed a tear, just feel overwhelmed. We even went out and bought cemetary plots……how’s that for jumping the gun?

It’s hard enough to hear this once, but to get slammed in the stomach twice..I think you get the picture.

Right now life is crazy. Making plans, doing things in fast motion, trying to slow down, but doing more than ever. At 82 I find myself doing an online writing course, which I am loving, but it takes up a lot of time.

Thank goodness for a close and loving family, almost all of whom live within a 30 minute car ride, some are very close, like a half mile and one mile… We are blessed and thankful for that. We do have a built in support group.

Every day I try to find things to be grateful for, and to find a little bit of beauty in my life. I meditate also, which helps and I read and read, and read. My escape from the reality of the world.

Next time I’ll talk about my writing, my writing group, and some books that I highly recommend.

Keep love and kisses in your life. And remember to Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that keeps on giving, without costing you anything.

 

Adopt A Caregiver

Something dear to my heart, so I am repeating it.

Adopt A Caregiver

I would like you to read Behind The Mask, and know what it feels like to be a caregiver. Then I would like you to

Adopt A Caregiver.

Email or phone, develop a personal relationship with someone whose friends have deserted her or him. Let them know they are not alone.

Alzheimer’s Disease is not contagious! The caregiver is also a victim.

Look around your community, there are caregivers there.

It’s not difficult to send someone an email once a week or so, and I guarantee they would be so grateful to receive this mail from someone who cares enough to sit down and write.

Give the gift that keeps on giving and costs nothing.

Pay it forward.

Next post will be back to Reflections of Me: The night the market burned down.

Until next time, keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Things I’m Doing

Since I had skin cancer surgery on my nose on May 10th, I have been actually doing nothing. Well, that’s not quite true. I have been reading books about writing, blogs about writing. Things like doing scenes, plots, character studies; some differ in opinion, but the bottom line is this. You have to write, enough reading. I organized, make lists did some mind maps, clustering, and now have a mountain of papers on my desk.

Yes, it’s time to actually write. Where to start? At the beginning? Maybe. Sometimes I just like to dive into a scene that I have already plotted out. Sometimes I need to add layers, or description, but at least it will be down on paper. Good place to start?

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy Memorial Day tomorrow.

If you are looking for something to read, check out my book, Behind The Mask. A true story;f keeping my husband’s (misdiagnosis) of Alzheimer’s Disease a secret  for seven years. Secrets are very stressful. I hope you find my story touches your heart.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Being With Family

Being back in California with all the kids, grand-kids and great grand-kids is wonderful. What more can I ask for? We now have two great grand children. A girl, almost 7 months old, and a boy, just a month old. We spend a lot of time together.

Someone in our family made a simple family tree in 1996 and it wasn’t until I added my great grand children that it seems that they are the 8th or 9th generation in our family. So, I have decided to start delving into our family tree. It’s a huge project, lots of dead ends, and a lot of thought and work will have to go into getting into the records. I’m going to try.

Other than that, am looking forward to my birthday in two weeks and one day. Next year I will be eighty! Because of that and my health I have to give up on Adopt A Caregiver. I will still write about it, but I can’t run out to speak to groups like I did in Henderson. This will be an easier path for me.

I thank all of you who have responded to Adopt A Caregiver. And now, all I ask, is for you to be aware of the caregivers in your block, your work, your school, and your community. These people are lonely, scared, don’t want to talk about it, but they need a friend. Send a note, an email, just check in once in a while. Please.

If you don’t understand what it’s like to be a caregiver, read my book, Behind The Mask. I spent seven long years smiling for my husband who was suddenly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Stand in my shoes for an hour or two,  read how I felt and have compassion for those around you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Behind The Mask by Helene Moore

When my husband was suddenly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease I was beside myself. How could I keep smiling when I was dying inside? How could I keep this insidious secret. We were strongly advised not to tell anyone about his condition, since he was still a viable 63 year old man and working both as a consultant and  serving on two Boards.

What to do? Immediately, I started a secret journal where I poured out my heart and everything I was feeling.

Seven long, hard years later the diagnosis was changed to AAMI, Age Associated Memory Impairment. How was this even possible? I don’t know, and truthfully, I don’t care.

I do know that I finally found the courage to show him my journal, and he said, “It’s beautiful, it’s you, and you should publish it.”

Wow, what a reaction. Some other people had opinions about the book also; go after the medical profession for misdiagnosis, fictionalize the book and make it more interesting, I guess.

I chose to publish my journal exactly as written, and Behind The Mask became a reality. After publishing it, I realized it was the perfect catalyst for Adopt A Caregiver.

More about that tomorrow night.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Send Some Cheer

Send someone in your community, a caregiver, an email. Let them know that you are there and thinking of them. Put yourself in their shoes for just a moment.

People like to know that you are thinking of them. It sparks their energy, it makes them smile and boosts their self esteem.

It only takes a moment to send an email. I know there is someone in your community that is a caregiver. Let them know you are thinking of them. Holiday time can be very difficult.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Adopt A Caregiver.