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.

 

A Perfect Day

What’s a perfect day for you? Mine, well, mine would be to sleep all night, not get up too early, to have sunshine all day, spend time, alot of time with my husband and have a lot of time just for me.

My time, alone, reading, writing, using the computer, or just sit in the chair and think about the story I’m writing.

To do what I want, when I want and not to feel guilty about it.

It would be nice if caregivers could do the same thing. You must stand in their shoes and think about what they are thinking, their emotions and choices. That’s why I published my book, Behind The Mask, so you could stand in my shoes for a little while, while I was a caregiver for seven years.

What came out of that book is Adopt A Caregiver. A simple plan to have you adopt someone in your own community who is a caregiver. Just email them, be their friend, encourage them to write an email back to you, to vent, to journal, Please do not judge them, for you have not stood in their shoes.

I am still thinking of that old woman I saw in Crystal Court last week, all alone. What was she thinking, was anyone going to pick her up and take her home. I am so sorry that I did not stop to speak to her, because she is still stuck in my mind. I pray she is all right and that someone is caring for her.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Dear Caregiver

Dear Caregiver,

If only you could find a few minutes to sit down and journal. No one has to see what you wrote, just jot down some feelings.

I feel angry today

No one understands what I’m going through

Why can’t I find some alone time, time to think, to rest, to talk to other people,

If only I could, I would

If I could have one wish granted it would be

If you are angry at God, say so, if you feel God can help you, say so

Don’t forget about your grateful journal, what are you grateful for? It’s always the little things that count.

Today I am grateful that

Write some affirmations, such as, I am strong, and I will get through this. I am capable of doing what I have to do.

I hope someone will adopt me.

Maybe someone will read about my blog and about my Adopt A Caregiver vision.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Closet Organizers

Closet organizers are being installed tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. and I have to pull everything out of the closets. Yes, more than one. My clothes closet and my office closet. Moving is such fun. We have adjusted to our new lifestyle and established our new routine. For the most part, anyway.

I have to get back on track on my computer routine. Looking at other websites and posting comments. Looking for information for Adopt A Caregiver, and learning how to use Facebook to my advantage, and maybe starting a Twitter account. I am determined to learn about such things.

It’s also time to talk to people, start networking for Adopt A Caregiver. Time to talk to groups and tell them what Adopt A Caregiver is all about. It’s so simple.  In every community there are new caregivers, these are your neighbors, your friends, send an email, encourage them to talk to you, to journal, to vent. Do not judge them, you have no idea what it’s like to stand in their shoes.

That’s why I published my book, Behind The Mask, so everyone would know what it feels like to become a new caregiver. This book is available on my website and on Amazon.

Please think about this. It’s the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Behind The Mask by Helene Moore

I’ve been asked many times, “Why did you publish your secret journal?” Truthfully, I thought it might help caregivers to know that they were not alone, that their thoughts weren’t crazy.

I’ve heard back from people saying that my book did help. Comments from a father and son who said, “My father read your book, and he finally understood how hard it is to be a caregiver. ” This young man is in his twenties taking care of his father. Now his father has resumed many of his own responsibilities and the young man is free to be with his friends and to get out of the house more.

Many comments have brought tears to my eyes. But most of all that’s how the idea of Adopt A Caregiver came about.

People in your own community, whether it’s where you live, where you work, your social clubs, church, or synagogue, there are lonely, scared new caregivers. They need a friend, someone to talk to, vent to, someone who won’t judge them, someone who will encourage them to journal, to open up about their feelings. All it takes is an email friendship. It’s the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing.

Adopt A Caregiver, and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Why Should You Adopt A Caregiver

Why should you Adopt A Caregiver? To help and support a fellow human being who is struggling to maintain herself and the person she is caring for. It’s a wonderrful way to give something back, and so helpful to the caregiver who might be struggling and without someone to talk to.

All you have to do is send an email and offer to be his/her friend. Tell her/him that although you have never stood in a caregivers shoes, you are trying to put yourself there and then let the caregiver take it from there She might be able to open up to you as a friend, as she could never open up to her children or other family members.

When I wrote Behind The Mask, my secret journal, I never thought it would be published. But after it was, I decided it could help others understand the emotions and turmoil the caregiver faces every day. Mine was a secret journal, as we were advised to keep my husbands diagnosis a secret, so I poured myself into the journal, not wanting to be a burden to my children.

I know my book has helped others, they tell me that all the time. They say, “I never knew, why didn’t you tell me?” Well, I’m telling you so you can go out and Adopt A Caregiver in your community and say, my friend Helene sent me.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Happy Valentines Day to all.

Tomorrow: A Better Day

Computer internet problems for the past month, t.v. problems for the last couple of weeks, makes for a frustrating day. I tried not to let it get me down, but sometimes it does gets to me.

And then I went to my AA meeting, (that’s Anthem Authors to you) and it was a terrific two hours. Hearing other people’s advice on how to conduct our writing year, whether or not to critique and how, written rules, no more than ten; i.e. what is said in this room stays in this room, unless you have the consent of the author, be polite while another is reading, we will have assignments sometimes, things like that. I love it.

I should, I started AA in February of 2000, and in February of 2008, I self published my book, Behind The Mask, a secret journal written when my husband was suddenly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and we were advised to keep it a secret.

By the time we were sure that diagnois wasn’t going to happen, and the doctor agreed, taking him off all the Alzheimer’s medicines, I showed my husband my journal. He insisted I publish it.

I did. How proud I am that now I have started my Adopt A Caregiver Foundation, all because of my book. How else would anyone know what it’s like to stand in a new caregivers shoes? And standing in a caregivers shoes, how could you not want to help them, to wipe away some of their tears, to be their friend.

Encourage them to journal, write down some memories, happy one, ones to tell their children and grandchildren, because when you are gone, they won’t have anyone to answer their questions. And why should they only see you as you are now? They should know what you were like when you were young, their age, what you went through and how you came out a better, stronger, more compassionate person.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Anne Frank Said

Anne Frank said, “I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried in my heart.”

Wow, when I was her age, I thought maybe I’d like to be a writer, but who was I to dream that big? No teacher, no parent ever encouraged me, or asked me what I wanted. I was just goody two shoes.

Twenty years ago, while living in New York, a friend of a friend called me and said she would like to see our kissing art collection. I said okay. When she left she said that a book was bubbling in my heart and I should get it out on paper.

Boy, was that food for thought. I had a computer and around Thanksgiving time I thought about writing. I fooled with it, but didn’t know the craft or how to construct the story.

It wasn’t until we moved to California in 1990 that I decided for real that I wanted to learn how to write. So I joined the Orange County Romance Writers Of America and I tried to learn.  I admit it came hard to me, but I had several friends who helped me, and I am still in touch with two of them.

When we moved to Las Vegas, I started Sun City Anthem Authors in February, 2000. That was the best thing that happened to me. I blossomed, I learned and I found that writing from the heart is the only way I can write.

Behind The Mask, my secret journal written when my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 1993 was published this year. You see, in 2000, they changed his diagnosis, and I finally showed him my journal which no one had ever seen. He said to publish it, it might help someone else.

I think this was the most Bershert (‘meant to be) thing that ever happened in my life. Because what lies buried in my heart is all the caregivers going through their grief. I started a new journey, Adopt A Caregiver, and this year I will devote my passion, and my vision to making my dream of wiping away some of the caregivers tears, a reality.

With a little bit of help, I can do it. Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Resolutions? Or Affirmations

Only a couple of days left in this year. Most of the time I write myself a few New Year’s Resolutions. They always say the same thing, eat less, diet more, exercise, write every day, take time to meditate, write to friends more often, and every year I ignore them all.

So, I’m heavier, eating more than I should, not doing exercise, writing when I feel like writing, and keeping in touch with friends most of the time.

This year will be different. I promise myself that I will do exactly what I want to do, when ever I can and that I will be more productive by not beating myself up about some of the things I don’t get done. I’m just me. I always tell my husband that. He smiles and says, “You are the best, inside and out.”

While I love getting compliments, I worry about some of my friends. Many are going through rough patches. I would love to Adopt A Caregiver every day, but there are only so many hours in a day. I promise my friends I will do everything in my power to make Adopt A Caregiver known, so that others will say, “I want to Adopt A Caregiver.”

To my friends who are going through depression, and I have been there too, I say, try to limit it. In other words, give it a time frame. Say I’ll only let myself be depressed for three days. I used to do that, and most of the time it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but I did not get upset. I knew that I did the best I could under the circumstances.

May I suggest that you try journaling? It literally saved my life. I mean that.  My secret journal that became a book this year. Behind The Mask is my guts, my thoughts and my emotions, and I laid it all out there for the world to see.

One grandson said, “I haven’t cried this much since I was fifteen, and I’m only on page 17. My daughter said, it’s a bi disconcerting to read about your parents sex life in print. And another grandson said the whole story was amazing. Another grandson said, Pop Pop wasn’t that young in 1993, guess we kids have good sex genes.” And my amazing granddaughter did the cover of the book eve while she was crying.

Remember, you have to stand in someone’s shoes before you know what they are going through.

Three things I am grateful for today. My granddaughter made an unexpected visit from California. My husband said he’s going to support me all through my Adopt A Caregiver journey, and I know I am dedicated to my cause. I promise to do all I can do for Adopt A Caregiver to become nation wide, and people will listen, and they will Adopt A Caregiver.

Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver, and tell them you friend Helene sent you.

Love and kisses Helene

Caregivers, We Do Care

Dear Caregiver,

I know this is a hard time of year for most of you. It must seem like everyone else is out shopping, having a good time, making a big family dinner; and there you are home alone. I’m so sorry, I know what it’s like to stand in your shoes. I’ve been there, and although my husband’s diagnosis was changed in 2000, I still feel for all caregivers. Only someone who has stood in your shoes, can feel your pain.

If you can, try to take a few minutes, some part of the day, and just sit and watch the outside, or meditate for five minutes, or take a coloring book and crayons and color outside the lines. Write down three things you are grateful for, start a journal, write a letter to your self. Tell yourself how wonderful you are, what a admirable person you are, tell yourself that you are strong, that you can handle whatever comes along.

Start a memoir, write about the good times; or use a recorder and just talk about your life. Someday your kids and your grand kids will see you as you were, a young person, with your dreams and your goals and your passion. They will admire you and look up to you, see how much you have contributed in your lifetime.

I admire you, and I hope that one day my vision for Adopt A Caregiver will become a reality. Someday we might have an Adopt A Caregiver day to celebrate all caregivers.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver, and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene