Experience in early Alzheimer's diagnosis

Forgotten is Forgiven: An Alzheimer’s Story — April 25, 2015

Forgotten is Forgiven: An Alzheimer’s Story

I love reading how well other bloggers write, for me it’s becoming really difficult as the words don’t come so easy anymore…… The “big” words I used to use are no longer in my vocabulary and sometimes the little words have also left me for a while.  I loved this piece and realized I just need to write about anything and everything, as long as it’s special! Special to me, and special to my family in years to come!!! Some days are harder than others so I will try and write as I used to on a good day…….. Maybe I can get a laugh in there somewhere and use some “big” words again! 

Forgotten is Forgiven……. Such comforting words for an AD patient!

Empty Nest Syndrome…… 🐣 — April 23, 2015

Empty Nest Syndrome…… 🐣


So I said goodbye to my two youngest this morning. My Lu back to school in South Africa for six weeks, and Mike off to rugby camp before the rugby Dairiboard festival.  I see him in a week but really it frightens me because he is off to college next year so the time is drawing close to let him go.  Every now and again I get a small panic attack as I think that when Mike goes that will be it!  We are trying to get him into Life University in Georgia for Chiropractics , but that is a lifetime in distance….. Far, very very far. Scarey far …..

Lee comes home about every 6 weeks but then she goes off again for the longest time so I feel she has sort of flown the coop already , which breaks my heart every time. I question whether sending her away to school was the right thing but seeing her achieving so much and being so happy I convince myself yes it was. Being in the same school that I was makes it special for me, and keeps me focused that those were such wonderful years for me, and that the same applies to her.  But Mike I see often, every excuse I can I get to see him, fortunately he is sporty so all my excuses to see him are valid …… athletics, cricket, rugby…… Lucky me!

 Next year I’ll have to stalk my friends daughter’s and son’s when they have sports days otherwise I have no idea what else I’ll be doing.  So for the next few days I’ll be feeling sorry for myself, hibernating, shedding a little tear, but then I’ll be ok. Because it’s ok not to be ok, as long as you can pull yourself towards yourself and get over it!  Happy thoughts 😋

A Little Improv Can Go a Long Way with Dementia — March 25, 2015

A Little Improv Can Go a Long Way with Dementia

As heartbreaking as it may be, it helps to find the funnier side of life’s tragedies!

Long Distance Daughter

improv-sign-crop2 Credit: Tom Magliery

Most days, dad sleeps a lot. But today, he’s wide awake. He’s on the phone, yelling at me. He’s so angry, but there’s sadness in his voice, too. “I don’t have any money, I don’t have a car. I don’t even have any shoes,” he tells me. “And I’ve got to go down and see mom and dad.”

Now, my dad is 92 and his parents have been gone for decades. He has money in bank accounts that he doesn’t remember how to access, and he has a car he’s no longer able to drive. These days, his shoes mostly stay in the closet. He wears his slippers when he has the energy to walk down to the dining room to eat with his friends Leo and John, or when he gets the urge to bust out of the skilled nursing wing where he lives. He heads…

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A confusing disease 😮 —

A confusing disease 😮

How is it possible that some things that by rights, with AD, I should not remember because it seems like such a difficult word, or sum, or person I haven’t seen for years…… but I do.  And then very simple things like visiting my friend’s son in hospital after being worried about him the night before completely slips my mind?  And then suddenly remembered In a panic after being asked by his mother to take something to him.  I forget again the next day, and suddenly with a jolt it came to me.  Or completely forgetting my Physio appointment which I had thought about the night before?? Just crazy right….. Just makes no sense. Quite a few day to day things I had to do last week I completely forgot.  I was very busy getting a lunch together for Mike’s cricket team at our house and it went off without a hitch. It was perfect, even if I say so myself 😏, and I liaised with all 13 parents via e-mails and texts for two weeks. And I got it right.  After the lunch I thought anything is possible, I could still organize events, parties, dinners, get togethers.  I could still do it!  But the things I forgot, well they weren’t that important…… this time!

My teen is home…..😘 — February 26, 2015

My teen is home…..😘


 Excitement loomed as the hour came for me to fetch my baby girl from the airport!  Haven’t seen her for six weeks, it’s been too long.  We lasted a few hours and before long had a rip-roaring fight. I was told I am no fun, I never wear make-up anymore and have become a recluse!  So for the most part she is right but it all started over her saying if Dad goes to Argentina for Mikey’s rugby tour then we should go to America. Of course my reaction, over-reaction I believe, was we can’t just go, it costs too much.  To which all the accusations just mentioned came flying at me.  Oh yes and I promised to visit her at school, and I never do……….. Some of it true, partly due to circumstances which I cannot relate to a 16 year old because it may be seen as “using it as an excuse”, “feeling sorry for myself”.  For whatever reasons it won’t be the right one.  My arm and neck pain is sneaking back in, and AD has taken away a fair amount of my confidence but maybe one day I can explain this. Right now my little girl is not ready for any of it. She also has her own demons about AD and wants her sociable, fun, make-up wearing Mom back…… No excuses….

I tried to fix it through her tears but just seemed to make it worse so I left her alone. All I wanted was a super fun weekend with my daughter and well it wasn’t going so well! I guess it’s an adjustment thing, but we actually don’t have time to adjust because by Monday she will be gone again. She shares with me she might be Bi-Polar. Well no not really, it’s called “Teenage Hormones”. Those damn hormones use you like a yo-yo… toss you around make you feel great, bring you down just as quickly. Up, down, round and round….. Love life, hate life……in about 20 minutes. Teenage Hormones are Bi-Polar!

Anyway this morning everything is fine and we went to see “The Imitation game!” Brilliant movie! And then a cocktail at News Cafe.  So all is well and now I have her giggling friends over, music blaring and a very happy Teen. Yes I get it, and I certainly don’t take offense, can’t take offense! I hope the “happy” lasts all weekend……

The Beauty of Teens — February 18, 2015

The Beauty of Teens

A great piece…….worth sharing for my teens who I find so entertaining!

The Human Rights Warrior

Photo credit to my son Sevrin Photo taken by (and used with permission from) my son Sevrin at his high school sailing team practice.

As I write this, there are seven teens asleep in my basement.  My son and his friends came back from their high school dance in high spirits last night. Laughing and joking loudly, they boisterously descended on my kitchen, devouring everything within reach (even some chips that I thought I had hidden pretty well).  These guys were the human equivalent of an invading colony of army ants, foraging insatiably through my refrigerator.

Now these boy-men are dead to the world, asleep in a puppy pile on my basement floor.  And I have to be honest – I am loving every single thing about these teens.   In fifteen plus years of parenthood, I have grown accustomed to – perhaps, in some ways, inured to – the many and diverse aspects of wonder in…

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Laughter is the best medicine😃 —

Laughter is the best medicine😃

A good weekend at the cricket again. Spent the night at the Zederberg’s farm in Marondera as the cricket was at the school. The McMillan’s stayed too and we laughed a lot and the men drank a lot, and the jokes got weaker and weaker and the chirps got more and more pathetic, giggle giggle. Peterhouse beat Falcon at cricket on Saturday, Falcon beat Peterhouse on Sunday and then they played a 10 over final which was just pure humour. Falcon won but lovely to see parents and kids from both schools so interactive and just enjoying. Ren Peel had me in stitches. Was freezing by the afternoon so my neck was getting a bit of a beating. Wore a scarf but had a fair amount of pain on Sunday evening. All the “doctor” parents recommend that I get a second opinion about the op…… That’s why I wanted it quiet, too much fussing going on, which I know is caring….. But fussing it is, and I hate it!

imageJan’s brother Wikus and sister-in-law had a baby boy on Monday which was all very exciting but then yesterday he was rushed to ICU for an op which has us all praying for him and the family. So very sad! Please God he’s ok!

Jan got hold of Geert his eldest brother who will arrange an appointment with a Neurosurgeon who will look at my neck and my AD. So that is a good thing! Let’s get a second opinion and find out finally if it is the dreaded AD or just a very forgetful mind!  So a second opinion won’t be so bad after all I guess!

Decisions, decisions ✨🙊 — February 12, 2015

Decisions, decisions ✨🙊


Got the call to get to Dr Mareira’s rooms yesterday, neurologist with a brilliant reputation and a few months waiting list. Way to go Dr Jeans for getting me in. What a delightful lady she is! Discussed my prognosis and told her I was feeling great and hoped that I wasn’t wasting her time. She made me strip to my panties and bra ( yes they were decent) and then did tests including walking up and down….. You could say it was a bit embarrassing with this orange-peel body, but hey she couldn’t care less right?? She showed me the MRI on her computer and said I actually have quite serious damage to my neck, and yes the right side is worse. After many questions she came to the conclusion that yes an op would be inevitable. An artificial disc would replace the damaged one, a 3-6 hour op and 3 days in hospital. My choice, so discuss it with my hubby and then come back and see her. She is the best from reports I have heard and the more I speak to people the more I am convinced that she is the one to use. What’s the first thing Jan says………. Why don’t you go to SA and get a second opinion……. No surprise there. Here’s the thing!!!! Find a surgeon, get an appointment, do another MRI and blah blah blah!!!!! Nope!!!!! Technology today, her reputation …… May as well do it here. If I’m going to do it! As my Physio says, get the papers, set it up and I can always change my mind! Only question I did forget to ask was about the hospital and it’s after-care. Big worry after going through Michaels terrible experience…… Horrific experience, maybe one day it can be a chapter in my blog. Although I am more for remembering the happy times! But challenges in life and getting through them count for blessings too. As for the AS she gave me three things to remember and I seriously popped them out when she asked me to, no second thought; telephone, bicycle, red! Ooh now that I think of it was it right? Whatever the case she too is almost doubtful it’s AS and is sending me for my pre-op check-up with a Neurologist. So whatever comes from it, I might get a second opinion on this thing that is engrained in my brain and questions my every thought and action! Will I have the op? Mmmmmmmmmm check back in a day or two?

Weekend happiness! 😛 — February 9, 2015

Weekend happiness! 😛

Mike St George’s 50 over

Friday was a great day after I had a good cry at the doctors office. Must have thought I was a blithering idiot….went in and burst into tears telling him I was tired of pretending I’m ok, when I’m not! Tired of being in pain and scared to do anything stressful in case the pain came back. Anyway after finding me a tissue to wipe my snotty nose and streaming eyes, I decided yes it was time to bring in the big guns….. A specialist neurosurgeon to see if an op was inevitable. So I am on standby as he has to pull strings and get me in.

I then went to see Mike playing T20 cricket which was rained out. Ended up with a few of the team’s folks and Mike’s team at The Mill and had such fun. So nice to get out and have fun. Pain was even minimal which was even more fun. Mike’s two team mates Cuan and Carl stayed over, such lovely boys. Went to watch 50 over game at St George’s and again had such laughs and fun with all the parents. Jan and I finally seem to fit in somewhere in this huge lonely town called Harare. So happy to see Jan let go. Peterhouse beat George’s by 130 runs, Adrian Kok got 110 which was wonderful to see.

Sunday morning Mike did a organized run and we then just chilled. Again minimal pain! Started sorting out Mikes applications for College…… Now that’s heart sore!!! My boy boy leaving at the end of the year. My Lee got to go to lunch with my school friend Trace, and our old Zambian friends Gail and Mark also visited her, she sounded so happy. So glad cos she seemed a little bit homesick. Miss her too much!

Tarien got an apprenticeship for two days a week for a skincare range in a Marketing position. So hope it comes to something, she has waited too long now and needs a job in Sydney to get on with her life.

Today I went to Physio and again was without too much pain. Starting to think Murphy is working again…..doctor organizing a neurosurgeon because I can’t bear the pain, and the pain is totally bearable ☺️.

About my AD….. A few name slips in my head, but just never vocalized them. I am learning slowly how to not always make an idiot of myself! ✔️ for me!

Let the morning come…☀️ — February 5, 2015

Let the morning come…☀️

image A night to forget, morning to be so glad to see. Went to bed feeling anxious and a bit shaky, dizzy and nauseous. Could not wait to get into bed to sleep. But sleep did not come, tears came, terror came and I just could not get it together. I tried to pray to give me calm but that just became mumbo jumbo . My brain felt fried and my head was all over the place. By midnight I thought I would phone Jan to make me feel better and calm me down but he was asleep. I sent him a message to please phone me when he woke up. I went through having Simba’s other girlfriend (huge fat mama) with her child lying on my bed kicking me off and me tring to get her to get off. To Dozie on my bed on top of me over and over again and me pushing him off. To someone screaming and crying for help and a child screaming even louder, realizing its Moila and child Tana….. and I couldn’t get to them but it wouldn’t stop. Eventually I realized it was all hallucinations, nightmares or dreams! Whatever it was it went on and on and I could not get out of it. Until Jan phoned at 4 to ask what was wrong? I told him I felt so terrible I just wanted comfort. I then cancelled my Physio at 8h00 and slept until 9. Felt groggy and shaky when I woke up but had a bath and pulled myself together. Met a few Moms at Willowbean to collect monies for 11 week motivational course boys are doing, and then proceeded to come home and spring clean! Just Imagine! Moved pictures, couches, tidied study….. Felt better. I went online to compare pill Donacept (from SA) and Donapezil (from here) to see if that could’ve caused “headcrazy” but exactly the same. Side affects are dizziness but is recommended a full glass of water be taken with pill. So putting it down to that…. Note to self …..Much More Water!!!!!!!