Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The Week

The week started off kind of quiet with the son off to college. I am always sad when he leaves (even though it is quieter) and even though he is only a little over an hour down the road at school it seems like he is a lot farther away. I can't imagine when he goes off to law school next year what that will feel like. I always worry about how he will see me the next time he comes home -- will he notice changes in me, will he be surprised with what he sees? I guess I worry too much. There's not much he can do about it anyway.

I think I have somewhat of a routine going these days. I'm better in the morning and since I have always been a morning person that is probably a good thing! So, getting errands and such done in the morning and settling into "home" things in the afternoon seems to work for me right now. Things come up that throw me off but I seem to be doing o.k. with everything for the moment.

One thing I have noticed lately is that talking on the telephone is a little more difficult for me. It's not the talking part, it is taking what the other person is saying, understanding what they are saying and putting the right words together for a response. I am sure that sometimes the person on the other end thinks I'm not paying attention, but it takes me longer to put into words what I want to say. I tend to lose the flow of the conversation if it is a long one and then I know my answers probably don't make much sense. I ask a lot of questions on the phone,probably repeating myself several times in the process. I remember before I was on my medication I asked those that I worked with that the preferred method of communication with me now was either putting a note in my box or email. That way I could go back and look at it several times if I needed to. It's hard to do that with a conversation.

Friday, August 13, 2004

The Media

Last week my son and I did a radio interview. It turned out really well. Leeza Gibbons was on with us and she was talking about her Leeza's Place that she has started. She was very delightful and she was very accommodating. She stayed with us for the whole hour and that was not something I was expecting her to do.

Today, as I write this Fox 5 from Atlanta is here doing an interview on our family. They are actually shooting me typing this. The interviews are hard and although they can sometimes seem effortless it takes a lot of energy out of me and I know my family when doing these. Sometimes we don't like to talk about the disease because it is not always pleasant to talk about -- but I know we have to for everyone's sake -- it is just not that easy to do sometimes. I have thrusted my family in the spotlight for two years now and they don't seem to mind. My husband is particularly shy so I know that it is a stretch for him, but he does it. He knows how important it is to spread the word.

Many have asked about my retirement and how it is going. It certainly is different but I am enjoying not having to work the long hours and deal with the stress. I still have my moments, though. I'm trying to work myself into a routine. And, my friends are pretty good about not "overdoing it" on me. I get lots of calls to do things but when I have to say no because I'm just not up to it my friends know that it is because I have a hard time with it on that day and it isn't a reflection on not wanting to do things with them. I hope they keep remembering that! My friends get me through my tough days and it is great to know they are out there when I need them.

Alan goes back to school this weekend. It is going to be strange not having him around -- but then it will certainly be more quiet!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

This and That

Tomorrow my son and I are doing a local radio show. I have done the show on numerous occasions some about my job, but the last two years I have been on to talk about Alzheimer's. Tomorrow will be my son's first time on a radio program. He has stepped out in the limelight on my disease with television and newspaper reporters, but not radio. I'm proud of him for doing it -- he knows how important it is and I appreciate it. Also on the program with us tomorrow will be television personality Leeza Gibbons. She has started "Leeza's Place" for those with Alzheimer's. Her grandmother passed away with the disease and now her mother has it. I don't know what it must be like to be children of those with the disease and wondering whether they will get it or not. I know how bad I feel thinking that I may have passed this on -- but the question out there remains whether you want to know or not. There are pros and cons to both sides of that story.

I am enjoying my retirement. Of course, as I have probably stated before, I have to be careful to pace myself. So far, I'm doing pretty good. I am taking time to do some things around the house but one of the most important projects that I am doing is re-doing photo albums and scrapbooking. It takes a lot of time but I want to do these things for my son in particular. I'm beginning to forget more and more and I want to capture the memories while I still have them.