Thursday, December 18, 2014

The impact of moving continues

Tonight, I had a few pictures and a key holder to put up.  No big issue, even now.  Then, there was the change of address issues!  That is a never ending terror!  I tackled the DMV online tonight.  I did this while I was being asked a thousand questions by my wife!  But, even with the antiquated website Florida has, I won!  Of course, voter registration is another issue.   I suppose, if I were an illegal alien or a terrorist, and I was registering as a Democrat, I could register by CB radio!!  But, we have to go in person or SNAIL MAIL  our change of address to them!  Wow.

This is our last move.  My last change of duty stations in this life.  My wife has informed me that we have moved 18 times in our almost 43 years of marriage.   That is clearly too many times.  But, I cannot go back and change that, even though I wish I could.  But, this is the last move just based on the cost of moving here!

But, these moving issues never bothered me before.  Maybe because my wife did them in the past.  But, she is trying to keep me involved in our life and she thought change of address issues were in my wheel house.  So, I have taken this issue on, or maybe it would be better said, the issue has taken me on!

I just do not have the mental capacity to deal with things that require patience or things that require concentration.  Especially after a busy day.  Again, these are just normal LBD issues.  But, that's what I write about!

Loud noises cut through me like a knife!! And other LBD issues.

It is just short of 10PM.  I am watching football.  My wife was in the bedroom, doing what ever, and all of the sudden BOOM!!   I felt like a knife went through my entire body!  I jumped and screamed her name.  She apologized for dropping the cedar chest lid.  No one realizes how loud noises impact me.  I am vibrating inside still.

Another issue is riding in the car.  When I think cars are too close, stopping too quickly, or are puling out in front of us, I flinch!  I told my wife tonight I really do not like riding in the car anymore!   Truthfully, I never want to leave our retirement community again!  These drivers are crazy!  Running red lights, pulling out where there is no room, cutting in front of you and then stopping!  I did not drive that bad when I was drunk!

I see more and more issues increasing with how I react to anything that is out of my comfort zone.  I guess that is just the new normal.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

We are moved in!!

The move is done!  Everything is put in place.  I am even ready to get back to our ministry at Bay Breeze Assisted Living Facility!  We are back in service!  Wow, what a week!

Now, this was a normal move for us.  My wife informed me it was our 18th move!!  I did not know that, but she did.  The real fact is, it is our last move.

How have I done?  Fairly well.  I am very relaxed here at Azalea Trace.   From my prospective, my fight to appear normal is over.  I can relax, knowing I am in a place that will care for me, or Linda, regardless of what happens.  And that reality is liberating!

Ever since Dr. Bowles told us of my diagnosis, we have lived in the shadow of "What if?!"  We looked and toured many CCRC's with many different reactions.  Some would not admit me because of my diagnosis.  Some did not meet our needs.  Some were TOO expensive.  Some were just not for us.

Then we found Azalea Trace and we both knew this was the place for us.  And, Azalea Trace, with my full disclosure, accepted me!  But, we were on the waiting list for over a year.  That was a stressful time because we saw my disease progressing.  We both knew that I would not be admitted if I took a larger downward turn.  But, in God's perfect timing, we were offered an apartment, better than we dreamed of, and moved in before the end of the year.  God is good.

So, the move was disconcerting, caused me some anxious moments, and anxiety, but I am now settled and comfortable.  So, this move IS good.

Now, we can enjoy some of the fun things, like the heated indoor pool and hot tub!!  Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Progress, part two

Well, all the boxes are unpacked, the furniture is in place, the new adjustable Tempurpedic bed is here, most of the pictures are hung, and things look a lot like home!  I still can't find most things, but Linda can  I do know where emu coffee cup is and the coffee pot.  I have taken a shower, so I know how that works, much to the relief of most around me.

Another BIG issues off our plate is my large gun safe, the one that weighed 800 pound, was moved to my old neighbor's home today.  We hired the same folks that delivered it.  They were great.  So that issue is done.  We still have t clean the old house and I have some sorting to do in the garage.  That will wait a couple of days.

Tonight, we enjoyed a very good meal in the dining room.  Tilopia for my wife and New York Strip Steak for me.  Have I mentioned the food here at Azalea Trace is great?!

My wife has gone to bed early and I am up, blogging and relaxing.   I will probably watch the Monday Night Football game.  We learned tonight that our two senior citizen poodles have been making noise when we are gone.  No problem, we will crate them when we are gone from now on.  We had to do that in the Senior's Apartments in Virginia Beach before we moved to Florida.  We put them in the crate when we went to dinner tonight and they seemed OK with it.  They will have to adjust.  So will I.

Returning to our apartment after dinner, we met a lady who has early Frontal Lobe Dementia.  She is having memory issues and wants to get together to compare notes.  I plan on keeping that appointment.

I feel much less stressed here.  I do not feel like I have to be alert all the time.  I feel totally secure and I am sleeping most of the night.  My stability is worse.  As I tell Linda, the floor moves.  Somewhat like being on a Destroyer in moderately rough seas.  I did fall the other day because of this increase in my stability issues.  No big deal.

We are settling in nicely and I believe both of us are adjusting well.

It is interesting to me, how God's hand has been in this move from many years ago.  God enabled us to save for our retirement.  God gave me a career that provided me a good retirement.  My Wife worked hard, with God's help, to get her Master's Degree in Library Science and worked for 30 years as a Librarian which gave us another retirement income and more savings.  God provided us with the wisdom to sign up for the Civil Service Long Term Care insurance when we were young.  We are in Azalea Trace because God provided for us.  He exceedingly met our needs when we were our neediest!

As I have written before, all Continuing Care Retirement Communities are expensive.   Some, more than others, but that is all relative to the economy of the area the CCRC is located.  God placed us in Pensacola to see Azalea Trace and place us there, where the money HE provided will go the farthest.  God IS good!

So, as you can see, I am content and relaxed, finally.  I now do not have to fight Mr. Lewy!  I can relax and that is a blessing in itself.  More later.



  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Progress!

We are moved in!  The boxes are starting to disappear, and our apartment is beginning to look like a home.  We had a good move, under budget, yesterday.  Everything was in the apartment by 2PM.  Much of this success is because my wife did so much packing and organizing.

Of course, we did not get rid of enough stuff.  So, more kitchen equipment will need to be culled.  But, that is small stuff.  Our new bed is not here yet, neither is the couch or the entertainment center,  But, we slept in our bed and have television to watch.

The hot water heater did not work, the thermostat on a NEW unit failed.  But, no hot water was no issue because we did not have a shower curtain rod until this afternoon.  Now we have both and I am going to take a shower tonight.

Another delay was our refrigerator.  I arrived today!  So now we can move our food over tomorrow.  All little annoyances, but all in all, a good move.

I now have to walk the digs instead of opening the back door to our fenced in yard.  The walks are good for me and they seem to like them.  They are also adapting to apartment living.  The seem to accept us leaving and are keeping quiet in our absence.

Just four more boxes and we will be unpacked!  Not all put in place, but unpacked!  The closing of our home sale is 5 January.  SO, things are coming together.

I am doing fairly well.  During the pack out, I was disoriented and felt like I was drunk!  I could not concentrate on what was happening.  Our son was with me and was a great help.  I am still somewhat confused and I am more unstable when walking.  SO, the move has caused me issues, but they were expected.

My wife continues to unpack and work hard.  I try to help but I tire easy.  Still, we were up until 1AM last night unpacking.  I hope we go to bed earlier tonight!

I think this will be good, once I find my underwear!  I do have coffee and I have my coffee cup.  What more could I need.

More later.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The emotional stress of the move on me!

This blog is about the impact Lewy Body Dementia places on an individual patient.   More specific, how I am doing with the stress and emotions of the move.

The last couple of days my wife has been focused on packing the collectibles and personal items in out home.  Then, we sorted out the things we know will not fit into our new home.  That lead to the dreaded "Yard Sale"!  That was today!

We were up at 5AM!  But the was up most of the night organizing, sorting, and working on her Bible Study that she still has to lead on Wednesday.   She is a discussion leader for Bible Study Fellowship.  An international Bible Study started by a missionary named Wetherell Johnson.

Today, was 6 hours of "Show Time"!!!   Dealing with people that want the best things for pennies on the dollar.  But, we sold most of what we need too.  Also, my neighbors came out in force to purchase many things without even a thought of bargaining.  I actually had one neighbor give us MORE than we were asking.  I really do have some great neighbors and I will miss them.

We have also taken a couple of loads to the new place insulting hanging clothes.  We will carry more over tomorrow after Church and on Monday.  Tuesday will be busy getting ready for the big move on Wednesday.

So, how am I doing?  I am exhausted!  I am very grouchy and upset.  My poor wife has been snipped at and yell at more than a few times.  When things go wrong, or seem wrong to me, I react, without social filters!!   I cannot find anything in our house, our "Brain Center" where all the pills, electronics, and phones live, is gone!!  We have sold most of the furniture that will not fit ion the new place and taken down the art work from the walls, so the house echoes!!

My blood pressure is up, I am confused, and I do not know where many things are.  Then, there are the constant questions, taskings, and directions, that I need to react to.  Find the home warrantees, move this, build me a box.  It is all required parts of moving and I have been through it many times.  Most of our moves were self-inflicted, by me.  Even this one is my initiation.  But this one is different in that I cannot life anything because of my left shoulder, I cannot drive anywhere my self, and I cannot process more than one task at a time!   All of that stresses me!  I feel like a prisoner!   For instance, I need a haircut, desperately!!   Not on the schedule.  Yesterday, my wife needed more wrapping paper to pack with.  So, to keep her on schedule, I walked to the corner and bought some from the U-Haul store!  Walked!  Yes, it is good for me, and yes, I did not get lost.  But, I will be glad when this is over and we are settled.

Last of all, I feel frustrated and depressed.  I am mentally questioning all of my decisions.  That makes me even more frustrated and depressed.  So, you see where I am right now.

I will keep you informed.  I believe Wednesday will be a tough day, even the climax of the move.  Then, things will start to get back to normal, I hope.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

We are now residents of Azalea Trace!

Well almost!  We took custody of our apartment today.  We paid the remainder of our entrance fee, a check bigger than any one I ever saw, well enough wrote and was on the hook to make good, and we got our keys!  Of course, there are still some things to get done, like any new home.  And the apartment has not had it's final cleaning.  But all that will be taken care of.  Oh, our refrigerator is not here yet.  Again, it will arrive soon.

So, now no more free lunches!  All meals are on us.  And, now we have to follow the rules of the community.  For instance, my neighbor called me on my cell phone while we were eating lunch.  I answered the call, at our table.  My first demerit!!   They were nice about it.  But standing in the corner with a dunce hat on is my next punishment!

The next 6 days we will move small items into our new home.  Clothes, small boxes, nick knacks, and other small items.  I cannot lift anything of substance with my left arm.  I have a torn rotator cuff that I have known about for about a year.  It has become much worse and I now cannot even lift a coffee cup with my left hand.  I had put off the surgery until we were moved into Azalea Trace just in case I have a negative reaction to general anesthesia.  LBD patients have a 60% chance of having a significant mental decline after general anesthesia.  So, our caution is well founded.

If you are interested in these issues, check out the LBDA.org site.  The Lewy Body Dementia Association has numerous reports from caregivers, in the Community section, describing the cognitive downturn of their LBD patient in conjunction with general anesthesia.  Also, they have a few clinical studies supporting these reports.

We will actually move in next Wednesday.  I will keep you informed.  More later.