Presentations

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Excerpt from "Indelible": Gone in the Night

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Early Onset Alzheimer's Blog

Excerpt from “Indelible” (memoir in progress):

The silence was overpowering, the room too quiet. I reached out to feel the reassuring lump of my sleeping husband, but his side of the bed was empty. I bounded out of bed, running through the house, flipping on lights, yelling Jim’s name. Fear sliced through my body with a burning wave of fire when I realized he was missing.

Knowing I couldn’t waste any time, I jumped in the car and drove east, the direction he usually traveled, peering at the area penetrated by the high beams of my headlights. Although I had a sense of urgency, I drove cautiously because I didn’t want to hit Jim with the car. I had no idea how long he’d been gone, and the farther I traveled without seeing him, the more I panicked.

I reached the crossroads and without hesitation, turned left, choosing Jim’s normal route. My mouth was getting dry. I pressed onward, fear and worry jockeying for position in my mind. I rounded the next corner, headlights slicing through the darkness. There he was! The tension drained from my body, replaced with elation and relief.

Jim was fully dressed wearing jacket, jeans, and his “Vietnam Veteran and Proud of It” cap. He seemed to be unaware of the car and continued his measured tortoise pace, cane grasped in his left hand. I pulled over and stopped behind him, climbed out of the car, speed walking to catch up with him.

I reached out and wrapped my fingers around his bicep, and he stopped as if he had applied his brakes.

“Honey, you scared me,” I said. “Come on, let’s go home, and have some coffee.” 

He turned his face toward me. His eyes were hidden behind sunglasses, but his mouth and facial features were expressionless giving him a surreal appearance. I hooked my hand at his elbow and guided him toward the car. I opened the passenger door; he climbed in, resting his cane on the floor. He settled into the seat and fastened his seat belt. I drove to the highway, turned around, and took him home.
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Do you enjoy reading Early Onset Alzheimer’s blog? Would you please take a moment to vote in Healthline’s best blog contest daily (once every 24 hours) until December 12.  All votes appreciated!

Instructions:
(1) Click on the Vote for Me button above to go to the voting site. Wait until “Vote for Your Favorite Blog” displays. This may take awhile, so please be patient.
(2) Type Early Onset in the search box or sort by most votes and we should be in the top five. (Be careful, you can only vote for one blog and they change places quite often.)
(3) Enter your email and select the vote button.
(4) The first time you vote the screen will direct you go to your email inbox. Look for an email from Wishpond and click on the link to verify your email address. Your vote will not count until you do this.
(5) Check for success. After you vote, a check mark will appear and a clock will display a countdown until you can vote again. It is much easier after the first time!
The direct link for the voting site is http://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest

Copyright © December 2016 by L.S. Fisher
http://earlyonset.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Excerpt from "Indelible": Guitar Magic

 Voting Link
Early Onset Alzheimer's Blog
Excerpt from “Indelible” (memoir in progress):

Jim plucked his guitar off its stand and settled in a chair facing my mom. He strummed a cowboy song about having a bad day and sang a few lines. It seemed to be about the only song he remembered.

“Hey, Jim, can you play Buckaroo?” Mom coaxed.

He strummed the cowboy tune again.

“I’d sure like to hear Buckaroo,” Mom said.

Jim gave her a blank look.

Mom nodded and smiled encouragement. “Buckaroo?”

Jim’s eyes lit up, and he lowered his head as his fingers found the melody. The strains of “Buckaroo,” played flawlessly filled the kitchen. As soon as he finished, Mom and I applauded. It was so good to hear his “signature” tune. 

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Do you enjoy reading Early Onset Alzheimer’s blog? Would you please take a moment to vote in Healthline’s best blog contest daily (once every 24 hours) until December 12.  All votes appreciated!

Instructions:
(1) Click on the Vote for Me button above to go to the voting site. Wait until “Vote for Your Favorite Blog” displays. This may take awhile, so please be patient.
(2) Type Early Onset in the search box or sort by most votes and we should be in the top five. (Be careful, you can only vote for one blog and they change places quite often.)
(3) Enter your email and select the vote button.
(4) The first time you vote the screen will direct you go to your email inbox. Look for an email from Wishpond and click on the link to verify your email address. Your vote will not count until you do this.
(5) Check for success. After you vote, a check mark will appear and a clock will display a countdown until you can vote again. It is much easier after the first time!
The direct link for the voting site is http://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest

Copyright © December 2016 by L.S. Fisher
http://earlyonset.blogspot.com

Friday, December 2, 2016

Alzheimer’s: Know the Signs #10—Changes in Mood and Personality

 Voting Link
Early Onset Alzheimer's Blog
Excerpt from “Indelible” (memoir in progress):

Jim pounded on the van, jerking the door handle, and yelling unintelligible words. The screen door slammed behind me as I rushed outside, fumbling with my keyless entry button to unlock the door. Jim yanked the door and sagged as the door flew open.

“Honey, what are you doing?” I was concerned we would be kicked out of our rental cabin for disturbing the quiet neighborhood.

“Won’t open,” he said.

“I know. I locked the doors while I carried in luggage.”
 
Tears streamed down Jim’s cheeks, and he glared at me.

Our family doctor had written a new prescription to help level out Jim’s moodiness. I had hoped the erratic behavior would end, and I wouldn’t have to give him the new medicine. Reluctantly, I handed Jim a bottle of water and one of the new pills.

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Do you enjoy reading Early Onset Alzheimer’s blog? Would you please take a moment to vote in Healthline’s best blog contest daily (once every 24 hours) until December 12.  All votes appreciated!

Instructions:
(1) Click on the Vote for Me button above to go to the voting site. Wait until “Vote for Your Favorite Blog” displays. This may take awhile, so please be patient.
(2) Type Early Onset in the search box or sort by most votes and we should be in the top five. (Be careful, you can only vote for one blog and they change places quite often.)
(3) Enter your email and select the vote button.
(4) The first time you vote the screen will direct you go to your email inbox. Look for an email from Wishpond and click on the link to verify your email address. Your vote will not count until you do this.
(5) Check for success. After you vote, a check mark will appear and a clock will display a countdown until you can vote again. It is much easier after the first time!
The direct link for the voting site is http://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest

Copyright © December 2016 by L.S. Fisher
http://earlyonset.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Alzheimer’s: Know the Signs #9—Withdrawal from Work or Social Activities

 Voting Link
Early Onset Alzheimer's Blog
Excerpt from “Indelible” (memoir in progress):

We went on a tour bus to Kemper Arena to see the Stars on Ice show. Jim and I both enjoyed ice skating and this was our fourth trip to see the best ice skaters in the world perform. Our bus let us off at a convenient spot and our tour guide showed us to our seats.

Jim wore his black hooded Kansas City Chiefs coat, with the hood up and buttoned tight under his chin. He had on his super-dark sunglasses and his gloves.

“Honey, don’t you think you should take off your coat?” I hinted.

“No! It’s cold in here!”

Soon, Jim reached into his pocket and pulled out his hand-held poker game. He played the game, although he had no idea when to draw cards or hold them. I thought that at least, it would keep him occupied until the show started.

The lights dimmed and colorful spotlights blazed on the skaters in flashy costumes, music blasted, and the show began with much fanfare. As the skaters swooshed onto the ice, we were close enough to see the goose bumps on their flesh.

Jim calmly continued playing his game, completely ignoring Scott Hamilton’s enormous jumps, antics, and back flips. He even ignored his favorite skater of all time, Katerina Witt. Jim never once took his eyes off his poker game during the first part of the show, only letting me know when he had to go to the bathroom.
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Do you enjoy reading Early Onset Alzheimer’s blog? Would you please take a moment to vote in Healthline’s best blog contest daily (once every 24 hours) until December 12.  All votes appreciated!

Instructions:
(1) Click on the Vote for Me button above to go to the voting site. Wait until “Vote for Your Favorite Blog” displays. This may take awhile, so please be patient.
(2) Type Early Onset in the search box.
(3) Enter your email and select the vote button.
(4) Scroll up and select the Not a Robot box and select the appropriate photos.
(5) The first time you vote the screen will direct you go to your email inbox. Look for an email from Wishpond and click on the link to verify your email address. Your vote will not count until you do this.
(6) Check for success. After you vote, a check mark will appear and a clock will display a countdown until you can vote again. It is much easier after the first time!
The direct link for the voting site is http://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest

Copyright © December 2016 by L.S. Fisher
http://earlyonset.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Alzheimer’s: Know the Signs #8—Decreased or Poor Judgment

 Voting Link
Early Onset Alzheimer's Blog

Excerpt from “Indelible” (memoir in progress):

During the early stages of the disease, Jim was the telemarketer’s best friend. It seemed that he always agreed to anything they suggested. It wasn’t unusual to come home after work and have Jim say. “Someone called about that thing.”

“What thing?”

“You know, that we want.”

“Who called?”

“I have no idea.”

After a few of those conversations, I installed caller ID. I often had to call to cancel TV programs, donations to various charities, tickets to events we couldn’t attend, and occasionally say no to people we knew who really should have known not to make agreements with Jim.

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Do you enjoy reading Early Onset Alzheimer’s blog? Would you please take a moment to vote in Healthline’s best blog contest daily (once every 24 hours) until December 12.  All votes appreciated!

Instructions:
(1) Click on the Vote for Me button above to go to the voting site. Wait until “Vote for Your Favorite Blog” displays. This may take awhile, so please be patient.
(2) Type Early Onset in the search box.
(3) Enter your email and select the vote button.
(4) Scroll up and select the Not a Robot box and select the appropriate photos.
(5) The first time you vote the screen will direct you go to your email inbox. Look for an email from Wishpond and click on the link to verify your email address. Your vote will not count until you do this.
(6) Check for success. After you vote, a check mark will appear and a clock will display a countdown until you can vote again. It is much easier after the first time!
The direct link for the voting site is http://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest

Copyright © November 2016 by L.S. Fisher

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Alzheimer’s: Know the Signs #7—Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps

 Voting Link
Early Onset Alzheimer's Blog

Excerpt from “Indelible” (memoir in progress):

I went with Jim to see our family doctor about his memory problems.

“Tell me what kind of problems you’re having,” the doctor said.

“I go to the garage and can’t remember why I’ve gone there,” Jim said.

The doctor smiled at him and said, “At least you remember that you’re forgetting. That’s a good sign.”

Jim was having trouble remembering where he put a lot of things. Sometimes he was looking for items that weren’t even kept in the garage.

It wasn’t long before Jim’s language skills began to slip away. “Right here, but I can’t find it!” he would say to me in a frustrated tone.

“What are you looking for?” I would ask.

“Right here!” If I was lucky, he’d point at his bare feet, and I’d know he was looking for his shoes, or his head and I’d know it was his cap. Too often, he’d just wave his arms, and I would help him look although I had no idea what object he was trying to find.

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Do you enjoy reading Early Onset Alzheimer’s blog? Would you please take a moment to vote in Healthline’s best blog contest daily (once every 24 hours) until December 12.  All votes appreciated!

Instructions:
(1) Click on the Vote for Me button above to go to the voting site. Wait until “Vote for Your Favorite Blog” displays. This may take awhile, so please be patient.
(2) Type Early Onset in the search box.
(3) Enter your email and select the vote button.
(4) Scroll up and select the Not a Robot box and select the appropriate photos.
(5) The first time you vote the screen will direct you go to your email inbox. Look for an email from Wishpond and click on the link to verify your email address. Your vote will not count until you do this.
(6) Check for success. After you vote, a check mark will appear and a clock will display a countdown until you can vote again. It is much easier after the first time!
The direct link for the voting site is http://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest

Copyright © November 2016 by L.S. Fisher
http://earlyonset.blogspot.com

Monday, November 28, 2016

Alzheimer’s: Know the Signs #6—New Problems with Words in Speaking or Writing

 Voting Link
Early Onset Alzheimer's Blog
Excerpt from “Indelible” (memoir in progress):

Jim began to have difficulty writing. He would write letters but they wouldn’t make up words. Most of the time, the combination was close enough that I knew what he meant.

I wanted him to feel useful and to “exercise his brain.” One morning, I was washing the breakfast dishes and Jim was sitting at the table.

“Honey, would you make a grocery list for me?” I nodded toward the pad and pen I’d placed on the table. “We need paper towels,” I said.

He picked up the pen and wrote on the notepad. “We need milk,” I said. He set the pen down and said, “I don’t want to.”

He walked out of the room, and I sat down to finish the list. On the paper, he had printed, “taper powels.”

Later he picked up the list and studied it carefully. “I wonder why I spelled ‘paper towels’ that way,” he said.

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Do you enjoy reading Early Onset Alzheimer’s blog? Would you please take a moment to vote in Healthline’s best blog contest daily (once every 24 hours) until December 12.  All votes appreciated!

Instructions:
(1) Click on the Vote for Me button above to go to the voting site. Wait until “Vote for Your Favorite Blog” displays. This may take awhile, so please be patient.
(2) Type Early Onset in the search box.
(3) Enter your email and select the vote button.
(4) Scroll up and select the Not a Robot box and select the appropriate photos.
(5) The first time you vote the screen will direct you go to your email inbox. Look for an email from Wishpond and click on the link to verify your email address. Your vote will not count until you do this.
(6) Check for success. After you vote, a check mark will appear and a clock will display a countdown until you can vote again. It is much easier after the first time!

The direct link for the voting site is http://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest

Copyright © November 2016 by L.S. Fisher

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Not All Beasts Are Fantastic

 Voting Link
Early Onset Alzheimer's Blog
I went to see J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie with my grandkids and daughter-in-law Saturday. I’ll admit that my granddaughter had to keep whispering information to me since I’m not a big reader of fantasy and (gasp!) have not read a single Harry Potter novel, much less the prequel story of Newt Scamander. She might as well have been speaking a foreign language although I often nodded and tried to absorb the information. I am definitely a No-Maj.

No, I don’t need to give a spoiler alert here. During the course of the movie, buildings were destroyed and then magically repaired. That’s why it’s called fantasy, folks, because we all know that when something is destroyed it takes a lot of work and tenacity to rebuild it.

Sometimes, I have thought of Alzheimer’s as a beast. Just like in the movie, the beast burrows beneath the surface, but in this case, wreaks havoc in the brain. The Alzheimer’s beast is made up of two halves—beta-amyloid  plaques and tau tangles.

The Alzheimer’s beast builds a roadblock between brain cells making it hard for them to communicate with each other. The beast murders brain nerve cells, which causes tissue loss. The thinking-planning-remembering part of the brain, the cortex, begins to wither. The hippocampus where we develop new memories is especially hard hit by the Alzheimer’s and shrinks dramatically. The fluid filled spaces in the brain, the ventricles, become larger as the rest of the brain shrinks.

Unlike the movie, the damage caused by the Alzheimer’s beast cannot be repaired by waving a magic wand. I believe that someday—sooner, than later, I sincerely hope—researchers will find a means to stop Alzheimer’s in its insidious tracks.

Research involves a lot of trial and failure. I received disappointing news from the Alzheimer’s Association last week. Eli Lilly’s experimental drug, solanezumab, had earlier shown promise in slowing the deterioration of thinking and memory, but failed in a large clinical trial.

Better news comes out of the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center. The National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, renewed the center’s national designation for five years. This center in the heart of America will receive $9.0 million through 2021 to continue their search to understand Alzheimer’s and treat the disease.

Douglas Girod, executive vice chancellor of  KU Medical Center said, “When the NIA first announced in August 2011 that the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center (KU ADC) had achieved national designation, we were thrilled, but not surprised. We knew that our Alzheimer’s program had long been at the forefront of discovery and had already achieved significant success in understanding and treating this devastating disease.”

The center will be studying lifestyle changes as well as drug intervention in changing the course of the disease. Jeffery Burns, MD, co-director of the center announced that several clinical trials are examining the heart/brain connection: what’s good for the heart is good for the brain. KU ADC plans to expand the Lifetime Enrichment for Lifestyle Prevention (LEAP) program as a way to promote brain health in residents of senior living facilities.

Okay, how can you help? One of the roadblocks to these programs is a lack of volunteers. The biggest need right now is for healthy volunteers who are Hispanic or African American, but they need clinical volunteers of all types.

Alzheimer’s may seem like a beast that can’t be beaten, but when we promote Alzheimer’s research and make finding a cure a national priority, we can drive the beast from our midst.

I’ve already admitted I’m not a fan of fantasy, but this No-Maj is fan of fact. It is a fact that lifestyle can reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s, and that researchers are working hard to find a prevention, treatment, or cure. When researchers unlock the mystery of Alzheimer’s disease, it will be magical in its own way.

Resource: http://www.kumc.edu/news-listing-page/the-ku-alzheimer%E2%80%99s-disease-center-renews-national-designation-expands-research-and-partnerships.html

Do you enjoy reading Early Onset Alzheimer’s blog? Would you please take a moment to vote in Healthline’s best blog contest daily (once every 24 hours) until December 12. All votes appreciated! 

Instructions:
(1) Click on the Vote for Me button above to go to the voting site. Wait until “Vote for Your Favorite Blog” displays. This may take awhile, so please be patient.
(2) Type Early Onset in the search box.
(3) Enter your email and select the vote button.
(4) Scroll up and select the Not a Robot box and select the appropriate photos.
(5) The first time you vote the screen will direct you go to your email inbox. Look for an email from Wishpond and click on the link to verify your email address. Your vote will not count until you do this.
(6) Check for success. After you vote, a check mark will appear and a clock will display a countdown until you can vote again. It is much easier after the first time!

The direct link for the voting site is http://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest

Copyright © November 2016 by L.S. Fisher
http://earlyonset.blogspot.com