Friday, July 31, 2020

A Cup of Coffee and a Chill Pill


Today was one of those days when I felt overwhelmed and the walls were closing in on me. It was raining and my mood was stormier than the clouds rolling in.

Rain, itself, is a double-edged sword. The soybeans planted in the fields by the house are happy and growing nicely. The rain makes the grass look a lovely shade of green, but it needs to be mowed, and it’s too wet to mow. Lately, it’s either too wet or too hot to work outside. A few days ago, I trimmed the hedges and some of the more offensive grass near the house, and nearly had heat stroke.

Guess that leaves the endless inside work. I always need to decide whether to do housework or computer work. They both seem to have no beginning and no end. The to-do list never turns to a “done” list. I just keep moving the unfinished projects forward to the next list.

This week I planned to watch the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on research. I never realized how many sessions, chats, posters, etc. that would be available. I thought the AAIC conference would be good preparation for the Alzheimer’s research Peer Review program that will be starting soon. There’s that double-edged sword again. If spend the time to watch a week’s worth of AAIC videos, I won’t finish other projects to clear the way for the Peer Review program.

It rained yesterday, but mentally, I felt good. I had crossed several things off my to-do list and the 2020 blog book, Love Is Action, was being reviewed. My smugness didn’t last long—the book was kicked back for cover size. We went to work on uploading a new cover, but it was looking weirder and weirder. Finally, my husband used his old pc to print the pdf, and we were in business.

Until this morning when we flunked review again. So that item flew back onto my figurative plate. To make matters worse, I accidentally sent it back for review before we made the correction. I called to see if we could cancel the review and found out that an automatic review cannot be stopped. It’s going to be another 72 hours before I can fix that one.

During my meltdown this morning, my husband told me that I needed to prioritize and finish the most important projects first. That’s good advice except when I think I’ve finished a project and try to move on, but have to erase the checkmark next to the most time consuming item on the list—“Work on Blog Book.”


It’s hard to complete projects when I can’t work without interruption. Every time I sit in front of the PC to work, my dog takes that as a signal that I can either (a) play with her, or (b) take her outside. She doesn’t like to take no for an answer. The phone rings—telemarketer again, and again. My email dings, a text comes in, the dryer buzzes, or the oven timer goes off.

On rainy days, my body aches, my hands hurt when I type, and my attention span wanes when I get tired. My mind flits here, there, and everywhere as I attempt to prioritize more and multitask less. In the meantime, I might as well have a cup of coffee and take a chill pill and listen to the rain splash against the window.

Copyright © July 2020 by L.S. Fisher
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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Jim’s Team—Walk Like it’s 1998


Those of us who plan for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s year after year were worried this year. We thought that like so many other events, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s would be cancelled.

When all the creative minds were through mulling over how we could move forward, a plan was in place—the walk would continue, but it would be everywhere. As soon as we heard the idea, we embraced it.

The Sedalia Walk will proceed as planned on September 12, but instead of everyone gathering in one place, people will walk in smaller groups with family members or teams. They will walk in their neighborhoods, in their yards, on hiking trails, in parks. Instead of being in one place and just seeing each other, we will be visible to our neighbors, or people who pass by in cars—Honk if you support Alzheimer’s research. With the wonders of the Internet and the ever present cell phones, we will still be connected.

I feel like this is our opportunity to move forward while taking a step back. The first time I walked was in 1998 and the Sedalia Walk had a total of six adults and a dog. Jim and I were the only local people in the walk. Two of the women were from the Alzheimer’s chapter and a husband and wife were from Slater. If you read my blog posts, or my Facebook page, you’ve heard this story before and have already skipped this paragraph. BUT…

I’ve decided that since things are going to be really different this year, I’d like for some members of Jim’s Team (at least six people, and one dog) to walk like it is 1998! We started at Liberty Park, walked through downtown, and back to the park.

I want to walk the same route that we walked in 1998. It’s going to be much like that year—no whoopla, or formal program, just people dedicated to the cause. I can’t think of a better way to honor Jim’s memory. This year, we won’t be too distracted to wear our buttons with Jim’s picture on it.

So, Jim’s Team, are you in, or are you out? First, you need to register! To register for Jim’s Team click here. The designated day for the Sedalia Walk is September 12. But guess what? You don’t have to be in Sedalia on that day to walk--you can walk anytime, any day, anywhere.

It is my understanding that everyone who registers for Walk to End Alzheimer’s will get flags to put in your yard and to carry when you walk. Once you register, you can self-donate or ask for donations. If you are registered and donate or raise $100 you will get a walk shirt.

Let’s walk, Jim’s Team, for a world without Alzheimer’s or dementia. Let’s walk like it’s 1998!

***


To register for any team, or any walk, go to act.alz.org/walk.

To go to team page for Jim’s Team click here. You can register or support another walker.

Copyright © July 2020 by L.S. Fisher
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Monday, July 13, 2020

The Little Voice


Lately I’ve been watching some old Magnum reruns. When people refer to him as a detective, he will correct them by saying he is a private investigator. As he goes about solving various mysteries, the little voice in his head sometimes nags him that he is missing a clue.


Since I don’t have access to what’s going on in other people’s heads, I don’t know if everyone has that little voice in their heads that talks to them. Oh, sure, we’ve all heard of people with psychotic tendencies that insist the voices in their heads instructed them to commit murders. Blame it on the voices, and don’t take responsibility for being cruel.

Well, my little voice talks to me constantly. The voice in my head tells me when something is right, I’ve done something I shouldn’t have, or sometimes the voice is boring and I know all is well in my world.

I read a lot of detective/thriller books. These books often mention the little voices, but since they are fiction, I wonder if the authors are writing from experience or if they are using their imaginations. One of the authors I read throws in humor even when talking about his little voice. His voice started off with, “Self,” and continued with the information. “I knew it was me,” he wrote, “because I recognized my voice.”

I may be wrong, but I think researchers must have that little voice guiding them through the mystery of unlocking the cause of a disease and developing a cure. The process of research is fascinating to me, and that is the reason I’ve signed up to virtually attend the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference later this month. I’ve always followed the research reports from the conference, but this is the first time I’ll have firsthand knowledge.

I think this conference will be good preparation for the DOD Peer Reviewed Alzheimer’s Research Program in September. The training and panel discussions will take place virtually this year. I am excited to be a small cog in the wheel rolling toward a cure or treatment for Alzheimer’s and related dementias. I’m sure my little voice will be in overdrive.  
  
Sometimes the voice keeps me awake at night. Nagging me and telling me that I have too many things to do to be drifting off into dreamland. I can’t even imagine how fast my little voice will be talking during the conference and panel, or how little sleep I’ll be getting. 

Copyright © July 2020 by L.S. Fisher
#ENDALZ

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Don't Trust that Day


I think the Mamas and Papas were on to something when they said you couldn’t trust Monday. The first weekday was more like Friday the 13th than Monday the 30th.

We were off to a good start since we headed out to mow the lawn before the temperature surged toward heat stroke level. I revved up my mower, put on my cap and googles. I reached for my ear protection muffs—and they were missing.

Since we were mowing the backyard, I pulled my car out and used the car remote to close the garage door, locked the car and hid the keys. I raced across the lawn to see if my husband was wearing my ear protection, but he insisted he was wearing the ones that were on his mower.

I went back to the house, took my car keys from their hidey-hole to use the car garage door opener. I searched every logical place and many illogical places for the earmuffs. Finally, I glanced down and saw them inside the back part of the mower.

A few clouds rolled in and it was almost pleasant mowing. Then, I noticed a streak of lightning. Since I was finished with my section of lawn, I went back to the garage. I unlocked the car and opened the garage door. I locked the car and put my car keys in my pocket.

After the sky cleared, I decided to take a flag to mark a seedling tree. I wound up circling the house and guess what wasn’t in my pocket when I got back to the house. Oh, it wasn’t just car keys missing, it was my entire key chain with every key I needed on it.

Harold and I searched the route I had taken, as I remembered, and couldn’t find my keys. Reminded me of Alzheimer’s Warning Sign #7: Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. I tried my best to retrace my steps and walked around the yard several times.

Well now. Trying not to panic, I called about getting a new car key from the dealership. When I heard the part about towing the car, I called my son. I have a spare key, but it wasn’t at our house. Eric came over to help me look. I walked with him showing him where I had driven the mower. I walked the area I remembered traveling, and he veered off to the side. In a few minutes, he found the keys. “I didn’t look there,” I said, “because I didn’t remember being over that far.” So much for retracing my steps, or in this case, the mower route.

As the day progressed, my husband and I went to the machine shop to see what kind of flowerpots we had. We found some pots, and when I went to move an over-sized pot, I tripped and fell. The good news was that I fell on some bags of mulch. Still, I twisted my sore knee and hurt my shoulder.

I took a few ibuprofen tablets for the pain, and thought I’d cozy up on the couch for a well- deserved rest. As I passed by Harold on the way to the living room, he said, “Oh I forgot to tell you…the Japanese beetles are back.”

The only good thing about the kind of Monday I had is that every other day of the week was fine. You just can’t trust Mondays.
  
Copyright © July 2020 by L.S. Fisher
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