Contributions from other Persons With Dementia symptoms: Cecil Ristow
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Most RECENT entry is
The Groundhog at https://truthfulkindness.com/index-persons-with-dementia-pwd/cecil-ristow/groundhog/
Strategies for HOPE at
June 2015 at
Quilting with PCA; July 2015 at
August 2015a at
August 2015b at
September “Cecil’s Easter Eggs” at https://truthfulkindness.com/index-persons-with-dementia-pwd/cecil-ristow/sept-2015/;
October “Pain Management” at https://truthfulkindness.com/index-persons-with-dementia-pwd/cecil-ristow/oct-2015/;
Words at https://truthfulkindness.com/index-persons-with-dementia-pwd/cecil-ristow/nov-2015-words/ ;
New Year Resolution at https://truthfulkindness.com/index-persons-with-dementia-pwd/cecil-ristow/nov-2015-resolution/ ;
Prejudice Toward PWD at https://truthfulkindness.com/index-persons-with-dementia-pwd/cecil-ristow/prejudice-toward-pwd/ ;
at https://truthfulkindness.com/index-persons-with-dementia-pwd/cecil-ristow/groundhog/ ;
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Benson’s Syndrome, doesn’t even sound like a disease, hard to find, harder to believe. I
feel more like a PCA Embarassador. To look and feel quite normal and yet be so
damned messed up! What can be done? Nothing. Who can I see ? Nobody. So, I
explore things that make me feel better. (not Heroin) and doing things
differently. I have to be patient with myslef and LeAnna has to be patient with
me. My feeling is one of embarassment, withdrawal and the realization thatt I’m
only “gettng” 50% of what is going on around me. How do I represent that? Our
group has taken this into the light of day. So improtant. So very healing in
itself for loved ones and for those of us afflicted. We all share an esteemed
Ambassadorship for PCA around this small-er world. We are close. Getting
closer and, well, maybe just not there yet but ours is a force of spirit which
will not be denied. Sincerely Cecil
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And you do it excellently, Cecil ❤ — Tru
There is much ado and to do about an age related diagnosis which has nothing to do with the physical operation of the human body. As kids, it used to be that some of us got chicken pox, measles, mumps, and other maladies considered children’s diseases. Now, a younger generation is suffering more from addictions and deficiencies brought on by those life choices more than anything that can be tied to a childhood sharing of “germs” and “viruses”. For our general health and well-being, what does this all mean? Especially, when, as children, we are given the impression that Doctors can fix anything and anything they can’t fix God can. What are we to believe when it happens to us?
High School health classes focus on the mechanics of the body and health mechanisms as described by science and how the body actually supports and works its own immune system. It still doesn’t explain how I didn’t get Aides, HIV or a myriad of diseases I should have gotten from touching other people either appropriately or inappropriately over along and sorted career in the humanities. By the forces of reason, physical exposure and sheer numbers of interpersonal contacts made in the course of military service, police work, emergency services, teaching and nursing careers I should have been dead about the age of 32. Add on the interpersonal connections made by my ex- girlfriends the force of survival is absolutely astounding!
Here we are being diagnosed with stuff just before we retire. In my case I had to retire because of Posterior Cortical Atrophy causing visual disturbances which makes it impossible for me to work safely. I was only 57. Oh, well, everybody knows that you are supposed to get a second opinion. It just seems that paying for that might actually be a waste of money. If all the up-to date imagery devices show giant pterodactyl big honkin’ holes in my brain about the visual center, then getting another opinion about those holes is counter-productive. Doctors hate this disease because they can neither fix it nor treat it with any degree of certainty that anything will even help. What does that leave? Snake oil, pardon me as the new Anti-Alzheimer’s remedy is Coconut oil, and whereas Rattlesnake Chili, Coconut Ice Cream Bars and those drinks in the bar with the little umbrellas in them do make me wonder if they might not have a point.
Goodbye! Now or later? I haven’t finished yet. I am a human being and it is natural for me to survive, to want more, and to be productive and even though I can’t add numbers anymore, multiplying is good! And it tickles the imagination to be using a calculator without a condom these days. I suppose there will be a day it’s not so funny anymore, but I doubt it. I got a pretty strong sense of humor. Let us look at what medicine ought to do. Stop pain, discomfort, anxiety, frustration and gingivitis while making your teeth exceedingly bright and your breath minty fresh. I have noted that farting and burping are perfectly ok and that for all the other stuff they make a pad or a patch for that now. What is missing is a sense of humor.
Where do you get one? Where does it come from? How do you hang onto it when the dog eats all your chips because they were down where he could get them? A real sense of humor. Not the joking and smoking kind or the kind that comes out of a bottle or a pill. This is a question that has haunted me my whole life. I have not always been happy. There have been lots of things to not be happy about. So how come being told by a Doctor that I only have a couple of years left to live be not having its devastating effect? Obviously, because I have an awesome set of anti-depressants working for me. Maybe, for me, the news is a relief. A notice to stand down and relax. To fight no more. To be blissfully retired. Perhaps, even a “gift”.
As a personal care provider for many years I have also come to believe that being grumpy and exercising curmudgeonly-ness is also a coping mechanism. Oh, it’s not very scientific, however quite correct. Going out kicking and screaming is normal too. I would imagine it works just as well as a sense of humor. I figure an asshole is still going to be an asshole even if they are miraculously cured in an instant. When I was in combat training the instructor told me the only peaceful assholes were dead assholes. That may be true, but who gets to choose? By this logic being an asshole is a gift, having a sense of humor is a gift, and kicking and screaming is a gift. My new grandchild does it. I think it’s cute, while it disturbs the heck out of my son. I do remember those long nights taking care of the severely disabled, seeing to their needs and making sure they didn’t hurt themselves or others in the process and realized that my ability to view it all as one long show of personal choices and gifts taking place was unique. No volume controls and some of the language had to be “dubbed” in like those Asian movies “and with two you get eggroll!” To be fair, it all goes away at the end of the day when everybody is all worn out and Ice Cream is introduced just before bedtime.
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Where does it Go ?
There begs a question. How does one keep their identity growing old in general? Volunteer work? That is what the Government suggests. Staying active, at whatever degree you can. Great idea, except if your aging diagnosis has anything to do with the brain.
After all, who wants the liability for “something happening” because your brain “glitches” and you take out a small group of kids, or a guy in a wheelchair ” Ha, I meant for a walk ! How we are hardwired to respond to our prejudices where the brain is concerned !
Consulting works for a bit. Until they realize it’s your brain giving out information and that it is affected by aging. Then your “It will never fly, Orville.” comment will go over their heads and they will try to re-invent the wheel anyway. And, after thousands and millions of dollars are spent reorganizing procedures, plans and strategies, it doesn’t fly. You told them, but they went ahead and tried anyway. Who pays for that? Maybe if the advice wasn’t free ? So, is it even possible to ‘Bill’ people just for talking to them? Lawyers do it.
These days, as the times they are a changing, are filled with scary implications. Car thieves failing to get away because the old lady drives a stick. Your identity being quite safe because thieves cannot read a phone book. Your money being safe in the bank because you haven’t got any. See, the Government is looking out for us by cutting hackers off at our pockets.
Crazy is well defined as doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Normal always was what all successful people do. Criminals actually hurt people. What “gray areas” are there?
The Facebook Generation is actually tired of the “rhetoric” or the drama concerning people who just don’t “get it”. Perhaps, they are developing an intolerance for stupidity. What happens if this extends itself towards adults. Losing all credibility. It happened with my generation, don’t trust anybody over 30! Then we created what we thought was our own, damned wheel ! No, it didn’t fly either!
Then we grow up, stop obsessing about the wheel and get successful doing what works. Too late, the kids are already grown and still don’t get it! That’s why Europe hates any kind of different ethnicity and won’t change because of eons worth of people taking things from each other. The United States is all about moving away and doing what works to be successful. That unique Native American ideal of, “Hey, you want it? You can have it, and I’ll go make something better!” , really work anywhere but here. Europeans don’t” get it” and neither does the rest of the world. They are too busy trying to own more than they need or can use. I wonder if in 10,000 years we will be just living in tents and following the water?
Tax Laws in the U.S. , along with Hollywood , keep that from happening here. Yet another way the Government is ensuring our way of life continues. I don’t feel so bad about my brain “glitching”, or the money I’ve lost in talking to people for free. I can’t drive anymore because my vision is bad. Criminals don’t want anything I’ve got. I am no longer expecting different results and all I have to worry about is what goes into my slow cooker by 10 am. Life just doesn’t get any better than that! Technologies come and go, but there still has to be Ice Cream.
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Alzheimers: The issues of aging continue. Silence in the ranks concerning medicines, treatments and practices are lax at best. How do we come up with a plan to cope? Some strategies are forming as groups begin to Mentor and gather together in their combined efforts to get the message out.
What is that message? Root word being mess, one could argue that the silence is largely due to nobody wanting to admit they are getting old, have a terminal diagnosis and looking at the end-game. How do you accept all of that when it’s some Doctor that decides to ‘flip’ your “Old Switch”. Worse yet, when things stop working ? Questions most of us have nobody to ask. Grandpa’s gone. So is Dad. Mom can’t remember, and just smiles. The mess is in finding a way to face it.
Senior Centers are being replaced with Senior Day Care. Which costs even more money. They have those “Soup Places” downtown which could work in a pinch. Parks are an old standby “just park me anywhere” just don’t forget to come back and get me. Which I hear happens a lot. The National Parks service had an application for a free Disabled parks pass. Can’t get into trouble in a park. If I do, you can’t be held responsible. What a deal!
I have my dignity to consider. Dignity, sounds like something like laurels. You know laurels. They are that thing that looks like salad that sit on your head and is supposed to get you out of work. Like my dignity, I think I sat on mine and I can’t get up! I have to figure out my “face time”. Now I use a white cane because my vision is gone. That keeps me from falling on my face. I have to ask somebody else if I got it all, again with the face! Somehow, I try to end the day having something to show for it in order to save face. We won’t talk about the other “face time” which is non-existent anyway. Face the Nation is still on Sundays – right? Facebook may or may not be doing anybody any favors.
Social media. Interactive, vibrant , colorful and free. If I stick to the relevant and appropriate mature sites would that be called “Smurfing?” I think that out of that can come a great abundance of information. I would have to pick and choose. Carefully decide what works for me and then share it’s unworthiness’ with others so the valuable stuff doesn’t get lost. Like that never spill gyro bowl for feeding babies. Has a lot of different uses. Experienced parents know it will be used for a Frisbee immediately, but if you put my Scotch in it, it could keep me busy all day! Libraries were another old standby. They only have two drawbacks, both an opening and a closing time. Even so, if I get in trouble there you are still not responsible. Another great deal.
Inner City Subways, Ferries and Transit systems. Self-Explanatory.
At the end of the day. What is there? What remains is the eternal struggle to connect with somebody. In the beginning we are all connected. Then somebody cuts the cord. We struggle to reconnect. The stigma is, that when we get old wanting to reconnect is somehow taken away from us. I suggest that it is not and that it just changes. We are left with those around us having to make the decision of whether or not to connect. Some do, some don’t and that’s OK. By this time I got enough connections still working in my brain to last a lifetime. Most probably a lot more entertaining than anything you can come up with.
Whenever I feel down about aging I remember what my Kids’ Room used to look like, and I go to sleep, like my Mom, smiling.
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did you want a picture to go with this for the month? — or the one with sunset reflection on windshield? — Tru
I don’t know, the one I sent was of Me At Port Gamble Wa. A Tourist town overlooking the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands. I couldn’t get the caption in: ‘ Visually impaired guy in a tourist town (closed at 4pm) and nobody was there 🙂 absolutely nobody !’
Cecil’s easier eggs. Grab a cereal bowl, throw a pat of butter in the bottom, smear it around with your finges. Salt/Pepper. Break one or two eggs in. Scramble with a fork (use the other end to stir your coffee) Cover and microwave for a minute and half, add 30 secs until done. Find Suasage, Find Cheese, wait for toast. Oh, I suppose you can wrap it in a tortilla or a pita but I got to watch my carbs. No carbs in bacon smile emoticon
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Cecil Ristow at 10/16/2015 5:04 PM
There is pain and there is pain management. It can be anything proactive and creative. Something to get you past it all. I find myself in a “zone” listening to Soundscapes on the cable and just start in at whatever I’m working on and before I know it I’m done. With something. Might make a good Christmas present and might make a new toy for the dogs, but for that long period of time I didn’t need any medication.
Once upon a time I went to visit a friend’s Mom in State Road North Carolina. She showed me how to crochet. Then I got 4 wisdom teeth pulled and got dry socket for three months. I crocheted 350 skeins before I healed. No meds. It’s amazing! The best way I can explain it is that it hurts a lot then after about 15 minutes or so I can get myself into a daydreaming trance-like state and the pain is there but I’m not paying attention to it. “Redirect” is the technical term for it. Same thing with a kid who falls a scrapes a knee. WE automatically cradle the child and rub the head. Why? Nobody told us to. It’s not in any first-aid book. We dry their tears and wipe their face, then off they go before you can get the bandage on. No meds and no bandages! WOW!
I can choose to be miserable or I can do something about it. Doing something for others or just making myself a hat. Maybe even a ball for the dogs to tear apart. The real idea is that I figure that if my hands are doing something I won’t be discarded as an invalid. Worse yet, thought of as “invalid” perhaps even treated with a modicum of respect. There is an awful need to not be thought of as having “lost it” Oh, I expect that day will come. For now I will beat it back with a “stick” , a non-threatening one with a gentle hooked curve in the end the letters have a size or a number but I go with weather it grabs the string or not.
For those getting started just pick it up and put it down every 5 minutes until the “zone” kicks in. Then it’s all one stitch at a time from hole to hole. (Half’s, doubles and trebles combinations) Just think of what you want to make and start stitching. There’s TV and Music and good conversation. Then there is having something to show for it! Although with dementia I think I have a better time talking to myself than to others, besides, I get better answers that way!
Is it Dementia or is it Portlandia?
(or Rye , wry and rhy-me !)
A Poet, I am not. But over the years I have noticed a great humor in words. Not so much in Russian, but Turkish is very funny. German can be funny but you can get ostracized for it. Gosh, there’s a word I haven’t used in years. I wonder if the root word is Ostrich? And since when did that become a German Bird?
There are times I get to feeling down and with a hard winter setting in I have to turn my thoughts inward. Cleaning out the “attic” is not an easy Job! Good Mental Health involves a lot more than being able to tell a dirty joke. It takes work. If it were easy there would not be so many counselors not knowing what they are doing. “How does that make you feel?” God, I am so very glad I don’t have to say that like 450 times a day. I could get hurt!
Is that fair? Whose responsibility is it? How do you pick somebody to help? A great Book of Wisdom says you should “knock on doors”. OK. As if that’s not going to get you either shot or arrested. I suppose I could ask one of those people with the cardboard signs. They seem to have all the answers. There’s a storm coming and I am worried about folks not having any sense enough to come in out of the rain!
Maybe it’s an oxymoron. Good mental health. Perhaps, it isn’t something you have but strive for. I think a good start would be changing the diagnosis from Dementia to something more appropriate. We could call it “Portlandia”, you know, Oregon, where it rains all the time. Sounds far more descriptive of the symptoms. Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder Syndrome (SADS) comes pretty close, but rather than Dementia I think Portlandia is more age-gender friendly. Oregonians won’t care. Might even be honored. “Hey, we got a disease named after us!”
That is probably not fair either. For a “Not FAIR” disease, how do we take this into the new millennium? Here’s the thing. With the treatments already in place even they are being left by the wayside because Doctors don’t prescribe them until you need them, and then it can take them a year to get it right. Then there’s me. “Oh hell. I’m off my meds! AGAIN! I forgot. I don’t want to. I’m broke. The Pharmacist doesn’t like me. I woke up too late, the busses are not running and the Drugstore is closed!” Here’s the thing, they (the powers that be or the Federal “Give ’em what they need – Fairy” has all that covered and it’s still not working. I know because I asked the guy with the cardboard sign.
I’m going back to knocking on doors. I suppose you could ask the Bus Driver, Airport Attendant, Valet, and Concierges have made it into a science. Waiters and Waitresses on a Midnight Shift are famous sources of wisdom. “OOPS, I accidentally killed somebody. What do I do?” AND what is really “cool” is that they are never questioned by the authorities. There is no record and they don’t know who you are. “Oh, well you could just bury the body in a Cemetery. They will never look for it there.” Did I mention it only costs a modest “tip” and you get a cup of coffee too! Not once. Not ever. Will I hear the words “How does that make you feel?”
I did notice that the spelling is not quite gender appropriate as there are men in the career field now. I suppose I could ask a PSY “chic”.
What’s in Your New Year’s Resolution?
Old Fashioned? Not Important? What’s that? Wherever you are with it, I think it’s resurrection might be a saving Grace. Whether it takes form in goal planning, personal growth or something more concrete, making one is more beneficial than not.
I started small. I will stop biting my fingernails (age 6). It worked (age 35) ! I will stop being mean to my sisters (age 12). Well, it should be realistic. In the beginning God created Adam and Eve from his rib then things kind of drop off into the begettings then something about Cain and Abel Ruth and Esther and why the confusion continues to present day is anybody’s guess. Women are supposed to have a sense of “Solidarity” and Men are supposed to be “Kind” to their brothers. Seems to be temperature driven the colder it gets the more peaceful we are.
Cromwell finally got Parliament and the Crown fixed but it took a mini Ice Age and near starvation of a country to do it. Sort of the same thing with WW II and the collapse of the Russian Front. Only that was the near starvation of several countries! I am not digressing here as we are entering into yet another crossroads. Where the security of the world depends on individual resolutions. Preferably ones that are healthy and maybe we can avoid starvation of over half the world in the process!
I decided to just see to my neighborhood. 10 Blocks . We had a ‘Block Party’ and had a lot of fun. That is where we noticed our Diversity. That is where we celebrated how happy we were to be living in our neighborhood. I live in the furthest most corner of the North American Continent and we have Blacks, Whites, Jews, Arabs, Hindus, Asians and Native Americans all living in close proximity doing great. We have a common core value of Family Friends and Fraternity as the natural terrain features saddle us away from the rest of the township. Which only has one traffic light.
One year I took on the idea of keeping a Serendipity Jar. In it I write a piece of paper of something that saved me money, windfalls, gifts, listing the full values of special purchases well under market values, and Savings on labor by doing jobs myself. I was shocked on New Years’ Eve when I added it all up as secret and not taxable income 🙂
This year I am taking full advantage of all my Talents and not even asking but making individual clothing items to give to people and just hand them out. Hi, have a pair of mittens, a scarf a tie a hat a headband and a personal monogrammed individual nose mitten for those extra cold winters 🙂
So, What’s in your Resolution ?
Degeneration or Regeneration
Getting older isn’t a problem if one just changes lifestyles. Life reinvents itself and new beginnings become and exciting adventure.
Painting isn’t something you do with your eyes. It is capturing an image in your head. Grandma Moses, a very old, blind American artist was drawing according to how she remembered the farm and her favorite places. Beautiful! You can’t even think about having one of her paintings for less than millions now. She just scribbled for fun and somebody took them to New York. Art becomes just learning how to work the “tools” and suddenly magic appears on canvass where nothing existed before.
There is sailing. Just hanging out on a boat and waiting for the wind to blow. Hiking all the way to a park bench and spending the day just soaking it all up. Visiting the Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Glacier National Parks or even my Montesano, Wa. Community Park. The overlooks off of US Hwy 101; epic stuff! Sometimes I just take a chair and sit in a different spot around the house when the sun pops out.
After so many years of my Doctors singing that Degeneration Song, I have come to question: Is it degeneration or regeneration? With so many examples of the accomplishments of people of advanced years, (and who can ever forget the picture of Einstein sticking out his tongue) reminding us not to take the idea of age to seriously. If nobody can prove your theory wrong, then your theory is as good as anybody’s. Your artwork doesn’t have to look like a Dutch Masters and the ability to make anything is one stroke at a time. A stroke being, not singularly, a brain “glitch”. Why else would they describe inspiration as a “stroke of genius?” Looking at strokes all wrong here. Are they debilitating or are they a chance to inspire greatness? My Grandfather had a severe stroke he never recovered from. When I visited him he still smiled and was reading Shakespeare turning the pages with the end of a pencil he would hold in his mouth. There comes a point where words cannot describe or even communicate the message.
The joy of life can be regenerated. I can choose to experience that joy and create for myself in the midst of absolute darkness my own light. The power to reform the very absence of joy is more attributed to the spirit. The spirit has no physical place but is manifested in the body and is recognized as a very integral part of the human experience. More than one culture insists that it cannot die. What is spiritual becomes less mystic and untouchable when it is simply a matter of “doing” and how creation changes the manner in which things get done. Maybe that is what getting old is really about, joy without end. Sincerely Cecil
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