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A Journey into forgetfulness

A Journey into forgetfulness

Have you ever had an experience where you knew …

The name of the person, it was on the tip of your tongue as they say, but ….it just eludes you, just stays slightly beyond your grasp.

Or you just had those car keys, sun glasses, …. but now what did you do with them? Where did you put them?

Now imagine …. that is your life. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, that is your life.

You just can’t quite recall. It is something you should know but. …. It eludes you.

And day by day, week by week the things that slip just into the shadows of your mind where you can sort of glimpse them but can’t quite make out what they are grow and grow and slip further and farther away.


This is what this blog is about. A Journey into forgetfulness. With this blog I will discuss our own experiences with Alzheimer's disease in the hopes it will help others with family or friends with this illness

Monday, May 30, 2011

Kangen Water- help for Alzheimer's?

My mother is sold on "kangen water".  She started using it last August (2010) after a friend of hers recommended it.  My father at the time was more or less bed-ridden.  He wasn't able to talk or walk.  By the time I returned to the States in November he was up walking and talking.  She gives the credit to Kangen Water.  The website linked is hers.

I knew nothing about Kangen Water at the time.  It using an electrolysis process to create water with a basic pH.  Pure water should be a pH of 7 (neutral) but most drinking water in the US (and world) has a slightly acidic ph.  By drinking water of pH 8.5 to 9.5, she has de-acidified her body chemistry.  I can't argue with the results.  She says her own health problems have diminished or disappeared, and I have to say my father's condition was better than when I left to teach English in South Korea in September of 2009.  He was talking and I could understand what he was saying.  That wasn't true before when I might occasional pick out a word but the word usually had no relation to anything happening.  Now it did.

I can't promise you that you will get similar results.  I don't know.  But the effects demonstrated so far on my father is pretty amazing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kangen Water

My father is better.  That is unusual to say about someone who has Alzheimer's.

I moved to South Korea in September of 2009.  By July of 2010, the reports I was hearing about my father indicated that he was close to being totally bed-ridden.  He had forgotten how to walk.  He was sleeping more and more of the day.

Then my mother started using Kangen water.  When I visited the US in November, my father was actually better then when I left the US more than a year earlier.  She gave the credit to Kangen water.  He was talking, and I could understand what he was saying.  He was more alert.  No, he wasn't cured, and I don't want to give that impression.  But for the first time there was an improvement in his condition rather than the steady but ever-present decline that is normal in Alzheimer's.  She even started a website and sells Kangen water machines:   Many people in the community come and "borrow" gallons of water from her each week, and several people have purchased their own machines.

If your loved one has Alzheimer's, and you can afford it, you may want to consider Kangen water.  For many families, anything that slows the progress of the disease is welcome.

Monday, April 27, 2009

How's your father doing? Is he any better

This is a question you hear a lot when you have a father with Alzheimer's. People who haven't experienced Alzheimer's do not understand, do not comprehend, the answer. There is no better. Alzheimer's patients progress in one direction - down. I was once in the "did not understand" category. It is regrettably something you have to experience to truly comprehend.

An analogy would be the Grand Canyon in Arizona or the Amazon River in Brasil. You can hear descriptions of it, maybe even see photos but you don't truly comprehend either until you experience them first hand. That is like Alzheimer's except the Grand Canyon and Amazon are pleasant discoveries; Alzheimer's is anything but pleasant.

My father these days is something like a 73 year-old 2 year old. He is taller than a 2 year old and stronger but like a 2 year old he can be into everything. Being stronger and taller it is much more difficult to Alzheimer - proof a house than it is to child proof one. One drastic difference between a 2 year old and an Alzheimer's victim is that the 2 year old is learning while the Alzheimer's victim isn't - he forgets almost immediately so no lesson is learned.

He is now at the stage where he sleeps more frequently - something of a respite for my mother since she is able to get more rest. But I'm afraid it is a precursor of harder times ahead, times when he will be more or less totally bedridden. Things are tough now; they will get tougher.

There is no better with Alzheimer's.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Slowly going downhill

It's been awhile since I published anything here.

I hadn't seen my father since I moved to Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, Mexico in August to teach ESL until I went home for 2 weeks during Christmas break. At first I noticed very little different about him. But on Christmas Day there was a noticable difference. He took no interest when gifts were being opened. Last year he at least was able to open presents that he was given and had some interests. This year he more or less slept through it.

He also can no longer use the restroom by himself. He is kept in adult diapers. He still knows when he needs to use the bathroom, but has no concept of how although he is liable to urinate anywhere except the toilet. If you do not watch him closely he will pull down his pants and go.

He is also fighting having his false teeth inserted. He has already stopped wearing his eye glasses. Without his false teeth it is difficult obviously for him to eat.

One positive change (sort of) is that he now sleeps most of the night. I say sort of because as I understand it the day will come when he will stay in bed and be almost comatose. So obviously his staying in bed is both positive (for my mother's physical and mental health) and negative in that it may be the first step to his being bed-ridden.

The cost of taking care of an alzheimers' victim is staggering. It takes a financial toll but also a physical and mental toll on the care givers. Why is there no financial assiatance for those caring for Alzheimers' victims? I don't know how my mother makes it. The vast majority of the cost of taking care of someone with Alzheimers' isn't covered by insurance nor is it tax deductible. It just eats away at the savings. I wish there was relief in sight but as I type I don't see it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

continual downward spiral

Living with someone with Alzheimer's means living in a world where things gradually but continually spiral downward.

On July 3 I returned from teaching English to Hispanic elementary students in Cuidad Miguel Alemán, México. I had went there in Early January with some hesitation because I knew it would leave my mother more or less on her own to handle my father who suffers from Alzheimer's. I was back briefly in March during the school's Spring Break. I think only by being away could I notice just how much has changed. Day to day you may not notice the change as much as you do by being gone a few weeks or months.

My father has much more difficulty eating and speaking. Before what he said might not be rational but now he has difficulty even forming the words. One improvement (from a care giver perspective) is that he now is getting up in the night less. My mother puts him to bed at about 9 pm and he sleeps until the next morning - about 9 or 10 pm. That is good for the people giving him care since they get more rest and he is less likely to wander away in the middle of the night. But that is also a sign of the disease worsening. Eventually he will not get out of bed at all if he lives that long.

If you know someone who is caring for an Alzheimer's victim, please understand that it is a difficult chore both physically and emotionally. Don't avoid visiting because you feel uncomfortable. The care giver needs visits. They need breaks from the constant grind. If you are in a position to give them some relief by staying with the victim, do so. It will be appreciated. People who have not cared for someone in this condition can not appreciate the enormity of the task or the strain it places on the care giver.

I will return to Mexico is a few weeks to teach again. It is some comfort to me that I know local people in the community will give her some help with my father. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't be going back.

If you are the care giver, look for people to give you should aid and relief. Don't be ashamed to admit you could use some help. Taking care of the Alzheimer's victim is a constant strain but most people will not appreciate how difficult it is. They will not realize you need the help or the break unless you tell them. If you belong to a church, mention to the leaders that any help they (the church) could give would be appreciated. If it is just someone to watch the victim for an hour so you can get away that would help tremendously.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New treatment for Alzheimer's?

It's been awhile since the news was released about a promising new treatment for Alzheimer's. The University of Arkansas for Medical Science is preparing to conduct a clinical trial for an existing medication for arthritis, etanercept, that appears to have benefits for Alzheimer's victims.

My mother is hoping to get my father involved either in the clinical trial or otherwise.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sleep issues - Melatonin can help

It has been awhile since I posted anything here on my blog about Living with Alzheimer's.

One issue that has arisen with my father is his problems with sleep. He would want to go to bed at 7 PM (or whatever time) and we'd tel him it was too early. But once you told him he could go to bed, he wouldn't. Suddenly everything became a crisis. He would worry about who would wake him up, what he would do the next day, where would he eat breakfast, how he would pay for breakfast, what if someone else wanted the bed he was sleeping in, ....

Remember Alzheimer's victims will be confused. That will not also know where they are or what is happening around them.

But inevitably it would take 2 or 3 hours to get him asleep once it was actually a time it was OK for him to sleep or perhaps he would be up most of the night.

A solution we discovered was Melatonin. It is a natural substance that is used a lot for people who suffer from jet lag traveling. It is why I had some on hand. I bought it years ago while traveling primarily to have on hand for others in my group. We had traveled to Brasil. Anyway it helps naturally to encourage sleep. And it seems to work well with my father. Normally if we give it to him just before he goes to bed, he is asleep within 30 minutes and sleeps until morning.

If your Alzheimer's victim is having trouble going to sleep or sleeping through the night, ask his doctor about giving him a 3 mg Melatonin tablet at bedtime. It has worked for us!