October 13, 2008 Columbus Day

Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.




Today, I still feel fatigued and am just tremoring away. A very unpleasant experience. My voice has been hoarse for quite sometime now with a lot of coughing. Am not sure if I have residual cold symptoms or if they are side effects of the Namenda. Time will tell, I’m sure.



Well, the Vivimind has elicited some excitement. They say a good journalist reports both the positive and negative aspects when discussing a topic. Here are some of the negative stands which can be found online:


1)  http://www.alzforum.org/new/Vivimind.pdf

2)  http://www.alzforum.org/new/detail.asp?id=1937      

3)  http://www.alzforum.org/drg/drc/detail.asp?id=84



My neurologist, Dr. Lopez, had discussed the trials of Vivimind and said they were negative. However, he informed me that he is seeing some clinical positive results in spite of the negative studies. So many things in life are controversial. My intent is not to persuade others to take this. I have decided to take it. I don’t want to take a chance. So far, I’m not seeing any side effects. So, we’ll see. I guess time will tell.


I left off the end of by blog on October 8th by saying, “I remember very little of that odyssey other than I sat in the backseat of the car silently crying for several hours. What a loss. A career. Friends. A lovely home. Beautiful country and scenery. Goodbye California and San Francisco. I will never forget you. You’ve enriched my life and have fertilized my mind forever. Thank you.

Tomorrow……..the odyssey.”


The odyssey (an extended adventurous voyage or trip). I remember little of those 6 days across country to Pennsylvania. Pam says it was anything but adventurous. She said that I became psychotic, that I was frightened that the devil was in the car with us, was uncooperative, combative and litigious with Pam and that I would just glare with hostility. I kept telling her to take me back to California and that I demanded that she take me to a bus station. I became worse whenever Pam and Chad (my stepson) would try to humor me. I physically lashed out at Chad for no apparent reason. Pam later told me that the neurologist in California told her to expect this behavior from me but she didn’t realize that it would get to that point. I had just started the Aricept and it had not yet helped me up to that point in time.


We arrived on New Year’s Day at Pam’s father’s and step-mom’s home. It was originally planned that we would stay with them until we could have a small retirement home built for us. The original plan was that it would take about 6 months for the house to be completed.


After several weeks of 5 adults, 1 St. Bernard and 2 Shitsu dogs in a small house, we decided to rent an apartment pending the construction of our new home. In mid-January of 2008, we fortunately found a small 2nd floor apartment to rent in Conneaut Lake. It’s a small town about 100 miles north of Pittsburgh and about 45 miles south of Erie, PA. Right in the snow belt!


It turned out that we couldn’t move into the new house until September 5, 2008. Do I dare even try to describe what a long, hot, depressing, apathetic summer it was with little to no local family support. Part of LBD is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system which causes me to have difficulty in thermoregulation. Just a hint of heat causes me to sweat and to feel sick. I can relate to anyone with hot flashes! The 2nd floor didn’t help. The average temperature ranged between 85-90 degrees. We decided to purchase a portable air conditioner. Now one would think that would be a godsend. Oh, yea. Down to 83-85 degrees. Just great. With everything in storage, we lived like college students. Cardboard boxes for end table, blow-up air mattresses for beds, and 2 patio chairs to sit in. Oh yea. We also used 2 folding chairs too. So, there was little to do. Plus the heat and humidity. We spent most of our time on the bed. I was depressed. I thought it was the apathy and depression which can accompany LBD. Hind sight is 20-20. The loss of stability in California. Work, friends, a routine. The loss of the ‘old David’ which I knew well. The changes in living conditions. Of course. It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to realize depression probably should occur in most people under these conditions. But we had a hard time being objective in the middle of it all.


I never felt so happy in a long time as I did on the day we moved into our home. What a relief. And my mood immediately improved. Ah, thankfully, it wasn’t that old Lewy guy causing it. We all perked up and began to unpack. Our home in CA was at least twice as big as our home now. Needless to say our garage is filled to the max with boxes. We didn’t have enough time to sell much of our stuff in CA, so we’ll have a big garage sale next Spring. We won’t get bored this winter. We’ll be rooting through boxes in the garage!


Pam, Chad, Scooter, Wiggles and I have adjusted well to our house and are very happy. We live across from an 18 hole golf course and are just 3 blocks up the street from Conneaut Lake – the largest natural lake in PA. It’s 1 mile wide and over 3 miles long. One of these days, I’ll post some pics of our home. But enough for today.


Dr. David



2 Responses

  1. RE: the hoarseness

    I wonder if this is a part of LBD.

    For YEARS my mom battled hoarseness, feeling like she was losing her voice, etc. She taught Sunday School from 1948 to the late 1990s, and she would nearly lose her voice during class. One thing that helped was to put a bit of salt in her mouth. I guess it got more saliva going, which helped lubricate things. But many times over the past few years her voice would get so hoarse or so weak I could barely hear her over the phone. I remember years ago I would call her and jokingly ask, “Is this Mrs. Frog?” because she would have such a croaking voice.

  2. Linda…..Your post on your Mom’s hoaresess and weak voice helps me. Maybe any sugar free mint or life saver candy would help keep the saliva going too. I’ll give it a try.


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