Odds and Ends

Yes……..the series puzzle from the other day threw me for a loop too! I spent too much time trying to figure it out. When I realized what the answer was, all I could think was “What a simple solution. It never occurred to me to look at the diagonal lines.” All along I was trying to fit the blocks together and couldn’t make any sense of how there would be a next one. But it did provide good brain work even though few of us got it right!

That trazodone drug is good stuff. I’ve now had 2 pleasant nights with good sleep along with good dreams. I’m impressed with it. Now I understand why so many of my former patients slept well with it. It makes me wonder why I never thought about having someone prescribe it for me in the past! And I’m not having any side effects. Now if I could just stop shaking, especially my head whenever I use the computer…..

I spent yesterday watching movies, football along with knitting and crocheting some pot scrubbers. A nice relaxing day.

I find myself thinking about all the readers of the blog. I wonder how many of you have dementia, how many are caregivers, how many are friends and how many others who aren’t in these categories. I think about you many many times. I read the comments……..the emails……..trying to put faces to the names which is impossible. I think about what your days are like. The good moments. The tough times and what the caregivers must be going through. The hardest part for me is whenever I read the Yahoo dementia group emails. The heartaches that you all go through. I find myself going into denial when people discuss their loved ones going into a nursing home or other facility. I just can’t go there in my head. And, unfortunately, I don’t respond to those emails. That’s a problem I’ll have to work on.

10 Tips for Keeping the Brain Sharp Into 2009 — Click here.

Recylced Plastic Bags: Crochet a Snowflake

January is Alzheimer’s Month in Canada.

Fact or Fiction

Chemist Louis Pasteur, the first to discover that germs caused disease, rarely shook hands.

True. Pasteur, regarded as one of the three main founders of microbiology, also created the first vaccine for rabies.

Have a great day………David Thomas


8 Responses

  1. I like the snowflake! I have a friend who crochets kitchen rugs from bread bags.

    Putting my grandmother in a nursing home was the hardest decision my mom and I have made. There are so many things to consider. The deciding factor for us was the fact that she was losing her mobility and we were afraid that she would fall and break something at home.

    The good news is that God has answered our prayers in so many ways. She has adjusted well, most of the aides really like her and that makes a huge difference.

    We still go and see her everyday and she has been in there for a year now. So many families just stop going to visit their loved ones. I think that is what we are all afraid of. Just being left there alone.

  2. Many think they have to go to a Nursing Home, but that is usually not the case. Many can go into an Assisted Living home which is usually combined with Retiree’s–those who need no assistance at all. Assisted living is much like living in an apartment complex–albeit a very expensive one.
    You have your own small apartment with your own furniture/personal things and can walk about the different areas for activities of all kinds, come and go as you please, have rides to your appointments, plus the freedom of going to the Dining Room 3 times a day if you don’t feel like cooking for yourself. Yes, it’s still an adjustment but moving to any place new is an adjustment.
    You have choices. 🙂

  3. Lynn emailed me the following:

    I’m not sure that you need to respond to those emails or feel bad for not responding. You view the messages from a distinctly different viewpoint than the clear majority, if not all, of the members. If I was reading these messages from the viewpoint of a patient rather than caregiver, I wouldn’t be able to not put myself into the position of the loved ones whose lives are being described and for whom decisions are being made. I find for myself that it’s beneficial to be almost robotic when dealing with such things. To stop and feel the decision on a personal level is just too painful. I’m pretty tired right now so I hope I’m explaining myself properly…

  4. Well, that puzzle was a duh…always so obvious when I receive the correct answer, oh well, until next time.

    Regarding nursing homes and emails, trust your instincts. Your a doc, you know that sometimes not speaking is the best solution. For me, projecting my own fears into the mix is probably not the most helpful. God knows I’ve never been good at projecting into the future (my own or anyone else’s), so “a day at a time” it will remain.

    Take care. BTW, I love the snowflake. Do you make rugs too, from recycled plastic? If you need more bags, let us know 🙂

  5. I agree with Lynn. You don’t have to respond to anything you can’t handle. You don’t even need to read all those posts on the caregivers website. I can’t read them all, and I don’t even have LBD. Sometimes I go for a week or two and don’t even go there, because I am overwhelmed with work, family concerns, my mom’s situation, etc. Do what you can, and don’t beat yourself up for what you can’t do.

  6. Well, I want to test your resolve and see if you will respond to my email.I have e mailed you privately in the past and now ask for your advise on how to accept this disease. My husband Gordon is in an Altzeimer’s study at UC Davis and was diagonsed with Lewy Bodies 5 years ago. His evaluation yesterday gave me sad news. He has deteriated greatly in the past year. (poor executive skills, cognitive skills, no adl’s. They told me that usually a persons rate of deteriation is a predicter of what is to come. They said his is in the moderate/severe stages of Lewy Bodies. I’ve been going along with acceptance of “what is”. but now I’m sad and crying and scared. Any words of advise from you, a psychiatrist?

    So glad your new year is starting off with good news.

    Best, Hope Stewart

  7. I received this email from Janet. I felt it was so good that she gave me permission to enter it here in the comment section.

    I am amazed! Did a few get that puzzle right? Geniuses! I wonder how long they spent on it before they figured it out.
    David, you can put some of the faces with the caregivers if you go to the LBD Photo Albums. Jim and I are in there under Jan & Jim Colello. I have seen your picture with Pam too, so I can put a face to you. I have met quite a few people personally from the group. Some I meet in my area and we get together for coffee and socializing. Some I met years ago at a Conference for Lewy Body in Washington DC. It was very interesting with researchers doing the presentations. At the time it was very controversial about If PDD and LBD were in the same family or if they were apart from each other and I felt my husband had PDD and wanted to know if we were in the right place with an LBD diagnosis. I found out that PDD is in the spectrum of Lewy Body Disease, so the trip was well worth it plus I got to meet so many of the family here and I stayed an extra week to tour DC. It is odd when you meet people personally that you have never seen a picture of or know and your mind makes an image of what they look like in your head over the posts and they turn out to be nothing of what you had pictured in your mind.
    It’s good to hear the Trazodone is working well for you. It’s funny how we can think of things to help others, but when it comes to ourselves we draw a blank, like when you state that you wonder why you never had anyone prescribe it to you in the past as you did for your patients. When it comes to Jim, I can think of medications to discuss with the doctor for him, but if I go to the doctor, I have no questions to discuss. Can’t think of a thing for myself. The Sinemet helps my husband with the shaking. I know whenever he is in ER for whatever reason and he hasn’t had his Sinemet, he will start shaking, especially his hands or he gets very fidgety pulling and tugging on sheets and blankets and I will tell the doctor he has not had his Sinemet and after it is given to him the shaking stops.
    It must be very hard for you at times to read the caregiver posts being on the other side of having Lewy Body. I know, I can’t go to the Spouse’s LBD Group. They have an LBD Group for Spouses and the Caregiver LBD Group is mainly daughters and sons of a Parent with LBD. It was very hard for me in the Spouse’s Group. I would get very emotional reading their posts. It was too close to home. Everytime one lost a spouse, it hit me. It makes me very sad. Some of the spouses have been with each other for a lifetime 50 or 60 years. It’s very heartbreaking. I guess it is like you not being able to read about those going into a nursing home. I find it more lighthearted with the Caregiver group, if there is such a thing to be lighthearted with LBD, but the people here chat more and get off the subject like you with the puzzles and although it has the same information as the Spouse’s Group, it is not as serious of a feeling. I feel more comfortable with the Caregiver’s Group. Anyway, my point is, it must be hard for you to read some of the things said in the group.
    I admire you for reading the posts and wanting to know about your future and what is out there in medications. Knowledge helps you more than not facing it and turning a blind eye to it. I just want you to know that I am in awe of you, keep up the good work keeping yourself busy with hobbies and stimulating your mind. I believe it has a great effect on your well-being. Having had Jim at home for several years, I could see him sleeping more and more. He was active like you at one time and then he began to sleep more and more. I tried to keep him stimulated, but life goes on for me and there are chores to be done and things to do and I can’t be working out with him as much as I would like to. So, I sent him to an Adult Day Program and that was one of the best things I did for him, because it started to stimulate him. They had exercise activities and crafts to his abilities and he was becoming more alert and sleeping less. Sometimes I feel the ones at home are not getting the stimulation that they need, especially as they progress more into the disease. Some never get out and sleep most of the day. If they were more active in the day, they might sleep better at night. After Jim started the Adult Day Program, he slept much better at night. I will admit there is no place like home, but I truly believe those that get stimulation last the longest. Some that were where Jim was in the phases a few years ago are gone today. People tell me Jim has 9 lives. He keeps on ticking and even though he is in a nh, I believe it is the activities and stimulation that keeps him going. He gets more there than at home that keeps him physically going, plus my Love of course. LOL ((wink, wink))
    Sometimes in the busy caregiver’s life, they are too tired to do stimulating activities too with their LO. They have put in a full day and are tired.
    Thank you for all your tips and information and stimulating my mind!

  8. Norma emails me saying:


    I get your emails and read one of your recent ones about not knowing who
    the people are who read your blog. I am a caregiver for my Mom who has

    Thank you for giving us some much information and for your kindness.

    Happy New Year, Norma

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