Tag Archives: Dementia

Some Times You Just Have to Laugh!

I knew I shouldn’t. I knew it was a bad idea – – but I tried it anyway.

There are times when things go so wrong you just have to laugh. That was my evening last night.

The day started out fairly well. With the help of my alarms and lists, I had a very productive day. Three loads of wash – complete, clean the refrigerator – complete, find a ride Kitchen disaster_0001to take me to two appointments – complete. I felt so accomplished. And then . . .

Towards the late afternoon, I began to feel out-of-sorts. As my world became clouded and disoriented, and my speech was slow, I decided I was going to make dinner anyway. That’s where I went wrong! Lesson number one; how to ruin a perfect day – when you know your dementia symptoms are taking over stay out of the kitchen!

First let me say, I HATE cooking anyway. I call it “the dirty four letter “C” word”. I don’t have the knack for it and by the time I’m done, my kitchen looks like a war zone. Honestly, I’d rather change the oil on the car than “cxxk”. In 34 years of marriage I have not been able to escape the horrors of the kitchen. OK, I digress – back to the bad day.

While retrieving two eggs, I knocked a bottle of Italian Salad Dressing on the tile floor. This caused me to jump, tossing the two eggs in the refrigerator. One actually survived – the other, not so much! There was egg on all the condiments (ketchup, mustard, relish, salad dressing, horseradish, etc.). There was egg all over the racks, which of course seeped down to the next rack. There was egg on the door and egg on the floor (that could make a song). There was egg on me.

How I wish I could tell you my tale ended there, but no. As I began the process of cleaning out the refrigerator for the second time, the ketchup lid was not on tight, so I added some ketchup to the other end of the kitchen – the floor, the sink and the cabinets.

Poo – “What’s that burning smell? Oh no! – Dinner!” Well done does not describe it! Looking around at the kitchen, which was covered with egg, ketchup and salad dressing. I called my sister and cried. Unfortunately, I did not heed her wisdom; “Stop crying, get out of the kitchen and let Roy clean it up.”  I didn’t want him to come home & see this mess!

Feeling totally overwhelmed and frustrated, I headed to clean the kitchen. Dementia symptoms often cause balance issues. When there is ketchup, salad dressing and egg on the floor – it’s just inevitable. BOOM! I slipped, knocked over the dog ‘s water and fell smack into the mess.

At which point my husband, Roy walks in the door, sees me on the floor – wet, wearing Ketchup, dressing and egg. And simply says: “Oh, you’ve been cooking again! I think I’ll put the groceries in the dinning room for now.”

What he did then really made the difference! He pulled out a towel, sat next to me on the floor, gave me a hug and said; “Oh by the way, I decided to pick up a Stromboli so you don’t have to cxxk tonight!” We just burst out laughing. We laughed and we laughed until, yes I started to cry! I cried with laughter and happy tears over how blessed I am to have him as my husband.

Cleanup took awhile, but we got it done. Today, I see last night in slow motion, I see the egg flying through the refrigerator, the ketchup splatting all across the room and my wonderful husband holding me and making me laugh. I love you honey!

Love & Laughter,   Laurie

Written By Laurie Scherrer

© Copyright 2015 Laurie Scherrer

Mom’s Journey Helps Me Through Mine

Sixteen years ago today at 2:20p.m., myimage 00105 Mom (“Muzzy”) lost her battle with cancer.  I miss her – her smile and laugh, her caring attitude and her power of prayer.   For 2 years and 6 months, I had the pleasure of being her caregiver.  I was the privileged one who got to be with her every day. I believe that journey was preparing me for the journey I now face.

Up until the last three weeks of her life, Muzzy filled her days encouraging others through phone calls, sending cards and letters and praying. Everyday she took her address book and one at a time prayed for every person in her book. There were times she was in severe pain as the cancer was ripping through her bones and organs and she asked someone to read the names for her – one at a time.  Although she didn’t have the strength to hold the book herself – she still prayed for every individual.

In so many ways, Muzzy is still here with me today.  Sometimes I pass the bedroom door and see her laying there praying with her address book. Often it is her words and attitude that help me deal with the challenges of dementia.

Why do I write about living with dementia? Through Muzzy I learned that there is more joy and happiness in focusing on others rather than our illness.

With every article I write, I pray that God will use my challenges, emotions and symptoms to touch someone in a special way. To provide caregivers some insight on what their loved one may be feeling. To encourage PWD (Persons With Dementia) that life does not end after diagnosis – clutch every moment you can. To increase awareness of the progression and challenges of dementia – it starts with confusion and frustration and is so much more than memory loss.

I find joy in every comment from a caregiver saying how much a post helped them relate to their loved one, in every comment from a PWD saying how much it means to them and also with every blog that is shared. As I pray for each person who comments about the struggles – I am happy to know I can still make a difference.

God blessed me with a Mom who set an example of how to find joy in the face of adversities. I share her daily prayer from Psalms 19:14, “ Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”

I love and miss you Muzzy.

Laugh & Laughter,

Laurie

Written By Laurie Scherrer

Famous Dementia Doers Who Made A Difference

Recently, when I set out to do a blog on famous PWD (persons with dementia), I was disappointed by the number of people diagnosed with dementia related disease (such as Alzheimer’s) that didn’t speak out. How sad.

In my research of over 200 “famous people” PWD, I found exactly 5 who did something to make a difference.   The others kept their diagnosis hidden until after their death or care facility placement, when the family announced they had been suffering for years.

These five promoted dementia awareness, fought for legislative changes, wrote a book or song and/or became an Alzheimer’s Advocate.

 So I say THANK YOU for being a “Dementia Doer.”

1- Ronald Reagan – In 1994, he informed the Nation he had Alzheimer’s in this hand written note: http://www.reagan2020.us/speeches/announcement_of_alzheimers.asp

2- Charlton Heston – He informed the public he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in this letter: http://www.fanunity.com/heston/alzheimers_text.html

 3- Rita Hayworth – EOAD first noticeable at age 46. When she died, at age 68, President Ronald Regan included in his statement: “Rita became known for her struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Her courage and candor, and that of her family, were a great public service in bringing worldwide attention to a disease which we all hope will soon be cured.”

4- Glenn Campbell – After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011 he went on to complete his “Goodbye Tour” with three of his children.

 5-Patricia “Pat” Summit – The book she wrote, “Sum it Up”, covers her life including her experience being diagnosed and living with Alzheimer’s. She is currently an advocate for people with Alzheimer’s Disease.

During the last 18 months, I have met the most remarkable PWDs who are using their precious cognitive time to make a difference. These “Dementia Doers” continue to: promote dementia awareness, fight for legislative changes, write books, blogs or websites, and/or act as mentors to other PWD.

I want to say Thank You to MY list of famous PWD, including: Robealz herosrt Bowles, Harry Urban, Norms McNamara, David Kramer, Chris Roberts, Paulan Gordon, Susan Suchan, Karen Francis, Rick Phelps, Truthful Kindness, and Jennifer Bute. Like Rita Hayworth and Pat Summit, most of these people were diagnosed before age 58.

Thank you for letting the world know our brains may be dyeing, but we’re still having some fun and trying to DO SOMETHING to help others and make a difference. Ronald Regan said: “At the moment I feel just fine. I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this earth doing the things I have always done… I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life.”

Love & Laughter, Laurie

Written By Lauire Scherrer