Alzheimer’s, A Process of Watching “Doerness” Dissolve

So what do I mean by this made up word “doerness”. I mean one who is a doer, one who gets things done on or before they need to be done. I have been the doer in the family, but my Alzheimer’s is slowly, but surely eroding my “doerness” ability. Examples are: my ability to arrive before its time has eroded because I’m not the driver and many times we arrive on time or a little late. That drives me crazy because I always arrived early.

I now see things that need to be done, but I find I can wait and do them later and then sometimes forget about them all together. Pill taking always happened first thing in the morning. I am now at a point where if I get morning pills taken before noon I feel I have accomplished something. A few weeks ago the physical therapist gave me a folder of physical exercises I am supposed to be doing, but didn’t start for almost two weeks.

I know it seems a long way off, but I am an optimist, so put on your 3 D glasses and go to the movies with me, here is what I see (or generally hope to see). It is a review of what politics and the Presidency might look like after the 2020 elections. It’s not utopia, but it’s pretty good and even possibly attainable.

A new president, (I am non-partisan in this exercise, so it could be someone like Mitt Romney or a mirror image of Bush 1, not Bush 2 in this dream sorry-he got us into a war) has just been elected. Point being a well-qualified person from either party (my personal pick-Joe Biden in a New York minute -but I digress.)

As a political junkie, when I am not listening to the machinations and Tweets of Donald Trump, I find myself listening to Dems continuously berate themselves over the last election. Some blame Hillary, some blame the party apparatus, and many blame the Russians or WikiLeaks. So far no one, except Trump, has foisted blame on a 400 lb. fat guy operating out of his bedroom.

I just have one basic question to all the Democrats as they hand ring. Given all the problems of the Democrat party, compared to the Republican Party, which one has the most problems to overcome? In my view the Dems are in a water balloon fight with one other and R’s are in a gunfight with real bullets.

I wrote this origionally for the Daily Democrat, an online publication in Iowa.I offer it here for my blog readers.

Bear with me for a bit and let’s do a little pretending. Let’s assume a portion

of the Democratic party was high-jacked by some very left-wing radicals, beyond socialist and very dogmatic. Let’s further assume that a very poor, very left wing (sometimes), very charismatic (occasionally) person with a giant ego who lied about almost everything (most of the time) somehow got the Democratic nomination and at first blush we just gritted our teeth and tried to make the best of it. Then, even beyond expectations, this person won the Presidency and we held both the House and Senate--we are now in charge!

After lengthy litigation, seven months ago the courts dismissed the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit against 3 northern Iowa drainage districts. Although the lawsuit was set aside, the problem of polluted waterways in Iowa continues.

The issue breaks down into 3 parts:

On a Sunday morning in late September, I stood on the state capitol grounds before the Walk To End Alzheimer’s started and looked out over a sea of purple, the color for the event worn by thousands of attendees. The walk drew those diagnosed with the disease, friends, family and a host of others concerned about it.

As one diagnosed with the disease in the spring of this year, the walk was a very important event for my family and I and a number of great friends who joined us.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is different then most other major diseases. A disease that affects one’s cognitive ability is just plan scary and in my conversations with many friends, I find that a lot are afraid they may have it or might aquire it.

There is continuous disagreement between the R’s and the D’s over taxes and expenditures and the next fight looming in Congress looks like it will be over revamping the tax code. The R’s want to reduce income, or at minimum not increase revenue per the amount received from the top 1% of taxpayers. At the same time a large percentage of the Federal budget is spent on Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security for baby boomers like me.                                                                                                          Because of the continuous disagreement over tax and budget issues, departments within the Federal government including over 50 Federal Law Enforcement agencies have a difficult time determining their own budgets and therefore what services they can provide to meet constituent needs.

The other evening the President outlined a change in strategy for Afghanistan. Although certainly no fan of Donald Trump, I would say that in large part his general strategy makes sense. This new approach is far different then his campaign rhetoric and was, in large part, developed by his military advisors. In my view that is generally a good thing.

Basically, there are three basic fundamental changes that will occur.

Personally I am fairly certain he will not and here are a few reasons why. They are not in any order of certainty as each is a possibility.

1) Russian Investigation

Lead by the very well respected former head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, this investigation has the possibility of bringing down the Trump administration. Personally, from what I have read, there is a possibility of matters related to Trump’s business empire and its’ ties to Russian Oligarchs and possibly Russian Mafia. Those may be more problematic then possible links relating to our election, but who is to know at this point? I do believe that Mueller and team will ferret out all the issues, but it will take time.

I am now into my 4th month of living with a Stage One Alzheimer’s diagnosis. I am maybe 5 years into my diagnosis of Vascular Dementia and 25 years from when I first had an inkling of a memory problem. So how am I faring? The answer is, it depends upon the day and sometimes the moment.

I am always better in the morning and many times better all day if I get to the gym and pound away on the treadmill. It does not necessarily require a fast rate of speed but I do push the incline sometimes up to as high as 15 and I feel that makes a difference. Occasionally I go biking with my wife Kerry, but for some reason, even during nice days I prefer the gym. The single piece of advice for others with the same issue is to exercise, exercise; you will not regret it. It can’t cure the disease, however I do believe it may put it off.