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Showing posts from October, 2018

Objects in mirror are stranger than they appear...

I don't know if this post is one long caveat or what but I feel its important to lay out some ground rules. Anyone is free to tell me if and where I am out of line. I post alot here but this isn't new behavior for me. Most of my gigs have involved lots of writing of technical stuff drier than a popcorn fart. I ran my own website in one form or another since the infancy of the www. Being an alpha-geek meant I even ran my website from my own hardware, because the hosting company and ISP offerings just weren't fast enough. Of course the downside of that is now that my writings have been relegated to the dustbins of digital history, they have also been relegated to the actual dustbins of Kalamazoo, Lynchburg, Ventura, Millbrae and Henderson.
In other words, gone. So folks read what I write here and sometimes it seems to help someone...this makes me happy but also scares the poo out of me. Aside from the obvious fact that each dementia is unique, I always feel I…

A taste of aphasia for normal people...

Man that last post was tough and way deep/down for me. Thats not where I normally live mentally so to lighten things up, here is something for caregivers. Alot of what I write is an attempt to try to illustrate to the reader what different aspects of dementia feels like and if possible I try to relate it to something in everyday life.
Well I have the perfect way for normal people to experience the fun and sheer joy that is expressive aphasia. I don't care what kind you have, this example works, it just depends on your age.
If you are under the age of about 50, try singing the words to ZZ Tops seminal masterpiece La Grange, seen in about every action or comedy movie for two decades.
If you are under 60, try doing the same thing with La Bamba.
Or Mannfred Manns Blinded By The Light. No one knows WTF they are going on about there.
You know what i mean, 99% of the people don't have clue one to the lyrics to these extremely popular songs yet try to sing along anyways…

And so the comedian asks: how many nuts can you fit in a boat?

Perhaps like Randys' last missive, a warning or caveat may be in order. This may make some uncomfortable or even trigger fear; I would only ask that you remember this is a fearful subject for most folks but not so much for the ones that you might think. If the reader walks away from this with illumination, this has been a good day.
In the past I have used the analogy of sitting in a boat tied to a shore to describe progressive dementia. You are in the boat and the rest of your family, friends, everyone and everything you knew is on the shore, living their lives. At this point you are still a part of things, more or less. Every day you become a little less a part of that life and more a spectator of it. As the dementia progresses, the boat drifts a little further from the shore, the faces and voices become a little less distinct. Events have less and less impact on your daily life.
Occasionally we will venture to shore when we can but almost always we retreat to the …

Riding the Mobius Strip of reality...

I had the strangest realization today, and given I have dementia and my own cannabis crop, thats saying a lot. We patients spend our time worrying about departing from reality on a permanent basis but in my case it seems I am taking some strange detours.
The first one was the idea that came up today. I am and have been a programmer for a long time and I have written alot of code over three decades. It is really no different than a chef cooking a lot of different meals over the years. In my case though, I have used my skills over the years to bend to real world to what I wanted it to be. The picture above gives a simple example:
I have been into comics since I was a kid but when I snagged the Marvel XMen DVD release with every issue from issue #1 plus all specials, etc I bought a copy. To my chagrin it was in PDF format (OK for reading docs, horrid for reading graphical novels of any kind) PLUS Marvel in their wisdom decided to plaster their watermark all over everythin…

Pardon me whilst I regress...

Before I became occasionally demented myself I had seen and heard so much of how AD patients often regressed to a very child-like set of behaviors....I don't know what i thought caused it or why it was like that, I just wrote that off to another bit of dementia that (specifically my grandmother) freaked me out.
Now that I have it, I am understanding much more but definitely not enough. It is real though. I don't know that it makes a difference but where before I had considered the child-like actions all part of a single cause, now I am seeing how they are different things and in maybe half the cases, my behavior might seem childish when in fact I am simply confused and not really understanding how to react to things happening around me. When things are bad my speech becomes quite simplified, often limited to one or two syllable words. "Adult" stuff doesn't interest me because I can't figure out whats going on...child like stuff (cartoons, etc)…

A strange kind of aphasia

Something odd I noticed that defies classification. Most expressive aphasia seems to fit into nice neat categories, all stemming from a systemic problem: words that come out are not the words that are intended to come out. Now if you have a garden-variety type such as what you would see portrayed on televised medical dramas, you will display an almost Dr. Seuss-level defect: the wrong word always comes out as a rhyme of the intended word, or its the polar opposite of what was meant, and so on. One key feature that all of the "Dr Suess" varieties share in common is that they are all immediately recognizable as a mistake, as gibberish.
Now I have other bits of the aphasia that are obvious or close enough to it. However one thing I noticed and mentioned to my wife of 20+ years tonight is that my cursing has suffered greatly since this began.
In total transparency, I was raised in a parochial school in Southern Michigan in the 1960's for the first seven year…

Sometimes objects in the mirror are actually dumber than they appear...

If there was a single gift I could give to Donald Trump, it would be that when speaking of things he does not know, STFU. Seriously dude, you embarrass yourself, you embarrass this country but mainly just just look like an idiot when you try to talk about technical things. If its that Brad Pascale dude who is your technical genius filling your head with such bullshit, you should fire him because he makes you look stupid, and with your normal song and dance act, thats saying something.

Two key things you don't know shit about, one is tech and the other is the people making it. The tech has evolved so far beyond your understanding that you sound like a 5 year old child when you scream that Google and other search engines are biased against you and conservatives. It is not so much that the folks who work at Google or other tech might be biased against you; after working with tech workers for a few more decades than you have or ever will, I am pretty sure most of them think you are a…

Considering The Future

After receiving the the news of the rapid advancement of my Lewy Body Disease I’ve been doing some serious thinking and have had some difficult discussions with my wife. She has always said she intends to keep me at home until the end, doing as much of the care giving herself as possible. While I dearly love and respect her for this, experience and the stark reality of our recent news bring home the fact that this is not feasible as a long term goal. Eventually I will require not only memory care but more and more physical care that often requires brute force, and I’m not a small man by any means. She suffers from advancing rheumatoid arthritis and can not afford the physical stress such activity would place on her body, not to mention the mental stress.

She counters that our sons will help her and she will be able to hire home health aides to give her relief. My problem with that is I know my wife. She has good intentions. She would go into it with all   Intents of accepting that he…

Doing something actually helpful for your caregiver!

This is strictly aimed at patients with caregivers who are also our wives, husbands, etc. Not that it needs repeating but many dementia patients such as Randy and myself walk around with an extra-special sized bucket of guilt at how much we have had to put on the narrow shoulders of our SO-now-caregiver...we think about it all time and not only can we not see a way to stop it, we can only see it getting worse with time.

Completely by accident this week but a few things came together to point out something important: you (the patient) simply cannot do things as you did before, get over it, thats just how it is with this. However, its not that you absolutely can not do them, rather its more like you cannot do them with any regularity without screwing them up. At the same time, for at least a huge cross-section of these things, you can probably get through doing them once in a great while if thats all you have to work on or deal with.

Thus it is that the time to really help your caregiv…

When will mainstream media fact-check cannabis stories the way they do political ones?

The world is a bit of a strange place of late. Cannabis legalization here and there has lead to two worlds, one where it is legal (and known) and one where it is neither legal nor understood at all.

If you watch the cannabis stories coming out in the news, there are clearly two kinds you will find: stories that are true and at least remotely accurate about the plant, uses (and dangers) and so on, and stories that try to paint some kind of an image of pot in the minds of the not-yet-legal reading public. This image is usually grim and provably wrong but what caught my attention this week is this bit of drivel parroted by Mother Jones claiming all pot is exactly the same:

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/gye3nb/what-makes-weed-strains-different-cannabis-thc-cbd

This core of this story is a report put out here but the conclusions they bring to the reader are beyond astoundingly brain-dead. Even if you don't know cannabis, anyone involved with any kind of research will immed…

Question for Trump Supporters

Before I get into this post I must be upfront and admit that it is largely based upon a post I saw on Facebook written by an author whose name I do not know. I have added my own thoughts and views but the substantial portion of the post comes from the Facebook post.
To the Trump supporters out there I have a question. Faced with the following facts, how can we take your support of Mr Trump seriously?
When it was revealed that Trump University was nothing more than a scam, a way to part those wishing for a better future from their hard earned money and put it Trump’s and his cronies pockets, a scheme in which he ultimately had little involvement beyond the initial advertisement although he promised to be intimately involved- you said no harm no foul.
When proof came out that he routinely underpaid or just didn’t pay subcontractors, financially ruining many of them, simply because he didn’t want to- you said smart businessman.
When you learned that he had filed for bankruptcy on several occ…

I'm just sayin'...

Those who know me know I am into the pragmatic, practical side of things as much as possible, it just works easier with my (ex) engineer brain. One facet of that view is I am trying to find ways having dementia can actually enhance your day to day...yes I said enhance. This is actually the topic of a whole 'nother series but its one of those cases of, to tell ya this story, I gotta tell ya that one...

One of the more common symptoms of dementia is memory loss. Normally it is treated as a sad or depressing symptom, because they focus on what you can't afford to lose going missing. However, being the shot-glass is half-full of something good kinda guy, I discovered that I have a kind of superpower that normally-cognitive folks simply don't have and cannot achieve without copious amounts of mind-altering substances, lots of farm sex or both. Just kidding about the substances. Anyhoo, ask yourself this pair of question (answer honestly):

1. What is your favorite movie, TV sho…

All you need is love....

Greetings folks, Jeff here writing as the medical cannabis grower. Just wanted to share some basic fundamental information for the new grower. This is more "rules to live by" that specific instructions..

Cannabis fundamental #1: All you need to grow cannabis is the four basics: air, water, light and food (plant food). Don't confuse the medium with being an essential; soil, soilmix, perlite, styrofoam, hydroton, etc are all types of medium you can use to grow your cannabis but NONE are actually required.  I will tell you right now, there are small pluses for going this way or that but in the end, the way that works for you, your skillset and financial and/or legal situation is the best one for you. So as long as you have the four basics, you can grow very easily, successfully and economically. It is definitely not rocket-science.

As an example, here can see one of my most basic grow setups: A tub with nutrient-enriched pH balanced water, a simple aquarium pump and airsto…

The Surreal World View of Mitch McConnell...

This whole charade with Brett Kavanaugh is just mind-blowing on so many levels. I am not a Democrat, Republican, Socialist or any other kind of "ist" you can think of. I am a disabled veteran who prior to the Republicans foisting Trump on the rest of us never really cared about politics, more than happy to let those who geek out on such things (see picture above) have it, so long as they didn't screw up too much. The take-away here is that I have no political axe to grind, no irons in this fire. My only motivation is to point out the hypocrisy of the Republicans lead by Mitch McConnell.

They need to get out more. They apparently not only have no clue what real Americans are thinking, they don't even know what real Americans look like. Mitch is patting himself on the back for not giving in to "the mob", his words. The problem is Mitch, if you got out more you would realize the "mob" you are so proud of besting is plain old American voters, you kno…

The Whitehouse that wasn't

Greetings kids! While I don't have the writing chops of my good buddy Randy (nor his perspective growing up in "coal country") there are some crazy things about this government I just gotta get off my chest. With Trump and his gang of idiots in charge, I absolutely feel like my generation is leaving a rancid mess for the next generation to clean up. Next generation: I am so sorry. We didn't do it on purpose. In fact, we didn't do it at all. While me and my generation will be gone in time, those paragons of political morality will still be here like an incurable disease.

For the non-Americans reading this, American politics can be confusing. Leaving aside the outliers we have what are called Republicans and Democrats. Each always believe their side is on the side of right but while combative, they never really lower themselves to out-and-out warfare. The thing they don't get is our country is not made up of exclusively or even primarily Republicans and Democr…