Talynn at Ink in the Book had some very nice things to say about my new memoir, A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos. You can read her review HERE.
We’ll take a break tomorrow to celebrate the Fourth of July. Enjoy a day full of fun and food with your family and friends as we remember Independence Day.
On Saturday, we’ll stop at “Dialogue with Doris” to read another review. To see a complete itinerary of the tour, CLICK HERE.
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos
Available now at:
About the Book: Sometimes reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots, vascular dementia has attacked Dad, and, instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped-up the toilet again, Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced that he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we’d imagined for ourselves.
Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving. Whether you’re looking for an inspirational story to help teach you how to “let go and let God,” considering becoming the caregiver for one of your own parents, or are just looking for an entertaining travel book, this story is sure to strike a tender nerve.
Mom and me.
When trying to decide what to write about this morning, I pulled out my “Sources” file and looked for ideas. After 300+ blog posts, it’s sometimes a challenge to come up with something new and fresh. There’s a new game on Facebook involving a list of things your friends might not know about you. I considered writing something like that, but at this point, anything I haven’t already written about myself is probably something I don’t want to reveal, so I went back to the file.
One item that caught my eye was an article on the Alzheimer’s Association website called “101 Activities.” It offers simple suggestions of things to do with your Alzheimer’ patient like listening to music, coloring a picture, or tossing a ball. There is no further explanation and no warning of how these simple activities might backfire. However, as you might imagine, I have a couple of tales that might give a caregiver pause before engaging in some of the activities. (more…)
For those who don’t know about him, Rick Phelps was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in 2010 at the age of 57. In the hopes of raising awareness about the disease, he has made a number of videos about his personal journey. With the same goal in mind, I’ve been posting his videos each Sunday. In today’s video, Rick talks about how loss of reference points affects a dementia patient’s ability to understand some things we take for granted like time and date. In the last half of the video, he tries to give caregivers a patient’s perspective on some common battlegrounds like hygiene issues. He also talks about his feelings about being placed in a residential care facility when the time comes. (more…)
I almost began this post with I haven’t written much in the last week or so, but that’s not really accurate. I’ve written a lot: agendas for meetings; e-mails announcing meetings and encouraging people to attend; copy for flyers, posters and the church website; more e-mails answering questions. Our church is hosting an area-wide ladies’ conference in January, and our pastor asked me to coordinate the event. If I could re-wind to that moment when I said Sure, why not, I might think again before answering.
Seriously, I’m enjoying the experience, and the response from people who are willing to help has been amazing, but it’s also amazing how much time and focus is required. Something else that is amazing is how, in spite of no longer being directly involved with Alzheimer’s and being totally focused on something other than my writings about caring for those with the disease, I am still faced with Alzheimer’s again and again. (more…)
As I typed “Part 10 of 10,” I felt a little like Johnny Carson as Carnac the Magnificent saying, “I hold in my hand the last envelope.” Unlike his audience, I hope my readers aren’t clapping and hurrahing at the end of a long, tedious series.
The last warning sign is changes in mood and personality. All of us, especially as we get older, develop specific ways of doing things, and we sometimes become irritable when a routine is disrupted. Once again, Alzheimer’s may cause people to carry this irritation to extremes: (more…)
Have you ever made a bad decision? What about that used car that the guy assured you was in mint condition, or those expensive designer shoes that hurt your feet just a little bit, or that boyfriend you forgave because he swore she was just a friend. Yeah, we’ve all had lapses in judgment from time to time, but people with Alzheimer’s take “decreased or poor judgment” to a whole new level: (more…)
I spent most of my working life in the business world. I started in the file department of the First National Bank in Dallas and ended as an account rep for a company that designs and manufactures furniture and equipment for the salon and spa industry. I had titles that included, among others, stenographer, secretary, executive secretary, administrative assistant, and office manager. The bottom line was that people paid me a lot of money to keep them organized, to find what they needed when they needed it, and I was very good at what I did. When I got home, however, I wasn’t always so organized. I’ve spent as much time as anyone searching for my lost keys, the misplaced remote control or the bill that’s due tomorrow and was right here a minute ago. But when it comes to warning sign #7, misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps, no one could match Mom for originality and creativity. The official definition of this sign is: (more…)
As a writer, I sometimes have trouble finding the right word for what I’m trying to say. Sometimes I refer to my Thesaurus, but I have to admit that sometimes I rewrite a sentence to use a word I can remember. I also have problems finding the correct word when I’m talking, but according to the Alzheimer’s Association, that’s a typical age-related change. If I start to have the following new problems with words in speaking or writing, then I have reason for concern: (more…)
Today’s warning sign may be a little harder to observe than some of the other signs. Sometimes the evidence that someone is having trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships is not as obvious as forgetting the name of a family member or thinking the year is 1985. The Alzheimer’s Association defines this warning sign as follows: (more…)