In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety. -Psalm 4:8
Hi all! Another day in paradise here. 🙂 OK…not exactly, but it can always be much worse.
There is no update on mom because Covid resumed terrorizing her nursing home despite a month or less ago nearly all getting their second booster. Over 25% of the residents and staff are infected with the gift that keeps on
giving killin’ 🙁 Terrible virus. I am OK with you having a strong political opinion one way or another, but please don’t talk about the virus as if it doesn’t kill. Mom lost over 40% of her fellow residents. I completely get the point that many could have been saved without DNRs that forced the doc’s hands and kept them off vents. I get it. The believers are in a better place…I get that well, and rejoice. However, we shouldn’t root for death of others. We should root for life and abundance and joy and leave the death to God to work through…as He day-by-day re-beats the devil until, one sweet and dreadful Day when He does it once and for all. 🙂
Covid visited my house again this weekend into today with my son and wife un-enjoying its burden. So far I am good. Hoping it stays that way. 🙂
Here are a few of my thoughts as for this year’s event and a couple of ideas for next years’ for your consideration:
- It was a long couple of days. Sigh. 🙂
- My portal post at work about the contest:
The winners of my Runnin’ Til I’m Purple contest are John Conley and Pam Gavin. I will mail their All about Me SeniorAge books to them this week!
The correct answers were:
I lost 10.8 pounds (11 was the guess) and ran 163950 steps (162500 was the guess) in 2 days. T’was a long couple of days. 🙂
So far we are just over $3600 raised. I got the proceeds from the shirts in the mail and will bring it when I return from Covid time working from home. 🙂 I didn’t quite make it to my fundraising goal, but I set the goal when gas was $3/gallon (still too high…).
Thank you all for your help. I will close it down at Midnight on the 30th, so if anyone wants to make a donation, there is still time…….. here is the link:
- 163,950 was a lot of steps. However, each one was one closer. Remember that as you trod day-in and day-out in caregiving. Every step is one closer. Make the most of every one because you don’t get them back.
- I only saw 4 or 5 snakes total, both days. One little bull snake shook a fake rattle at me. It was kind of scary until I realized it wasn’t real. We have to separate the real from the not real. More often than not, the not real will rear its ugly face. Hallucinations (especially in Lewy Body dementia and Parkinson’s dementia, but any can have them…), paranoia, and anxiety-induces imagination can wear on you. Just know this phrase: “It is the stupid disease, not my loved one”
- I drank and drank and drank. Some might wrongly think I was drinkin’ something else when I decided to do the event, but I digress… I drank at least 6-8 liters of water and many, many bottles of Gatorade and pickle juice. Yes, pickle juice. Sweet pickle juice. Bread and butter juice too. It is great for your fluid regulation because if you get too much straight water, your kidneys freak out. You don’t want to make them mad, that’s for sure…
- Horseflies. Sigh. Isn’t it un-funny how the little things cause the biggest issues. I could have stepped on a snake, tripped on a rock and broke my ankle, or been grabbed by a Bigfoot because I was soooo distracted by biting flies. They drove me ape! Remember, in caregiving…focus on the biggest threats: wandering, especially in the extreme weather seasons, aspirating food/fluids (causing pneumonia), infection, falls, and the like. There are lots of hazards that are small…and we have to pay attention, but the biggies are more critical. Here are some links worth a consideration: LINK and LINK and LINK
- There is something to be said about routine… I have ran a lot this year, and I am used to running. I am pretty comfortable running as part of my routine, and uncomfortable when I don’t. In the last 6 months I have ran a total of 735.7 miles. The last 4 months I have ran 120, 155, 142, and 131 respectively getting ready for this two day run. I really needed to run more than that, but I was very consistent, other than a couple of weeks with very extenuating circumstances, to run a lot. When you set up a routine and determine to make changing it an exception and not a common happening, there is comfort (if some boredom). Eliminate the variables of “Maybe I won’t run today” and “A week without running won’t change my preparation” and replace them with “I will run unless something else demands I don’t for a short time, then I will again”. I never doubted that I would finish. I did doubt that I would finish as “quickly” as I did, because I trusted my routine. Was I worried about snakes? A little, but I knew the stretches that were most common for them because my routine reminded me. Folks with dementia thrive on reducing life to the least common set of variables possible. We may think that this isn’t living…and perhaps it isn’t great…but it beats being worried constantly. Reserving resources for fight or flight/emergency needs is built-in to our code by God. We use routine because our brain digs it. It MAY not be fun. In fact, breaking from routine is often where the fun is located in our cognitively normal life. We can vicariously stray from the routine and get a sample of the scary, while quickly getting back to our comfort zone when we want, because we are cognitively normal. Folks with dementia lose their tether and can’t get back…that is why they need routine.
- My wife and daughter (and other two kids who would have helped had work/life not called…but were still thinkin’/praying for me) made it possible. They endured me running every weekend day for too many hours. They put up with the tired dad/hubby. They were supportive in every way and deserve most of the kudos.
- You made it possible too– readers and/or donors made this possible too. No…100% of the money from donations is split between the two wonderful non-profits…not financially possible. You made it possible with your friendship, your support and your prayer. I didn’t want to let you down any more than I wanted to let mom down…and you are worth it. 🙂
- Alone– I spent the entire second day and 1/3 of the first with no music/audiobooks. While it would have been nice to not hear the horseflies (Did I mention how much I hate them???), it was more nice to hear nature alone. However, it was lonely at times. I ran for a few hours at a time with the oasis ahead that I would soon arrive to my van to see my wife and daughter, swap socks, get some food and a drink refill, and be encouraged to march on. Do you have a nursing home nearby? Be aware…the majority I suspect have no oasis. No visitors. No few miles ahead to wait until they see the familiar. Visit your loved one and strangers at a nursing home. Be that for them. Does it stink? Yes, figuratively and occasionally literally. However, they are God’s image bearers and deserve companionship. They have stories. They bless. Find your place and visit. Schedule in advance if you want. A great option: Be an ombudsman. Volunteer. Sooner than later. There are lots of folks who have no fresh drink coming…
- Quiteness allows for reflection– I had a lot of time to think about mom, about dementia, and about future events. I hope you were able to see some of my “teaching moments” from the run. I will try to post some here. It is nice to get out and let your mind be quiet and just think in peace. 🙂 If you are a caregiver, never let it be that you have no respite. Call the Alzheimer’s Association toll free number at 1-800-272-3900 and see what is available. Check with your closest Area Agency on Aging. Talk to friends, family, church family, civic groups and neighbors and find help and use it to rest your brain. It is a 37 mile trail…or two…not a sprint, friends. You and I NEED time for our brain to reset.
I could write all day about this topic, but time is short. THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP!!! Thank you for everything you do. Thank you for taking up your jousting stick thing and tilting windmills with me. Some sweet day, I just know it, our work will prove to have helped, once and for all, to #EndALZ. Don’t ever give up, friends.
Next year….boy, it will be a biggie. 🙂
Here is one video from the run: LINK
Here are some more if you have FB: LINK LINK LINK and…..one of my faves: *** LINK ***