Posted Earth Day 2022
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. -Genesis 1
Do you have those things in life that give you pause? What I mean is things that happen periodically or ever so often that make you stop in your tracks, empty your mind of all else important, then think about them? We probably all do to an extent…but I mean EVERY time? I do. At least I have for about 4 years.
What gives me pause?
I have always had a bit of absent-mindedness, but previous to mom moving from repeating the same story more than once in a 5 minute conversation morphing to not knowing my name and morphing to not remembering how (or being able) to feed herself, forgetting never really gave me pause. Now it does.
I left for work out then go to work today at 4:45am, a bit later than I am wont to do. I fumbled around in the driveway in the dark and cleared the debris of my car after yesterday’s impromptu hail-a-geddon. Then I headed off to Planet Fitness. I got all the way to Brighton, about a third of the way to Springfield and a town name that doesn’t describe me well today) when I knocked my mongo-jug of water off the seat edge into the floorboard…where my clothing duffel would be sitting had I not left it on the piano bench at home.
Tempo One driver enraged.
Writer given pause.
So…should I be worried? Should a pause be given? I mean, I am a pup at 50 years old. It is normal to forget something like that. It isn’t like I forgot WHERE Planet Fitness was or how to start Tempo One. (Although the latter does have some idiosyncrasies, but I digress.) Need I worry about becoming a statistic at my tender age?
Here are some recommended readings. While you read each of these word-for-word, here are a couple videos of yesterday’s hailstorm at my castle in Bolivar:
There we go. 🙂 Sorry for the link dump, but these (and others) are very helpful when you assess the question: Am I likely going to get dementia due to a family history?
Summary: I am more likely, but I am certainly not doomed. I have never been told I have an APOE issue passed on by my parents. My sister doesn’t and she has checked. I haven’t checked, but other have checked me in clinical trials many times… I will one day get that checked. However, this is only one gene of many that could have a part. If I do have an issue with that gene, I am likely still ok. However, it gives me pause that grandma, mom, and Uncle Joe on the same side all had the disease.
Am I going to tell you that it isn’t genetic and don’t worry about it? Nope. Not exactly. I will tell you (and me) instead: focus on what you can change and leave the genes to God.
What can I focus on? Wellness, in all forms. How am I doing? Here is my grade card:
- Heart Health/Exercise in general: B- and on the rise
- Diet– B (Not because I am not on a good diet, but because I am only partially doing it right)
- Social Connections– B- I am buried in my office most of the time. My mind is engaged, but I am not as social as would help the most.
- Blood Pressure– C I need to work on this again. I have no great reason why it has went up again…my weight is down dramatically, but my stress level is high. (Spoiler alert)
- Stress Level– D I know stress is more optional than I am allowing it to be in my life. However, some things are out of my control. Praying….
- Blood Sugar/Cholesterol– A- Was great last check.
- Sleep quality and duration– B Pretty good, could be better.
- Head Trauma– A- All is fine except the occasional bashing my head with a bat when I have a vexing computer issue.
- Smoking– A+ I hate smoking smells. I would never smoke.
- Drinking– A- I really never drink…haven’t since 1990. I chose the A- because there is a small amount of data saying drinking coffee or red wine IN MODERATION is helpful.
- Drugs- A+ Even if I desired to, which I never have, being fired for using drugs and the resulting financial ruin helps keep me a teetotaler. Plus it is a sin and Jesus died for such.
- Depression– B I don’t dwell on sadness. It doesn’t rule my life or affect activities of daily living…but it exists.
- Learn a different language or a musical instrument later in life? D I learn new things in computer work often…but no music/language. Would poetry help?
- Oral Health (a few studies)– B No cavity club. My gums aren’t great….could be better all around, but not bad.
- Hearing loss (uncorrected…some studies point to this as a risk factor)- D – Could you repeat the question a bit louder?
- Air pollution (some studies show cases higher where air pollution is higher. This could also be a general environment variable, though…LA, for example, has bad air…but more stress potential, more drugs, etc…correlation, not causation? Maybe.)- B Springfield is pretty clean, all things considered.
- Artificial sweetener(…a few studies)- F- Is there any such thing as an F- ?
Am I missing anything? Probably something important…but this is a solid list. I have some work to do for sure, but I am better now than a few years ago….and am working on the rest. Am I worried that leaving my clothes at home is a sign of dementia? Nope…but it gives me pause, nevertheless.
Update- Mom is the same. I have a care meeting a week from today to discuss her status further, but she is happy (as far as we can tell), doesn’t grimace, sleeps 20+ hours a day and is eating. It could be worse.
Fundraising update- I am over $500 now and will be working on some fundraisers this weekend. I run a 50k a week from tomorrow…pray I make it. I run a lot, but not a lot enough. 🙂 Here is the link should you feel so inclined to drop a coin in my tin can:
Have a great weekend, all! 🙂 Thank you for all you do. Remember, don’t live your life in fear of dementia, but respect its possibility and fight with all you have. 🙂