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    I feel like we need an upbeat thread – there’s been such a spate of negative sounding ones just now – “I’VE HAD IT!”, “Bad stuff!”, “denial from family”, etc.


    **** that AD didn’t enter into our lives when we were younger. Being in our 80s before our lives began to be seriously impacted by AD, we’d been able to “live our dream” for the most part. While I feel sorry for the younger caregiver spouses, I’d urge them to try to back off and view the glass as half full instead of half empty, face facts and begin detaching emotionally, and take comfort in the knowledge that they have lots of potentially “good” years still in front of them after their AD journey is finished. Life can still be good in your 80s – I’m living proof of that!

    **** that our son volunteered to move back in with us and help out, sparing me the sense of absolute confinement and loneliness that many sole caregiver spouses are seemingly having to deal with.

    **** that my DW hasn’t exhibited any rages or aggression or other serious mood problems thus far, and is cooperative in things like taking medications, being helped with bathing, etc.

    **** that we’re “comfortably” retired – no job or mortgage to worry about, and Medicare to cover most health issues up to this point.

    **** that our family and friends are understanding and supportive.

    **** that we enjoy good physical health.

    **** that I’m able to “compartmentalize” my life, allowing me to remain deeply committed to caring for my DW of almost 60 years on the one hand, while beginning to detach from her emotionally and actively plan on the other hand for a life after this AD journey is over.

    **** that I have a special lady friend to socialize with occasionally.

    **** that I have lots of special caring friends on this message board!
    • CommentAuthorswarfmaker
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009 edited
    Contribution withdrawn
    Gourdchipper - good topic. I was thinking the other day of starting something like this and then while trying to get my thoughts together on the many things I Feel Fortunate about- the list got pretty long and I knew I would miss important ones.

    That said - I Feel Fortunate about a lot of the things you said except I don't have a "special lady friend" but I am glad you do.

    I Feel Fortunate for all the caring people on this site and for Joan starting this site.
    For my caring kids
    For our other health
    For not having the incontinence issue - yet
    For not having the violence
    For easy transition to the non-driving and no guns
    For being able to detach
    For having a roof over our heads and food on our table.
    I have commented on several threads that I feel fortunate.

    No rages or violence
    She frequently tells me she loves me
    Cooperation in all I ask her to do
    No driving issue. She stopped driving voluntarily
    Caring family and friends
    We had several really good years (trips, etc.) after I retired
    Reasonable financially stable (although the drop in stock market has really hurt)
    Incontinence not a major problem
    Although we have guns in the house, she doesn't know how to use them or where the ammunition is

    I'm sure there are others, but this is what I can think of now
      CommentAuthorSusan L*
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
    Gourdchipper, have you read the good news thread?? I'm glad these threads are hear for us to share the good news about our families and the things that we feel fortuate about. It is important to have a place to share the good and the bad. Life is all about balance.
    swarfmaker, yes, I do feel that my DW has benefitted from taking the MCT Fuel and MCT Oil daily. She's really been on a "high" for about the past three weeks, sleeping less, more animated and chipper, decidedly less jerking and "seizures", etc. -- although complaining some of being tired and not feeling too good for just the past couple of days.

    Susan L, yes, I read ALL the threads every day -- I checked the other day and my browser doesn't show any yellow highlighted threads all the way back thirty pages into the past.

    Y'all have made me think of other things I feel fortunate about too -- incontinence not yet a serious problem, and she thanks me for potty trips and showers and tells me she loves me. I'm sure I'll think of many more...
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009 edited
    Gratitude lists are good. I try to so some of those myself.

    I'm grateful that the long plateau my husband has been on is at a stage that isn't as bad as it could have been.
    I'm grateful for the beautiful home I get to live in.
    I'm grateful for the wonderful medical people in Pennsylvania, including two great insurance companies.

    There is one thing I'd like to say. I always tell people this is a safe place to vent when you need to vent. I needed to vent. I'm sorry if that made some people here upset, but I NEEDED to vent. And if I can't do it here, where can I do it?
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
    Starling, don't you think twice about venting on here. That's part of what this board is for. I feel so fotunate that I found this board. I have learned more from it than anything else I have ever heard or read.

    I'm also fortunate that even tho we've only been married 25 years, we gone on several cruises and other land vacations . I still have a lot of wonderful memories.
      CommentAuthorSusan L*
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
    Starling, like I said it's all about balance. Balance is tough when living with dementia, but we must try. The same goes for this site. It's all about balance. We need happy, silly threads as much as we need places to vent and ask for advise, don't EVER feel bad for venting. If you keep it in, it will eat you up.
    Yes we need the "silly" threads. I commented on another thread that sometimes I "need to get away from it all'. The only thing is that I need to get away from it all with other people who know why AND I need to do it without leaving the house. Where do I go? Here. Even though I have gotten and hopefully given some good, serious advice here, if I really need a pick me up I particularly enjoy the "alrighty then" thread and the ones about lost articles that are done with humor. The humor that we need to find in day to day existence.
    • CommentAuthorLizbeth
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
    Thanks for starting this thread. One thing I enjoy about this site is that there is alot of variety. I also feel very thankful that:

    DH has managed to stay in the early stage for a long time.
    He does not have the bad temper, FTD issues that some have.
    We love each other and still enjoy alot of things together.
    That I am by nature pretty optomistic and look at the bright side.
    We have good friends and family so we are not lonely.
    We have met some really wonderful and outstanding people in this journey.
    I feel so much more than fortunate...I have more than I ever could deserve.
    I have the closest relationship possible with my son and daughter. They spend at least an hour a day, sometimes much more, on the phone with their mom, take turns doing "movie night" when they come over to watch a movie with my dh.
    My son also cooks for us twice a week, my daughter does it about 3 times a week, plus comes over at least once a day if not more.
    Together, we are very blessed to have such interactive cooperation. Each of us has special caregiving talents, and it is really wonderful to see it in action. I guess I feel more fortunate than gourdchipper...
    There is good in everything, and sometimes you have to get on your hands and knees to find it is right below you..
      CommentAuthorSusan L*
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2009
    It took me awhile,,,,,,,, but I feel fortunate.

    I am grateful that I am not alone taking care of Jim, my Mom, 76 yrs old, is here by my side, giving me a break and keeping me company.

    My daughter, loves Jim as though she was born to him. She has moved to Maine and is only 6 minutes away.

    We have her wedding in July to look forward to and with a little luck, Jim will give her away.

    My sons are loving and supportive.

    We love our home and enjoy Maine so much.

    We have good friends who visit when they are able

    We have a loving church family that surprise us with kindness

    There, I did it
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2009
    Susan L,

    Yeah, I agree. It took me awhile, but here is my list:

    I feel fortunate:

    To have had 35 wonderful years with my soul mate before AD came along

    That we both are able to have a social life with our great support group friends

    That my life has been enriched by the people I have met and the experiences I have had as a result of starting this website

    • CommentAuthorThenneck *
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2009
    I am very fortunate my oldest son agreed to move back home with us 2 yrs ago to help me take care of DW.
    Also fortunate that he is a chef.
    There is no way I could continue to work and take care of DW without him. Thenneck
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2009
    I am fortunate to be able to stay at home with my wife in her early stages.

    I am fortunate to not have to deal with issues that many on this board are . ( She is mild temper and simple minded)

    I am fortuante to travel, we are going to DC next week to see the museums.

    I am forturnate to have found this site.
    I am grateful for this spousal web site, even tho my beloved spouse is no longer with me, and

    for adult children who also saw 'something' was wrong, who took it upon themselves to go to seminars & learn, who kept saying, 'please, Mom, take care, we don't want to lose you to the same disease' for my DIL & SIN who were always right there as well and able to give me brief respites & show up for emergencies & for DIL's mother--a gem of a MIL who always had special yummy home-made treats for DH & even cleaned him up on occasion

    for living in a community where all the up-to-date medical care and help was available, for adult day care, for senior centers, support groups and care facilities

    for those who gave me well-meaning advice & articles to read--even tho they were a joke in my eyes, but at least people tried

    for no-one really second guessing me and supporting the hard decision I had to make, even when they didn't really agree

    for my own good health, for it's being just my DH & me, already older, how do you younger people do it w/children still at home, for careers on hold or with your own health problems--I cannot admire you enough

    for living a conservative life so that our house was paid for, we managed on soc sec, a good HMO, medicare & our IRA's and my renting rooms when I had to place him so we didn't end up in the poor house

    for the good life I have now that our travail is over and

    especially for my DH who was able to show his appreciation of my care with his smile, that we still loved each other, that I know he never meant to harm me even when he was raging at me, for all the good years we had, for all he did to care for his family, for his hard work and innate abilities, and--well, there it is.

    Thanx Chip, it's good to view another perspective.
    • CommentAuthordanielp*
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2009
    I am grateful:
    -that I'm going through this while I'm still relatively healthy
    -that finances are not a major concern
    -for an adopted son who lives 2500 miles away but calls his mother every day
    -that I'm still able to care for my grandson several days per week
    -that I'm not (yet) facing the suspicion, anger and aggression that so many of you face
    -that I don't have Alzheimer's (knock, knock)
    • CommentAuthorcarosi*
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2009
    It took me awhile to get this down.

    I am fortunate in having CMT because it taught me early on how to fall and get back up again. It demanded I learn to think outside the box. It has taught me patience, perserverance, and compassion. Everybody's in a leaky boat of some kind.
    I am fortunate to have a family that cares and really tries to get it", though I think you have to "walk the walk" before that really happens.
    zI am fortunate to have had "Nixie", my little Dachshund to see me through the years of DH's Mental Illness, and her successors who are seeing me through now.
    I am fortunate to have this site and all the wonderful Caregivers here to share the load--the hard stuff and the laughs.
    I am fortunate to have found good Doctors who work together and accept me on the team getting DH through.
    I am fortunate because I have so much more than I did when I was born..
    At birth, I was naked, cried all the time, needed to be fed, couldn't talk, couldn't walk, and needed so much attention.
    Now, I wish I were naked, still cry a bit, make my own food, talk to much, don't walk enough, and give more attention than I get.
    When I look were I was when I first got here, I am so so fortunate...Life is good....
    • CommentAuthorbriegull*
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2009
    ... and Carosi, we are all SO FORTUNATE to have you among us, with your great attitude!
    I feel so blessed that my DH is functioning so greatly. After 6 years - still is about the same plateau. Can do almost everything for himself. Just can't/won't travel. Guess I can live with that - especially after reading what a lot of you go through daily.
    I also feel blessed that my DH is functioning so well, doing everything for himself, but it's only been a little over a year since dx. Vickie, I hope he does as well as yours after 6 years! That's really great.
    Mine will be 86 the 29th of this month! Doctors are amazed.
    I'm amazed too. Are you doing anything special or just the Aricept and Namenda?
    Got him dx'd VERY early, started on Aricept; then reduced the dosage to 5 mg. once a day, after he was having terrible dreams, etc. Then started on Namenda 3 years ago, reduced it down last summer to 10 mg. once a day - both in the a.m. Try to keep the stress level low; I'm pretty easy-going, and other than the same question being asked every 5 minutes, he does very well and I'm doing well.
    You're a good caregiver, Vickie.
    Warriors! Become the shining bright light in this dark tunnel of the disease.
    I realized today that I am the only dim light in the cave where nothing is seen, nothing makes sense, and the dimness is not enough for an ad patient. I am that light, and because I shine so dim, my dw (got it right finally) stays in the dim cave. I must shine brighter, illuminate the cave, and help her recognize where she is.
    The brighter I shine, the more responsive she is...My torch burns low, and with it the dimness stays the same...I need to keep the fire burning, make the light brighter, and be the lighthouse that can guide her in this unknown journey.
    I cannot let myself get burnt out, since I am the last link to the reality. I will stay illuninated, and hopefully, that will help her find her way in the darkness.
    Shine Brightly not let your love and devotion burn out......Keep the fire going.....
    • CommentAuthorcarosi*
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2009
    You've got it, phranque!!
    Be as bright a shining Warrior as you can be. We all need to do this, until the time when our LOs emerge into the Brighter Light at the end of the tunnel, and we know we have won! Though the dementia tries to isolate them and destroy them, we see them through. So often we hear of or see the flashes of their "selves" coming through the tangled maze of their minds, even at the end. As `long as we "SHINE", we'll get them through and that's our victory.
      CommentAuthorBama* 2/12
    • CommentTimeApr 13th 2009
    phranque.....You are a beautiful person and I love you.
    I feel so fortunate that DH messed up the dish network remote only TWICE today! Then it takes me at least 10 min. to get it straightened out again.
    Vickie, take the batteries out of the remote and keep them in your pocket. Only put them in when you have the remote! <grin>
    I feel so fortunate to already be in Florida -- where everyone seems to want to "escape to" when they're worn out from caregiving. Me, if I were looking for some place to escape to I think it would be the desert southwest.
    Mary, I can't do that. He watches TV and can turn on, change channels and volume-but......several times a day he hits the wrong button and it screws it all up. I've become an expert on dish-remotes. LOL
    • CommentAuthordivvi*
    • CommentTimeApr 14th 2009
    ..I give DH remotes that dont work he spends hrs pointing and clicking and trying to figure it out why they arent working:) divvi
    Gourdchipper, and others in Florida, How have you made out during the recent storms? The news shows lots of trees down, power out etc. Our weather in Maine is beautiful - sunny, temperature in low 50's.
    Marsh, no problems here -- straight line winds took down a few screened pool patios in the northern part of our county and such as that, but all we got here was about a quarter inch of badly needed rain and winds strong enough to litter our place with dead palm fronds -- all in about five minutes! We've been having daytime highs in the upper 80s, but slightly cooler weather is forecast with the passing of yesterday's cool front -- a great time of year for us -- no bugs yet!
    I live south of GC. The wind howled for hours. I thought the noise I was hearing was very heavy rain-it wasn't. Everything is so dry here it was the palm fronds rustling. We are in grave danger of fires and the recent dry wind has made everything worse. North-central Florida near Ginny springs is flooded.
    • CommentAuthorLibbySD
    • CommentTimeApr 15th 2009
    My counselor suggested that before I go to bed at night I write down 3 'gratitudes' for the day. Some days it's something like 'my DH is still here to listen to me/lie on the other side of the bed'/etc, but it IS a gratitude. This has helped my outlook tremendously. I do find it amazing how the tiniest thing has become a 'gratitude.'
    To the top for Rodstar43 for a more upbeat topic than moaning about our woes.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2017
    Hi Rodstar, As far as I am concerned, you can moan about your woes as much as you like. If we can't moan and groan on this site, then where can we do so? BTW, I do agree with whoever said that stress adds to pain. And caring for an Alz spouse surely is stressful. Hang in there!
    • CommentAuthorRodstar43
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2017
    Thanks myrtle, Elisabeth asked a question. I guess I over answered it. Everyone has a story. I hear horror stories that are really terrible and I realize that I have a lot to be thankful for. I know that my 55 year marriage had way more ups than downs. It is the focusing on the now while living with this AD trip that increases the negative thoughts. You can tell yourself about the good events but, for the moment by moment the AD experience just over rides the good times a d, for me the depression meds only do so much. I encourage others to vent here among friends, it helps. Just thinking positive thoughts do not work well for me.
    Rodstar, no you did not over-answer my question. And I agree with Myrtle--on this site we can vent our issues as much as we like. Where else can we do it? I'm all for gratitude, thinking about the good stuff, counting my blessings, etc. I'm not an anxious or depressive person. But let's be realistic here--being an Alzheimer spouse is a big, huge, unbelievably difficult issue. Double plus un-good. And many people who come here to Joan's are also dealing with their own health issues--you for one--and there is Joan herself, Mary75, Mim, Charlotte--the list goes on and on. This is the one place I have found where everybody "gets it" and can help each other immeasurably--the whole point is that we can moan and groan here all we want. It does not mean we are all a bunch of negatory whiners--we're group of people who understand the issues and are working them out together in an appropriate place.
    • CommentAuthorRodstar43
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2017
    Well said Elizabeth. Just well written too!!