Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Brain Failure

We've all heard the medical terms heart failure and respiratory failure. And it is crystal clear exactly what these terms mean.  I read a blog post the other day that offered a different term for dementia: brain failure.

Elaine Eshbaugh, PhD is a university professor of Gerontology and Family Studies at University of Northern Iowa. She is smart, spunky and funny. Best of all, she is the author of an outstanding blog called Welcome to Dementia Land. She offers insight, knowledge and an insider's look at the world of dementia, sprinkled with a touch of humor. This is her post on the concept of referring to dementia as brain failure.

She makes the point that for the uninformed, dementia is thought of as a problem with forgetfulness. Of course readers of my blog know that problems with memory barely scratch the surface of what dementia is all about. She suggests that for a fuller appreciation of the debilitating nature of the disease, that we should call it what it really is, brain failure.


It's been a while since I have posted, and a  lot has transpired. I received a purchase offer on our house. After a bit of negotiation we settled on a fair price. I am purchasing a condo in a village not far from where I live now. The condo is small; about 1000 square feet. Just right for one person! The building is on the bank of a very active creek; it runs every day of the year. There is a small balcony off the living area overlooking the creek. Just beautiful!

Closing on both places will be in about 6 weeks or so. Lots to do before then! This is a major downsize for me, but I welcome the opportunity to live in a smaller space with less possessions. The Home Owner's Association monthly fee covers landscaping, yard care, snow removal, etc. There is an underground garage for parking with an elevator to the building's 3 floors.

The "walkability" of the village is very good. Grocery store, post office, library, all within an easy walk. There is a beautiful park in the village with lots of trails for walking. In addition, there is Baltimore Woods which offers acres of wooded hiking trails.

It will be good to be out from under the major expense and responsibility that come with owning our current home. If Jim were able to understand and speak to me of all of this, I know that he would be happy for me, and that he would reassure me that I am doing the right thing.

After last month's fiasco of the change in his medication dose, he has stabilized back to his baseline. I spoke to the Director of Nursing and informed her that I did not want Jim's medications changed. She was very sympathetic to what I said, but insisted that it is out of her hands; the government regulations require them to do this. She agreed that Jim needed to recover his stability, and that nothing would be changed "for a while". She also said that she would call me first, before any changes were made. I'm struggling with this. Someone suggested that I threaten to take him out of there. But I would never make that threat because I would never do that to him!

Jim's speech continues to be very minimal. One or two words. But his beautiful brown eyes speak volumes to me. As I see his face and his eyes light up when he holds me and kisses me, I know that I am a very fortunate woman. I have the love and devotion of my sweetheart. Doesn't get any better than that.

I'll leave you with a picture of the view from the living area of the condo I am purchasing.

Thanks for stopping by; I so appreciate each one of you.