Wednesday, April 22, 2009

4-22-09, brand new alzheimer's research reported

"Taking a new approach to the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease, a research team led by investigators at the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida has shown that druglike compounds can speed up destruction of the amyloid beta (A-beta) proteins that form plaque in the brains of patients with the disorder."

i think there really is hope for many of the rest of us...


we took the alz residents back to richland college for a picnic lunch and concert yesterday. it was mostly awesome.

the only unawesome thing about the deal was mom being an asshole.

while waiting for the bus mom says:
"what the hell are we doing?"
"i'd rather go back to bed."
"what the hell are we doing sitting here?"
"this is stupid."

so i did the ignoring thing. when we got on the bus i mentioned what a beautiful day it was.
"harumph," says she.

ok. be that way...(she can be so exasperating)

we ate our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the lake. [picture would not upload]*
it was 75-80 degrees with a nice breeze. i asked if she was enjoying the day. i asked if she was enjoying being out in the real world in such nice weather. she agreed it was very nice. she might have even smiled.

we went in to the concert hall where the music department of this small junior college was going to do their monthly performance. *

there was a jazz band.*

and a jazz choir.*

& another lab band...*

it was all really surprisingly good. better than good.

the choir was backed up by a drummer and an electric bass player.* they also did an a capella number providing their own percussion, etc.* (i have a video of that, but my internet connection is apparently too slow to let me upload it to a web album.)

both bands were good. the second one did a thelonius monk song* and a charlie parker tune.* pretty damn good stuff. especially for a bunch of kids. i'd give 'em all an A.
well, except for that one kid in blue jeans.* (dang nab it! those videos didn't upload, either.)


leaving the performance hall, i asked mom if she enjoyed the concert.

"not one damn minute of it!"

i looked at her in astonishment. i was flabbergasted.
i gathered myself, and said, "then next time maybe you and i will just stay outside by the lake and skip the music."
and she agreed to that. almost cordially.

we walked back to the bus.* on that walk, i held my hand on her shoulder thinking about how lucky she is to have full time caregivers who are not so emotionally involved...


"exasperating" is an understatement. sometimes she just flat-out pisses me off. the whole ride back, everyone else went on and on about how much and what they liked about the music. the old-timey-ness of it, the big band sound, the youngsters, it made them wanta dance!, etc.. the alz god had given them a momentary break from their ungodly stupor. it was an exhilarating experience for all of us and for different reasons.

...almost all of us. mom was all piss and vinegar again. "not one damn minute of it."...


when we got back up to her room she astonished me again by having the wherewith all to apologize for being such an old grump. and we hugged.

i guess that's hope enough for me.


* but i have little hope for this blog if i can't upload a video. much less a freakin' picture. i'll see y'all on the flip side. cornbread out.


rilera said...

So sorry. Just another wretched feature of this disease.

bulletholes said...

I never really had to go through this.
My dad went from bad to worse so quickly, and my mother- there was no way she could take care of him and the only VA hospital for him was 100 miles away and I was only 20 years old and three sheets to the wind most of the time and I hate to say it, but he was not much on my radar at that time.
If I had been older, and when I got a little older, things were different...but I feel a lot of regret and shame at some times that I did not get to go through this kind of thing that you guys are going through.
That I was not available to him, for good or bad.

Stitchwhiz said...

Very evocative story. Anyone ever tell you that you write pretty good? Sorry the photos didn't load.

Annie said...

I'm sort of glad your Mom was full of piss and vinegar. It shows me she still has opinions and can let them be known. I know, screamingly frustrating to deal with at the time, and I'm sorry about that. Also, photos and videos don't keep me coming back here; tis your writing, m'dear.

Lily said...

Aggravatin, innit. Take up knitting my dear, no seriously, it really helps - you can stab away at your loops and pull your yarn tight round the needles when she's in full flow and all the time with a smile on your face - very therapeutic!

josephine terese said...

oh gmommy. i used to love hearing her cuss when she was really mad... but also feared it because sometimes she was mad at me. (she didn't get mad at me often, or cuss often, which i guess was why it was exhilarating.)

i'm sorry she didn't enjoy it on the whole, but it sounds like you and the other residents did! and maybe she accidentally enjoyed the picnic part.

it was very sweet of her to apologize, and i am glad she did so also because it means she remembered the day, and that she cares about you more than anything.

i love you, and i promise to take you to concerts and picnics when you are old and mean too.

Anonymous said...
The Alzheimer's Project

maxb said...

beware! you have a copycat at