It’s another Saturday. I’m still on my sabbatical from my Saturday morning swim. I’ve given in to my natural state of inertia. It’s nice to have a rest and enjoy the nothingness of a weekend morning. I was tempted to resist all physical efforts but the stiffness from yesterday’s tabata workout urged me to do my qigong routine. I was happy that I could overcome my resistance. I’m loosened and more relaxed for the rest of the day.

I want to get back into the swim next week or my inertia could go on forever. I am like that. A reminder that I have two big credit card bills coming due motivated me to settle them right after breakfast. It’s a wise move to do the hard things first. It lifts that burden so my mind is not preoccupied with it all day. I have learned some things in April. They’re working for me. I’m gaining small pockets of organization here and there. I am pleased. I have worked hard last month. It’s time to sit back a little and not be so uptight about everything.

But I know myself. I’m a bit anal. I am obsessive by nature. If something grabs my attention, it is difficult for me to do small doses at a time. So now that I’ve identified this trait in me, I’ll probably obsesse about correcting it. I guess it is not a bad thing but I will try to modify myself. I never run out of goals. I’m a self-improvement junkie. I think it is in my genes but at least it is not about drugs.

I’ve really enjoyed the free version of The Brain Change Summit presented by Sounds True. Brain health is another of my obsessions. I didn’t have time and energy to catch them all but was happy to catch the one on the Alzheimer’s Solution by Dr. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai. It was an excellent presentation with no magic cures/pills. The solution is more about prevention. I shall add their book to my list of readings. Enough muttering for now. Time for a little down time with Kinsey Millhone in O is for Outlaw.






It’s very strange. I’ve accidentally stumbled onto Suddenly Mad someone’s blog/journey through early-onset alzheimer’s. Her writing and artwork is phenomenal. It’s punctuated with many photographs. You would not know she has the disease except for the fact that’s what she talks about and how it has affected her. It took a little while for me to recognize that my writing is similar. I’m documenting my days and feelings. I’m trying to find solutions through writing. I also like to use a lot of photographs. I identified with her feelings of anxiety. And I wondered if I…

Today I read another woman’s blog, Which me am I today. She also has early-onset alzheimer’s. She has a book published. She was interviewed on CBC Listen. You would not know from her writing that she has alzheimers except that’s what she writes about – coherently and intelligently. Her relationship with typing sounds very much like mine. Her fingers can talk quite well. She also finds taking photos comforting. These give me another reason for pause.  Do I have the big A?

“When I type it’s a one way process; thoughts to fingers – often no noise, not having to be questioned and then type an answer…..just my fingers translating my thoughts into words.”

I could just laugh all this off BUT it sees so many people have some kind of dementia now. It’s enough incentive for me to be extra viligant and proactive about my brain health. The Cleveland Clinic Six Pillars of Brain Health looks like a good resource to check out. I’m sure there are many others. It is a start. I am ok in the physical and medical health department. Pretty good with  food and nutrition. I’m doing better with sleep and relaxation. I need to work on my mental fitness and social interaction.



January 6, 2019  6:44 pm

I’m late to the keyboard and hardpressed for words. I’m too full of the day’s activities. My head is full of ‘stuff’. I’m trying not to multi task, doing too much in one day. But when the going is good, when there is flow, I hate to stop. So here I am, a bit stuck and tongue tied. I just need a few minutes and a couple of taps and I’ll be ready to go.

Shortly before Christmas, I accidentally stumbled onto Suddenly Mad, Minna Packer’s blog about her early onset Alzheimer’s. It’s a fascinating and educational read for me. I somehow could relate to some of what she has gone/is going through. I don’t have the disease but her anxiety was familiar to me. I have a great admiration for her effort to put it out there for us. It not only helps me understand the disease more but it’s teaching me to live a better life. Have a read to see if it does the same for you.

I have always have a curiosity and passion for the mind, body and spirit. Minna has given me an even stronger desire to understand our brain and how to keep it healthy and strong. I suppose I had this sense of invincibility in my youth. I stayed up late, drank tons of coffee and smoked. This was even before I was a nurse. When I became a nurse, I was even worse, though I did stop smoking. It is surprising how much abuse our body can take.

Things caught up to me in retirement. I had time to fall apart then. It was a very difficult couple of years. I’m on the other side now. It does feel like I’ve stepped out of the cloud into the light. Now I can feel ease and pleasures whereas before I only felt anxiety and fear. I have a greater appreciation of my time here on earth.

I take care that I get enough sleep. I do get an occasional sleepless night. I’m learning not to stress too much about it when it happens. Aerobic exercise has been my best friend. It cleared my brain fog after a couple of weeks. Helps me sleep better, too. I’m still working on my emotional health. I’m such a reactonary. I need to be a responder instead. Life is not static. No matter where on the road we are, there’s learning always.

It is getting late. I have to close for this 6th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’ll be back tomorrow. Good night.


I’m stretching myself, trying to move a little faster. I poke along like a snail with my head inside my shell. I have no vision or plan. It’s no wonder I get nowhere expediently. I’m just riding a stationary bike. I can’t even tread water. At the moment, I’m sipping tea and snacking on sweet potato chips. It’s not great for staving off drowsiness. It’s something once started, hard to stop. I’ve instructed the guy not to buy them for me any more.

I was talking about forgetting how to turn on my headlights the other night. It was such a strange thing. This morning in the car I could plainly see where the lever was. How could I possibly forget? It was as if there was an empty spot in my brain at the time. A black hole. I vowed to strive for better brain health. I’m giving it some serious thought.

Aside from a little snacking now and again, I eat a pretty healthy diet. I’ve cut out endless cups of coffee since I’ve retired. I’m catching and making up for my sleep deprivation from shift work. I think I have 2 more years to go according to some research. I go to aerobics 3 times a week. I swim once a week. I walk Sheba every day.

I’ve been monitoring myself for toxic emotions. It’s my biggest fault and downfall. I’m a highly sensitive person. I feels things deeply – the good and the bad. I hang onto feelings for a long time. I take things personally. Not so good. I could at one time feel my cortisol level rise with my emotions. I have better control now. I’m slowly learning to relax and to let go a little. I have a long ways to go yet. I’m aware and working on it. Then there’s the toxic relationships. Nothing kills more brain cells than toxic emotions and relationships. It’s something to talk about for another day.


I like starting the day with a clear mind and a cleared table. So far, so good. I wasn’t quite so sure though last night when I couldn’t figured out how to turn on my car’s headlights. I was so sure that it was on the same side of the lever for the wipers. It was dark. I couldn’t see very well. I opened my door a bit so the dome light would come on. Nope, not there. I was almost afraid to look on the other side. I guess I was afraid that it wouldn’t be there. Then what would I do? It sounds silly, I know.

I was afraid to look but I groped under the left side of the steering wheel. Ah, the headlight lever. Relief flooded through me. Then anxiety. Am I getting demented? I sat there in anxiety but no panic. I did some silent soothing and calming of my nerves. I just had a glitch, a slight malfunction of the moment. I took time to breathe, remembering I have had such moments before when I was much younger:

  • I forgot my code for my credit card at the till shopping for groceries. I had to leave my groceries there.
  • I forgot where my locker was in the change room at work. I still remembered the panic I felt not recognizing what row it was in. It did passed in a few minutes. Whew!
  • I was talking to a medical resident at work. Her face got fuzzy. I wasn’t quite sure I remembered who she was. I must have looked disturbed. She said, Lily are you ok?  And I said, Jackie? And it was her. I somehow managed to laugh it off.

I felt better having remembered those incidents. Then doubt crept in. I’m older now. What if it, the big A, is here? I decided that I don’t need that thought just then. I took a big slow breath, carefully backed out my car and drove safely home. I said a prayer on the way, vowing to take better care of my brain health.

So that’s why I continue to show up here – to document, to dig, to question the truth of everything. I’m clearing the debris, the useless excess. I’m looking for the light home.