” All that we are is the result of what we have thought”


“Alzheimer’s is the cleverest thief, because she not only steals from you, but she steals the very thing you need to remember, what’s been stolen. 
”  ― Jarod Kintz

I am naturally inclined to research things. It is one of the reasons I love the internet. Though researching on the internet takes a bit of training so you can notice false data and that you at bare minimum double verify what you find. Though I always have several resources for whatever I am interested in up. I never have been a one site or resource person. When I do research I jump into and my wife will laugh because I will have several tabs open with various sites. If I happen to have books on the subject I can have them around me and I go full steam ahead.


You see information is very important to me. The more information I can get on a subject the happier I am. I like having a good grasp of the subject matter I tackle. There are times when I learn something from just one resource and I do not pursue further research. Though if it peaks my interest it gets shuffled away in my head and at some later point I may come back to it and expand upon it. There are times I only remember pieces of the information but enough that I can communicate to someone else knowledgeable in what I am speaking on or to do a few quick look ups to refresh the knowledge. Though with all the information that swirls around my head it is funny how sometimes simple information will elude me.


“Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.”
– Benjamin Franklin


People should realize the true memory capacity of the brain to quote Paul Reber, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, “neurons combine so that each one helps with many memories at a time, exponentially increasing the brain’s memory storage capacity to something closer to around 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes). For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage. “

So think of it like your computer. It is what you do with it that matters. If you just use it to surf a little, watch a little youtube, check your e-mail, and the like. Then you are just using a fraction of what the brain is capable of. I have always thought we limit ourselves to much with our own thoughts. With the idea we aren’t smart enough or other various negative thoughts. Though sometimes the inability to utilize the capacity of the brain comes in a different fashion.



“Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.” 
― Tia Walker

So why all this talk about the brain, research, and the capacity of the brain. Well ironically the brain has been on my mind. You see my father-in-law is now having that beautiful perfect computer of his corrupted by what equates out to a virus. After several tests it appears he has Alzheimer’s. His father had it as well. So my research focus of late has been about the brain itself. I think Alzheimer’s is the one disease that scares everyone. Unlike many other diseases this one effects the most fundamentally essential part of your body. The part that makes you who you are. My research also has started a philosophical thought process of pondering just exactly what makes us who we are and various other concepts.



Those with dementia are still people and they still have stories and they still have character and they’re all individuals and they’re all unique. And they just need to be interacted with on a human level.

Carey Mulligan

I just got more books in on the subject. Most of the books I got are to assist my wife and her mother in understanding things. Though I have started reading them myself for the sake of knowledge and understanding as well. I do not believe in pure data when it comes to things like this. I want to understand the emotional side to it. Actually I have always been interested in the human element to knowledge. I have a book on Einstein that relates his thoughts as a person not as the physicist he is renowned as. I want to understand the human element just as much as I do the cold hard facts.


So I looked through the book with tips on how to deal with Alzheimer, another on learning to speak Alzheimer’s then I hit the one that made me cry. First I love that the chicken soup for the soul: living with Alzheimer’s has right on the front that all royalties goes to Alzheimer’s association. Though I sat down and started reading some of the stories and then I began to cry.


We can alleviate physical pain, but mental pain – grief, despair, depression, dementia – is less accessible to treatment. It’s connected to who we are – our personality, our character, our soul, if you like.

Richard Eyre

This cry was not just because I felt for the people in the book but because the connection to the situation before my wife and her mother. Yes I am part of it as well but the toll falls most on my wife and her mother. I am just the support system here. Much as my wife was when I lost each of my parents. My job is to help lift them up to help provide whatever I can and that means no matter what I myself am facing. For them it is going to be so much more heart wrenching. I love my father-in-law and I care about him deeply but that love can’t compare to that of it being my wife’s daddy or to the feelings of the woman who has been married to him for over 40 years. So I am the support system.


I also found a book called “While I Still Can…by Rick Phelps that is written by someone with the disease and gives insights into the person themselves. It is highly reviewed and I want to be able to understand the inner plight of the individual not just the diagnosis or the caregiver perspective. I bought it for my kindle but have yet to open it. I am sure I will need a steady mind before I do so.


“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” 
― Tia Walker

It is hard to watch as I see the apparent slipping of my father-in-law but even harder when I hear the stories from my mother-in-law and from my wife. My wife took him to a jazz event at the botanical gardens here. When she got home you could see how she is trying to come to terms with this. She talked about how he was very quiet. How it just wasn’t daddy. How there would be a few sentences spoken then he would go silent again. She decided not to discuss something with him because she felt his mood was not up for it. While she mainly relayed what occurred I could see in her eyes the hurt that during the outing her daddy just wasn’t really there.


Just a few nights before she laid there crying while I held her. The heart wrenching reality of all of this starting to set in on her. As I held her, I let her know it was okay to just let go of those emotions and cry as much as she wanted. I let her know that I understand that what she was feeling just had no words that could describe it. Sometimes words just can’t convey the feelings we have. Also sometimes like in my wife’s case that night its also because you are so overwhelmed in feeling that you, yourself aren’t sure what you are feeling, it just hurts and you feel overwhelmed, you feel loss, anger, and just everything as the awareness begins to settle in.


My father started growing very quiet as Alzheimer’s started claiming more of him. The early stages of Alzheimer’s are the hardest because that person is aware that they’re losing awareness. And I think that that’s why my father started growing more and more quiet.

Patti Davis


So I plan to use the talents I do have to help my in-laws and my wife as best as I can while coping with everything now and what is to come. I really feel for my father-in-law. What it must be like as you slowly feel yourself slip away. What it is like to be told you forgot or to make mistakes just because you forgot. This is one of the reasons I got the book “while I still can”. I want to be able to understand his plight as well. I have a picture in my living room which has the words “True love is born from understanding” a quote from the Buddha. I think also it can be reversed that love can bring about a desire to understand. I want to understand some of what he must be facing. This also will help me to help him as well as my wife and her mother.



Thank you for your time. I hope you have a blessed day.


Please forgive any grammar errors within this entry. While I may have various talents grammar is not one of them. My lovely wife has not edited this.


The books I got about Alzheimer’s in case anyone else is interested (I just got them and only started perusing them but I wanted to share):


While I still Can… by Rick Phelps



Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s by Joanne Koenig Coste



Alzheimer’s Disease 300 tips



Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s



Just a word by Rose Lamatt



The first book my wife started on and read half way through last night was “Alzheimer’s Disease 300 tips”.  She said she really liked it because it gives her answers to questions she has.   This coming from a woman that reads only fiction.  I made a joke about that and she said oh it isn’t her normal read nor enjoyable but it is a needed read that has answered many questions for her.



“Many of us follow the commandment ‘Love One Another.’ When it relates to caregiving, we must love one another with boundaries. We must acknowledge that we are included in the ‘Love One Another.” 
― Peggi Speers



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