Encourage Dementia Patients to Take Care of Their Health
I never worried about carrying the torch. Sure there was a family history of heart disease, hypertension, elevated cholesterol levels, and diabetes. And, yeah, my four brothers had come down with all the problems.
Though I have been treated for the first three problems since I was in my twenties, I had no idea that I would also succumb to diabetes. After all, I was regularly checked, unlike my brothers who didn't really start going to the doctor on a regular basis until they were older. And then, about six years ago, my doctor suspected I had diabetes. With tests, it was confirmed.
Okay, I told myself, so what? My brothers have it and you'd never know. They take a few pills and have no other ill effects. My mother got it when she was older and ended up having to take shots. So what? I did nothing to help myself. I was smug with the feeling that I was untouchable. Diabetes was no big thing.
One should never get too comfortable. Before I knew it, I had developed peripheral neuropathy, a result of the diabetes. There are medications for that. Still, I thought, diabetes is no big deal. And then, the mini-strokes struck. The doctor put me on a blood thinner. Life was good for about two years when more mini-strokes struck. The doctor changed my medication. All should have been well. However, those mini-strokes did a number to my brain and now the unthinkable has occurred. Dementia. Vascular Dementia. So much for diabetes being no big deal!
I still do not do all I can do to help myself. And I wonder why. It is not that I don't love myself. I love my husband dearly and we have a wonderful marriage. I'm retired from teaching. My stress level really dropped after retirement. I watch what I eat, but I forget to eat sometimes (Dementia - the big D- rears its ugly head and makes me forget!). And I'm a chocoholic. I forget to take medications sometimes (the Big D, again). I definitely forget to check my blood glucose levels, but maybe that's not so abnormal.
I do not exercise. I hate to sweat!
What do I need to do to help myself? More salads might help. Less rice is a big necessity. Rice is my favorite carb. I need to schedule exercise and then just do it. I have a reclined bike and a treadmill. I have a big TV I can watch while I work out. So, why don't I do it? Am I just too lazy? Do I not love myself enough?
I think I will begin to blog about my struggles with exercising. I've been so busy trying to exercise my mind, that I need to take time to improve my body. The doctor says that any further mini-strokes or stroke will bring more damage. I need to start working on a way to keep that from happening,
If anyone has any ideas, please check in! I need all the help and encouragement I can get!