Tag Archives: Dementia

Only Child looks at stress facts and fables

Only child contemplates the ramifications of stress

Only child contemplates the ramifications of stress

Stress, stress – it’s making us sick. Too much stress can lead to heart attacks, strokes and now studies add dementia to the list. Stress-soothers claim stress is all in our perspective, as if seeing all the stuff shoved at us in life will not cause us any stress if we only see it all as what? Good happenings? Blessings?

I think not. No matter what your perspective on a stressful event or occurrence, it is still coming at you. Attitude won’t make it suddenly disappear. And the idea that God only gives us as many crosses as we can each bear is a myth. Look at how stressed out most people are. Look at all the problems in the world. Etc., etc., etc. You can change your attitude until cows come home on roller skates and the problems are still there until you solve them.

I am living (at this point in time) proof of that. Just when I was trying to learn to relax, lessen the load of work and other commitments I carry (the delete and delay method), I get hit with way too many more stressful situations. The worst part is I didn’t cause any of them. Never mind who or what is responsible. The point is all these problems have come at me and some keep returning. Here’s a partial list of what I’ve been dealing with since the beginning of 2015.

  1. The Rogers Cable TV service disruption business – on and off since Dec. 31 actually. It took eight service calls before a senior technician finally found the problem – a line problem on a cable outside on a pole. Something I had already figured out. But I’m not a technician; I’m only the customer.
  2. The life insurance premium problem – back again this year. The insurance company that took over the one that originally handled my life insurance has a weird way of dealing with premium increases. This policy was set up for increased premium payments as you get older. Yes, not the best type of policy, but I can live with that. I can’t live with the company’s procedure – instead of sending you a notice of payment increase a month or so before your new fiscal year (mine starts August 1) and then increasing the premiums afterwards (I pay quarterly) they send you a letter about it six months into your fiscal year and if you don’t pay the full increased amount for the rest of that year, your policy can lapse. So I made several calls to the company – the call centre person, Jennifer, was useless so I took it higher up. Unfortunately I was dealing with problem No. 1 and No. 3below, so there was a lapse of a few weeks before I did this. But supposedly it got all straightened, and as instructed I sent this next quarterly payment with the added amount. That was supposed to settle it. Yesterday I got a letter that my policy had lapsed. Another frantic phone call to the company. The officer there who supposedly fixed it said that once they received my payment (in the mail since Friday) my policy would be reinstated. It better be or I’m naming the company in a future blog post.

 

Isn’t that bad business procedure?

 

  1. The weather – January wasn’t bad – despite hating winter with a passion, I could live with it. Just a few days of somewhat cold weather and a bit of snow, most of which managed to melt. Not February – it will be the coldest February in southern Ontario since 1978. But also lots more snow. I know not as bad as the Maritime provinces, but bad enough with the extreme cold and snow combination to cause ice jams on one side of my roof and in the downspouts going down from that side, as well as water leaking and freezing out the join in the downspout extensions. I now have to get that fixed plus get more insulation put in my attic. So I will have to go into my meagre savings to pay for that. I’ve asked my ex to pitch in to help, but I figure after I also do my income taxes and pay that, my savings will be very close to non-existent.
  2. So financial worries – hey I’m a senior and most of my income is government seniors’ pensions with a bit of alimony and editing and writing income thrown in. The only upside here is my hydro bill at least has gone down down since I kicked the boarder out. And I don’t think the paltry amount she paid (she was on welfare so social services had her “rent” set at a fixed amount) would help with No. 3.
  3. Health and injuries –maybe should be up at the top of the list. My son fell – he missed a stair at the subway station last Thursday evening – and sprained his ankle. Friday he couldn’t walk, but thankfully the ankle is almost healed and he can now walk. Me? My on-and-off again phlegm in the throat has gotten worse. Because of other health issues I have a compromised immune system and each winter get some respiratory-related thing (last year it was two months of swollen glands – something I hadn’t had since I was a kid). And the stress makes some of these other health issues worse.

 

I could go on and on. But I’ll end with a link to the study that links too much stress in middle-aged women leading to more dementia when they get older. http://www.alzinfo.org/articles/midlife-stress-may-increase-dementia-risk/

I am past middle age but I had a long list of stress in my life then.

 

And I don’t think forgetting all your problems in dementia is the answer. Dementia has its own problems for those who get it and their family and friends.

 

Makes you not want to live a long life, doesn’t it?

 

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

 

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Health, Heart Disease, Old Age, Only child, Problems, Sharon A. Crawford, Snow, Suicide, Weather, Winter Weather

Only Child looks at distraction causes

Only Child literally got a wake up call this morning

Only Child literally got a wake up call this morning

Lately I have moments of sudden distraction with upsetting results. My mind will run around in circles or be over-focused on a problem or an item on my to-do list. Then I go to do something you usually would do automatically. And I mess up.

The scary part is I am not aware of doing the automatic function incorrectly. Until it is done.

The latest was preparing to cook rice in my rice cooker. I had removed the inside pot to fill it with the rice and water. Instead I poured the rice and water into the main cooker. That is the part the instructions tell you not to immerse in water.

I discovered the mistake right away and dumped everything out. I dried the outside and inside of the rice cooker, scooped up what I could of the rice from its dumping point, washed it yet again. This time I put it and the water into the actual pot. Placed the pot into the rice cooker, put the lid on and plugged it in.

Some people would not take this chance of getting electrocuted or having the whole thing explode or burn. I was willing to do that because I was angry that this had happened and I didn’t want the hassle etc. of replacing the rice cooker. The cooker was also a gift a few years ago from my son. And being of “a certain age” I sometimes don’t care about consequences and just act.

I was also very hungry. And there may lie the problem. Hunger plus not enough sleep. Throw in too much to concern myself with and you have a cognitive behaviour alert. Not dementia – not yet anyway.

My late mother had a few of these “senior moments.” The one that sticks in my mind is when she hauled the bacon instead of the steak out of the freezer. She might have been heading for Alzheimer’s. It certainly runs on her side of the family – those with Strauss blood in their veins. But Mom died at 63 of a brain aneurysm so it was too soon to tell.

I have a lot of malnutrition problems cause by IBS and just getting older. As you age your digestive system can’t digest food as well as when you are younger. And don’t tell me to take digestive tablets. Tried that and while some may work for a few weeks, after that they register nil. So I have to eat small snacks in between meals. Often I forget or what sometimes happens I am running necessary errands which go into the supper time, mainly because of time and the time part often has to do with when the stores close. If a store closes at 7 p.m. you have to get their before and when you are working all day (albeit it from a home office) you tend to dash off doing those errands – some business related – before dinner. I also don’t like early evening meetings either unless they include dinner or large amounts of snack food that I can eat. (Gluten-free). I also haven’t been getting enough sleep because of too much to do and sleep can also play havoc with your cognitive abilities. I got my wake-up call (literally) on that one this morning when I woke up 45 minutes late because I had forgotten to set the alarm. Obviously that is the length of time I need to sleep (although I felt groggy when I first got up until after a couple cups of java). When I got up this morning is too late for workdays, so I will have to go from the other end – get to bed sooner, which means something has to be done about that end of the “to do” list.

As for the rice cooker, I kept my attention on it and the cooker seemed to work fine and cooked my rice. Of course it was less rice and I hadn’t put the right amount of water in it. But when I added the steamer of vegetables that part also worked.

Now excuse me while I tackle more of the work part of my “to do” list. This afternoon I’m teaching a crafting a short story workshop at the library and I need time to eat lunch after I do a couple more things.

Any of you have similar experiences? What caused them? And what did you do?

Please comment.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Digestive disorder, Health Seniors, Malabsorption, Mother, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford, Time, Time management