Monday, July 2, 2012

Intellectual Love

Love is different with FTD.

I can actually say I love with all my brain.

That’s some statement coming from someone losing his mind to a degenerative disease.

Spent 6 days in Seattle. It was my daughters HS Graduation and I wasn’t going to miss it, even if it meant hitchhiking cross-country. I missed my son’s Bar Mitzvah synagogue service (no money for a party) last year, which I dearly regret. 

It was wonderful to see my children and my lifelong friend Marc.  It was a tough trip. I won’t pretend differently.  I’ve been back over a week and I’m still not back into the groove of life with FTD. Being there also made me realize how much I love and cherish my children and my void of rarely being able to see them living on the other coast in perilous financial state with FTD. 

The old feeling of love is gone with FTD. In fact, I don’t even remember it, but can sort of imagine it by seeing it in others. The emotion and feeling isn’t there, but it’s replaced by what I can call intellectual love. Really seeing who and what my children are and what remarkable people they’ve become. 

Chelsea is 18 and has become a young woman. She exuberates incredible confidence in herself and incredible determination to map out her college experience as well as her future. She has also become fiscally responsible working after school each day and saving some money. Chelsea showed her maturity and responsibility by picking a state school (Washington State) to go to over her preferred more expensive school. I see exactly whom she is and I’m not clouded by emotion. In fact, a lot of emotion around me makes me uncomfortable.

I love both my children more than ever, but have to put on disguise to show it. I could easily be emotionless and have been confronted by people hurt for my lack of showing I care. I care, I just need to force myself to show the emotion of caring. I’m very adept now at finding the inner beauty of people and not just seeing a shell. I see a person and notice all the things that make them who they are. I force myself to be aware their actions. Love for children, their humanity, work ethic and selfless acts for others.  I can develop an incredible respect and love for people. 

On the other side I have zero tolerance for people who aren’t straight with me or cross me. Certain people who I once cared for dearly I can drop in heartbeat without a second thought and then never think of them again.

I have trouble following facial expressions and people’s mannerisms (sarcasm), yet I know when someone is being authentic or unauthentic.

Guess you know whom I’m not backing in the Presidential race.

If someone is questionable, they’re toast in my FTD world. This isn’t the Howard Glick of the past. I’m rigid and intolerant. Someone told me they like how straight up I am and feel I’m more evolved seeing things with less or no emotion. Trust me, there’s no fun in being like a Vulcan on planet earth.  You wouldn’t want to trade places with me and the revolving door of strange FTD symptoms.

“Gods Love We Deliver” just brought my food delivery. That means I’m no longer captive in my apartment. I wish it was that simple. I literally have to force-feed myself motivation these days. Since the McBucks debacle, I still haven’t recovered and gotten back into a routine.  I’ll save that for the next blog. Hey, at least I’m writing and being productive. 

Chelsea's graduation was an experience. There were 4,000 people there and much noise and excitement. I didn't feel it even though I pretended. It was overwhelming and there was nothing I could do to shut them all up. My ex-wife kept clapping loudly next to me and I wanted to deck her. I struggled sitting there trying to be happy while my skin was crawling. Thank the Universe my son was next to me which kept me focused on the important things in life and distracted from these unwanted thousands that showed up at my daughters graduation. I was incredibly proud of her and her accomplishments. Chelsea was beaming and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her living her moment. The most surprising moment for me of the evening was seeing my ex-in laws for the first in 10+ years. Like most ex-in-laws we didn’t leave on the best of terms. The love they showed for their Granddaughter and the elation they had at the graduation had me awestruck. My hardcore insane in-laws were so in your face “real” that I kept glancing over at them in awe appreciating who they are. My son was sitting next to me with golden heart, so I was in heaven. To bad I couldn’t have gotten rid of the other 3,900+ people.

The highlight of my trip was going to meet Chelsea for dinner on the last night of the trip. We never did have dinner. Chelsea had a flat tire. We sat by the road for about 2 hours waiting for help and to be fixed. Those 2 hours were the best 2 hours of my entire trip. We sat and just talked. Father and Daughter. Chelsea and Howard.

There was much more to the trip………………

Complete Forbes FTD Patient Interview Series
This is the complete Forbes patient interview series. This series of interviews was done by seasoned journalist Alice Walton. Alice attended the AFTD conference in Atlanta, has spoken to some of the nations most prominent FTD specializing neurologists and met 4 of the 5 FTD patients she interviewed. Alice has a Phd in English, Biopsychology and Neuroscience after studying at Vassar and CUNY. This was the first series of FTD patient interviews ever published. 

Howard Glick - The Other Side of Frontotemporal Degeneration: Inside A Deteriorating Brain                                         

Diana – The Disease That Stole My Career: Inside The Mind Of Frontotemporal Degeneration



  1. Howard thank you for continuing to share. I can't tell you how much your thoughts match what my HB has shared with me, about forcing himself to "normal" and faking it, out of a sort-a-respect for me and his children who have done well.

    BUT.... if he thinks he has been "dissed" or disrespected, that is the end of that attempt to tolerate or try to be polite to them. What a nightmare to be living in.

    I do not know how long you or my HB will be able to keep up the facade, but like you he crashes for days after an attempt to be "normal".
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Great post Howard!
    Well done Chelsea!

  3. Thanks,Howard....:Your writings always seem to explain what we try to see in our daughter , but, she cannot tell us....She was always an eloquent writer and speaker and now she relies on newspaper clippings to read to us instead of communicating and sharing a conversation. We and the sisters at her nursing home recognize this as her attempt to communicate and we just let her read to us...Most of the clippings are from her high school days - things she wrote about and other news items of her accomplishments...It is sad, BUT, better than not sharing with us at all...I pray your writings and communicating skills stay with you for many more years....we need them...Love, Dot

    1. Hi Dot,

      I'm glad my writings are helping you and I'm glad Mary found a way to communicate.

      All the best,


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