Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Controlling a Hiccup

* I want to apologize for those of you that get notified multiple times each time I publish a new blog. My database is extremely large and I've idea how to get rid of duplicates.

I live on the top floor of 6 story building. since the building is on the side of the hill adjoining a small wooded lot, it's like being 15 stories up. Needless to say I have an awesome view.

Over the last couple of months a dog has urinated 3 times in front of the elevator on my floor, leaving a big pool,  in the elevator and pooped in the lobby on the rug which of course I stepped in. There's only one dog on my floor and it's old.

Last Sunday I ran into the Superintendent and Handyman in front of my building. I told them about the a dog problem. The super told me he already knew and slipped a note under the door. The owner told him the dog had alzheimer's and arthritis. I told them the owner should just throw the dog out the window. The problem would be gone, dog relieved and city varmints would take care of the remains. The Super and Handyman laughed thinking I was kidding. The Super told me dogs owner was an elderly woman who was also sick and told the super that there's nothing wrong with what the dogs doing peeing in the hall. I told them she should throw the dog out the window and then jump herself. They laughed thinking I was joking around. I laughed with them.

I don't think they realize that I was serious. I still think it's the best solution with zero feeling about either of them. If anything it would me merciful.

The above was written a few weeks ago and it really saddens me to find myself emotionless when it comes to certain situations in life. What I said and felt is FTD. I would never have thought or felt that way a few years ago. A couple of months ago someone committed suicide in the subway and they closed the subway. My reaction in the elevator on the way up was that whoever it was could've at least jumped off the George Washington Bridge instead of making me and everyone else late. It was my routine 2 month or so trek downtown to get my haircut and this inconsiderate person through my schedule off. 

Can anyone out there control a hiccup?  FTD is similar. You can't control the uncontrollable. can't control my thoughts or my quick aggressive reactions. Now I feel worse about thinking in these terms, than the actual event. There's no medicine or therapy for this and it's only downhill from here. As FTD progresses it will keep getting worse. I don't even know when I say these things that there wrong. I'm slowly losing the concepts of the difference between right and wrong. Of course I fear the day my actions will find it necessary to have me put away. Right now I'm still in pretty good shape and I can only hope it stays this way another 10-20 years. You can't imagine the pain and isolation one feels when you do and say things that have people staring at you and making remarks all the time.  There are a few people that "get it". But there few and far between.

For those of you that don't know me personally, besides having a fight when I was 13, the closest I've become to being violent is breaking God knows how many cell phones when I was drugged up while being misdiagnosed. Turning thoughts into actions is different.

Last night I was on the phone telling someone how I would love a service dog. I do like dogs, just not annoying quacking Chiouwahways (spell check failed me) Service dogs work with FTD patients successfully and help them quite a bit. It would also be nice to have the additional company. Unfortunately, the upkeep of a dog is beyond my means.

Went to Columbia yesterday for my heart tests, unfortunately the medical gods booked the wrong test so I need to go back Friday. The pains in my chest subsided, so my cardiologist was probably right that its a muscle pull.

I've still a lot of life to live.

Now I just need to reach back and take my own advice about living with FTD/Dementia and not fall into depression. I somehow need to make some shifts/differences in my life. Whereas coming to McBucks 7 days a week around 6:30am is good to get me out of the house, that is all I do. I used to go to the support group "Memory Club" two days a week but that's ended. I usually never leave the house besides that. It's just getting to hard being around people. I spoke to a good friend the other day about me leaving the apartment in the morning and not returning till 3-4pm.

So now I have one of two choices:
1. Sit at home and not only lose my mind to FTD, but go nuts.
2. Head out into NYC each day and still lose my mind to FTD, but drive NYC nuts.

Think I'll take on NYC. I'd love to make the joke that if I get arrested, I hope I can bail myself out with food stamps. Except they cancelled my food stamps.

What is enabling me to precipitate this change. A few things have happened recently:
*I've stopped taking Namenda and no longer have those waves of extreme tiredness all day long. It's actually scary to think of how that pill had me so out of it. I feel so much better without it. I now realize staying home most of the day has had me cascading into depression. Besides the Namenda, I'm battling FTD's ability to keep you unmotivated and it's easy to sit around doing nothing.
* Keeping myself in a very tight routine has actually restricted me from breathing NYC air and living life. I'll still be coming to Starbucks each morning, but I'll be expanding my FTDness.
* I've gained close to 50 pounds in the last year and not only look like a walrus, but feel like a walrus.
* Though I've been filming more lately, I've cut back way to much and need to get on top of it. Of course I also cut back because I haven't been doing anything.
* Last but not least, the assistant manager of Starbucks threatened that I might get banned  from one of the higher up managers because of what he tells me was an unsubstantiated complaint to him.  I wrote the Starbucks District manager who addressed it. Then the same assistant jerk then went to one of my good friends, telling them he got reprimanded because of me and not only makes them uncomfortable, but tells my friend he lied to me, because he knows I'm sick and he was trying to be sensitive. That's right, threaten me with banishment and then pretend he's trying to help me. This guy can be an arrogant jerk and now was backpedaling. Hey, he knows I'm disabled with FTD and can't control myself all the time, but decided to be cruel by saying I might get banned.  Now he's covering his butt by saying he lied because he's being sensitive. For those that have been following the blog, this is the same guy that in the past when asked if he could lower the music which was blasting at 7am, responded with, "some people like it loud" and refused to lower it.  After numerous complaints from others, management moved the speaker. This jerk has problems with others besides me. If I hear it, so sooner or later his management will if he keeps up. This is the first time I've complained about a Starbucks employee, in fact I wrote a letter about a month ago praising one of the newer employees.

This really effected me. I may not have shown if on the outside, but it caused me much angst. Starbucks has been my staple of keeping me in a routine and out of the house each morning. No matter what happens, I know I'm out the door almost 7 days a week to Starbucks. I also have many friends there.  Now it's being threatened. Anyone familiar with FTD or any type of Dementia knows how crucial  keeping a routine is. Now, that's being threatened. As I said earlier, I did get a professional response from the district manager, whose a familiar upstanding individual like all of us are used to from Starbucks. This quelled my fear.

Now I'm home waiting for GLWD -  "God's Love We Deliver". My aluminum tray food savior. With FTD, every day is an incredibly difficult fight to keep pushing yourself.  I'm determined to keep pushing and keep making a life for myself for as long as possible.  Right now I'm FTD tired and burnt out.  Whatever I do from now till tomorrow will be easy going. I'll end this and publish.

One last thought. Because of my massive Walrus-ized body, I decided to go on a blubber attack with the Atkins Diet. I went to Costco a few days ago and picked up the appropriate food. A friend whose a neuroscientist then told me she did a paper on how Atkins is bad for the brain and heart. She told me I should check with my doctor. I asked my cardiologist who immediately told me it's unhealthy and bad for my heart. Okay, so FTD Howard just bought all this new food and tossed out a bit of the old. I'm all ready to go with a massive, demassifying effort and everyone is telling me I'm an idiot. Well, I chugging forward with Atkins. I've lost weight before and I know how to focus on it. I will modify it and eat less red meat and fat. It's a familiar diet for me and I will lose the weight and then try to do something more sensible.  Right now I'm 236 pounds. I'm determined to lose the weight and get as healthy as I can while I lose my mind :-)



  1. I'm not buying the idea that an Adkins plan is bad for your heart and brain. Eating fish provides you with a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. Shrimp, crab and seafood give you essential cholesterol with which you can build brain matter. Even saturated fat can be good for you if it's not laced with carcinogenic nitrates. I used to have a very high cholesterol level of 236 and reduced it by 60 points by not eating trans fats but helping myself to good doses of bacon, eggs and even lard. Check out my article on eating fat sometime:

  2. Funny thing, Howard - Paul used the same idea. He said that he couldn't control the behaviour any more than he can control hiccups. He wants to - but it has happened before he even sees it coming. If you stop him and tell him what he is doing is wrong, he will agree - but he doesn't think so at the time - because in fact he doesn't even think about it. It just happens. :-(

    1. Hi Alis,

      Paul and I are going through the same exact symptom. I'm constantly aware that I'm unaware what going to happen and I don't know till after. I try to avoid the public because of this and the other smorgasbord of symptoms

      Thanks Alis,

  3. Howard,
    Couldn't you walk a little further to a different Starbuck's? Walking would help with your weight loss, but I understand about having a routine. The liar of a manager is just going to have to put up with you. Plus your are protected by your illness. Sounds like you have a good plan though, keep to your routine...get out of your apartment, loose weight, no pets, get your house in order and live life. Watch out for dog snacks along the way. Stay strong:O)

    1. Thanks. Nearest Starbucks is miles away and tiny. Only a couple of tables. The assistant manager is a jerk. I'll ignore him.
      Thanks for the support.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.