Monday, November 11, 2013

FTD Awareness, Apathy and Impulsiveness

It's hard functioning knowing your reasoning, judgement and filter are off. "I'm aware that I'm not aware" of what's happening real time. Real time is not a reality in my FTD world. Being embarrassed, frustrated and totally disappointed with myself is now a commonplace occurrence  Also is forgiving myself because I know it's the disease, not me. Just sitting here I'm thinking how at a new bar/restaurant Friday night I told the bartender who was wearing shorts what great legs she had. Not just a comment, but went into detail describing the curves of her calfs etc. (pic below is my realtime grimace as I type)

My realtime grimace

FTD sucks. For some reason when I do these things they have such an air of honesty that I never have had pushback. I'm also not making an advance towards woman when I do this and that comes across. Just showing an honest appreciation for there beauty or how well they take care of themselves. Never been yelled at, slapped or punched. There really just compliments gone awry. Never have had to hand out an FTD awareness card. The Leggs bartender, took it as a compliment and told me she was a former collegiate soccer player. Now she bar tends, as well as is building a finance career. 

Well, just told the Starbucks girl how pretty she is with just the little bit of rouge she put on. Young and beautiful. Just a wee bit of makeup highlights her features. She's very pretty. I've told her this before along with her cute Mr. Magoo-chick glasses she wears. She smiled having no idea who Mr. Magoo was. Whether I was appropriate or not, I've no idea. I know I go into details of what and why I like or don't like something. Whether it's appropriate behavior. I don't know, nor care at the time. For you that don't know the cartoon character, you should Google: Mr. Magoo

Funny thing about awareness. You have to fight for it. I did have a "first" date a few weeks ago. Of course the beginning of dinner started me off talking about me, myself and I. Mid dinner my awareness alarm went off and at the next conceivable break in conversation I asked her to tell me about herself, family favorite area of vacation and life. She was a bit shocked and said she read people with FTD were apathetic and self absorbed. Yep, that's what the docs generally agree on and feed it like a poison to FTD'ers and caregivers. Yes, each person is on there own FTD journey, but I've seen enough FTD'ers light up and fight back for as long they can for awareness. It's simple, we're in a war against dying brain cells. How the rest of the brain rewires to compensate, well that's a theory game. In all fairness my girlfriend in NYC helped train me with awareness. When totally self absorbed and not even asking her any question about her, she'd get up and leave. This happened frequently in the beginning, but like Pavlovs dog I learned. I've also learned you have to fight every moment with FTD and more importantly, let things go and forgive yourself for what you can't control. You just can't keep fighting and questioning yourself. 

Weight gain and awareness:
Okay, so I've turned fanatical. I weigh myself each morning with the scale being on my kitchen floor. Went from 246 pounds in NY to 209 pounds this morning. Funny, how docs keep telling you, "Yep, weight gain from carbs and sweets is an FTD symptom". Yo docs, how about suggestions on how to focus FTD behavior on methods of losing weight and taking care of yourself with FTD. Never here that from docs. We've been written off by ignorance. Each person has there own progression path and rate of decline, but there's no question you go further by using your mind, exercising and keeping your body in order. We've got a lot of fight that can be focused. Part of my morning routine is turning on the water for the shower, then heading to scale in the kitchen. Weighing myself each morning works for me. I'm committed to getting to 190 pounds. 

Mint Chocolate Frappuccino Samples
Fuck that!
A week ago was sitting with my Starbucks cronies and a senior woman with a wondrous smile and bike helmet in hand entered. She just rode 10+ miles on the bike path Greenbelt and was so excited. Bike Lady's youthful exuberance at 61 was contagious. Hold it, I live on the Greenbelt. What bike path. Have been here about 2 months and now I learn I live on a famous bike path. Thought it was just a Golf course. I decided when I hit 210lbs I was going to start working out. A couple of problems with that occurred. My hand problems and severe arthritis which even typing now is painful, plus the cost of a gym membership.

Bike Lady inspired me. As I said earlier, I try not to be impulsive in buying. I check my bank account about 10-20 times daily minimum. Haven't a clue to my finances, am bleeding, but okay for now. A bike would mean exercise and biking to Starbucks daily, as well as another activity in my routine. A few miles on the Greenbelt daily would help. Spent the 2 days after my bike lady inspiration running from one bike shop to another. Found a great bike at Landis Bikes, but the sales boy was an arrogant little shit. Wouldn't buy from that asshole or his shop. Did request and receive a nice solid business card which I used to remove bird poop from my car.  Finally one shop with 1K+ dollar bikes sent me to a shop they thought would fill my needs, Bike Emporium. 

The owner of Bike Emporium was full of  positive frenetic energy. You could tell she drove everyone around her nuts and all that entered her world absolutely loved her.   This 30 yr. old,  tiny 90lb., sassy, spunky chick was going a mile minute and loved what she was doing with her life. This was the 3rd Crystal I've met in my life and each was remarkable in there own way. Crystal took absolutely no shit and totally abused me. Of course I loved it, plus she had the coolest Canadian accent. Decided I was buying my bike from Bike Emporium. Settled. Explained to her my FTD and other deficiencies and she put together the perfect bike for me. I asked Crystal about a bell or horn and she pointed me to a large case filled with them. I picked one out and of course she told me how ugly it was and picked a really cool bell. She picked out a certain handgrip to help with my arthritis etc. 

All in all, she gave me a discount but I paid double of what I was thinking of spending on my bike. 

Crystal at Bike Emporium in Scottsdale

Went from the bike shop to the supermarket and who do I run into at the door, Bike Lady from Starbucks. Told Bike Lady excitedly that I just came from buying a bicycle. Thanked her profusely for the inspiration she'd given me at Starbucks. She was excited for me. We small talked and parted ways.

Crystal delivered the bike the next day and showed me how it functions. My last bike was when I was 14 years old. Had it for a few days. My last memory was standing helplessly on a NYC street as a thief rode away on my bike.

Well, back to the bar with Leggs the bartender Friday night. There were a few people in the bar when an old crusty geezer entered. We looked at each other and there was an immediate connection. Love at first site. He said to me, "Do we know each other?' Terry and I laughed and the next half hour we we're hooting and laughing. Both of us kept commenting how familiar we were to each other. I thought maybe he has dementia as well, who knows or cares. We were having a great time and Leggs even served me a glass of wine. His kids came in and then his wife walked in. Terry went to introduce me to his wife. I sat there with my mouth wide open. It was Bike Lady. We hugged, talked laughed and told Terry how we knew each other. I then took Bike Lady and her brilliant smile out to see my bike. They parted and all were excited at what we had experienced. Terry and I were talking how we were looking forward to getting together again. Guess he frequents Leggs bar/restaurant. What an amazing world we live in…….

Have been biking every day. Did fall twice so far. Couple of scrapes. No helmet and love the wind in my hair. Hey, not much brain left to damage there anyway. Biggest problem so far is how to lock the bike. Stood there for over an hour trying to figure if they could steal the tire or bike and how to put it on. No success. FTD sucks. A Starbucks buddy and salt of the earth political savvy Scottsdalian, Jeffrey saw my difficulty and came to the rescue. He knows I've FTD and showed my how to properly lock the bike. He reinforced it in me a few times after. Just wasn't sure…….. Maybe it was PTSD from that bike thief riding off on my bike when I was 14. 
Is it on right?

Do I have to name them?

The Greenbelt

Howard Glick  
Living Life. One FTD day at a time


  1. I am SO incredibly happy for you, Howard. You're doing great!

  2. Howard, you look Maaaaw velous dawling! You are the incredible shrinking man! SO good to get a new post and to see your gorgeous face too! Crazy how and why God puts people in our lives. The bike lady story is just crazy! Guess you were supposed to buy that bike and start riding huh? lol. Glad you get to enjoy the beauty of the greenbelt and feel the wind in your hair, glad you can still appreciate things like that. Take care of YOU Howard. You deserve it and lots of people need you around! Big hugs to you, Heather

  3. Howard, love your new bike! I think it's awesome you're bike riding now. It sounds like you're really liking Arizona and meeting some great new people too. Always look forward to hearing how you're doing and reading your blogs.
    Kathy :)

  4. Hello Howard,

    I just enjoyed reading your latest blog and was interested in your experiences with the Scottsdale women. From where I sit there is nothing at all inappropriate in you actions or comments; I'm sure you made "Leggs"and the Mr. Magoo chick very happy with your appreciation. We all have to believe that FTD is the new normal. ��

    I'm in an adult daycare program and I feel that I'm a bit higher functioning than some of the other "club members". Anyway, I'm always being asked to engage with the members. I guess I'm not only a member, I'm also a director!LOL

    I'm glad to hear you got a bike; it looks like you have some beautiful country to explore in Scottsdale. Maybe one day I'll get off my fat ass and get a bike also.

    Take care and enjoy Arizona.


  5. Cool Bike :)
    Good job , i Think i will move my scale into the kitchen as a reminder to my self . How do you handle the carvings for sweets? Take care and feel the wind in your hair :) /Madeleine from Sweden

  6. Women aren't offended by what you say because they can take it in the spirit in which it was intended. We're both old enough to remember when complimenting a woman was seen as a nice gesture, not the basis for a lawsuit. If you go too far, you'll hear from the women, believe me.

    Get a bike helmet. You can't spare any more brain cells.


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