Sunday, March 2, 2014

FTD Aggressiveness and Love

Remember when you were a kid and there was always the neighborhood crazy person. The one you as a child avoided and made fun of. The person parents held there children closer when around and who people gossiped about. You'd pass that person and smile slightly to be polite while cringing. Possibly talk for a few seconds being mannerly and feeling sorry for them. Every neighborhood has one. We all know him, it's that guy. I'm that guy now. The neighborhood nut. Awareness cards, explanations, brain disease, big fucking deal. Here I'm alone and alone is alone. Back in NY, I had friends who would sometimes explain behind the scenes my FTD'er behavior. Even then many of my friends would no longer socialize with me in public. Here, as with everywhere you try to explain FTD. Some get it, some are scared and others say "you don't look or sound like anythings wrong with you." That's the FTD curse. If they "get me" fine. If not, fuck em, next. Maybe I should join the traveling circus. under the guise of "FTD man", the man with the diminishing mind and unfiltered mouth.

The the last few months have seen multiple complaints about me in the apartment community including almost a fistfight with a neighbor who followed me up the stairs to his apartment. All I know is I went to him and his wife's apartment to apologize for a behavioral issue. Next thing I know we're almost at blow's. It's beside the point him and his wife are a couple of assholes. This is the third time in 6 months I was teetering on the edge of a slugfest. Once after cursing out an 85+ year old woman at Costco. Wasn't even aware I did something wrong, till there was some big 30 year old in my face about it.

Do I have a history of violence? Last time I got into a physical altercation I was 13 years old. Gave David a black eye and we're still friends now 43 years later. Never been arrested, though have killed my fair share of NYC cockroaches. My behavior has gone downhill. Why? I have bvFTD (behavioral) you assholes. I now have a flash/anger problem. I could be fine and within a flash of the wrong statement, I'm in anger mode. It's always verbal and anytime it's gone towards the physical, it's been at the behest of the other person. I would say the chances of me starting a physical altercation are still about as much as me winning an Olympic medal for woman's ice skating. 

Many FTD'ers are similar to me with flash/anger viper tongues. FTD - Incurable, untreatable and unstoppable. The best I can do is drink a bottle of $2.99 Trader Joe's wine at night to relieve myself of the living hell known of what happens in my life with FTD. Some FTD'ers are on antipsychotics like Seroquil or other meds to help combat FTD symptoms or make them easier to live with. We all have our choices and do as we must. No right or wrong in this. I like my head clear and am on no meds for FTD. Spent 6 years in a medically induced fog while misdiagnosed as bipolar. I'm losing my mind and am going out aware of it.

Will my aggressive behavior continue to get worse? I've absolutely no idea and as with any of the smorgasbord of FTD symptoms, they come and go with no rhyme or reason. I'm sure frustration and difficulties of living with a degenerative brain disease contribute. No question progression has speeded up. Have been having issues choking on water and liquids. Used to have that rarely, now more frequently. Friends have written me suggestions which I keep forgetting. Head up, head down, breathe, don't breathe. Not a clue, but I'm really not worried about drowning while drinking a glass of water. A couple of people have suggested a speech therapist. Right, that's for people with money. I'm not starving, but I've no money for the extravagances in life like specialized medical care. 

So what do I do to address my FTD aggressive symptom? I spend more and more time alone. Don't isolate or hermitize, but behavior modification needs to be addressed. Avoid people for the most part, except a few I banter with at Starbucks. I avoid major trouble that might have me wind up in Assisted Living. Oh, excuse me. Those with behavioral issues usually wind up in a secure dementia facility. Sorry, not for Howard. When the times right I'd rather grab a bottle of wine, head out for a walk in the Arizona desert and become rattlesnake food. 

So was that was a pretty good FTD rant?

Aggressiveness is just one of the wonderful revolving door of symptoms we with FTD face and combat daily. My symptom smorgasbord includes non-stop incessant chatter or FTD blabbermouth syndrome, hypersexuality, insomnia, sensory overload overstimulation to noise and crowds, eating disorder, impaired judgement and reasoning, exhaustion and memory impairment that's probably causing me to forget what I'm forgetting. 

Yes, I laugh and still manage to have a good time and make the most of a life gone awry. Has my life gone awry? No, life is life and sometimes life turns to shit. I consider my life "Good Shit Mon." Pretend there was a Jamaican accent to that. Laughing is my weapon for battling FTD's Number One Enemy: Depression. So far I'm kicking depressions ass. That pesky parasite is just not allowed back into my life. Lifetime ban. 

So what do I do? Just keep living life. Find happiness and purpose every day. Get my ass up and out to Starbucks 7 days a week, like I've been doing for the last 2 years. Keep my routine in tact and keep on keeping on. A few hours in Starbucks and I'm usually exhausted at home till the next day. But I did something and that's huge. I showered, shaved and got the fuck out the door. I got out and maybe I blogged, wrote, bantered or just checked out nice butts. In FTD world, this is as major accomplishment that one can sometimes only pray for. 
Faced the FTD monster that sucks the life out of you and won. One day at a time we fight, one day at a time we win.


Where there's Yin, there's Yang. Yang comes in the form of my new girlfriend Terri. Life and love goes on even in dire health circumstances.  FTD rips apart families and relationships. Many find themselves sick and alone. Even with FTD life and love goes on. Many, yes many with FTD in my FTD Patient Support Group magically found love back in there lives. Some have even gotten married. Love finds a way. Terri and I see each other once a week on average and Terri knows I don't want another caregiver. Yes, she does help me and I'm appreciative, but it's not and will not be a caregiver relationship. 

Terri contacted me over a year ago about FTD. One of thousands of request for information I receive. At the time I was living in NYC, had a girlfriend and moving wasn't even in the thought process. Life happens and I wound up in Arizona. Of course I checked Terri out on the web and she was hot. Yes, I've FTD but am also a man which makes me a genetic asshole by birth. One day out of the blue, sent her an email asking her out on a blind date. She was shocked, but said yes.

Terri's in the medical community and works in a Psychiatric Hospital doing assessments, discharge planning etc. She understands FTD and has worked with FTD'ers. I might be losing my mind to FTD, but I'm still a lot of fun and we both share our mutual dedication of hard, challenging work. We're companions, buddies, friends, lovers and have a deep mutual respect for each other. Both of us have been around the block of life. Terri's attitude is she would rather have a "short, spectacular relationship with me, than a long mediocre relationship." We both know I've FTD and where that road that leads. It is what it is and we have what we have. What we have is good. Terri is incredibly supportive and does the best she can when I'm having those FTD moments. What more can I ask. She wrote to me, "Guess I'm an FTD girlfriend-in-training" after a small FTD induced spat. I'm a lucky guy and realize it.

I consider every date our first date and treat it as such with the excitement and passion it deserves. 

I promised Terri never to get complacent in our relationship. I bust my ass doing the little and big things to make sure she knows she's loved and appreciated. I've FTD and take nothing in life for granted. Apathy can take a hike. I'll kick it's ass to. Last Monday, I randomly dropped off roses for her at work. Yep, I FTD'ed her. Left it down by the main desk for her. She later sent me the above pic of them on her desk. In turn Terri is funny, sassy, intelligent, loving and incredibly loyal. I fight like hell to keep my symptoms in check for our relationship, but I've that good old FTD diminished filter which leads to hilarious moments or not. Last week while out at dinner I announced out loud the baby at the next table should be duct taped. How about dem Yankees?………

* I run a private FTD Patient Support Group on Facebook.  The groups for FTD Patients Only and is open to those with a firm FTD diagnosis. The support group is a place where those with FTD can gather in a positive environment and realize there not alone. It's also a source of accurate information which is rare in the quick changing world of FTD. The director of AFTD, Sharon Denny is a permanent guest member. AFTD has been kind enough to open up there medical board to answer member questions. Please email me at to join.

Thank you to those that have sent me letters, gift cards, Starbucks, cash etc. They are deeply appreciated. I've dedicated my life to FTD awareness and advocacy. For those that want to help there is a yellow donation button on top of the page or my address below with gift cards, checks or cash. All help is deeply appreciated:

Howard Glick
7791 East Osborn Rd. apt. 170E
Scottsdale, AZ 85251


  1. I just wrote you beautiful compliments and in my FTD stupor typed it in the wrong place.Any way, great blog,you have shared what so many of us feel on a daily basis. I have not been deemed a problem yet in my building,but that's because I am on the 15th floor. Keep up your insightful writing and I look forward to seeing you in May when you and I can visit your city and eat out every night on my dime. Prepare yourself and your charming girlfriend for me!! Diana

  2. Love this blog! You're right Howard, your girlfriend is absolutely beautiful, inside and out. So happy that you found someone. I can't wait to see you in a couple weeks!

  3. Howard your life is my life, all of us are in this together. Terri is beautiful, she is lucky that you found her, and you are lucky to have that love, wish you more good days than bad, and know that you give us courage... love one of your sister wives lol Tammi Lynn

  4. Love that you found love!
    My husband would never be able to write a blog like this ... he has been attempting to write poetry for 6 months and cannot put a sentence together. Breaks my heart for him as he has written 3 books and over 25 articles as a law professor (retired due to illness ...) But he is sweet and so far has not had any anger issues. I am very lucky, I guess that he is so mild mannered through all this. He is 58 years old and was diagnosed 2 years ago. However, I would say he's had the disease for over 5-6 years. Keep on writing ... you are a special person. How long ago were you diagnosed??? How long did you have the illness before you were diagnosed, if you have any idea ... Rock on!!!

    1. Hi Jane,
      I love the fact your husband is still trying. Keep encouraging him. He sounds like a wonderful man and has an equal wife.

      I was diagnosed in June 2010 after being misdiagnosed 6+ years. I've had FTD about 10 years. I'm 56 years old. Thank you for the encouragement.
      All the best,

  5. My husband Alan died of FTD in 2012 at the age of 57. he had been diagnosed five years earlier, but when he eventually got approved for a PET scan by our insurance, he had by then also developed early Alzheimer's. So his whole brain was ultimately affected.
    He too had behavioral and aggressiveness issues which eventually led to his being institutionalized as I couldn't take care of him at home anymore and work full time to keep us.
    I am amazed that you can be so articulate in your blog - my husband could barely string together a sentence for the last 2 years of his life. His disease travelled fast and did its work too well.
    You are brave and strong for putting yourself out here. I wish you and Terri well on your journey
    Deborah Thelwell

  6. Hi Deborah,
    I'm sorry about your husband dying and what both of you went through. Thought your blog and site was fascinating though I couldn't really follow it. I did find a sections on a Phoenix FTD awareness day on March 8th but wasn't sure if it's a caregiver event. Lost it anyway. Thanks for your well wishes and I hope your moving onto a wonderful life. You deserve it and your husband would want it for you.
    Howard Glick

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