Alzheimer’s Attack

I am alone again tonight.  Dee is still in France doing his Tour de France thing.  As I settle down he isn’t far from my thoughts.  I still think he is crazy.  I mean, who in their right minds cycles 100 kilometers a day for 12 solid days.  It defies understanding.  Well, my understanding anyway.

I’m settled in my usual nightly position – seated on chaise longe part of the lounge suite, remotes close at hand (and what a pleasure it is not to have to fight a certain someone for those!), a bit of chocolate to sustain me and a lovely cup of tea.  It is safe to say I’m pretty well set for the evening.

The Project comes on.  I love The Project and try to watch it every night.  It is an hour long news program that is presented by four thirty-something presenters.  It is clever, witty and vastly entertaining.  Each night is filled with news of the day plus interest stories that generally pull at the heart strings.  What can I say, the program speaks to me.

Tonight it is Alzheimer’s.  My ears prick up.  I have a family member with the disease and I want to know as much as possible how I can support them.  A young man lost his celebrity father to Alzheimer’s and is now doing all he can to educate young people on the modifiable risk factors which researchers are saying play a 70% role in developing the disease (the other 30% being genetic).  The list bursts onto the screen:

  • Physical activity
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Social Engagement
  • Cognitive stimulation

Without thinking, I pause to take a closer look at the list.  Without a doubt the list does reflect the family member I know with the disease, but frighteningly, I realise that the list also applies to me.  All, except one – smoking.  I stare at the screen.  I begin to ponder all the things that I have struggled to remember lately – words I could not find, forgetting why I had walked into a room, what day of the week it is.  I’m 45.  I have tried to fob it off as getting on a bit, being a housewife where one day melds into the next, but, staring at the list, I am fearful.  Am I losing my mind?  Has the atrophy of my brain already begun?

I start to wonder how many signals I am going to need before I take the hint that my current lifestyle is just sending me to an early grave.  I have a BMI of 35, dangerously close to the morbidly obese range.  I have recently been for blood tests which have all come back clear, but physically and mentally I am exhausted.  I barely leave the house, definitely do no exercise and, dare I say it, I am really bored.  All of those risk factors apply to me in bucket loads.

I have recently been doing some personal development stuff.  It is my attempt at finding tribe.  Finding a sense of belonging.  The message I keep getting is ACTION.  It is not my buzz word, but it keeps tapping me on the shoulder. 

Find your tribe, do some action

Basically I need to start moving.  Moving to lose weight, moving to exercise, moving to gain social engagement, movement to use my brain. 

I wonder how it got like this.  I know that unless I want to die at the age of 62 like my mother and her mother and her mother before her, drastic changes have to be made.  The thing is, I’m not really one to change.  Yet, I know that nothing changes if nothing changes.  It isn’t enough to have the knowledge, you HAVE to do something with it.  I have to do something with it.

Watch this space.



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