Is Alzheimer’s a Reason to Get Divorced?

To the shock of many (myself included), last week televangelist Pat Robertson (of “The 700 Club”) made a shocking statement. He was asked about a man who started seeing another woman after his wife had developed Alzheimer’s. Robertson’s response was that it’s okay to get divorced and start all over again. There are two reasons this doesn’t sit well with many people. The first is that Pat Robertson is a Christian, so you would assume that he believes in and follows the scriptures, which clearly indicate that God hates divorce. The second is that out the window go the vows … Continue reading

Physical Problems Brought On By Eating Disorders

The whole thing had started as a way to improve Christina’s looks. All it had done over the years was wear her body down. Her hair was thin and lifeless. Her face dry and flaccid. Her eyes, dull and rimmed with red. The skin on her upper arms drooped, robbed of muscle tone. Her body was an odd mix of thin limbs and stubborn stores of fat, seemingly as double-minded about itself as she was. She was tired all the time; tired of the constant battle with her body. At some point, her body had ceased to be her subservient … Continue reading

Understanding the Difference Between Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating

In mid-June I’m speaking at a conference on eating disorders hosted by FINDINGbalance, a non-profit with a unique focus on disordered eating. Theirs is the first national organization dedicated to creating awareness and understanding of EDNOS (Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified), like chronic dieting, emotional eating, and organic food obsessions generally viewed as normal in today’s society. As I write in Hope, Help & Healing for Eating Disorders: “It doesn’t take being diagnosed with an eating disorder to realize something is wrong with the way you eat or the way you feel about food. You may not starve yourself continually. … Continue reading

Watching Alzheimer’s Progress From Afar

Back when I lived in New Jersey, I was one of the main caretakers for my grandmother. I lived with her, so it was usually easy enough for me to handle insulin injections for her diabetes, daily meds (for various health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease), grooming, and light cleaning. In May 2007, I moved out. I was feeling too stressed and frustrated with the caretaking duties, and starting to have disturbing dreams about hurting her deliberately. That was when I said enough was enough. I didn’t want there to even be a chance of those dreams becoming reality. It’s been … Continue reading

Caretaker Stories: Feeling Guilty

I’ve been composing this post in my head since I read about the Utah State University study on the relationship between caretakers and Alzheimer’s patients. I was one of the primary caretakers for my grandmother — who among other health issues has Alzheimer’s disease — for the better part of three years. It’s hard, frustrating, stressful, exhausting work, and eventually I had to stop. I packed up and moved across the country to have a fresh start in a new place, surrounded by friends. And left my mother doing the majority of my grandmother’s care. When I was still there, … Continue reading

Two Love Stories

Last Friday Mick took me to the movies. We saw ‘Nights in Rodanthe.’ I’m a big fan of Nicholas Sparks and read the book some time back, so as soon as I saw the movie on I wanted to go. Mick had been through two previous films from books by Nicholas Sparks. ‘The Notebook’ was the first which he thought was a beautiful though sad story and well acted. If you haven’t seen it, it is the story of a couple’s over and how when she has Alzheimer’s he keeps reminding her of their love their story. Though he enjojed … Continue reading

Marriage as God Designed It?

I’m a romantic. I believe in happily ever after. I believe in love that lasts ‘until death us do part,’ to quote the words of the marriage service. This is the sort of love and union God planned when He made woman as a helper and partner for man, Genesis 3:20-22. Adam recognized this fact in the way he responded to the woman God made, verse 23. God’s Word tells us; ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh,’ Genesis 3:24. This verse, quoted … Continue reading

Experimental Alzheimer’s Drug Tests Well

A new drug for Alzheimer’s disease called Rember is being praised by the National Institute on Aging. This drug is only in the earliest stages of testing, but is showing amazing results. The National Institute on Aging — one of the National Institutes of Health here in the United States — helped fund early research that led to the development of drugs like Rember. These drugs are designed to target tau proteins in the tangles that form in the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s disease. For decades, medical research on Alzheimer’s disease has focused on a different kind of … Continue reading

The Older Couple at Church

When my mom was living with us, Wayne and I made it a point to take her to church on Sundays. She was Catholic, we’re not, but the Sunday after she died, we made a point of going to her church anyway. It was part of our own private memorial to her. We arrived a little early and took a seat in one of the back pews where we’d sit with my mom. I immediately started looking for them –the older couple Wayne had spotted the first Sunday we’d gone with my mom. “Aren’t they cute?” he’d leaned over and … Continue reading

An Alzheimer’s Side Effect I Never Expected

I talk about Alzheimer’s disease a lot here in the Health Blog because it is slowly stealing my grandmother from us. When I’m faced with a problem, my first urge is research. I try to learn what I can (and when it is health related, share it here). So I’ve read a lot about Alzheimer’s disease — the different stages, the history, the treatments, and even some famous people who are dealing with it. But all my research didn’t warn us about this: as my grandmother has progressed through the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, she’s packed on a lot … Continue reading