Can I Go Home Now?

Can I Go Home Now?

I’ve been fortunate – I love my mother-in-law. She’s a gem - sweet, caring, loving and the true matriarch of my husband’s family. So it was really challenging for me as I visited her at the “senior behavioral health unit” (a facility for evaluation of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia) while she was there for observation. I won’t pain you with too many details, but will simply say it was agonizing.

While she recognizes our faces and sometimes our names, her day is like the movie “Groundhog Day” where everything repeats itself over and over and over again. But unlike the movie, her repeat cycle isn’t every day, it’s more like every minute – asking us the same questions - over and over and over again. She wants to know when she’s going home, but she doesn’t remember if “home” is her childhood home, the house she lived in when she was first married, the house she lived in for over 50 years or my sister-in-law’s house where she’s lived the past few years.  

I feel so helpless watching her suffer. She weeps every couple of minutes. She’s aware enough to know that she can’t remember and is tormented by that fact. She apologizes for not remembering and is filled with anxiety, as everything is an unknown. All that is familiar and dear to her is a comfort one minute, and a complete unknown the next. I don’t want to see anyone go through this!  

Interesting timing that I came upon a study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, May 2015 linking high blood sugar levels with Alzheimer’s. All of us know about blood sugar and its impact on diabetes and obesity (hence the rise of the term “diabesity”). And now this research is showing an increased connection with Alzheimer’s, summarized by the lead researcher Dr. Shannon Macauley, "Our results suggest that diabetes, or other conditions that make it hard to control blood sugar levels, can have harmful effects on brain function and exacerbate neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease." 

Do you know your blood sugar number?
I hear about high blood sugar from clients and prospective clients regularly. And while there are protocols in place to help with diabetes and obesity, Alzheimer’s is a different story altogether. So to me, there’s an even stronger message to take action. If you don't know your blood sugar levels, please have it tested. And if it's high, I encourage you to make lifestyle changes to reduce it.

Simple dietary changes can make all the difference!  Here are just a few of the powerhouse foods that can improve your blood sugar levels:

  • Blueberries and cherries
  • Nuts and seeds - choose a variety including walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, flax, chia, hemp, sesame and more
  • Avocados 
  • Olive oil and olives
  • Vinegar
  • Spices, especially ceylon cinnamon

Have any questions? Don't hesitate to comment, send me a note or give me a call.

Wishing You Well!