Dad's Journey, Uncategorized

Navigating a New Way of Life

IMG_4806Things have been a bit stressful these past few months. The day before my birthday we received confirmation that my dad has both frontal lobe dementia and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). While we all suspected the news was coming, I was in total denial about it and sorta still am in denial about it. The only blessing is that with dad’s dementia, he doesn’t realize that he has ALS.

We learned that dad’s ALS is likely tied to his time in the military. Apparently it’s a growing trend with military veterans being diagnosed with ALS. While dad never served overseas, he did work with many types of chemicals for warfare and whatnot. I don’t know all the specifics about what he did, but I do know that back then they never wore protective gear (masks, gloves, etc). Even with his actual job (post military) he dealt with a vast array of chemicals and of course they never wore protective gear for that as well. It was never a concern back then.

Now we are navigating a new way of life. We’re learning about ALS as well as dementia. Dad is no longer driving (he thinks the doctor told him that because he’s not wearing his hearing aids), but that’s not the case. We’re trying to keep dad happy with continuing with activities that he loves: going to the gym about 6 days a week, going to NC State football games, dinner with friends at his favorite restaurants (42nd Street Oyster Bar and Hayes Barton Cafe) and most recently a trip to the NC State Fair.

I’m going to try to keep this blog regularly updated about dad to eventually share with family and friends on how he’s doing and all the activities he’s still involved in.

My Bucket List of Bands

My Mini Bonaroo

I’ve never been to Bonaroo or Coachella because I don’t think I could handle the insane crowds.  I’m lucky if I can hang out at the NC State Fair for an hour without the crowd driving me nuts.  In case y’all didn’t know I don’t celebrate massive crowds.

I’ve discovered a happy medium… go to three concerts in one week!  Sounds reasonable, right?!  On the upside I’ll be able to go home, sleep in my own bed, and take a shower in the comfort of my own home vs. camping out for multiple days in a row and probably get zero sleep.  The only downside I can think of is having a terrible time getting out of bed the following day to go to work.  I think I can do it! (Just as long is I live off of coffee and water).

For those of you curious as to what shows I’m going to…

  • 6/10- The National at Red Hat Amphitheater.  I bought seats for most of my concerts because frankly, I’m too old to be hanging out on the lawn.
  • 6/11- Passion Pit at Koka Booth Amphitheater.  Remember in the above statement when I said I was too old for lawn seats? Yeah, well I bought lawn seats for this show.  Koka Booth is a small venue, so I think I should be able to see the actual performance (fingers crossed).
  • 6/13- The Lumineers at Koka Booth Amphitheater.  Ok, so I had jazz hands when I was purchasing pre-sale tickets and I meant to purchase lawn seats (again, Koka Booth is a small venue.. blah, blah, blah), but it turns out I bought pit tickets.  Fail! I guess the upside is I can be super close to the band that’s if I don’t get trampled.

Needless to say I’ll have different views at each concert… lawn, seats and the pit.  I wonder if I can score backstage passes to see the JoBros when they come to town…