A Bad Day and a Disturbing Change

May 29, 2021

A strange occurrence this week. The husband had a bad day which was noticed first when we went a few doors over to my brother’s house for a meal. He had a very hard time seeing things, like steps to go up or down, and food on his plate. He was very quiet at the meal but still conversed. Being very tired afterwards, he went for a nap.

When he woke up he was confused and couldn’t verbalize well. Words would come out of his mouth that he had no idea he had spoken, words that didn’t mean what he intended to say. He didn’t know why. He looked at me strangely all evening and acknowledged that something was very different and very wrong. He was slower in his movements but was able to get around okay, and seemed weak but symmetrical in his muscle tone.

His blood pressure was very high, something that had become common for him. His usual methods of bringing it down were not as effective, but as the evening wore on it did come down. LBD is known for erratic spikes in blood pressure in spite of medication.

I wondered if he had experienced a small stroke.

The next day he was not as “scary” in his reactions but still very bothered by his inability to think and verbalize. He concludes that some damage has been done and it may take a while for him to recover.

Even before this happened, his willingness to accept a wheelchair signaled a change. He has needed one the last couple of times we were seen by a doctor. He can’t stand in lines to wait at the clinic and has felt generally much weaker. He has stopped doing exercise except on rare occasions. He can’t walk very far and wants to have the walker in the car whenever we go somewhere. His overall appearance is of a very disabled man.

There are ups and downs, relapses and recoveries with LBD, but I would have to say that he has clearly progressed in the disease. He has not been making phone calls since having the speech trouble and that is sad because it was a lifeline for him. I’m hoping that he will improve in that area.


A New Season, Possibly

For the last two and a half years since diagnosis, changes have been gradual. Most of them have been physical and of a parkinsonian nature. The shuffling, tremor that started in the right hand and now affects both, sometimes a tremor in the legs, incredible slowness of movement, a blank facial expression – all those symptoms have been the most noticed. Even with these things, Dennis has been mostly independent. He moves himself from one place to the other, gets to the bathroom without help, puts himself to bed, gets a snack when he wants one, and makes decisions to go to church or the chiropractor or to visit Mom or my brother.

Cognitively, he is able to think and remember fairly well. He brightens up when talking with friends on the phone and carries on a meaningful conversation, although slowly. Sometimes he snaps into his scientific mind and amazes people. He has become focused on a few subjects, which he follows by listening to YouTube podcasts on his phone. He has a list of prophets that provide daily updates and he often listens to the same one several times.

He doesn’t spend as much time researching his own disease, although he runs across something every now and then. He is more centered on the supernatural, hoping for a better chance with God than he has noticed with medicine. The most recent therapy which he is still receiving is applied kinesiology which includes chiropractic, muscle testing, light therapy, nerve stimulation, cranial-sacral therapy, and tapping, all from the same practitioner who also prays with him.

He was alone at home for one week in April while I took Mom to Florida for a memorial and family visit. He had my brother and Lurae, a neighbor, looking in on him and providing meals. He seemed to be fine with that. My brother remarked that he perhaps did things better than he does when he’s being waited on all the time.

But I think I notice, following that week, a tendency to sleep more during the day, and not as well at night. It looks a lot like depression, and why would it not? There is so little he feels he can do except listen to his phone. That gets tiring so he goes and takes a nap.

Last night he could not tell what the food on his plate was. He was trying to cut it up as if it was chicken, but to his surprise it was salmon. He had a lot of trouble getting food on his fork and reverted to using his fingers to eat the fish and green beans, which is okay with me, but messy. He took a spoonful of cranberry relish and thought he was putting it on his plate but no, he was purposely putting it on a napkin that he thought was his plate. I think the whole mealtime experience devastated him. When I asked if he was having more trouble with his eyes he said yes, and that he thought it was probably his brain rather than his macular degeneration getting worse. He was very resigned and quiet about it.

My question is, are we heading into a period of more noticeable changes that are taking away vital functions? I hope he will still be able to travel to our daughter’s wedding in July. He was so looking forward to that.

Finding Hope


I am excited to learn that what is happening in LBD is really the body’s attempt to defend itself. God has designed us marvelously and if we treat our bodies right, they will heal themselves. Sometimes, that is the miracle.

Originally, I started this blog site with the word “hope” in the title because I believed that God would help us through whatever was ahead with Lewy Body Dementia, or maybe even heal Dennis of it completely. I thought a miraculous healing was the only way that would happen. The medical specialists we encountered gave no other hope from their side of things. I was even a little shocked that having been given the diagnosis, and a prescription for a drug that could maybe help cognitive function for “a little while”, we were dismissed with no recommendation for follow up of any kind.

Dennis did some research shortly after that which started him on a different track. He believed, or wanted desperately to believe, that he was going to turn this disease around. Several things made him think that, one of which was a report that claimed cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s Dementia had been reversed in a small study. The patients involved responded to the therapy and regained what they had lost, went back to work and normal functioning.

Since then, the researcher, a UCLA based physician, has written a book detailing the therapy. He also shares the story of how the research progressed to develop a new understanding of cognitive decline in neurodegenerative diseases. I love this quote from the book:

“Now, often the most interesting and revealing experiments – the moments when an invisible chemical or an inconsequential cell can move the Earth – are not the ones that succeed as expected, nor are they the ones that fail outright: they are the ones that yield results that are just the opposite of what you expected.”

I can feel his excitement from the beginning of his search right up to the present. Hundreds of people have benefitted from this protocol which has been named ReCode and word is spreading quickly, thanks more to the web than anything else. Dr. Dale Bredesen and those who have gotten their life back after Alzheimer’s have a passion for conquering this devastating disease. He writes “…for if necessity is indeed the mother of invention, then perhaps passion is its father.”

I have finished most of the book, finally. We have had it for some time but there have been so many things to cope with, so many surprises, so many caretaking problems to solve, that I have been overwhelmed. Fortunately, we have been learning about and doing some of the things in the protocol. Even though I was skeptical of some of Dennis’s practices of magnesium supplementation, of autophagy, and his extremes of fasting and avoiding electricity, we have been doing a lot of it. Maybe that has been responsible for staving off further decline.

I am hopeful. Everyone should know about this because Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, LBD and other dementias are becoming epidemic and they can be prevented. As Bredesen and his researchers agree, no one should die like this and they don’t have to. Read the book. Find hope.

Thinking It Over in September

Now September is more than half over. As often happens when a large, mind-consuming task is done, I’m left wondering what to do next. All the things that I haven’t thought about while concentrating on our trip to Mayo Clinic, are probably still there needing to be attended to, but I’m not sure I’m remembering them all.  That is my most frequent prayer, that I would be reminded to do things at the right time – that nothing would fall through the cracks.  Things that do fall through the cracks unnoticed create bigger problems later.

We are becoming a little more devoted to our keto eating plan now that the husband is motivated to protect his brain cells, keep those mitochondria healthy, and all.  It is a good diet for neuro-degenerative conditions, as well as cancer, diabetes and heart issues. Since I wrote about his condition of Lewy Body Dementia I have received lots of suggestions of things to try and things to avoid. We already know about some of them but will probably try them all eventually – none are ridiculous, or lacking in a good success story. 

Which brings me to the point of how different this disease can be from one person to the next. Each individual kind of paves their own way down this path. There are some common traits, but even those come and go.  While it is interesting and hope producing to read stories of cures and great improvements, it can be equally devastating to read about unsuccessful outcomes. I would rather think that the husband’s story is his own and it’s not been told yet. Let’s just live well and watch what unfolds.

We can do this.

Thank you to all our friends who have responded lovingly, given us encouraging words, and have let us know that you are praying for us. A health threat is a bad reason to be drawing attention, but because of it we are newly aware of people out there who care.  I think that we could relieve your fears for us if you could be around Dennis for a while. I think you would be reassured that he is still himself, and thinking well. Circumstances are troubling, but God pays no attention to circumstances since they do no control him in any way.  It only makes sense to us to trust God and try to think like he does.

Tomorrow we are making a fun trip to the nearest “big city” of Duluth, MN. We are seeing some friends and then going to my favorite department store, Sam’s Club (lame, but true). We are looking forward to it. This weekend is Fall Fest in Hayward. It’s also the start of the Feast of Tabernacles. We intend to enjoy both. Life is good. We are not downcast. But don’t any of you stop praying, okay? Just sayin’…