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Different Enemies influence life in various ways, almost always none of them good. Alzheimer's is heavy on the "not good" side.
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Different Enemy’s

The growing frustrations of the fight

Text & Photo by Tom Hintz

Posted – 11-5-2015

46 years ago I was zooming around the skies of South Vietnam in the door gunner seat of US Army helicopters. The whole time I was aware that the home boys below us with AK47’s were not happy with us being there and I can’t say as I blame them. At the time I was aware that one day one of those fellows below might take the shot that ended me. For some reason that was easy to live with back then.

Today I am moving through life at a far slower pace with a totally different enemy closing in on me. Back in Vietnam there was light at the end of that tour of duty. Evade “the bullet” and I went back to the real world even though it was totally different than the one I left primarily because all those fellows and their AK’s changed my perception of living forever.

Today my enemy doesn’t carry an AK47 but is even more lethal because the killing shot has already been fired, it just takes longer to get to me. There is no dodging Alzheimer's forever. I have been able to out distance Alzheimer's through the intense concentration necessary to fly RC aircraft and the tightly focused work of relating those experiences and getting that content on my web sites.

There was an immediacy to the gunfights that resulted in moments of victory. The fight against Alzheimer's is slower, more methodical and lacks the moments of exhilaration. The victories this time around are smaller. Waking up today with the ability to do my work is a small victory. There is hope that I can wake up tomorrow and do more work.

Oddly there was little in the way of frustration in a war zone. The gunfights were mercifully short but intense and I think that made the short-lived sensations of success more pronounced. Today knowing that Alzheimer's is relentless and will win this battle eventually is far more frustrating. I can fight the progress of Alzheimer's as much as the resources I have will allow. Too often I am sitting around trying to think of a “free” story or review to do.

I have always enjoyed producing content and that effort is supported by my neurologist because the writing of content and time spent at the flying field testing the products engages my brain with a level of exercise that is much higher than working puzzles. It is that brain exercise that enables my fight against Alzheimer's. The frustrating part is not being able to undertake the next brain exercising project because there is no budget for it. Not being able to mount the most effective fight that I can against Alzheimer's is perhaps the ultimate frustration.

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