is a
Veteran-Owned site.

The one thing that makes me feel better and more like myself is flying RC airplanes. My doctor thinks it is helping and I agree at least in that it makes me feel like the me of old if only for a little while.
Click image to enlarge

Sometimes I’m Me Again

When flying lifts the haze

Text and photo by Tom Hintz

Posted – 7-4-2015

My wife recorded a TV special/movie about Glen Campbell and his fight against Alzheimer's. While I can relate on a way smaller scale (I played in a bar band for years) to his life on stage there was one comment that really hit home for me. It may have been one of his kids that said sometimes while doing his music, something he has become so familiar with over the years that Glen seemed to feel like himself again.

Ever since we started this fight against Alzheimer's I recognized that flying RC planes made me feel better but that statement from the Campbell special made me think more about why I feel better. I think it isn’t “better” at all but more me recognizing myself again. More importantly is that I see me without Alzheimer's or before it while I am flying or otherwise participating in that hobby.

In the last few years I have become accustomed to not liking me a lot because of all the frustration that comes from not being able to remember things or having to continually do things over and over. Something about the forced concentration of flying a plane takes my brain back a few years to where things felt more normal.
Watching the TV special, during some his famous guitar work Campbell seems to revert back to what he used to be. He is concentrating and his fingers are going to the right places with that old speed and accuracy. When I am flying my RC planes I get what feels like a similar sensation. My fingers are doing all the right things with the sticks on the transmitter and I am not thinking each movement through, it just happens – like it used to so many years ago.

A few sequences in the TV special showed Campbell getting frustrated and angry at small things. I have never been a model of patience but recognize that now with Alzheimer's my transition to frustration and anger happens more quickly than before. Yesterday I was trying to get a sewing machine to work and it took hours for me to figure out that it needed simple tension adjustment. On the way to that simple adjustment I got a headache from the tension that went on after I figured it out. Frustration often carries over because I can see that it took so long to figure out something I knew many years before.

It is gut-wrenching to see Glen Campbell struggling on stage and in his private life because it feels like a look into my not-so-distant future. There are moments in the TV special where you can see Campbell in quite reflection that I totally relate to. I do forget lots of things but my mind occasionally clears long enough for me to recognize what is happening to me and where all this is heading and I see that realization in Campbell’s face in those moments. Those moments are nothing but depressing.

However, seeing Campbell do so well on stage makes me feel even better about my RC flying. It is what makes me feel better today but more importantly it seems to be helping me fend off the advancement of Alzheimer's to some extent. Nobody seems able to quantify how much Campbell’s music or my flying is helping but the doctors seem sure in both of our cases that these activities are helping and I have to hang onto that. IF people could understand this they would better understand the urgency I feel to continue challenging myself with RC flying.

Have a comment on this story? –Email Me!

Back to the Stories List


All Fighting My Alzheimer's written, photographic and drawn materials are property of and copyright by Tom Hintz and LLC 2013-2016. Materials may not be used in any way without the written permission of the owner.
Privacy Statement