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The concentration of flying these planes is good for my brain and my attitude, but only when I can actually get there!
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Taking a Runner

I'm beginning to understand the frustration that is my life

By Tom Hintz
Posted - 11-18-2016

One of the things that puzzled me about Alzheimer's and similar dementia-based diseases was why so many of the afflicted would simply walk off and not come back until found and brought back – if they were lucky enough to be found. Did the disease make them think they were supposed to be someplace else? Could they be looking for something or someone they thought to be outside of wherever they were” living”? Nobody seemed to know.

Now having been living/fighting with Alzheimer's myself for a few years I am becoming painfully aware of why people with the disease might want to take off. There is a good chance they are just tired of being cooped up or not having the means to go someplace when they want to go.

When I stopped working for magazines the need for us to maintain two cars got way smaller. Most of my work on web sites was coming to me rather than me to it so not having a second vehicle made economic sense. These days I have more need to move about, particularly to the flying field, especially on days when the weather makes flying reasonable. My doctors seem to be very sure that RC flying is doing me a lot of good, in fact more than traditional therapies. The chances of me getting excited about playing mind games on a computer and remaining dedicated to doing it as therapy are nonexistent as they are for most Alzheimer's patients.

Not being able to get out to do what makes me feel so much better and appears to be good therapy is frustrating at a level I was not aware it could attain. I frequently slip from frustration to simple anger. Almost as frustrating is that current finances make operating a second car difficult while at the same time knowing that getting out and participating in RC flying helps me create the content for my web sites that are contributing to our bottom line.

In recent months, the doctors have found an aortic aneurysm that threatens my life to some degree. At least now there is some competition for what eventually finishes me off. When the weather is nice all week and then craps out on the weekend when “it is OK for me to leave the house” I find myself quietly cheering for the aneurysm. If living in this state of frustration 5 of many 7 day periods is how I can expect my life to be hoping to live beyond expectations seems like cruelty aimed inwards.

Recognizing these feelings makes me better able to understand why people with this disease simply walk away. There is precious little to make them want to stay. Even they know that there is nothing therapeutic about sitting around unable to do what helps you most.

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