Fightingmyalz.com is a
Work as Therapy
I’ve been straining my brain for years
Text and photos by Tom Hintz
Posted – 2-22-2013
Over the years I developed a format for my building the stories for my sites that makes me more efficient in getting them done without leaving something out. I have an armada of computers in my office that are capable of doing what I need. That dependable functionality of the high-end software is something I greatly appreciate because it prevents re-doing work because a piece of software or a computer crashed as they used to do quite a bit.
Now, following my Alzheimer's diagnosis those habits and sequences make it easier to stay focused on the task at hand. When I get distracted by something else that comes up that structure makes it much easier for me to come back to a project and pick it up where I stopped. Eliminating the repeating of work already done or forgetting to include a step makes dealing with my work, even through the occasional fog of Alzheimer's, much easier. Reducing the frustration of any activity is a good thing with this disease.
Alzheimer's seems to get in the way more when I have to do something that is not required frequently. When I started FightingMyAlz.com I had to set up a new web site in Adobe Dreamweaver, the software I use and have been using for years. I have set up other sites with no real problem but this time around I was having issues with things I had done in the past. I was forgetting little parts of steps or how to do small things within that process that I had figured out before but could not recall now.
I find that I am less frustrated now when I encounter these stop blocks because I know it is likely the Alzheimer's that is at least partially behind the problem. Accepting what the disease does to my thought process is calming in a way. I can slow down, get more deliberate and work through the problem in a more logical way. I realize that I have not suddenly become an idiot and the cloud of confusion between the solution and me can be penetrated if I stay calm and take my time. Alzheimer's does not seem to affect the problem solving skills themselves if we just slow down and take a step back.
The good news is that these bouts with memory-related issues are most often short-lived. Usually within a few minutes I have found the problem and figured out a remedy. I realize that Alzheimer's is going to progress but I am hopeful that my work and other mind-exercising things I am doing will let me slow its advance appreciably.
I have known about my Alzheimer's for quite a while now and am buoyed by an email I received just a few weeks ago from a fellow who also runs a web site. He asked, “How do you produce so much material so quickly?”
That got me thinking that perhaps I am doing OK in this fight. It also makes me feel better every time I sit down at the computer to work on another story because I feel that I am doing something to help myself and that it is really making a difference. I may never know precisely how much of a difference but I really don’t care about that so much. I feel good about what I am doing now.
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