Checking In from Dementialand

Hi friends! I’m back….sort of.

I’m in the midst of my summer break from blogging–because a girl needs a break, right? But I wanted to tell you that I miss you.

I know this sounds strange because I haven’t met most of you, but I’ve really started to value my relationship with my blog readers. I hope that doesn’t sound creepy. It’s just that it took me a while to gain the confidence to start this dang blog, and y’all have been so kind to me. (Except that weird person who commented that I am “totally insensitive” and “so not funny when you’re obviously trying way to hard to be funny,” but WHATEVER. I’m over it. Mostly.)

I wanted to let you know that school starts tomorrow, so I’m getting back in the swing of my academic routine. I’ll be back soon with my weekly Monday blog.

In the meantime, a summer update:

  • Our Gerontology program at the University of Northern Iowa was named the #8 program by College Choose. Not bad for a major that only has one faculty member!
  • Carlos (aka, Los….my little “so ugly he’s cute” mutt) and I went to Wisconsin to do some education and visit some new friends with dementia. Well, I did more of the education. Los was more focused on visiting and sniffing out crumbs on the floor. Anyway, I am really impressed with Walworth County and its commitment to inclusion and positive dementia care. I’m so impressed that I’m going back in a few weeks. Also, it’s where Lake Geneva is….so that doesn’t hurt.
  • I went to Chicago for the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. If I could sum up the take away message, I’d go with “Hope.” Also, I learned to say dementia in four different languages. Actually, it’s Spanish it’s demencia, so I’m not if that counts. If you are a Dementia Alliance International person, I apologize that I couldn’t stay for the conference….we had company coming into town, but I’ll be there next time!
  • This summer I had solo work trips to Chicago (twice), Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee. I have finally gotten to the point where I feel completely comfortable eating alone at a restaurant of my choice. I’m done eating dinner out of the hotel vending machine. Life is too short to have Cheetos, animal crackers, and a diet Mountain Dew for dinner.
  • I taught an online course called “Families, Alzheimer’s, and Related Dementias.” Thanks to all of you who sent me your personal stories to pass along to my college students. They were impactful…especially those from people living with dementia. I cannot thank you enough.
  • I did a half marathon and I’ll be doing another one in a couple of weeks.
  • I had this weird idea I was going to do a bench press competition. I hurt my shoulder and had to do six weeks of physical therapy.
  • I organized a trip to Missouri to go on a float trip with some friends. I didn’t think we’d have to make reservations for the float trip. I was wrong, and they were out of rafts. There was no float trip, and I felt like a giant loser. Then we went to the river and had a few beers. Like most things, it ended up being okay.

So that about sums it up…I hope you have had a nice summer full of whatever you think is enjoyable!

Talk soon!

 

7 thoughts on “Checking In from Dementialand

  1. It’s great to hear from you! I hope classes get off to a great start. I’ve missed your blog posts, so I’m glad you checked in. Yes, you are sensitive and funny, so whoever said you weren’t is just having a bad day.

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  2. So glad you’re back, Elaine! Sounds like a great summer mix of work and play. Sorry about the shoulder. Looking forward to future posts!

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  3. I like that you can be flexible and not be too terribly upset when your plans don’t go as hoped. i.e., you wound up going to the river and enjoying yourself, even though you couldn’t do the raft thing. Go with the flow… easier and oftentimes better.

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