Sundowning and Self Reflection

The thing about dementia is it is not just a “loss of memory” as most people think. It’s a loss of mannerisms, right and wrong, love, security, favorites, etc.  On a good day I can make my grandfather his favorite food and he is in heaven. On a bad day he will spit it out and say it’s horrible. On a good day he spoils his great granddaughters and they hug and tell jokes.  On a bad day he’ll scream, “Don’t touch that – get the f*$k away from me.” On a good day he tells me how thankful he is to have me and live with me.  On a bad day it’s a slew of jabs and he cannot remember who I am.

I cannot tell you how difficult it is to care for someone you love.  To constantly remind yourself and others that the bad days and moments “are the disease, not the person”. For me personally, the hard part is not letting the jabs take a permanent effect on my self esteem. A month or so ago he was particularly in a mood and nothing I was doing was right to him. As I got him into bed that night he said, “No wonder you don’t have a husband now. No one in their right mind would want to be stuck with you.”  Or yesterday I brought him his evening pills and he said, “When did you become such a fat ass? Your belly is as big as your tits now.” I can’t explain to you how those things hurt and how many times that has floated back up in my mind.  It’s like my self-doubts are being made concrete by being verbalized by someone I adore.  I KNOW that’s not him in those moments, but the heart doesn’t always go along with the minds rationality.

In his defense, I have put on 35 lbs since I started taking care of him.  I just don’t have time to work out anymore (nor the emotional and mental energy).  I’m tethered to my grandfather now since he cannot be left alone and the emotional and mental energy that takes is absurd.  Not to mention, I’m a stress eater and life just isn’t very tranquil lately.  This may sound laughable, but I now believe there is a correlation to stress and retaining weight as well.  I feel like I’m in this constant fight or flight momentum and my metabolism has shut down completely to prepare for whatever “stores” are needed ahead.  I have done zero research on this – just a feeling.

Also, for those of you that care or deal with the elderly I wanted to let you know of a term I learned this month – “sundowning”.  As the day progresses my grandfather gets more confused, anxious and even aggressive. I personally thought it was me just getting worn down as the day advanced, but when I talked to the nurse about it – it’s actually a thing!  This simple little term explained a lot of stress in my life.  I’m not sure why it makes it less painful now that it has a name, but it does. I think this is very similar to how I felt with my ex.  Once I had discussed with a counselor they gave me a term to contemplate – narcissist. I’d heard it before, but had never really read in any depth on the subject.  She explained I couldn’t rationalize his actions – he was a narcissist. She recommended a book, “Healing from a Narcissistic Relationship“. Having that label and knowing others could relate to that label just made it seem less complicated to understand (the book helped as well).  Maybe I should write a book on Healing from Dementia…well, as soon as I figure that one out anyway! 🙂

We Remember

On a positive, my littles are thriving despite the struggles.  They brought home straight A’s – for both my older girls! Children are so resilient. I took them from their hometown, friends, clubs, school and re-inserted them in Florida. They didn’t just survive it…they’re thriving and doing BETTER than we  were in Texas.  Maybe through out all of this I’m getting some lesson through to them. Just maybe.

If you have any dementia advice let me know! I’m all ears on this subject.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hollar!

As a single working mom, I truly love Amazon. However, with Prime membership going up and their customer service lagging (it’s an enormous company now) I have a new love affair going with Hollar.com.  It is an American-based retailer that offers items that are constantly changing and have “dollar store” pricing. It emphasizes women’s items, health & beauty aids, school supplies, toys, kitchen items, cell phone accessories and more.

Some reasons I love this company:

1. It’s all $5 or less

All items are only $1, $2, $3, $4, or $5! However, you must have at least $10.00 worth of items in your cart in order to check out.  I just bought a cell phone case for $4, Screen protector for $2, Charger for $1, shopkins for $3 (my daughter is obsessed), and Disney’s Inside Out for $5.

hollar shopkins

2. Name brand items

Hollar.com has name-brand merchandise from party supplies and toys from kids’ favorite characters such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shopkins, Minecraft, and Melissa & Doug; makeup from drugstore brands like Revlon, Maybelline, Almay; plus food, grocery, and cleaning supplies from well-known consumer brands, among other things.

3. Free Shipping on over $25

Hollar offers first time customers  free shipping on their first order, and provides complimentary shipping on all subsequent orders $25 or more.

4. AMAZING Customer Service

I reached out today because they sent me a new customer coupon that was good for 24 hours for 30% off.  However, when I checked out it said my coupon was invalid.  I forwarded the original email they sent me with my order number asking why the coupon was invalid and they responded in under 2 hours and refunded me the 30% off from my order. All I can say is “Wow”!

If you haven’t checked this site out I highly recommend it!

What items have you picked up at Hollar.com?

How to Pay Less for Rx

I have to be honest, I never really thought about price checking prescriptions.  If my daughters get sick I either send it to pharmacy near my work or near my home out of convenience.  In my naive mind I just assumed all prescriptions would more or less cost the same across the board. Yeah, I was wrong.  I did a search on a couple of prescriptions I’ve filled in the last year on rxpricequotes.com and found there was always a price difference ranging from a mere $2 to a whopping $50 difference just on the prescriptions I’ve used this year!  And we’re a fairly healthy family.  Exact same dosage – exact same prescription – completely different prices.  Here’s an example for Ibuprofen 800 near my job:

rx compare

This tool will even show you the generic costs on name brands (Alternate drug category is the generic version):

rx compare2

Since Sam’s Club always came out cheaper on the four I searched I wondered, “What about non-members?”   Surprisingly, I found out that you don’t need a membership to use Sam’s Club pharmacy.  You can show your prescription to the checker at the entrance (or just tell them you’re going to the pharmacy) and you’re in. Note: Without a Sam’s Club membership, you can only use the pharmacy – no other purchases allowed.

In addition, if you are a Sam’s Plus™ Member and live in certain states you can receive five select prescriptions for free, for more details go here.

  • Donepezil: 30-day supply for Alzheimer’s Disease (generic Aricept 2 strengths)
  • Escitalopram: 30-day supply for Mental Health (generic Lexapro 3 strengths)
  • Pioglitazone: 30-day supply for Diabetes (generic Actos 3 strengths)
  • Vitamin D 50,000 IU: 4 caps for Bone Density
  • Finasteride: 30-day supply for Men’s Health (generic Proscar 1 strength)

My father also reminded me to ask my doctor about pill splitting for any longer term prescriptions. What is this “pill splitting”? Sometimes you can buy a double dosage pill that can be sliced in half. For example, instead of 60 days of a 50mg pill you buy a 30 day supply of a 100mg pill and split it in half.  Voila! You have 60 days worth of 50mg. This can potentially save you a lot of money. Of course, some pills aren’t suitable for splitting such as time-release or coated capsules. Oh the logic of it all!  Why didn’t I think of this??

Also, I found this site that has coupons and rebates for different medications (both prescription and OTC’s such as Aleve and Allegra).  I always go here if I or the kids need any OTC medications just for the coupons.

Hope this enlightens you as much as it did me!

 

 

How to Get Paid to Lose Weight!

If you’re not feeling very motivated to lose those extra pounds,  here’s a nice little incentive that might help change your mind: cold hard cash.  I don’t know about you, but the frugalista in me is definitely motivated by that.

There are two sites I have personally used and love: DietBet and HealthyWage.  I used DietBet monthly to lose the baby weight after Cici and I’m at it again to lose it again from Baby J.  I’ve just completed my first round and am happy to say, I WON!

DietBet

When you sign up at DietBet, you can create your own game or join one that’s already in progress. I personally always join one, but that’s just my preference. Also, DB offers two different types of games: lose 4% of your body weight in four weeks or The Transformer for losing 10% of your body weight in six months.  Note that you can do these consecutively as well.

So how does it work you say?  You pick a game  that suits your budget (bets can range from $10-$500) and put in your deposit and weigh-in.  In 30 days (or 6 months if playing the 10% Transformer) everyone submits their final weight and the winners split the pot evenly. Payouts are made via Paypal a few days after verification. For example, the last time I won I had deposited $25 and received back $48.33 (my $25 deposit and $23.33 in winnings from the pot).  I chose to reinvest it into another DietBet game until I reached my goal weight, but you can cash out if you’d like as well.

I’m currently signed up for Shape Up for Summer with Heidi & Chris Powell with a $30 deposit, $151,980 in the pot, and 5,066 players as of May17. Wish me luck!

HealthyWage

Healthy Wage is for more significant weight loss. You can set it for 10-150 lbs to lose, over 6-18 months, for anywhere from $20-$500 bet per month.  It has a handy online calculator which allows you to determine roughly what your payout will be.  In most cases, the prize won’t be less than $100.

Healthywage

If you want to do a Healthy Wage team challenge, you will have to put up the entry fee which is currently $25 per month for up to three months. The team challenges advertise much larger payouts — up to $10,000. However, this top dollar prize is if your team is the most successful and has a higher percentage of weight lost than any other teams participating.

These programs and their apps work for me because I’m motivated in three ways:
1. I want to lose weight and be healthy
2. I do not want to lose my deposit
3. I love to get paid

Have you tried either of these?  What incentives do you need/use to get in shape?

For more information, you can check out this excerpt from Good Morning America: