Alzheimer’s & Me

I never realised just how much I take my seemingly sane mind for granted until recently. I’ve jumped right into what I wanted to say, without much of an introduction and little grace and transience, I know. But I’m going to let it be. I’m not going to backspace all that I’ve written so far because this is exactly what I want to show you all. How my mind works. How my thoughts roll along, one after the other. Fluid yet messy. Mostly inter-linked and legible.

I’m at my grandparents’ house. My grandmother, sister and mother have stepped out to visit a relative. I’m at home studying for my last set of exams, along with my grandfather. Today, my grandfather, an alzheimer’s patient, asked me where Radha aunty was. Radha is my grandmother’s name. He’d mistaken me for a niece. I have to say, I was a little shocked. I know he’s had this disease for a few years now and his memory isn’t very good; he calls my mum, aunt, sister and I, “molu“, a Malayali term of endearment for a young girl. He always has. And so far, I had taken it to mean that he had an inkling as to who we were; maybe he couldn’t remember our names or our birthdays, but he knew who we were to him. Now I realise that he doesn’t, really.

He always says he knows who we are though.

My family has had a few scares now and then when my grandfather has wandered off, but we have been lucky enough to have had some kind stranger stop him on his tracks to ask him if he’s alright, and on learning that he’s lost or confused, taken him into their house and called the police. Two incidents alike these were more than one could ask for.

Even with all this, the scariest thing about it all is what’s going on inside his head.

Your mind is your most valuable possession. Do what you can to take the best care of it.

  • Treat yourself to apples, berries and coffee. They boost circulation in your brain, stimulating neurotransmitters and blocking Alzheimer’s brain toxins. Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa is good for lowering blood pressure and inhibiting stroke damage. It goes without saying (and yet I will) that maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is the very LEAST that one can do to stave off health problems.
  • It’s important to stay mentally active. Of course, a lot of people know this but don’t really understand what this means. It’s simple really. It means hanging out with friends, reconnecting with the family, playing sports, reading – things that most people do everyday, and yet never realise how important it is to continue doing it. If you’re the more adventurous type, do things like learning a new language, volunteering, playing a musical instrument or even video games. Use your actions to prevent Alzheimer’s as an excuse to try out and experience new things.
  • Exercise. It reduces stress, increases your energy, and boosts your mood. Not only will exercising lead to a healthy mind, but you may even end up with a beach bod that is the pinnacle of envy.
  • Get routine medical check ups. Blood pressure needs to be monitored and controlled regularly.
  • Sleep well. Have a regular sleep schedule and try to stick to it. Napping is good but be smart about it. If insomnia is a problem for you, don’t nap – it’ll only make it worse. A relaxing bedtime ritual, such as doing some light stretches, taking a hot bath or writing in your diary before bed, is good for the brain too.

I’ll end this list with the obvious, which doesn’t just apply to Alzheimer’s prevention: drink alcohol in moderation and stop smoking.

A simple change in lifestyle can reduce one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia. Do your best to reduce this risk.

img_6134

He still calls us ‘molu’.

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Find Ruth

In this context, Ruth means self reproach; letting one’s conscience blame oneself.

For all those times that you are stuck in a dilemma and you don’t know what to do.
For my favourite one.

Love is beautiful.

Love is kind.

Love is what makes

this world unkind.

An eye for an eye,

a tooth for a tooth,

makes this world so

blind and uncouth.

‘Tis a circle you see.

Love opens your eyes.

‘Tis beauty you observe,

not blackness nor lies.

Unseeing to reality,

unheeding to truth.

Do I save you,

or let you find Ruth?

Let you find it.

Let you wallow,

So you know better

as the years follow;

That it was not you

who was to blame.

Your heart was given,

in love’s name.

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That’s so middle-of-the-road

Some people say I’m a bit of a hipster, i.e. I exude a few qualities that are normally seen in a hipster. This comparison is something I do not enjoy.

definition-of-a-hipster

You won’t catch me in a woollen slouchy hat-thing in the middle of summer. You wouldn’t ever see me using one of those horrendous typewriter attachments that you can get for your iPad; although this may partly be because I don’t own an iPad. And you would NEVER EVER find a tattoo of a star on me.

However (biting the bullet here), you would definitely see me lose interest in things that are popular slash ‘in’. Or, and I shudder when I say this, things that are too mainstream. Whimper.

What I mean is, I absolutely hate it when I see scores of people wearing the same trendy jeans, following the same trendy fashion, reading the same trendy book. Saying ‘trendy’ makes me feel old. Anyway, most of the time I will go out of my way to make sure that I don’t follow that trend/act/whatever. For example, everyone’s wearing acid-wash jeans these days. They look amazing. What do I do? I wear my standard black hoodie and worst pair of shapeless mom-jeans out. In London. Talk about social suicide.

Then there was the dip-dye hype. I can’t tell you how much I liked it when it first burst into the scene. I was seriously considering doing it to my hair. What changed my mind? One tiny step out of my house. I stepped out and saw that every single woman around me had fadey-outy hair. My brain almost immediately ordered me to stick to my blacky-brown mane; maybe try out something like dyeing my whole head pink or purple. Brain, why u do dis?!

Of course, there are some times when I love the respective trend so much that I will myself, with herculean might, to follow/get it. And, being the overly definitive person that I am, I hate myself for it. Case to consider: shiney high-waisted disco pants. Oh my. These look fantastic. I couldn’t help it. It was like they were screaming out my name whilst I was in River Island.

It’s annoying because I’m not a hipster in the old-fashioned sense of the word. I like a lot of trends that are out there. What I despise is the gross popularity of it all, in that I don’t like being one tiny fish that’s part of a huge shoal of other identical-looking fish. At the same time, I don’t hate people that do follow them. Which is VERY un-hipster of me, I say quite gleefully. So, friends, feel free to strut around in those gorgeous acid-wash jeans that I secretly want. I will, however, buy a typewriter solely to throw at you if you bear a star tattoo.

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Harder, Better, Stronger

Hello All!

Sorry about the lack of new posts. I’ve been a little busy with a whole bunch of stuff. I have a lot of random things in mind like all my other posts, but let’s just set those aside for the time being. I’d like to talk about a change in lifestyle.

How it began

I may not have mentioned this in my blogposts before but I did on my facebook profile –

I, for the first time in my life, purchased gym membership!
Jawdrop.
If you ask any of the people I grew up with, or who know me very well, you’ll find out that I used to avoid the gym like the plague. The only time I went to the gym, even slightly “seriously”, was in the summer of ’11. And that was because I’d put on a ridiculous amount of weight, because of a mostly sedentary university lifestyle. Especially at the end of the university year, which was spent mostly cramming my face with revision snacks under the pretense of studying. And so, when I went home to Dubai in the summer, for fear of relatives exclaiming about my weight (Indians. Sigh. Why are we like this?), I took to going to the gym everyday, running on the treadmill for around 30-35 minutes,alternating between 1 minute jogging and 30 seconds of sprinting. It was pretty good, in the sense that it did bring about quite rapid weightloss. Short term. For me anyway. There was no way I was going to keep it up whilst at university.

What next?

Summer ended, I went back to uni. This time, though, I decided that enough was enough. No longer can I avoid the gym. So I marched my unshapely, large hiney into the university gym, filled in the membership form, gawked at the fee, gritted my teeth as I inserted my debit card into the card machine, cringed as the gym guys took £200 out of my account, and made up my mind that this was the only way I’d ever go to the gym.  There were other gyms outside of uni that were cheaper and whose membership included free extra classes (zumba, aerobics, etc) – probably all better deals. But the university gym was nearest to where I live, and there was always the option of going directly after lectures. Also, I hated that it was £200 for 12 months, of which I’d probably not be around for 4-5 months or so (what with flying back to Dubai for holidays and stuff), but I figured that annoyance would drive (well, force) me to attend the gym. Yes, I know I used the word “attend”, like it’s some kind of seminar or lecture.. but that’s exactly how I felt about going to the gym. It was a chore.

Inspiration

Sadly, that didn’t happen for a long while even after I’d purchased membership. I just could not be bothered to haul my ass out of my house and into an enclosed area surrounded by active, fit people. It just wasn’t going to happen. The treadmill, for me, was only fun when I was in the gym at home in Dubai. It was almost always empty, and I’d put my ‘workout music’ on LOUD, maybe jig around, dance and stuff while ON the treadmill, singing and pretending like I had my own workout video. Yeah. That’s how I am. It was fun that way. 

I felt bad about wasting money, but clearly not bad enough.

The boyfriend is really into strength and conditioning. Always has been. And he has a pull-up bar in his house. I’m always in awe when he does pull-ups and I happened to mention to him that I wished I could do a pull-up. Just one. I would be over the moon if I could. He said, of course you can; it might take a little while to be able to do so, but he could show me how to go about it. He bought me the Kindle edition of this book:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Rules-Lifting-For-Women/dp/1583332944

Said maybe I should give this a read, and see what I think.

Weight lifting? But I’m a girl.

Say-what

Is what I thought when I looked at the book. I didn’t want to get huge or bulky, and look like this:

Image

Turns out you can’t. In order to look like that you need to gain muscle, which isn’t very easy. It requires a specific diet, and an insane amount of working out. Bear in mind that the women in those pictures are BODYBUILDERS. And anyway, they take steroids to alter their genetic makeup in order to look more masculine. No thanks.

These are women that do weightlifting as a form of exercise:

Image

(from http://www.t-nation.com/figureImages.jsp?p=0)

There were a LOT more photos of amazing looking women but I wasn’t too sure about putting up pictures of scantily clad women (if you thought these^ ones were bad, you should see the ones on the website. Whoo mama). I thought it would’ve been a tad distracting.

Of course, the woman in the second picture is really lean (i.e. has extremely low body fat on her), which is only possible with a rigorously strict diet and a LOT of commitment to training her body to look like that. They’re fitness models/athletes anyway, and they usually train really hard to look like that before a competition or photoshoot.

Other times, they look like the woman in the first picture, or this:

                  

Just to give you an idea.
Obviously you don’t go from looking like how you do, to that, after just one workout.

And so..

I began going to the gym, weightlifting! And I actually like it and think it’s really cool. As I’m getting physically stronger, I feel like as if I’m becoming mentally stronger too. I feel more confident, and more ABLE. The feeling when you hit a new personal best is amazing. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d lift weights! It’s really awesome.

I follow the program on the the book I mentioned above, but since I have quite naturally wide shoulders, I’ve substituted certain exercises that work on arms and shoulders, with other exercises.

At the moment, I’m training three times a week, and I alternate between two set workouts. The exercises include squats, deadlifts, push-ups, assisted pull-ups (on a machine, of course. I can’t do one on my own… yet), step-ups, lunges, planks, glute bridges and prone jackknife. This coming saturday, I will be attempting to do 70 kg in deadlifts for 8 reps! EXCITED! But nervous too!

 

Wish me luck 🙂

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Lo and Behold

Here it is;

FINALLY:

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/a3c4b73bf1/grenade

Brought to you by these geniuses (‘genii’ hehe ok no):

Enjoy.

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BLOG RESURRECTION

Oh hey guys, remember me? Yeah, I know, I suck.

I’m sorry for being such a disgrace of a blogger.

Don’t get me wrong, I have tons of topics I want to talk about, but I am SUCH a lazy firetruck (ignore 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th letters). I promise I will make it up to you, small bunch of people who are reading this. Actually you know, I’m not too sure how many people really read my blog, but anyway, THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO DOES. Kisses to you all. Not really. A handshake… maybe.

Just so everyone has something to look forward to, I will be putting up a video soon (YAY) which (hopefully) will be hilarious. Unfortunately, it’s not just gonna star me, so if it takes more than a week from now to complete and upload, blame it on my co-star, this lame weirdo that likes to cross-dress. Jokes, you know I love you (not really). Jokes. Not. Jokes. Not. Jokes. Not. Okay, I’m being very annoying, sorry. (To my quick-quotes quill) Let’s just end now shall we? Stop. I mean, stop. Stop! Stop writing! End! Mush! GAHHOEWFKEWOWECD

Stupid Flourish & Blotts’ crap.

Toodles.

P.s. If you are not a Harry Potter fan (or, do not appreciate being transported to another realm through the wonder of these magical books, OR, in other terms, are a git), ignore the 3 lines before my sign-off.

“It was like someone had switched me off and then switched me on again.” Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

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Open me!

To everyone out there who has a Blackberry (or Purpleberry or Pinkberry etc to all you wisecracks),

Remember the time when we were new to msn and were obsessed with emailing each and every one of the measly eight people on our contacts list whatever crap we thought was super cool (or even total horsecrap for that matter)? Do you all remember why we did that? No? I do. It’s because we thought it was cool. Not the contents, but just the act of emailing. “Ooh wow! I have 700 billion emails from Josie Smith!” was what poor Josie thought people’s reactions would be to her emails. Wrong, Josie. Very. Very. Wrong. You just lost us a couple of hundred minutes, going through your crap. Thankyouverymuch.

I’m just saying it as it is. It’s never a heartfelt email or, well, poem, or whatever. It’s junk. Forwards and personality quizzes, “amazing and unphotoshopped” pictures and stupid jokes frequent our inboxes a little too often.

I’ve just realised that I’ve talked about this too much and completely gone off the topic. Basically, I wanted all you active BBM users to remember the annoying old days. I know for a fact that each and every one of you have had your share of an embarrassing pointless-email forwarding streak. And later realised how tiresome it is to be on the receiving end and stopped, for the sake of your dignity… and everyone else’s sanity. In fact, now, it’s even kind of fun reading those very truthful emails that diss forwards.

(If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read:

Just before the end of the year I wanted to thank you for the e-mails you have forwarded over the year.

I must send a big thank you to whoever sent me the one about rat shit in the glue on envelopes, because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, I now have to wipe the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it all to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

But that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft is sending me for participating in their special email programs. Or from the senior bank clerk in Nigeria who wants me to split seven million dollars with me for pretending to be a long lost relative of a customer who died intestate.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me.

I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward emails to seven friends and make a wish within five minutes.

I no longer drink Coca-Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer buy petrol without taking a friend along to watch the car so a serial killer won’t crawl in my back seat when I’m filling up.

I no longer go to shopping centres because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number and then I’ll get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore and Uzbekistan.

I can’t use anyone’s toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my bum.

I can’t even pick up the $5.00 I found dropped in the car park because it probably was placed there by a sex maniac who is waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

If you don’t send this email to at least 144,000 people in the next 70
minutes, a large dove with diarrhoea will sit on your head at 5:00pm this afternoon and fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump.

I know this because it actually happened to a friend of my next door
neighbour’s ex-mother-in-law’s second husband’s cousin’s beautician.

By the way….a South American scientist after a lengthy study has
discovered that people with low IQ who don’t have enough sex, always read their emails while holding the mouse.

Don’t bother taking it off now, it’s too late.) Teehee 😀

My point is, we stopped doing that. We stopped forwarding. We stopped asking people to “send if they had a heart”. We stopped all that years ago.

So why, oh why has bbm started it off again?


P.s. I just typed “chain letters” into Google and this website popped up: http://www.breakthechain.org/

*raises eyebrow* Wow they’re REALLY serious about “spreading the awareness”..

It makes me laugh (:

“The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is knowing when to cringe.” Oscar Wilde

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