Friday, December 28, 2018

Books coming soon!

This blog is being published into two books!

The first is scheduled to be released on March 21, 2019.  Mark your calendar!  Find out what I have added and removed from the original blog of our journey around the North Western United States of America.

with George

Diagnosis to Discovery in 10,000 Miles

By Susan Straley

What would you do if you learned that your spouse or partner has progressive dementia, possibly Alzheimer’s disease? 

This is the brutally honest journal of one spouse and reluctant caregiver that “ran for the hills.” Of course she took her husband George along. 

What challenges did Susan encounter?  Can she enjoy the present — a journey across the U.S.A. -  while worrying about the future?  How do she and George deal with his increasing dementia symptoms? 

And the biggest question of all, after 40 years together, can they remain married and loving through it all?  Travel along with George and Susan.  You will learn, you will laugh and maybe shed a tear as you too go Alzheimer’s Trippin’ with George.

 I am now in the process of getting a cover designed.  So many choices!  Who knew!

Below are some of the choices so far for the first book about our trip around the USA.  Please let me know which you like best if you didn't know me, which one would grab your attention at the book store.




The second book is scheduled to be released in early June, 2019.

with George

The Journey Continues

Dementia Caregiving with Friend, Family, and Community Support

By Susan Straley

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Months Pass

December 9, 2018

I am doing well.

I just wanted to let you readers know, I am continuing to do the things George and I did together.  Bike, yoga, visiting family, dining with friends...

I am also filling out applications for part-time work and spending many hours turning this blog into a book.

So you will start seeing pages disappear as I save and then remove posts from the beginning.

I am excited about the possibility of having others read our story and benefit from it.  I have decided to give a portion of each sale to the Alzheimer's Family organization that provides funds to caregivers for respite care or to Alzheimer's disease research.

You can look for the book in the next few months on Amazon Kindle.

Alzheimer's Trippin' With George


Alzheimer's Trippin' With George-The Journey Continues

I am hopeful that family and friends of those who are giving care will read the second book at least.  It is a testament, I think, to the difference a friend can make by showing they care in some way.  But not in offering a "you should" but in offering a hug or a, "You are amazing!" or an date and time to take their loved one to lunch or a time to sit with them so the caregiver can leave or rest.

Respite time is so important for both the caregiver and the one with dementia.  It allows the caregiver to maintain their mental and physical health so they can continue to be patient in their care of their loved one.

THANK YOU again to every one who reached out to express support, send a card, pay for a day of respite or provide a couple hours of time sitting with George.  May every caregiver be so loved and so lucky!

THANK YOU to all that have expressed condolences after George's death.  I am so grateful for friends and family that allowed me to stay with them for days either while traveling or in the early days of grief.

On January 1, 2019 sometime after 1:15 or 1:30, immediately following our bike group's annual potluck, we will be christening the tandem trike for the use of the members of our group.  And we will be honoring some memories of George by the re-telling of them.

Already the tandem (or halves of it) has been used by two members.  The tandem is really two trikes assembled together.  One of them has electric assist (the red half).

We will be calling the tandem "The George", George Red and George Yellow.  Right now the George Red is being used by a rider with COPD.  The George Yellow is waiting in my garage for the next rider to find themselves temporarily or permanently disabled.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Sleep, the game changer

I have an alarm on the bedroom door where George sleeps.  I have wondered if it was loud enough to wake me while I am sleeping at the other end of the house.  This morning I found out.

The alarm sounded.  I got up and I left the den where I had been sleeping wonderfully.  I glanced at the digital clock above the kitchen stove.  It is 4 a.m.

George is standing outside the bedroom in his pull-ups. 

"George, it is the middle of the night." I say knowing at I say it that I am wasting my breath.

George echos, "Middle of the night."

I walk past him into the bedroom knowing that he will follow me.  The room smells of urine and I know his bed is wet.

He stands in front of the toilet trying to go pee.  He is all peed out.  He usually is by the time he gets to the toilet.  I get a rag soapy and wash and rinse him down as he stands there.

"It's 4 in the morning, George," I tell him.  "You have to go back to bed."

But I can tell by his wide eyed look that isn't going to happen. 

As I am taking the wet things off the bed he is putting on his pants and shoes and socks.  He goes into the kitchen and fixes his bowl of cereal and eats while I dump the wet things into the washing machine and re-make the bed.

I feel the resentment and frustration,  I stuff it.  I resign myself to being up for the rest of the day.  I have never been one to nap during the day, I can't fall asleep during the day unless I am sick. 

It is dark out when George is ready to go for his walk.  I have him watch a movie while I drink coffee and read the paper. 

At six I grab a flashlight and we go for a walk.  I see the neighborhood dog owners walking their dogs and scooping up pooh.  I think that what I am doing is similar.  Taking George for a walk to get the contents of his intestines moving.

A fellow Diva had started a Facebook messenger group for us just yesterday.  So I go to my phone and report my early rising and resentment.  In minutes I get supportive comments. 

I remember that this morning we have yoga with friends and then we get to meet with our Dementia family over coffee.

Feeling fortunate to have so much support around us!

Visiting and Riding In Madison, WI

Saturday, July 11, 2020 Greetings from Madison, Wisconsin.    I am still thrilled.   This morning when I checked Facebook there wa...