I received some sobering advice from my neurologist at my latest Alzheimer’s appointment. We were discussing all the things I am focused on including:
- Writing this blog
- Becoming an advocate for Alzheimer’s
- Administering my Saving Pets One Pet @ A Time on Facebook
- Enjoying time with family and friends
- My daily brain health checklist which
- Attending concerts
- Putting my end of life plans in order
- Completing my bucket list
My doctor was fascinated with how busy I am. She then floored me when she said “Kelly, I admire you for your tenacity, but at this point in your life with Alzheimer’s, you only have a finite time of quality cognitive time left. My recommendation is that you only spend it on things that bring you joy”.
Boom, punch in the gut. She took the wind out of my sail. She was right. Am I focusing on things I enjoy or things I feel obligated to do? If I only have a certain number of days left how do I want to spend them?
It would be foolish of me to not put my end of life plans in place or to exercise and try to maintain my brain health (see my brain health checklist). Those are musts. She has a really good point though about me reevaluating my priorities.
I need to improve on saying no and doing things out of obligation. I never want to disappoint anyone. I am also the person who organizes everything. I am good at it and people have come to expect me to do it. Quite frankly at this point in my life it is getting more difficult and exhausting. I need to learn to say no and not worry about disappointing someone.
My focus going forward is to ask myself when I am contemplating doing something whether or not I really want to do it because I enjoy it or because I am doing out of obligation. I only have so much time left. We all do.
Not today, Alzheimer’s, not today.