I’m a seventy six year old male (as of 2020), extensively although not thoroughly nor completely nor sufficiently educated, intelligent as measured by some tests, successful in my career until I left it for more promising opportunities (when I missed a promotion which I discuss in the Work chapter), currently married (third time’s a charm), with no children. I was educated at the Speed Scientific School of the University of Louisville as a civil engineer, was a corporate construction executive in Silicon Valley in the early formative years, and currently live near Santa Fe, New Mexico, having moved here from a life mostly on the west coast.
My childhood was spent in Kentucky with some significant experience along the Gulf Coast, and I was raised in modest circumstances (which I now consider to be an understatement). I have traveled and lived in Europe, was a naval officer during the Vietnam war, have been on all sides of the increasingly high political fence, and have some very useful and quite informative (actually, “life-changing” is the accurate term) experience in the seventies and eighties in alternative healing and spiritual and transformational therapies and programs on the west coast. More introductory information for those curious about this can be found in this excellent TED talk by Rick Doblin that can be found here:
I am on my third and last marriage to the most challenging and interesting woman with whom I’ve had a relationship, and we fought for many years until I realized she had useful things to offer me: A different way of being. She has native American and Irish roots (a quite unusual and challenging combination) and is wise in ways far beyond - and outside of - my education and life experience.
I am taking Aracept, Namenda, and Sertraline, among others, plus a variety of over the counter herbal remedies, and I am - by any metric - in the best physical shape of my life. I feel great, and I am peaceful and contented for the first time in my life. I am happy to be alive. I also increasingly forget data, information, and what I was going to do next.
My physical condition has contributed very much to the place in life where I find myself. By that I mean that in the last almost three years since I came to Santa Fe, I am taking care of my body in a much more positive and conscious way than when I lived in Oregon. My weight has decreased over a period of years by over 60 pounds to 158 pounds (30% decrease) and my Body Mass Index (BMI) has decreased to 23.2 (27%). These are the best of my life after about age 10. My daily energetic walks in the surrounding countryside and increased consciousness about my nutritional intake have made that possible.
It so happens that this is exactly what I should be doing to stave off the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia as I grow older. All the research I have read, and all the conversations I have had with my doctors, fully supports this conclusion.
What is interesting to me is that this is exactly what I should have been doing had I not been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. So it’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned.