Debt, Dieting & Dementia


Lately, the words that rattle around my brain are the three D’s: Debt, Dieting, and Dementia.

It is tax time, and I have been gathering receipts, collating data, organizing, and paper clipping to get ready for inputting financial data from 2015. As I wade through the calendar and checkbook to record doctor’s visits and the events of the year, I am reminded that some were good. Some were not so good.

My mind is in a swirl. The refund isn’t going to be as nice as the last few years since the SSDI income is taxable and Federal taxes weren’t withheld from our settlement in March. I don’t know why I am surprised that the government takes taxes out of the disabled. It’s just that I had hoped that we would be able to put a pellet insert into the fireplace and to pay down some debt. Data input isn’t complete but it isn’t looking promising so I am in mourning.

I do my best thinking in the shower, and it occurred to me that solving the debt problem is much like dieting. I have been actively trying to peel off some unwanted pounds since school started and it has been slow and painful. I have had to deny myself of some pretty sweet deals (like that?) but it is finally starting to show. It occurred to me that in order to get past this debt load,  it is going to have to take some more time.


This week we met with the Neurologist. We got the same information that we received from the Dementia Specialist. It looks like FTD. It is progressing like CTE. It is all a guessing game that has the same terrible ending. Nothing is going to change it. The only variable is how fast it will progress and nobody knows the answer to that question.

The dementia takes all my decision making to the next level. Will he be able to lug wood and monitor the fireplace safely next year? What is the time table? I want to know, yet I don’t want to know. If I knew for sure that the Dementia was going to move slowly, I’d wait another year. But what if it doesn’t and what does that mean for next winter?

Next year it looks like we will have help through the winter. My son is being transferred to Bahrain for a year, and my daughter-in-law and our grandchildren are planning to stay with us. I’ll have help daily and anther set of eyes. Our youngest lives 10 minutes away and checks in often and we have family 4 miles from the house. This puts my mind at ease a little since it will allow me to go to work each day without worrying.

Debt, Dieting, and Dementia. The 3 D’s that swirl around my head. Little voices tell me to, “get the debt load down while you can before you are alone and living on one income. Get those last 23 pounds off so that you can be healthy and strong for your husband’s eventual decline and the challenge of your life”. I know what to expect, nothing is going to change it, so I need to get ready.

I have control over my diet, a little control over my debt, and no control over the dementia. Of the 3D’s, I’d pick debt and be enormous any day.


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