Putting One Foot In Front of the Other is author Nancy Carlson’s candid blog post about coping with her husband’s diagnosis of frontotemporal degeneration (FTD). FTD is a form of early-onset dementia that affects the executive decision-making part of the brain. Problem solving, personality and common sense are all affected, along with memory, language comprehension and hearing.
Nancy Carlson is a Minnesota author of over 60 beloved children’s books. Her husband Barry McCool handled the business side of her book writing. She thought they were doing well financially, and it wasn’t until after his diagnosis at age 61 that she learned the hard truth: Barry’s FTD had devastated their finances.
“Because of FTD, our financial situation collapsed”
Nancy began her blog in June 2013, a few months after Barry’s diagnosis. She wrote, “Because of FTD, our financial situation collapsed. Barry had been making bad decisions for years, but I never questioned or checked on things. I was busy doing my work. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Does anyone have a time machine so I could change a few things?”
She goes on in detail about the financial impact, yet she manages to keep her balance as a caregiver. She concludes, “you know what? I still love life and wonder what’s next. Maybe it will be something really awesome. Maybe I’ll find a time machine. I really don’t want to miss anything quite yet! I want to get out of debt. And when I do, I am getting a tattoo that says — I DID IT!!”
In a 2014 interview in the Minneapolis Star Tribune Nancy commented, “I want to talk about this so people can catch it before their loved one destroys their life…If I had only known, I could have stepped in so much sooner and could have saved us this awfulness.”
Fast forward to August 2016. Barry was in a nursing home and nearing the end of his life, and Nancy wrote a blog post called Being Happy. “I can’t get over some of the twists and turns that have occurred along this journey with my husband Barry and his FTD. I am no longer surprised when “serendipity” suddenly appears out of the blue. I remember a few weeks ago when Barry’s nurse told me .. he is not quite finished here on earth. The nurse added that I also am not done learning from Barry and this journey…I still don’t love the place, but I am kind of proud that I am surviving this journey.”
Do you need help or just need to talk about FTD or other concerns relating to memory loss? Contact Deb Nygaard for a free consultation. She can answer questions, connect you with senior care resources, or provide more information about Arthur’s Residential Care.