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Why do I have so much trouble making decisions?
Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2016 9:00 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4036


I once made multimillion dollar decisions without a second thought. Today I cannot make a simple decision on a purchase that I have been wanting for years. I become afraid and my anxiety kicks in for some reason. I just have so much difficulty trying to understand why one would become this way. I have the best deal of my life on the purchase and I am so afraid to commit. I am so afraid of the unknown. I guess I should have known that because I have trouble ordering from a menu to order food which is hard.

 


BillBRNC
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2016 9:17 AM
Joined: 12/2/2015
Posts: 1018


Michael, I'm sorry to hear about your problems. The ones I have seem less significant than what you are describing. I have trouble making decisions, but many normal ones I can make ok. My problem is messing up what I'm ordering from Amazon or somewhere. Like getting 5 items instead of just one. I've become good at returning things. My biggest issue is planning anything at all. I just ask my wife to do it all, don't tell me about it until a couple days ahead of time and then again on the same day. I get somewhat disturbed when she tries to talk to me about planning something that is a couple weeks off or longer. My brain just can't seem to function at that level anymore. Good luck. Bill.

 


Iris L.
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2016 11:31 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17580


Michael, I used to have great difficulty with making the simplest of decisions. Now, after seven years of Exelon patch and Namenda, I don't have a problem with simple decisions.  Even big decisions, I am doing better at making.  


Often, I will make a list of the pros and cons for each decision, and then try to come up with a decision that way.  When  I have trouble, I believe it is because in my mind, I have forgotten the pros and the cons, so I don't have enough data to make the decision.


You are now trying to make a decision for something you say you have wanted for years, and you are having great anxiety about it.  Have you made a list of pros and cons?  What would be the consequences if you made the purchase, versus if you did not make the purchase? 


Seeking wise counsel from a trusted person is also a help in making a decision.  Often, I have found that input from a knowledgeable person can push me over the edge on coming to a conclusion, and making a decision.


Is it possible for you to work on the anxiety separate from making the decision?  Ilee posted a great thread about stress relief.  Personally, I have had great relief from severe anxiety by deep breathing. It sounds simple, but it works for me.  And I have had great anxiety.


I don't know if you are spiritual, Michael.  Another help I use in making decisions is to pray about it.   My mother taught me this when I was young.  I have found that it helps a great deal.


I hope you will be able to make your decision with peace and satisfaction, Michael.


Iris L.


Unforgiven
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2016 1:34 PM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2660


If you'll forgive me for saying this, Michael, I think anxiety over big decisions is part of the human condition.  I experienced anxiety over whether or not to marry and then about having a child.  Those are big decusions that change the course of a person's life.  After years of financial insecurity, I also have a harx time spending large sums of money, even when the choice is obvious, like repairing our roof or replacing our car.  However, when something must be done, or it is something I have always wanted, I wait until the price is right and then go for it.  I just have to tell that little scared voice in my mind to shut the F up.

I say, if this is something you have always wanted, then give yourself that gift.  Do you think you're not worth it?  Dude, considering the dirty end of the stick life has given you, you are due some happiness.

I don't know what it is you would like, or what the potential downsides are.  Only you can ask yourself that.  I think you are second guessing yourself because it's something for you rather than your job.

I just want to add that I am so grateful to my younger self for ignoring the anxiety and going ahead with the marriage (not that it made much difference in anything but our tax situation.  We'd still be together) and the child, our wonderful son, who is a mensch and has given us two future mensches.  You made good decisions way back shen, so you should have some trust in yourself now.  Ask your wife, if this is something that might affact her negatively.  Other than that, do what will make you happy.


Iris L.
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2016 6:34 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17580


Michael, are you extra tired?  I find that after I exert myself, I can function physically, but I can't think--my decision making drops precipitously.  I really only make important decisions in the morning, after a good sleep.  Otherwise, nothing happens.

 

Also, I must avoid multitasking.  Multitasking causes my brain to function at a snail's pace.


Iris L.


a_step@a_time
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 4:46 AM
Joined: 11/21/2015
Posts: 237


WWelp that seems a definite issue for me, but has been for years.  It's generally more difficult when it is my own hard earned dollars I'm spending, or when it is for something that is not an easy return- should I not like it, or has on going costs.  My best to you!
Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 6:53 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4036


 I will let you in on what I am talking about.

 

http://www.regalboats.com/model/35sc-sportcoupe/

 

My wife did not want to say her opinion because she did not want me to blame her afterwards. She did say I should yesterday. I still  don’t feel comfortable. Its like I have no faith in myself that I will still like it. I easily get upset about issues. While it will have full warranties for 5 years that is not a issues. It is probably the beast boat deal one can get so that is not the issue. 


rosepoint
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 8:56 AM
Joined: 1/22/2014
Posts: 573


Hi Michael,  I hope it's OK for me to jump in here.  I'm a caregiver for my DH and not a PWD.  My husband also has a very difficult time making decisions.  It is very frustrating for him also. The hardest issue he has is ordering food in a restaurant so I try to only pick places that won't rush him because that makes him very anxious.

Sometimes he asks me for help and I give him only two options which works.  We've been together 25 years so I know what he prefers and he is usually happy with what he gets.  

As far as the boat I say go for it!  If you can afford it why not enjoy it even for a little while if you think you will not want it long term.  Is leasing a boat even an option?  If your wife is willing to agree then that's even better.  You can always sell it when you lose interest.  One of my friends just bought a boat for her retirement and they love it.

Iris you make some very good points (as usual) about being tired and multitasking.  My DH has SLE too and when he is fatigued everything is much harder for him so I now know to encourage him to get some rest so he can function better later on.


jfkoc
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 9:40 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20254


Do it. If it turns out to be a mistake so be it. I am assuming that it is the commitment part that is a worry. Care and enjoyment of a boat takes time and $$$ but my husband always said "everything in life is a tradoff". 

We named our sailboat Tradeoff and it certainly was.

ADDED: whoops, you did not ask for a vote, did you


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 11:20 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17580


Michael Ellenbogen wrote:

  I still  don’t feel comfortable. Its like I have no faith in myself that I will still like it. 

 

Michael, I think I have an idea what you are conflicted about.  Sometimes we dream so much about something that is a prize for us, but then when we get it, it doesn't seem that great anymore.  With our condition, we may not feel as strongly about what we used to like as much as before.  Also, you may be wondering how long you will be able to enjoy the boat.  


What I have learned about myself is that I don't care about as many things as before.  But what I care about, I still care about strongly.  For example, I love to travel. Later this month, I am going on a Mediterranean cruise.  Later this year, I will travel to China.  I have no pressing desire to go to these areas, but I just love to travel.  


I wonder if I should spend all that money when I don't remember much about the places I have been.  But while I am there, I do enjoy being there very much.  I'm going to enjoy myself traveling for as long as I can.  When I can't, I'll know that I did what I like for as long as I could.


 Another example in reverse. For a long time, I have wanted a Lincoln.  But now, I don't know if I want to go to the effort of maintaining a luxury car.  Perhaps I should get a car that is easier to maintain.


Boating is a lifestyle, not just a purchase.  If you have always wanted the boating lifestyle, and can afford it, I say, go for it.  Why have regrets in life?  I'll leave you with this quotation:


For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, 'It might have been'. 

by John Greenleaf Whittier

Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johngreenl385048.html 


Iris L.

 



Paul Hornback
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 11:38 AM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584


Michael, big decisions like major purchases are difficult. But if you think you'd enjoy the boat, if it would add joy to your life and not headaches, then by all means go for it if you can afford it.
Making decisions is extremely tough for me now days. All the reasons you've listed seem to echo in my life as well. I just try to live as simple a life as possible which makes things much easier. I've always wanted a boat but just didn't want the headaches and additional stress. Now that I'm dealing with EOAD, I have been very cautious about adding anything that would create stress. Of course, a boat might be something that would help alleviate stress as well.

God bless, Paul

 


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 12:15 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4036


Iris you hit it right on the money.  I did not do this years ago because I was afraid of my decline. Look at me know I may be just a bit worse. I have had 4 boats in the past and my larges was 32. It is true what they say. The happiest day of boating is when you buy it and sell it. Believe t or not but it takes a lot more to drive a boat then a car. Most boats would not be easy to drive. But this boat as what is called a joystick feature. It just like playing a game to maneuver it close quarters. Again my wife will know how to step in if need to . We had both been certified by the coast guard back in the 80’s when most did not do that. Today it is mandatory. I definitely would not pass the written test again and I am luck I had this already. I will take the course again now but unsure what I will remember much. I did get behind about a few weeks ago and I was also able to control it but I did have a slight panic for a little bit. But it was also completely new to me. I am afraid that I get this and will not be able to use the complicated electronics on it. The good news no matter what I break is fully cover for 5 years. I can even extend the warranty for an addition 2 if I should be lucky to be able to enjoy it that ling. I am thinking I have about two good years left and as you know I have my Africa trip coming up in Oct. That means I only will have about 2 months at the most this season. But they are also going to pay all of the fees to take care of winterization for this year which is not cheap. I also worry that in the house as I walk I lose my balance at times like I am drunk for a second or two. Sometimes I hit the door ways going in. I wonder if I will be less stable since the boat is always moving even when docked.

 

I would most lily give up most of my advocacy because I would spend more time on it. Its probably also a good time because many of the things I have fought so hard for are all starting to happen which is great. It will take years before people see them but they are happening. The only serious thing that I need to still work on is the right to die which is by far from completion. Then again I have become bored at home and not knowing on how to keep myself busy any more. It scares me that I may end up feeling the same there. If I had to sell it next year I may break even or loss up to 50,000 worst case. Boats are not cheap. 10,000 -12000 for upkeep a year. Cost to use a per hour for gas is 80.00. I felt happy on it. I am also fearful that if I no longer do my advocacy I may start to decline much faster because I will not keep my mind as engaged. I will be listening to a lot of music and relaxing.

    

All good points Paul as that are some of my fears.


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 12:33 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17580


Michael, I am concerned about your balance and coordination.  I have a suggestion. Hire a captain to pilot the boat when you go out.  There is no shame in that; I'm sure many people do that, especially for the modern, electronic boats.


I used to travel by myself, even overseas.  Now, I would not even attempt that.  I now travel in fully escorted groups.  Group travel is not as flexible, but easier and safer for me.  It's an adjustment, but we all have to adjust at some point, not just PWDs.  That's life.


Re: your advocacy.  Yes, I believe your mind will falter if you don't keep it engaged.  Find something else to do, if you don't want to do the advocacy any more.  


Had you thought about making contact with an Alzheimer's group in the country you will be visiting in Africa?  I don't even know if they have Alzheimer's Disease associations.  I think they would like to have a speaker of your caliber to address and encourage them.  It's just a thought, because I know you are going to Africa to vacation, not to work.


Iris L.


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 2:00 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4036


I will not have time when I am there. But I actually helped start the first Group in north Africa which is now growing. They are now official thru ADI. They had actually asked me to come and speak there but it was to costly to go plus a bit dangerous on that side of the world for Americans. My work was all over the world.  My wife will be the Captain. I need to say my prayers and I am not religious.  


jfkoc
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 3:28 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20254


Very pretty boat for one w/o canvas. What do you intend to do with it? Will your wife or someone always need to be with you? Will it be close? Do you think that 36 year old certification is still "fresh"? Balance? That is a bit frightening.

My husband and I both got our captain's License circa 1990...I would not go out w/o passing a new test.

If you are going to dock it down among the islands as shown I'm in. Keys or Bahamas...either is fine.


Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2016 3:43 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17580


I am religious and I will pray for you, Michael.


Are you going to live on your boat or take it out on day trips?  It looks like a nice party boat!


Iris L.


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 7:04 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4036


 It is so crazy last night I went to bed with the idea I was buying it and by this morning I am going crazy again thinking I should not. They are sending the final paper work to me this morning so I will need to say yes or no.

 

I don’t know how I will be using the boat until I use it a few times and feel if I am still comfortable behind it and able to control the vessel. If I do i would be willing to take it out with someone else onboard. I really need to insure I can handle it first. If not I will need to rely on my wife each time I go out. We will get a day training on the boat with the captain. I am prepared to pay more for my wife it she needs more. She did drive my last one but not that well in close quarters. Like I said it is much harder to drive a boat with two engines. We are luck it has the Joystick feature. I also replan to take the course just to rehear it. And yes once you are certified it is for life. I was once capable of doing things with about that must could not. I was very good at maneuvering it because I really used it much more than most.

 

I do plan on spending some time on there during the week and my wife would be there on weekends. It would be two hours away by the bay In Tuckerton NJ which is 2 hours away. The next season it would be 1 hour away at Delran NJ.  I guess I will know soon. My wife came home yesterday say I would probably blame her either way so I should just do it.

 

I just wonder if my old self would be willing to do this. I don’t think it would. This is where having this disease really gets on my nerves. Not knowing if its it causing this or it is the real me. Not even sure this make sense but cannot trust myself.   

 


llee08032
Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 7:29 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


Michael,

Good luck with your new boat? 

Decision making is an executive function which takes place in the frontal lobes of the brain. It's not your fault that you are having hard time reaching a decision about the boat. Don't beat yourself up about it. 

Could you be just as happy with a boat that cost less? Maybe shop around for another week and see how you feel then?


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 9:23 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4036


You folks helped more then you could imagine. It made me do a lot of thinking. It killed me to do this and I know I will regret it but I said no. After telling my wife of all the fears she thought it would be best to no get it. I should have done I two years ago when I was better but who knows how long we have with this dam disease. I guess I am one of the lucky ones to be so delayed. At the same time its a curse because of the things I once could do I am no longer capable of enjoying.  Thanks again for all of your help.

 

At least my negotiation skills still work I got the best deal one could have hoped for. They were selling it below the price of a 2012. I mean dealers cost what a loss. Anyone want a boat. Great deal. It was fully loaded


jfkoc
Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 10:02 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20254


The disappointment in your post is palpable...sigh

If you want to spend some time on a boat in the Bahamas I am certain I can get you lined up with someone out of Abaco. It is so very beautiful...all year long. You can go to Green Turtle key for lunch, sit on an isolated beach and look for shells or fish. 


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 12:12 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17580


I know this is a letdown for you, Michael.  But, since you were of two minds about it, you can turn this decision into a plus for you.


It looked to be very expensive.  Unless you have oodles of money, could you not be just as happy with a less expensive boat, like Ilee asked?  From what you say, you would not be spending a lot of time on the boat.  Since you live in NJ, the boating season will soon be over.


Did you once mention traveling around the US by RV?


Soon you will traveling to Africa.  How are you preparing for your trip?  I have been spending my time reading about where I am going, the food, the music, the history, the sights, etc, and watching Youtube videos.   


I also shopped for an entirely new wardrobe.  I know men are not as interested in wardrobe, and usually, I am not either.  But I bought some nautical themed outfits since I am going on a cruise.  I am a California woman, and casual in my wardrobe. But cruises are a bit more formal, so I got new clothes.


Iris L.


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 12:22 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4036


 It sounds like you use Celebrity for your cruising.

 


llee08032
Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 10:21 PM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


(((((Michael)))))) hugs...

I think you made the right decision.

Now Iris has me thinking about that RV! Perhaps I could rent one and travel across the states?


llee08032
Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 10:31 PM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408


I think it may be cheaper than hotel...


Luxury Class C Motorhome

 

 


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 11:17 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17580


I will be cruising on Crystal Symphony.

I know a senior woman who travels on her own with an RV caravan.  She is part of the Good Sam club.  There are up to 50 RVer's when she travels.  She loves it.


Iris L.


a_step@a_time
Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2016 1:51 AM
Joined: 11/21/2015
Posts: 237


BBeautiful boat Michael! But I'm guessing you made a good thought out decision.  Two hour drives can be tiring. (And stressful for me.)  I like the lease or short term rental idea put forward... A smaller more flexible commitment.  I'm thinking some new adventure opportunity will fall in your lap.  'Keep your eyes peeled!'
Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2016 8:00 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4036


I had drove from PA to the Keys a few years ago were I meet up with a very nice lady who owned a RV that she drove. We spent about two weeks traveling to different locations in FL. We had such a great time. Did I say she was also living with some form of dementia. I am amazed as she is still doing it today and she has moved to Hawaii. She took all of her half of her money and is spending it on living life to the fullest. She also did not plan on needing it at the end as she also planned a exit.  To me that is the nicer tradeoff of spending our money. I would love to travel from PA TO CA by car but I cannot find someone else willing to do it who also has the time and money. No plans just go where we want as we go along.

 

Before making a move like that insure your driving capabilities are still good. I think that RV is great. If you have any doubts I am more than happy to talk to you about it. Most people with AD are losing the self confidence because others beat them down about driving issues. Believe me as I was down that road 7 years ago.

 


BillBRNC
Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2016 9:04 AM
Joined: 12/2/2015
Posts: 1018


Michael, I know it is not the same thing, but you and your wife can always lease a boat for week or two a couple times a year at whatever location you want. You obviously know boats, so you know the cost and time associated with owning and operating a boat. I know I couldn't take on a boat in my situation. I just look for things that aren't a hassle or stressful that might enjoy doing, then do them. I stay away from things that seem like they might be a hassle or stressful. We are where we are with this disease, and I hate it, but that's the way it is for us Alzers.
Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2016 9:09 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4036


I never went on Crystal Symphony but it sounds nice. I also use to like going non the boast that your dress up. But its getting harder and hard because of the cost of needing to take a second suit case for each of us just for all of the formal nights. As I am getting older and slower I also don’t like rushing back and changing. I am happy with just a nice pair of paints. I love cruising. Did you ever do the full Panama Canal? That was one of my favorite cruises. The company I had had a lot to do with it.

 


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2016 10:56 AM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


Hi Michael,

It can be so hard (an agonizing) make decisions when you brain not working as it used work.  I go through this with the reno projects the house.  Right now we agonizing over exactly what style fence put in.  You'd think it would be easy, but far from it...there are 100s of choices...each good.  There are ones we like...an then there are ones we need...an ones that more match the style of the house.  Each style suggests a different planting an yard arrangement fit it.  It so complex it mind boggling. 

The best advice I have is give it some time.  Sometimes the real thing you wanted is no even on the list you agnozing over, but when you see it you will know it right for you...like, ah so, but of course it was always this all along. 

I agree with Bill, rent a boat.  Or buy one.  Or an RV, they are great also.  If I wasn't caring for my mom...I'd be getting me a tiny home, or a converted airstream trailor and making my way Hawaii.  Go plant my fruit trees and sit on beach eating mangos and enjoy my days. 

<3


Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2016 11:54 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17580


Michael, you're right, it's hard to pack for so many different dress occasions.  I have to pack a gown for the formal night, dresses for dinner and dancing, slacks for shore excursions, and swim wear.  I will be spending this week packing and repacking to see if I can get it all into my suitcase. 

 

No, I have not been through the Panama Canal.  I would like to, though.  I hope to do some cruising closer to home--the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and Alaska.


Sun, I like your idea of planting fruit trees and eating mangoes on the beach, but I would probably choose somewhere in the Caribbean.  


Iris L.


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Friday, August 5, 2016 5:28 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4036


It is funny how things are in life. Each morning I woke up I wanted a boat and when we got close to the deal I was scared to death and it would make me feel like I should not do this. I even talked my wife out of it as she gave me the approval. I just kept ping ponging back and forth and could not make the decision. I decided I should not do it because I was so uncomfortable. I already had the best deal ever but I kept adding and demanding other things trying to self sabotage the deal. I made it so crazy that I never thought they would ever do it. They came back and finally offered it all. This has to be the best deal I have every made in my life. If I did not have AD I would have never gotten to this point. They made it so sweet that I could not refuse. I will need to take a sea trail before full commitment. Now I was scared that I would be upset this morning and feeling like I did not want it. Instead I could not sleep and started working on what I need for my boat. I am really excited and all of those bad feelings went away. I kind of knew if I was forced into it I would be okay.  


jfkoc
Posted: Friday, August 5, 2016 9:26 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20254


Love a good deal....I have ended up with some things just because of the deal...lol

Now the relief is palpable...we want pictures!


alz+
Posted: Saturday, August 6, 2016 4:46 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608


Interesting.

Do you remember when I tried to re-live the 1970's and bought an RV 2 years ago? Then it had problems, don't remember all that went wrong but it had to go to a body shop and get transmission rebuilt! When we got it back  I could not ride in it without fear.

So we had to sell it. That fell to me and it was a nightmare of anxiety for a year! sold it for 25% what I paid for it. I read here about people who were living out in their RV while having ALZ and they were having fun.

The anxiety over decisions is just the pits.

I am glad you got the boat and also glad you are taking some fun time for yourself. You worked hard for all of us and you deserve it. Thanks for photo!

NOTE: unsteady can be a vision change. 

Just in case you should have Buyer's Remorse, cut it short. You have not made many bad financial moves in your life, you are entitled to a couple. Enjoy yourself while you can, it will extend your life and I love hearing about the stuff you do.


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Sunday, August 7, 2016 2:51 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


Congrats on the boat Michael....and you add more information this, YES...it no so much the decision that hard, but the transition...maybe.  Once the threshold of transition crossed, then it is like you are on the next thing as though it had never been an issue begin with. 

I chalk it up a growing feeling deep inside of just being unsure.  Because I can no longer see all sides of something at once...what can look like a good decision, the next day when I can see another aspect of it...now seems like the most stupid decision ever.  I think that not being able see all sides things makes me uneasy...and that causes something very similar to anxiety...but also not like any anxiety I have ever felt before. I hate it.  I suspect that you do as well. 

Hang in there...and enjoy the hell out of you test ride. 

<3

Iris, there had been a land give away on Viquese (sp) Island...part of Perto Rico (still USA)...they even have wild ponies on the island...if you like the Atlantic Ocean.  <3