Each day from October 5-12, I will post one of my mother’s recipes (my favorites of course), how FTD has affected my family and a little bit about the AFTD.
What is Frontotemporal Degeneration?
Damage to the brain’s frontal and temporal lobes affects complex thinking and reasoning. These problems in “executive function” alter a person’s ability to plan, organize and execute activities. People gradually become less involved in routine daily activities and withdraw emotionally from others. Symptoms may include distractibility, inflexibility, reduced initiative, apathy, poor judgment and abrupt mood changes.
How has FTD affected my family?
On the weekends when my mom had more time around the house, she would make us girls pancakes for breakfast. Then later when we had our own families and would visit on the weekends, she would make pancakes for the grandkids and us. She had that recipe memorized and she would whip up a batch in no time at all. And no one had to worry if we ran out because if we did, she would just make another batch.
When the symptoms of FTD began to appear, she would have to be coaxed to make those pancakes. As she got worse, she was unable to plan and prepare the pancakes so one of us would make them for her. She just didn’t have the initiative anymore. This was particularly hard on the grandchildren.
We were very open with the grandkids about her degenerative disease, but it was still sad for them as well. My younger niece and nephew don’t concern themselves with the fact that she rarely says a word or even smiles anymore. They just hop up in her lap and love on her. My daughter has said many times how much she misses her Grammy. It is very important not to shield the children from the progression. Depending on their age, there are many ways to approach the topic. The AFTD has valuable resources for approaching the topic with children and teens at http://www.aftdkidsandteens.org/.
How can I help?
The first thing you can do to help is to learn as much as you can about FTD and the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration or AFTD (www.theaftd.org). The AFTD is a not-for-profit organization founded to advocate for more funding into the causes and treatments of FTD as well as provide caregivers and patients with a dependable source of accurate, reliable information and support. The second thing you can do is make a donation to the AFTD. Your support helps to promote and fund research into finding the cause, therapies and cures for FTD. Please go to http://theaftd.givezooks.com/grassroots_fundraisers/alice-s-angels-food-for-thought-2014 and make a donation during our 2nd Annual Food for Thought week, October 5-12.
1 ¼ cup sifted all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon oil
Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine until flour is moistened and batter is lumpy.
Pour ¼ cup batter onto hot, oiled griddle. Flip when bubbles begin to form and break. Continue cooking till the center is cooked and pancakes are browned. Makes 12-16 small pancakes.