Living with Dementia; A thief in the night

Have you ever been going along in life and everything is just peachy and then all of a sudden you get a rude wake up call?  Yeah…. That was us this past week.  Everything was going along just fine and my Dad who has Alzheimer’s and then he got an upper respiratory infection.  Man did it throw him for a loop.  We went to the neurologist for his check up and ended up in the emergency room.  They gave him an antibiotic, an inhaler and something for his cough.  Well poor thing his nose was running so bad my mom had to go get some dayquil, it really helped.  Well later that night when we got home my mom and I were getting his medicine ready and I suggested that he take 2 allergy tabs and I don’t know if it was from the medicine or if it was just from him being sick and weak, but he could not stand up, he was confused, he just looked at us when we would try to get him to do something.  It took me and my mom to stand my dad up and even with the both of us it was not an easy feat.

It’s starting to become real now, seeing him like that last night, helpless, it broke me!  I knelt by his chair and apologized for having to help him this way, I cried telling him that things are changing and we are going to have to help him do some very uncomfortable things.  Things that he’s not going to want us to do and we’re not exactly going to want to do them.  But, we are here to help him.  We are not here to make him feel like any less of a man or a person, we just want to help.

My dad has always been a rough, tough dude and to see him declining, hardly being able to stand up, it just kills me.  I want to keep that vision of my dad being strong, able to take on anything, but unfortunately that vision is quickly fading as I see him getting weaker and weaker.  I wonder how hard it is on him knowing that he can’t get out and do the things he used to, to be able to go fishing or hunting or even driving to the store.  I mean we work all our life to retire and enjoy our Golden Years, right.  And along comes dimentia, a thief in the night taking away our ability to walk, to stand to think and to speak what we want to say.  Many times daddy’s words are tangled and then he’ll say, awe you know what I mean.  Sometimes he gets my name right, sometimes I’m just that girl or that woman over there.

I’ve learned a very long time ago to cherish every moment with loved ones for you know not the day or hour that you will lose one of them forever.  I’m doing my best to cherish the time I have left with my daddy for I know now it is short.  It may be 2 years, it may be 6 months or it may be one week.  All I do know is that this dimentia came like a theif in the night, stealing my daddy from me, changing our lives forever.  It has certainly left it’s mark on our lives and now all we can do is live day to day, thanking God for each day that he blesses us with the opportunity to have my daddy here with us.  All I do ask is that he not suffer in the end, I could not bare to see him suffer.  And I ask for strength and peace for my mom as she is getting the brunt of this because my brother and I have to work, I mean we do what we can, but we have bills and I know that they understand that, it doesn’t make it any easier to not be there though.

This is dedicated to my precious Mom and Dad

 

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