Ever hear the saying, “addiction is a family disease?” Well, Dementia is a family disease too. It affects everyone in the family and especially, those living with the person. It’s been a bit of an adjustment this past month living in our new norm with my grandparents and I won’t sugar coat it, it’s been a little rough. Although, there have been some funny moments too.
(dressed up for cowboy day at camp!)
My grandmother and grandfather have always had kind of a “vocal” relationship. -ha. My family is loud, chaotic and sometimes a little over the top. Growing up as a kid, it was not uncommon to hear my grandparents yelling at each other and a few F bombs be dropped by my grandfather. -ha. Although he doesn’t look very loud here does he ;).
I will never forget the time my mom told me that the first time she met my dads family (my grandparents), she was shocked and little mortified. My mom came from a very quiet conservative English family and my dad’s family, was the complete opposite. Loud, sometimes rude and full of whatever “language” came out of my grandfather’s mouth. My mom needless to say had a hard time adjusting to my dad’s family when she was younger.
My grandfather has vascular dementia with symptoms of Lewy Bodies Disease. They are not 100% sure if he has Lewy Bodies but he does exhibit some of the tendencies when agitated and nighttime confusion. Fingers crossed that the symptoms don’t get worse because from what the doctors have told us and what I have read, Lewy Bodies is the worst case scenario when it comes to dementia. My grandfather sometimes gets up in the night and seems to act out his dreams. For example, last week my mom found him wandering around in the family room looking for the washing machine and he had all my gram’s clean clothes ready to re-wash them. He told me the next morning he was dreaming that he was helping his neighbor who had a flood and all their clothes got dirty so he was going to wash them. Apparently, this happened in real life (like 60 years ago). He laughed when I told him my mom found him looking for the washing machine with my gram’s clean clothes at 1am. He said, “oh geez, don’t tell gram I messed up her clean clothes!” -ha
Sometimes ya just gotta role with what the dementia disease monster decides to “drop off” at any given moment. There are some tense times for sure when my grandfather gets agitated but the funny times are really funny ;). You can read more about my gramp and dementia on our dementia diaries page.