Dementia and Alzheimer’s The Disease from Hell (update on gramp)
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Dementia and Alzheimer’s The Disease From Hell (pardon my french). Just wanted to stop in really quick to give you an update on my grandfather. Many of you know he started attending camp over a month ago, then ended up in the hospital almost 2 weeks ago for issues with confusion and then was transported to another hospital (in the middle of a blizzard) for vomiting which ended up happening because he had two large ulcers. The man has been bounced around and been transported to three different hospitals in the course of 12 days. For people with dementia, being bounced around from place to place is the worst thing ever for them. Now that he has recovered medically for the ulcers, he is back being treated for severe stages of dementia. WHAT the WHAT! Can I just tell you that these last 12 days have been an eye opening experience.
When you live with someone who has alzheimer’s and dementia, you kind of get use to their disease so to speak and you almost adapt yourself to how they are and you don’t even know it. What do I mean by that? Well, you almost end up doing everything for them and they don’t really get a chance to do for themselves. You almost know what they want or mean and automatically either complete the sentence for them or get them whatever it is they are looking for. I have learned that isn’t always the best thing to do. As hard as it is to let my grandfather finish his sentence or thought, we need to let him do it. By doing so, we are allowing his brain to still function. It’s kind of like a kid, if you do everything for them, they never learn. Well my grandfather is kind of like a kid now. Not so much that he needs to “re-learn” but that his brain needs to keep “thinking” and “working” so it doesn’t die. I don’t know if that makes any sense but that’s how I think of it.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s The Disease From Hell
Here is my grandmother and brother visiting my grandfather last week. She says she feels like she is going to blast off to the moon in her new puffer coat we got her for Christmas. haha.
My grandfather loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so she filled a shoebox full of them and used a ribbon of some sort (I think it was a shoestring) to make a bow.
My grandfather has started a few new medications this week to help with confusion, thought process and depression. Getting old isn’t for the weak that is for sure. Talk about a battle. A battle with your own mind. A battle of keeping your brain from time travelling as his doctor says. His doctor is amazing by the way. I am hoping she will do a guest post here on the blog about alzheimer’s and dementia. She does some pretty incredible things here in the Boston Community with ALZ and Dementia patients and I think she would add a wealth of information to our Dementia Diaries Series. More on her later if she agrees! -ha. Friends, I wouldn’t wish the battle of Dementia and Alzheimer’s on my worst enemy. On another note, stay tuned for a massive family room DIY hardwood floor install! We have partnered with Shaw Flooring and this project is going to be amazing! I know, I jumped from the disease from hell to pretty decorating happenings but that’s our life. That’s our REAL life. So in an effort to keep things real around here, we share the good, the bad and the ugly ;). UPDATE: Short Term Rehabilitation for my grandfather is now posted.
About The Author
What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.
Again I say, Your grandparents are lucky to have y’all. How sweet your
Grandparents are! Prayers to you and your family. Good luck on your
Thanks Libby! He is the best gramp ever 🙂
Awe, look at that smile! On both grandfather and grandmother! ha Precious memories.. I completely understand your life, Jessica. My mother was diagnosed with Dementia 9 years ago so I know what your entire family is going thru. You are always stronger than you think and tomorrow is a new day. There are many things I could say but Im quite sure you already know. Just know I will always have you and your family, esp. grandfather, in my prayers. Cant wait to see the floors! Your entire home is such an inspiration to me!!
I once said to my Mommy…….are you going to forget me? She said I may not know you , but I will never forget you! Still brings tears to my eyes! Hugs Jacquelyn
God Bless You All. I have a geriatric hubby with mental problems and I so understand. He had open heart surgery in 2009, a mental breakdown and institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital the next year, and lives in an alternate reality off and and on. He takes meds that get him “normal” and then he decides not to take them anymore and hides it. It takes a while for them to get in and out of his system, but eventually due to his conduct, I realize he’s gone off them again and here we go. I’m 73 and we live in an isolated rural area here in Texas where even a grocery store is a 90 mile round trip, but so far I haven’t had to to an emergency run in a snow storm! Bless you young lady for taking care of your folks. You are a prize.
Just concentrate on the good – like the new flooring! Oh, I just bet that is going to be something. Can’t wait to see it all.
I am SO sorry your family is going through this. We have a similar situation, my Mom’s mind has travelled away. She is still alive…but that is it! She is in the living room of my childhood home, she has a caregiver and my Dad, who has a traveling mind. Unfortunately we are a dysfunctional family, not working together. Hang in there!! You are adorable!!! I love your posts, you keep it kind and real!!!!!
I lost my mom to early onset Alzheimers during a time when there really weren’t any treatment options. Your grandparents are so blessed to have such a wonderful family loving them and caring for them. I know how hard it is. Sending love and hugs.
Alzheimer’s and dementia are very cruel diseases. They steal our loved ones. It would be very nice of the dr. to share her expertise on your blog. I love that big smile on gramps face! How sweet of your grandma to make him pbj. You are such a blessing to them. Stay strong and make sure to take care of yourself too. Thank you for sharing reality.
Jessy, well said:) keep his brain active, I frequently say to my patients and their families ” if you don’t use it you lose it”. Taking things one day at a time and seeking support is very important and I’m always here for you:) xo
My heart goes out to you and your family. My mother had early stage ALZ it was so very difficult. Bless you and big hugs!!
I know what you are going threw! My mother died from this terrible disease! So sad ! The only bright spot is that they don’t know what they are going through! Hard on the family ! Hang in there !
Jessica…l look forward to reading your family posts. I too am dealing with a husband with dementia. It is so painful and stressful watching someone you love going away mentally. My husband’s neurologist recommended a book to me and I am so glad that I purchased it. I highly recommend the book “The 36 Hour Day” for you which deals with families caring for people who have Alz., Dementia and other memory loss diseases. It has been so helpful with “what to expect next” and other related topics. Warm hugs and love to you and your generational family.
While watching “Criminal Minds” last night one of the actors said “Eleanor Roosevelt said, a woman is like a teabag you never know how strong she is until she’s in hot water”. You are that through my eyes. You are a strong, formidable woman that I admire very much. You Grandparents appear to take things in stride. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that your grandmother made him so many PB+J sandwiches.
It is a blessing that you have such a wonderful physician working with your gramps. I am sending you all WARM hugs and lifting you all in prayers.
Bless you and your grandparents. Seeing the pictures reminds me of my grandmother. Just keep on keepin on!?
The Philadelphia Inquirer has a former writer, Bill Lyons, who was diagnosed with Alzheimers several years ago. He writes, when he can, about his battles with “Al”. I would recommend it to everyone! I think you can probably find the articles online.
On another note, my 90 yr old mother, has at times seemed to leaning towards dementia, only to find out she has yet another UTI! She does not notice it but it is detected with a urine test. I didn’t know it but UTI’s in seniors often cause hallucinations, memory loss, confusion & other very strange behaviors.
Praying for you and your family. Thanks for sharing your journey.
We are walking this journey with my mother-in-law, who will be 92 on Friday. She was diagnosed with Late-Onset Alzheimer’s three years ago. Medications have really helped slow down the progression but we see her slowly slipping away from the being the vital, active, and funny gal she has always been. It seems so cruel for her to being going through this after enjoying a life well lived for so many years. It is hard on everyone who knows and loves her.