Monday, November 19, 2018

Dementia and If I ain’t me?Dementia

Cars of beauty and art:
I am sure it is a late '50's Dodge

For now:
I remember talking to Lucy out in Nebraska about her sister with Alzheimer’s. This mental disease usually attacks the elderly, but does attack younger people at times.

Dementia in any form is a thief of our treasures. Our treasure chest of memories is something that gets us thru the bad times, but if you have no memories then hopefully you won’t have many bad times. 

I am not ignorant of the fact that dementia starts often at my age. I watched my mama and sister fade into the land of ‘Confusion.’ A land from which there is no return and the stage of the disease where one realizes they are ‘losing it’.

My mama’s mind was bad before I realized it. The loss of memory is tough to live with, for the victim as well as the family. My mama was a double amputee (legs). No diabetes to blame, she just did not exercise her body. Sherry took care of mama in our home. I shared the task of cleaning my mother and even though her mind was gone, it embarrassed her. I tried my best to make it as easy on her as possible, she was the best mother a boy could have. I am thinking of her just now because I mentioned Christmas City in a previous entry.

Once mama said she would like to go over and ride thru McAdenville. Using a lift, we got her into the car. And headed it. It is a very slow process to wait in the long line and then slowly go thru town. After the long wait we got into the line, mama became uncomfortable and said, “I’d give $5 if I hadn’t said lets come over here.” We still laugh about that to this day.

With dementia you have to find something to laugh about or you will join the victim. Once mama was crying when I went into her room. I asked, “What is wrong mama?”

“I was just thinking about your daddy,” she said thru the tears.
“Mama, daddy is better off than any of us.” Said I (Dad had been dead a long time.)
“I guess he is, out there running around with all those women!” She said and then went to something else.

I told Sherry and we had to laugh.

My sister Shirley would say to us, “I am losing my memory and it is WORRYING ME TO DEATH!”
She would say, “Jackie, if I am losing my mind and I know it, how can I be losing my mind?”
Once as we sat talking she said, “I would rather be dead than lose my memory!”

I know some of you reading this have been there. At least one who is reading is is dealing with it right now, and it is taking its toll. Another sweet lady who reads and comments dealt with her mama’s dementia. Another sweet lady's husband became demented. It broke their hearts.

I hope I am spared, but it is something that I know can happen, it does run in MY family!

If I fall victim, I hope the family and assisted living folk have a great sense of humor and can laugh! If I have a choice of what I am when I ain’t me, I wanna be a cowboy or a nudist!  Maybe I will practice on my trumpet and be a Louis Armstrong, Satchmo,  look alike. I plan to enjoy it, when I ain’t me!
Nite Shipslog


Chatty Crone said...

An awful disease for sure. I have a friend at church my age with it - and I don't think she knows it. It is funny how it affects people. Some can be nice, some mean, some scared, some know it and i guess some don't. Sandie

Woody said...

Sad Reading your Post but a lot of Truth In it, My Beautiful sister now sits in the Nursing Home, Janice was living with her daughter for a year, she could not handle her, she went to live in Assisted Living for about a year, Now she is in a nursing home, Terrible shape, she can't remember, sometimes does not know me, Her son up North can' nt take her home and her son in Jupiter Florida can not take her so she is where she is. It is Heart wrenching but just a fact of life at age 85.

After my stroke, I cannot find words, drool a little, can not finins a sentence, But I know I am doing the best I can. You 2 take care, sending down our Prayers for you and yours. Gary an Anna Mae

betty said...

I'm hoping I don't get dementia, but if I do, I hope I'll be pleasantly confused, a term doctors sometimes use for those not seriously afflicted with dementia. One of the pastors' wives at church is dealing with mom who had early Alzheimer's in her mid 50s. The family had to move in with her to take care of her and the family has 3 young children of their own. That would be hard to deal with!


Jean said...

I don't know of any member of my family that had dementia, but it doesn't mean that it couldn’t happen to me. I think forgetting peoples name and a few other things is normal at my age. (smile) Grover's mother died in her forties from a stroke and his dad at sixty-nine of a heart attack. His oldest sister I think was a year older then he was when she passed away and like him she had dementia her daughter had to put her in a nursing home a year before she died. Grover would say and do things you couldn't help but laugh and some that would make you cry. Take care, Jean.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It runs in my family two. I had two aunts with it and believe me it was not pretty at all. They were so sweet and not only lost their memory but also became hateful in words and actions too. I've warned my daughter to keep an eye out for any changes in my behavior. It's something none of us wants, but we don't get a choice. I'm sure no one would ever choose that disease ore any other for that matter.

Glenda said...

As you know, this hits home with me. We started medication for my Dad early on after he drove the southbound lane to Moberly one day when he was thinking he was supposed to drive north. My brother disconnected the starter on his car and it sat in the garage. His Alzheimer's left him his humor and we laughed when he read the road sign at Indiantown! "Well, I didn't know the Indians had a town"! It's a very sad thing to watch a good mind deteriorate. Life isn't fair. But, it's still good.

Mevely317 said...

What a sweet take on a sour subject! To tell the truth, I'm not exactly sure the difference between dementia and Alzheimers -- they're both despicable.

Yes, my mother went undiagnosed for a good while, but given there's no cure, I wonder if it would have made any difference? What makes it sadder, Mom was so worried about it, she took all the precautions she knew -- exercising, eating right, working mind puzzles -- even drinking vinegar water.

('Scuze if I'm repeating myself) ...but given the choice of being a burden to my son or facing a premature death, I think I'd take up chain smoking and skydiving.

Lisa said...

Choose Cowboy. The world doesn’t need a nekked trumpet player.



dementia is a sad illness for sure. one can only pray one doesn't get it.