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A Journey into forgetfulness

A Journey into forgetfulness

Have you ever had an experience where you knew …

The name of the person, it was on the tip of your tongue as they say, but ….it just eludes you, just stays slightly beyond your grasp.

Or you just had those car keys, sun glasses, …. but now what did you do with them? Where did you put them?

Now imagine …. that is your life. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, that is your life.

You just can’t quite recall. It is something you should know but. …. It eludes you.

And day by day, week by week the things that slip just into the shadows of your mind where you can sort of glimpse them but can’t quite make out what they are grow and grow and slip further and farther away.

Alzheimer’s

This is what this blog is about. A Journey into forgetfulness. With this blog I will discuss our own experiences with Alzheimer's disease in the hopes it will help others with family or friends with this illness

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Slowly going downhill

It's been awhile since I published anything here.

I hadn't seen my father since I moved to Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, Mexico in August to teach ESL until I went home for 2 weeks during Christmas break. At first I noticed very little different about him. But on Christmas Day there was a noticable difference. He took no interest when gifts were being opened. Last year he at least was able to open presents that he was given and had some interests. This year he more or less slept through it.

He also can no longer use the restroom by himself. He is kept in adult diapers. He still knows when he needs to use the bathroom, but has no concept of how although he is liable to urinate anywhere except the toilet. If you do not watch him closely he will pull down his pants and go.

He is also fighting having his false teeth inserted. He has already stopped wearing his eye glasses. Without his false teeth it is difficult obviously for him to eat.

One positive change (sort of) is that he now sleeps most of the night. I say sort of because as I understand it the day will come when he will stay in bed and be almost comatose. So obviously his staying in bed is both positive (for my mother's physical and mental health) and negative in that it may be the first step to his being bed-ridden.

The cost of taking care of an alzheimers' victim is staggering. It takes a financial toll but also a physical and mental toll on the care givers. Why is there no financial assiatance for those caring for Alzheimers' victims? I don't know how my mother makes it. The vast majority of the cost of taking care of someone with Alzheimers' isn't covered by insurance nor is it tax deductible. It just eats away at the savings. I wish there was relief in sight but as I type I don't see it.

3 comments:

channage said...

Hi Tim! How's your father now? My Dad also had short term memory loss. For some reason the hospital where he was admitted for his hernia said he did not have Alzheimer's. He may have had small TIAs that we were not aware of. Or it may have been due to lack of oxygen to his brain cells. He was said to be a CO2 retainer. Didn't have enough strength in his lungs to exhale all the CO2 when he exhaled. He had been a heavy smoker all his life.

However, reading about your Dad brought a lot of things to mind. My Dad also wondered where he would get the money to pay us for his stay. However, he enjoyed Golf on TV and could play a little bit too once one pried him out of his chair and took him out. He also enjoyed classical concerts immensely but forgot having been to one as soon as he returned.

Love your blog. Keep up the good work!!

Tim New said...

Channage,

He continues to slowly go downhill. Once doctors could only positively identify Alzheimer's by a post mortem autopsy. I think they can now use blood serum tests and MRIs. Not all dementia is Alzheimer's although they may share some traits. With Alzheimer's there is a continual spiral downwards with the victim being able to do less and less. My father has difficulty doing anything for himself and even talking. My mother can still make out some of what he says (whether sensical or not) but it is more difficult for me. Eventually he will be bed-ridden if he lives that long.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to your family, and all families affected by Alzheimer's. I never new... I have learned much.

-Bryan