View Full Version : You have all been so sweet, but ...

11-21-2008, 03:17 AM
You can't keep on worrying about me.

I don't know when my sparkle and life will come back, but it will come back eventually.

It just got lost, probably as a result of a long term grieving process.

I used to think that Alzheimers was a cruel cruel disease until I came across Vascular Dementia first hand. My dad was diagnosed with VDem about 2+1/2 years ago now and none of us really realised the implications of this complication of diabetes and long term warfarin use. When we first found out why he was losing his memory, we thought we would have years ahead of us to adjust and say goodbye. But that is not the case. He has been having repeated minor strokes (about 1 a week for over 2 years now) and every time that happens a little (sometimes a lot) more of him dies.

A couple of years ago we used to call him "our houdini" because be was the proverbial escape artist. One minute he was there and the next he was missing for hours. He would take off in the middle of the night in just his boxers, no shoes or anything and end up being picked up by the police, sometimes 7 miles away, not knowing who he was or where he was or lived. All he was convinced of was that he was looking for his mum in London (she died 60 years ago). Eventually they got to know him and just used to bring him home again. Mum had metal security doors installed and grilles for the windows.

It took about 6 months before he started to lose the use of his legs and ended up in a wheelchair. All this time he was regressing into childhood. Memory loss and the continual brain damage from the strokes turned him from a loving person into someone violent and abusive at times. Eventually by a year after his initial diagnosis he was unable to walk and required strapping into his chair to keep him upright because he had lost all muscle control. Sometimes he could recognise you, but more often than not he thought you were someone else.

Well that was what he was like just over a year ago. Now he is just a little man (he only weighs about 70-80 pounds - about the same as an 8 year old). He is incapable of feeding himself, communication, cannot sit up even when strapped up in his wheelchair, is totally incontinent and has no quality of life whatsoever.

His last lucid moment was two months ago when he said "Hello my girl" to me and went back to making the sort of wailing noises that someone who is profoundly brain damaged makes. That kind of broke me up inside. Up until then I was coping OK, but I have been deeply depressed since then.

The grieving process is not something you can put a finite length of time on, and I surely hope it does not get worse when he does eventually pass away. We are all hoping that time will be sooner rather than later. He needs his peace and freedom again and he is not long for this world.

So please just bear with this miserable old cow for that is exactly the way I feel I am just now. And, being so depressed does not help me with wanting to be creative either.

I have only just started to take an interest in making anything new again, but it is very hard to get motivated when your brain is being pulled in another direction all the time. However with time I will get through this period in my life and feel better.

Thank you all for being there and caring.

11-21-2008, 04:40 AM
sweetie wishing you the strength and courage to get though this difficult time xxxxxx

11-21-2008, 04:47 AM
Vanessa Dear

I truly feel for you, as I am now caring for my 90 yr old mum with dementia not near anything as bad as your father, but it does certainly take a toll, as you remember of how vibrant and vivacious they were and seeing the quality of life now you can only hope that God will take them under his care. My mum just sits and usually goes off in her own world imagining things and often says things that really hurt - but as we know it is not them...

So my dear my thoughts and prayers are with and you will bounce back in your own time.

Take care


11-21-2008, 06:26 AM
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

11-21-2008, 06:56 AM
Vanessa, I am so sorry for your family. I lost my mother to a heart attack (we got a call one morning that she had died) and we watched our dad suffer with lung cancer, and then he was gone. I cannot imagine what it would be like to watch your parents disappear like this. May God's strength continue to be with you and your family.

11-21-2008, 06:57 AM
Vanessa, I know only too well what you're going through. Sending you love, prayers and courage,


11-21-2008, 07:36 AM
Sweetie, I feel so bad for you and hope things will get better for you and your family..I watched my dad suffer from cancer before passing (he was only 46) and it makes you wish they didn't have to go through any pain...Keep the faith...and your creativity will come when ready...((HUGS))

11-21-2008, 07:48 AM
Vanessa, keep on posting here and reaching out to your friends. I understand (unfortunately) the stress you are going thru as my sister is not well and we as a family face some really difficult days. Please keep your friends close and your hobbies somewhere near you....taking care of you IS taking care of a loved one.

11-21-2008, 09:15 AM
So sorry to hear what you are going through Vanessa. My mom has her share of problems and she is having some memory problems as well, and she is worried she could get worse. We think her problem could be due to all the meds she is on. But her problems do not compare to what your dad is going through. My thoughts are with you.

11-21-2008, 11:33 AM
Oh, my friend, I'm so sorry to hear this. I was affraid your absence had to do with your father.

Wish I could hold you right now. I am so sorry.

11-21-2008, 12:19 PM
My prayers and thoughts are going to you and your family.

We looked after MIL at home with "Alzheimers" even though we think it was something different as she would suffer mini strokes [not as frequent as your fathers] and loss of co-ordination. It became terrible when we announced I was pregnant. She thought DH was her husband and for 7 months I was the other woman [putting it politely as I was often called something else]. I feel for you and know part of what you are going through even though MIL did not get to the point your father is as she died of colon cancer before that.

Hugs to you and if you want to be or need to be miserable for a while then be miserable with us. We'll hopefully get you though it and be here for you when ever you need us.

11-21-2008, 12:54 PM
As you all know, I am not a person of many words, but just know I am thinking of you.

11-21-2008, 01:42 PM
I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. My sweet grandmother also had dementia. It is a sad and cruel disease. She would come out of her room stark naked when guests were over (thank goodness my grandparents had very understanding friends). It got so bad that we had to lock her in her room at night because she would go to the kitchen in the middle of the night and start trying to cook and almost started a fire. She had to be put in a rest home and died peacefully three weeks later, my grandfather died 4 days after her, we think from a broken heart.
It seems to be drawn to people who are smart and funny and loving and beautiful. Try to keep your chin up and try to remember him in his younger years and not the way he is now (I know, easier said than done).
Take care!

11-21-2008, 02:51 PM
Totally relate to what you are going through vanssa. So sad. I have a couple in my old peopl's comples who have been married over 50 years. He has been deteriorating with Vascular Dementia for a couple oy years. He is no longer safe and they have had to be seperated and he has gone into a home. He is ok because he really doesn't know us any more.lthough it is heartbreaking it is comforting to know that he is happy. Life is so cruel, it's a struggle to get into the world and so painful to leave it. Thinking of you Vanessa,take care. x

11-21-2008, 06:01 PM
You can't keep on worrying about me.

Oh YES we will!!!! Thats what friends do!!!!!!!
I know somewhat what your going through and it's difficult thats for sure!!! Just know we are here for ya and you will get through this, I promise....whatever you do.....DON'T KEEP IT IN.... that is the worst!!! Vent and when you think we heard it all before....do it AGAIN...until you get it out all of your system...
You'll get your mojo back....all in good time!!!
Got you and your family in my prayers!

11-21-2008, 06:23 PM
Oh Vanessa you are in mourning.It is so hard to get up every morning.A little piece of you aches each day.It is so hard to see a person whom you have such fond memories of deteroriate in front of your eyes.To watch some shell take over your father and to see each day so many horrible changes.Each step he takes pulls you back into a deep lonely pit.It is hard for you to watch.It does not seem fair.This is why you have us to help you get through all this.You are not alone.Though we may not be near you our feelings are with you right in that place of your heart.You will get through all this.I still have alot of memories of mum and her horrible death.Her last words was I love you too and she garbled of into another world.Slowly watching her mind go,forgetting to swallow,talk and starving to death.It is not pleasant.If their is anything I can do to ease your pain---if it is a shoulder to lean on I am fat and will hold you up.I am your friend Vanessa.May God Bless you and now I have to go cry.xo

11-21-2008, 08:41 PM
Vanessa you are in my thoughts and prayers. Everyone deals with their own pain differently, and one day you will get your mojo back. But one important thing is to surround yourself with friends whom you can talk to and don't keep it locked inside. So whenever possible do come in here and vent some more--it truly helps with the healing process. We care about you and everything you have to offer, so please just let it out anytime day or night.

11-21-2008, 10:21 PM
I, too, understand only too well how hard it is to watch them disappear. I had to feed my father with a straw because he would no longer feed himself. I had that time to say goodbye, even though he didn't know us, and was by his side in our home when he left us. I'm so thankful I had that time with him and in time, you will be also. I will be thinking of you and remembering your family in my prayers. Grieving is a process done best when surrounded by your friends. Stay with us and let us be there for you. We care!