Skip to main content

Can We Do More


I recently read a Facebook post concerning my uncle who is in the beginning late stage of Alzheimer’s. It was describing how he had become belligerent on that particular day and no one was able to calm him. No one that is, until his grandson, who is an aide at a local skilled nursing facility stopped by. He immediately put the skills of empathy, distraction, compassion, understanding, and professional knowledge that he had learned through years of interaction with the elderly and those with dementia to use. Soon, my uncle was the calm, genial gentleman we were all used to. I was truly touched by this post, the caring of this grandson for his grandfather, the recognition by the others in the situation that they were ill equipped to handle the emerging issues and their prompt call for appropriate reinforcement. It was an inspiring post all around.

That is until I read the comments. Many were like mine above, complimenting the grandson, sympathizing with my uncle and the family, worrying about the future, etc... But the overwhelming majority simply wanted to offer their thoughts and prayers. Now don’t get me wrong, I have no complaints with thoughts and prayers, as a born again Christian I welcome them. However, as someone who has been one of the primary caregivers for both my parents who suffered from dementia and as someone heavily involved in the care of my brother who had vascular dementia and as someone currently suffering from Lewy Body Dementia himself, I can tell you that much more is needed than just thoughts and prayers.

If you are one of those leaving the thoughts and prayers comments have you ever considered that maybe, just maybe, you are the answer to those thoughts and prayers. After several days of no sleep, incessant incoherent conversations, possibly intermittent cat naps, probably screaming, crying, shaming, and abuse, just a few hours to bathe, take a decent nap or possibly have a real, adult conversation can be more restorative than someone who has never been in this situation may ever realize. The dementia patient may see you and spark some long forgotten memory that brightens their life for days or minutes. For them/us, sometimes it’s much the same. Running a few errands to pick up meds, a few groceries, the dry cleaning, anything really... can be a major relief.

What I’m trying to say is thoughts and prayers are important, don’t stop sending them, but actions are important as well. YOU, can be the answer to those thoughts and prayers. Your life may be busy but you ain’t seen nothing till you’ve dealt with a chronic illness such as dementia and see your loved ones slowly destroyed mentally and physically...and there’s little or nothing you can do about it.

Take care,

Randy

Comments

  1. Would it be too on the nose to say "A-Men!!!" Just kidding. All kidding aside though, don't you often find yourself in that catch-22 where the listener has a bad case of DKS (Doesn't Know Shit) and what little ...energy? you have to explain it to them is limited by the depth of their idiocy. IOW do you find yourself starting to try to explain to someone, realize the effort it would take combined with the rather low odds of that person actually learning make it feel like the labors of Sisyphus (sp, the greek dude that kept pushing the rock up the hill) and you just say to yourself: fuck it. And you just sit there with a dumb expression on your face until they go away?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Dementia Cannabis Update

Update: 22 July
Project started, grow page and journal is here:

Operation: Constant Clarity


This is one of the most difficult posts I have had to write, mostly because I "had" to. Allow me to explain and I promise by the end you will not only understand the "difficulty" and the "had to" bit but also I hope you come away with a few new assumptions or conclusions, you pick and if all that passes you by, perhaps you will find illumination as this is some serious "dementia from the inside out" kinda shit.

The 18:1 Theory
Before I tell you what happened, please recall I have expressed a theory or hypothesis on the effects of a cannabis extract/concentrate that tests out to have a CBD:THC ratio of 18-1 on the demented mind. By demented I mean any brain with not just dementia but anything that alters so-called normal operation. I don't mean anything like it fixes everything, rather there are things that are fixed by this like PTSD and ADD that you …

Be Who You Actually Are

Many moons ago I was starting my day like many of us enjoying the gifts of dementia by spending most of it screwing up each and every thing I attempted to do, large or small and usually in ways both spectacular as well as costly.  On the verge of tears I spent about an hour medicating with my very best botanicals when I had the BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious, engineer-speak): I am still attempting to be something that I am not only NOT but barring acts of a supreme deity, never will be again. Its just that damned simple.

* What makes a persons personality unique is the precise set of influences, patterns of thinking, lifetime experiences or memories amongst many other things. These are all stored and/or controlled by the brain.

* The root cause of dementia is damage to select portions of the brain.

* For better or worse, the simple truth is that this will result in a different person. Not better or lesser, simply different, in the same way that any two coworkers might be very dif…

Holy Crap Batman! A hero with dementia!

Braven 2018
Hey kids, I ran across something you just HAVE to watch. I mean you as in readers of these words. Looking for entertainment last night I was scrounging some of the dodgier parts of the Internet for something not involving a cape or "found footage" to watch. Long story short I ran across something from this year (2018) called Braven, starring Jason Mamoa (Aquaman/Ronin on Stargate Atlantis) and Stephen Lang (the major hard-ass in Avatar).  Plot reads like a B-roll actioner, drug dealers drop in on county folk and try to take them on their own turf. I agree, major tired plotline BUT......
Here is the kicker: The country folks (Mamoa/Lang) are in the cabin in the woods kinda thing because Lang (plays Mamoas dad) has alzheimers (he blames it on some Vietnam injury but...) and got into a fight at a local bar, thinking some girl was his dead wife out on the town. 
Of course Jason beats everyones ass in proper manner as it should be but thats why these two are in the c…