Steps of Faith

Steps of Faith

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Walking Alone.....with Alzheimer's

This is not my normal way of spending a Saturday evening....but the truth is.....I need some down time!

This journey that I am on with my dad, in dealing with Alzheimer's, is much more complicated than I ever imagined it would or could be.  I have definitely encountered some interesting days this past week.

Where does the mind go?  What space does it resort to?  How does it periodically become clear and then suddenly fade away into the distant past?  What kind of time machine exist, that allows the human mind to run and hide?

I don't know.....I don't understand it.  I just can not comprehend how my dad can be my dad at one moment and within minutes, NO... seconds.....he is introducing me to his nurse as his sister, Marlene.

....how we can we be sitting in his room carrying on a somewhat normal conversation, and by the end of any spoken sentence, we are out building a barn!  Oh yes.... we are actually putting the roof on an ol' Pole Barn!

As I go each day to visit him, I go with journal in hand.  I want to make sure that I am able to gather every ounce of brain cell activity that decides to let itself be known on the given day.

This is my dad's life.......and to me, it doesn't matter if his focus for the day is the repeated mannerism of turning the light switches on and off   {5o times a day}   or if it's a memory of his past life that he shares, over and over again.  All of these things are a part of his now life and it is important for me to know that he feels loved.

I live with a lot of questions.... Is he lonely?  Is he afraid?  How do  his minutes compare to ours?  You see.....this disease that we know as Alzheimer's is best known to take a person from adulthood, back into the years of being a little child.   

Little children have no concept of time.....and they can easily become afraid.   What is it that we do when a child is afraid?  We draw them near us and try to give them as much comfort as we can.  We try to assure them that they are safe.   In the same way that I would care for a child.....I need to be able to alleviate an fear that my dad might have and to let him know that he is being cared for.

  I know that ever how much his mind  forgets.....it doesn't forget how to love.   Not a single day passes by that he fails to tell me he loves me so very much.

He holds my hand with such a longing to never let it go.  Is this the fear that I was talking about or is it just a longing to share another moment in time with me?   I choose to believe that it is my dad....just needing to know that I am there for him.  There to walk with him through the dark hours and to help him find his way when his mind becomes a little lost.

Oh my.....what a devastating disease this can be.   As a daughter of a man who walks daily with this disease....I can tell you that each day is filled with the unknown.   Each day is filled with unique situations and sometimes, some very complicated trials.  

I praise God  that my dad is not walking alone. God is always with him.  Sweet Comfort and Peace!

From my heart....
shug ~

13 comments:

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm so sorry that your Dad has this disease. There are so many unanswered questions but I like how you finished your post. I'll keep him in my prayers my friend...and you and the family, too. Sweet hugs, Diane

Ginny said...

Oh Shug! I am so very sorry! Yes, I have been through the valley of Alzheimer's. With my beloved Grandmother, who practically raised me. They say that you retain the memories of long ago because they have been in your brain the longest. She did, she retained the old memories. I found her diary after she died, and that was so hard, because I could see the progression. Sometimes she would write with lipstick...Blessings to you, my friend. He KNOWS how much you love him, that is one thing I am sure of. Just like my grandmother did.

Ruth Hiebert said...

This journey is certainly not an easy one.I have only dealt with a Mother-in-law who had the same disease and I only needed to care for her for a short time.My Dad also had dementia,but it came from a different source.It is hard to watch a parent become like a child once again. May God give you the strength you need to be be at your Dad's side.

Terra said...

This is such a cruel disease. How good you are there to visit your dad every day.

Katharine said...

I'm sorry you have to walk this road, but glad your dad has you, and both of you have our good God!

Linda said...

Bless your heart, Shug. The brain is a complicated thing and when we see a loved one go through this type of thing it is so difficult and it hurts so much. I will keep you and your father in my prayers. Godspeed.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I am so sorry, Shug. Without a doubt, your Dad is well loved. He is a blessed man to have a daughter who loves him so much and serves him in such a loving way. I pray God gives you each comfort and strength and patience with this road you are traveling. blessings and hugs ~ tanna

Gail Dixon said...

Oh, Shug! I just want to give you and your dad a great big hug! I can't begin to imagine how difficult your path is, but your faith will carry you through. May God bless you all with peace, courage, wisdom and strength.

Laurie M said...

such a hard journey to be on, no one seems to have any answers for this but we have to have faith, I will keep you all in my prayers,

Michelle said...

So sorry for your struggles. My grandmother suffers with it as well. Difficult to visit with her and see her in such a state.

Betsy Adams said...

Oh Shug, this makes me cry... I can only imagine how going through this with your sweet Daddy HURTS... I have not gone through it --although my mother had some memory problems as she aged... She loved to talk about the olden days ---and I'd hear those stories over and over... I wish I could hear them now!

God Bless You, my Friend.... I hope and pray that sometime, they will find a cure for this horrible disease.
Hugs,
Betsy

Christine said...

This brought me to tears!
First, because of your LOVE for your dad.
Secondly, for the pain you are going through.
Alzheimer's isn't easy for anyone.

Pam said...

Shug, you sound like a great daughter to your father, and I bet he knows you are there. It's sad that you both have to deal with Alzheimer's and I can imagine how difficult and mysterious it is for you. Take care, God bless.

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