HARD LESSON LEARNED

I’m learning more about dementia/Alzheimers than I really ever wanted to know.  My personality is such that I want to read, watch documentaries, attend support groups, join in webinars, take Zoom classes, and dig into the subject.  Do I think I’ll be better as a caregiver if I do this?  I guess.  And that’s my goal—to be a loving, gentle, and kind caregiver to Bob with 1 o. 

But day to day living with Bob is the biggest way to discover what dementia/Alzheimer’s is really like.  No amount of preparing can really prepare you!

I always thought the Bob would be able to hang on to the memories that were important or meaningful.  Doesn’t it make sense that special memories have a special place in his heart, and nothing can erase them? Obviously, I thought those memories would be embedded permanently in one’s heart.  I know when I think of significant memories, my heart feels the love, pain, pride, happiness, joy, and even the sorrow of those memories. Aren’t those memories part of one’s inner core?

Well I can tell you that they aren’t.  They only exist in one’s brain and because Bob’s brain is so atrophied and damaged, those memories don’t exist for him.  No amount of reminiscing, picture sharing, or even praying can bring those memories back alive in Bob’s brain. They don’t exist to him. They are gone just like they never happened.

It’s hard to believe that most of memories of the life we have lived over the last 41+ years is missing in his brain.  He doesn’t know where we met, where we married, where we lived over the years, who are friends were, what we did for fun, what vacations we took, what kind of work I did, what adventures we had with our families, and more. Bob doesn’t know important milestones and meaningful periods of our life.  I get so angry that those memories of OUR LIFE have been erased.  It makes me feel so very sad for BOTH of us.

So, what have I learned about the disease?  Dementia is a mean ugly disease.  It has robbed Bob of so much.  I can’t imagine what its like for him to not have those fantastic memories to look back on.  I’m not even sure what he thinks about his life.  My brain (and heart) are overflowing with significant remembrances that include him and that’s what fuels me to keep going and keep lovingly caring for him.

What fuels him?  What does he reminisce about?  What is he grateful for? What blessings does he count?

“Bob with 1 o” June 2020

8 thoughts on “HARD LESSON LEARNED

  1. Susan,

    The last time I saw my dad cohernent…before he had brain death he didn’t know who I was. He knew my now ex husband was married to one of his daughters, but he did not know that I was his daughter. Daddy and I were super close. I can only imagine your confusion and pain are exponentially high.

    You are loved.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan, they are there he just can’t recall them. Some day, after this life on earth, those memories will come flooding back to him. And those memories are with you; hold onto them. No, I don’t know what it’s like; I haven’t experienced what you are going through. I am so sorry. You are an amazing person. God knew you would be there for Bob. Know many love you and care about what you are going through. Thank you for sharing your journey with others to help us understand. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Susan,

    My heart is so sad and my prayers are with you. As I have told you I lost both of my parents to this horrible disease. My dad at 67 and my mom at 79. My mom got it in her mid 60’s. There are so many people that have it or have a family member that has it. I pray for you and Bob often and you are an amazing woman.

    God Bless and Keep you and Bob too!!

    Love,

    Norine & Jon too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh goodness Susan I’m so sorry to hear this. My mother was a Dimentia patient and I was her caregiver, very tough job. What stage is Bob in? Be very patient with him, always agree. It’s so Sad, 💕❤️

    Like

  5. Susan, I am so sorry for what you and Bob are going through! I pray the Lord will fill you with His wisdom and strength! My Mom had Alzheimer’s. She didn’t know me from Adam the last time I saw her.
    Bob’s spirit is very much alive. I pray that the Lord will wrap His loving arms around him and speak to his heart. My Mom passed on my daughters birthday March 23rd, 2003 at 81 yrs old. I say that to tell you that I have heard from my Mom twice after she passed which proved to me she is with the Lord and has received her new body! I had a dream and in the dream, she called me in the phone. I answered the phone and this is the conversation. Me: “Hello?” Mom: “Deb? This is Mom. I just want to let you know that your brother Jim has been in the hospital from a heart attack and there is nothing more they can do for Mark.” That was all she said. I awoke from the dream and was puzzled! In the morning, I called my brother who lived in Florida. He had just gotten out of the hospital from a heart attack! Also, my brother in law, Mark, was battling leukemia. I would get up in the middle of the night and pray for him. 5 months after my dream, Mark passed. I say all that to give you hope. Mom had gone to be with Jesus and her memory was restored! She called me by my name! She knew what was going on with my brother and my brother in law! She not only had her memory, she knew the present! I talked to the Lord about this and He reminded me of His Word that she is alive in Christ. The dead (those who don’t know Jesus) know not! I was so excited that the Lord confirmed to me that heaven is real and we do receive new bodies! All that being said, God will give you everything you need through this time with Bob! Speak to Bob’s heart, that is where he and Jesus live. Cherish your memories of the past and cherish the special moments the Lord will give and show you with Bob in the present. Hold fast to Gods Word and know He is coming very soon for His children and we will all be with Him for eternity! Prayers and hugs for you and Bob!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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