It was November of 2011...I was a newby still - it was only the second time that I had officially posted on my blog. I wrote on my experience of my son (then only 18 years old) having accidently hit his head and having a concussion. The fear, anxiety, and frustration were all there in that post.
An excerpt from that post:
"He can’t remember and keeps asking questions from one minute to the next….my heart aches for him in his frustration to remember. He starts to panic…..I remind him to stay calm. Can we make it home before he loses it? We do, but even then he can’t relax at home…..questions and more questions (yikes! Will he be like this the next 2-3 days?) Please, Lord, bring back his memory! ...later on, I start to feel the release of my emotions from the stressful evening and shed some tears! Oh, the things we endure as parents! We love, yet at such a cost!!!"
As I read the post again, I almost had a feeling of de-ja-vu! Was that experience a foretaste of what was to come....this time with my mother, instead of my son? The only difference is that that was a temporary memory loss and this time it is progressive and permanent. Same emotions, same fears, different generation.
As a main caretaker, there are good days and not-so-good days with my mom. Don't get me wrong. I love my mom more than anything. But the repetitive questioning, childlike behavior, and inability for her to process any deep thinking or decision-making can wear on my patience. I definitely have realized my own need for the presence and patience that only God can provide. If, like me, you are one of the estimated 15 million Americans caring for someone with dementia, you know that it’s a uniquely devastating disease. Dementia—the most common form is Alzheimer’s—robs you of the person you love. It attacks memory, personality, language, and physical abilities. It can last for years, even decades. And it has no cure.
I know that over time, my mom's dementia will only get progressively worse. That is why I try to appreciate the good times that I have been blessed to have to spend with her. Several months ago I made the choice to quit my job and be one of the main caretakers of my mom for this very reason. Those days and moments can be cut short at any time. I know that, even on those days when it is more difficult to have patience and endurance, I try to keep reminding myself that the days are short, compared to what time I may still have with her. I pray for strength and am so thankful that I can go to the Lord, Who...
...is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.(Psalm 28:7)
No matter what kinds of difficulties and trials we may be going through in our lives, we can lean on our Lord to strengthen and help us!! He provides all of our needs!! Praise Him!!
May you all have a blessed week!
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