Saturday, January 3, 2015


So the stairs. There are 25 of them. It’s a step climb too. I went up and down 2 full times yesterday. I know it’s not a lot but it is a start. Today will do it three times. I’m not fast at all yet but will work up to that after I get better at just climbing them.
My activity last night for boys basketball was good. Long, I left at 2 and got home just past midnight. Makes for a long day when I have things to do before the trip. But that’s okay, I slept in this morning and am taking a nap this afternoon.
May I ask you guys something, do any of you have a parent that has Alzheimer's? Or dementia? Does anyone have the other parent very angry because she/he doesn’t want to be a caregiver? I know about groups for talking to but a group is not in my realm of possibilities, I don’t do groups. Just thought I’d ask here and see.
I want to play in my craft room today so that means I had best get out to do the chores and the stairs. Jim wants me to go to town for lunch and I want to nap and ……… well we’ll see what gets done. Really sleeping is top. I can’t go back to work on Monday tired and looking like I didn’t have a good vacation.
I hope you have a great weekend. I was talking with Kyra, I don’t have a support group here so I so look forward to posting and hearing from you guys. I am terrible at commenting all the time so I don’t expect you too but I do want you to know that every single little word you write to me makes my day more possible. Thank you guys.
“I am here, in the now” how are you doing?


Gwen said...

My dad had Alzheimer's for just a few months before congestive heart failure took him, so I can't answer. At 88, mom is still living independently. I've notice a few more mental lapses in the past couple of months, but nothing concrete to go OH NO over. Yet. Sorry I can't help.

those stairs look like a GREAT work out!

Kyra said...

My mother is in her 60's, but she has MS. Sometimes she has episodes that can last from a few hours to months (usually shorter) where it's full on dementia. I help out my parents a lot (dad is still working, and we've all moved to be close to one another) and I have to tell you that when my mother had a full blown episode and I was on my own with her, I realized I simply could NOT do that, be the full time caregiver.

My dad is obviously the caregiver for her, and it can become all consuming when it's bad. Fortunately with MS, things tend to shift back to normal for a while and my dad gets a break with a return of his parter (although she's not who she once was completely anymore, and hasn't been a for a good 15 years. She was diagnosed when I was in high school, and she worked for a while, but it got worse and worse and affected her mentally too.) My dad gets worn out and frustrated pretty fast when it's full blown. I think that while we all signed up for better or worse, sickness and health, when the mind goes it's a different game altogether and often too hard.

I know that if I had to take care of my mom full time that I couldn't do it. My mother, as a former nurse, understands how hard that kind of caregiving is and already has asked for assisted living (etc) when it gets to that point. I don't think there is a single person out there who likes the idea of destroying someone else's life if their mind goes, and I know if it happened to me I would prefer my husband find an alternate way to care for me and to go on with his life.

This is all very individual and touchy for a lot of people. Some people will scream and yell about being cold and not caring for a loved one personally. Others will go on and talk about how they didn't sign up for this. In the end, you have to do what is best for BOTH lives in the equation, not just one or the other. A compromise, whatever that may be.

Ronalee said...

I don't have anything to offer as far as advice for you on the support issue, but those stairs are crazy!
You can go as slow as you want, just remember that. You are burning calories and it isn't a race.
I did my 10 flights today and managed to walk 13,000 steps, so it's a great start to the new year.
Keep writing; it's good to read. :)

Betty W said...

Hey Julie! I have been reading your blog, just have so little time to comment. So glad you are back on track....just wish I could get that going in my own life again too.

Maybe you remember that my mom has dementia. When it was first diagnosed my dad was ok, but after a while he was ashamed to go anywhere with her, so he stayed home alllll the time. Losing his friendships along the way. He fell into depression and finally got really weak himself. So now they are both in an assisted living facility, and my dad is actually much weaker than my mom. I think this all came on, because he could not handle being the caregiver for her and did not want to invest in paid personnel. So now we try to visit as often as possible and hope that they can be comfortable in the place they are living now. But it is really sad to see them deteriorate...

Angela Pea said...

Wow. Those are some stairs.

Mr. Pea's mom is now living with us. She is just starting to show episodes of dementia. For instance, Mr. Pea and I purchased new bedroom furniture. I'm talking about a complete set, not just a bed frame. The delivery guys carted everything in, set it up, and helped us move the old furniture to another room. This took about an hour with three men walking back and forth across the house, hauling tool boxes, LARGE furniture, packing materials, dollys, etc., right in front of Mom. P. She watched the whole process, chatted with the men and helped with opening/closing the front door a zillion times. About an hour after everything was in place and the delivery crew was gone, she asks me, "Isn't the furniture supposed to be delivered today? When will they be here? We need to move the rugs out of the way."

Heck - I'm not prepared to be a caregiver, and I'm angry that it's been thrust upon me while I'm still struggling to regain my own health. But. Being angry doesn't fix it or make the situation better. I just have to pull up my big girl pants and get to work on all of it.

Baby Sister said...

Ugh. That is a lot of stairs!! Just take it as slow as you can, Julie.

As far as your question, my grandma had Alzheimer's and, while I was really young so I don't have a lot of memories of that time, I have heard that my grandpa was always very sweet towards her. Very patient, very loving. He would bring her to our house while he was at work and my mom would take care of her, and then he would take her home. As far as I know, he never complained. Good luck!!

Michele said...

My father had dementia. He turned from a mean and angry adult into a kinder person with the dementia. It was actually quite shocking. He could not live on his own. We had him live with us for a few months, but cold not trust his safety when we were gone to work. We had no choice but to look for a place where he would be safe. He is gone now, but I do not regret our choice.

Love the stairs. Just be careful of your knees.