Dementia Sucks

How many times have you been driving and forgot where you were going?  Or have you walked in a room and forgot what you went in there for?  Try living with that all the time when you have no short term recollection of anything.

My hunka hunka teases me, but supports my obsession, about drinking my miracle water, Fiji.  I started this sometime in August.  I read about a study done where a group was given one liter of Fiji water daily as compared to a controlled group given non-Fiji water.  Fiji water proved to reduce aluminum in our bodies.  Patients who have died of Alzheimer’s were found to have aluminum in their brains.  Hello, Fiji.  Goodbye, aluminum.

Dementia stole my mom from me twice, first mentally and then physically.  It is an absolute horrific disease.  A disease where there is no cure, only debilitating effects.  It attacks the brain differently, and in prolonged stages.    I never argued with my mom in what she was saying or seeing.  Who’s to say that was not what was going on in her mind?   I felt many stabs to my heart when I would sit across from my mom and she would lean over to ask, “Do you know when Micki will be here?”  I would smile, never showing emotion,  and tell her, “Micki would be by later that day.” There were times she would look through me instead of at me.  She referred to me often as my cousin, Annie, who passed nearly 40 years ago.  (I was told more than once growing up I favored Annie.)  There were other times God would give me my sweet mom briefly to let me know she was still there, masked behind the shell of my new mom.  Those moments were few and far between during the four years of suffering with dementia, but I cherished every one.  I loved my new mom with all my heart, but I longed for my old mom.  The mom who would hold me, rock me, and pray for me.

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Memory lapses were starting here, but I didn’t realize it at the time

In hindsight, I can look back and see where there were signs of early dementia in my mom.  I used to call her every day after work.  Some days she would say, “Did you call me yesterday?  I feel like I’ve lost a whole day.”  I would jokingly reply she was getting old.  Other times we would argue about something so insignificant at the time, but it was significant to her.  I had no idea it was that stupid disease slowing eating away at her mind.   If I had only known…

My sweet mom was diagnosed Type I Diabetic when she was just 40 years ago.  She was on a sliding scale and would take up to 5 shots a day, depending upon her glucose readings.  She never let it slow her down.  She cared selflessly for our family and both sets of grandparents, many times running constantly on no rest.  She was so busy taking care of others that she never had time to take care of herself.  She was an angel on earth.   If anyone ever said a bad word about my mom, I would question that person’s character, not my mom’s.

I read a fantastic book in 2014 called, The Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter.  He talked about scientific studies of how consistent high levels of glucose may lead to Alzheimer’s and/or Parkinson’s.  I believe that is where my mom’s dementia derived.  Mom never cheated on her diet; her body just could not produce her insulin properly.  Diabetes just kept waning on her.  Tough thing about medicine today.  One thing affects another.  She also had rheumatoid arthritis.  Her medicine to treat her RA would cause her glucose levels to stay high.  Vicious cycle.

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I miss those daily phone calls to her.  I remember often she would answer the phone with, “That better be my baby girl calling.”  I can still hear her voice saying that. Sometimes I’ll pick up her Chantilly powder box to smell it.  I can picture her sitting in her rocking chair.  Other times I pick up her Bible and trace my fingers along the worn edges, and know her hands touched those very same pages.  If drinking a particular water makes me feel like I’m keeping my mind clear an extra day (and a husband who supports my craziness), so be it.   I fear losing my mind.  I worry about having those lapses and ask my hunka hunka to let me know if I get them.

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Bittersweet depiction of how fast dementia can affect a loved one.  I went from laying my head on Mom’s shoulder to Mom laying her head on mine.

 

Dementia affects your loved ones around you more so than you.  You don’t realize you are not in a competent state.  My mom lived in her own world.  I was lucky and so blessed to be part of it.   With dementia, I got a new mom, but I never loved her any less.   People who have no experience with dementia, or Alzheimer’s, just don’t understand.  Please don’t judge or ‘think’ those affected should act a certain way.  For goodness sakes, don’t argue with them!  You have no idea what’s going on in their minds.  Just be happy you are there to share it.   I’m not gonna lie…I’d give anything to have my mom back with me, but I know she now has a new mind.  I focus in the knowing I’ll see her again one day.

Until then, I have to keep working my brain…some days I wonder how much I have left.  I am always reading a book.  I feel it helps keep my mind sharp and functioning.  I crochet because it forces me to think and count stitches.  I drink ‘miracle water’ because I feel flushing aluminum out of my body helps.  I lessen my gluten intake because I don’t want a lot of carb deposits in my brain.  I monitor my sugar intake because I don’t want to become a diabetic.   I cannot fight genetics, but I’ll do whatever is within my control to prolong the disease.

Now that God has called my precious Mom home, I only have the memories. And I need to do my part to hold on to those as long as I can.

If Fiji water is only a placebo or sales gimmick, then so be it.   I’ll keep on chuggin’ the water until Fiji no longer has any water to give!

Today’s thoughts were to just raise awareness to how much dementia sucks!  Trust me, I’m being nice in this depiction.  I have a few other choice words on how I really feel about dementia.  🙂

On another blog I’ll share happy memories of my mom, but until then…

Peace out, Trout!

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Healthy, happy sweet Mom with her beloved Mindy

4 thoughts on “Dementia Sucks

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