Monday, April 9, 2012

Dementia. A different type of blog...

My Gram, Mom's mom was diagnosed with dementia.

Not recently it's been known for awhile even before the Dr said those exact words.

We saw signs and started wondering…

There are 7 stages and we are seeing a rapid downhill decline, watching everything wiz by like trees in a fast moving vehicle. It's a whirlwind of a ride so far and we're often still caught up from one blast of wind and fixing our hair before the next one comes whipping around the bend. 

There's a new thing going down I like to call her "playing blind act" 
Gram sits in the chair in the living room and closes her eyes while she moves her head back and forth following sounds and conversation. She's trying to make it look like she's asleep but we all know she's not. This is usually followed by rambling in self-conversation and none of it making sense. 

She will bring up random conversation (Like just now, I got asked why I had clean feet because I was just out in the mud. Or asked about an Asian lady who comes (??) and if she’s the cook (We don’t have a cook). Little things and questions like that. Daily.), and speak of facts that you can tell aren’t from a sound mind or that happened years ago and she thinks it happened last week. If she can in fact remember last week. Even yesterday.

She will fixate on somebody in our home, the dog or even a child/baby that doesn’t exist and worry about them… And when I say worry, I mean WORRY. Today it’s the dog.

There is an obsession with children and babies; I’ve learned that this is common for dementia patients. She will insist she hears a baby crying or a child crying and or laughing. And if we don’t get up and tend to the “baby” we are bad people. It’s getting to the point where we’re starting to say things like, “The baby’s fine just let them be.” Or “The children are prob just outside playing and they are safe.” 
It’s become useless in telling her they don’t exist.
All though when she’s harping on me about my “baby” and when am I due or when did I have said baby I will try to tell her there’s no baby and I’m not pregnant. It never works and I’m trying to figure out a creative way to deal with it. I guess being a newlywed has her confused as to why I’m not in the child having mindset yet.

She has lived off Soaps since they came on TV and now her perception of reality is messed up. The poor dear believes the TV is real and tries to pour it out onto her daily life… Mom and Dad are always “arguing” or mom’s always “crying” 
My sister is always out “partying” (And if you knew my sister you’d laugh at that.) 
and I’m always “dying” My husband is the “golden child” which she at least grasps in her short time knowing him that he’s a good man!

How do you spell relief?

All though in her seeing him being good she developed a “crush” if you will? 
Disturbing but oh so funny haha It’s never dull when you’re with my family!

Gram is an adult but you find more and more it’s like dealing with and overgrown toddler. The way she moves her food around on her plate, the reactions to being told no and not understanding what she’s saying ect…

She used to hide in her room like a hermit and we’d have to pull her by the teeth. Now she’s taking to sitting in odd places that aren’t so odd when we’ve pulled her out of her room but it’s odd when she’s always hiding and now she’s almost sulking around and or getting up to do something or follow us.

This is not for lack of stimulation once again. She has an event place that we take her to, church functions and we try to encourage her to read, play cards ect… 
But loosing interest is all part of this monstrous disorder.

Today she’s in rare form, insanely restless and following us around. It’s easy to get a little frustrated but there’s compassion inside still and you are able to go with the flow. You try to deal with directness then tenderness.
Even if it’s moment by moment…

It's heartbreaking. 

But we continue to seek God and continue to find ways to keep up with a somewhat “normal” routine. What helps is there are 5 of us to do it and we take a lot off each other.

I know this is a different blog and there will be others like this. 
After all, this portion of my blog is our heart to heart conversations isn’t it? 
Why not tackle life issues as well as skin? 
This is part of not only my world but it might be part of yours or somebody you know. Therefore you understand why and how it effects your energy levels some days, with your family, friends or even job. 
Some days you’re bushed and can’t figure out why and then you remember.

My prayers are with you if this is part of your life!

Blessings dear friends, you are in my heart, always.

Shannon <3


  1. Shannon, this is so terribly sad. I will be praying for your family and Gram. As sad as this is, this is an excellent blog. Your heart is truly in this, and your writing is magnificent.