God, it has been a really hard week. My emotions are all over the place as I continue to walk this path that you have layed before me. I learned last week that my Dementia is moving aggressively and after doing more research the kind that I have there is no cure or remedy for. According to books and online studies I should have anywhere from 6 months to 5 years before I go home to heaven. I am scared Lord, and yet comforted at the same time in knowing you. You know how this is going to end, but I feel as though I have to ask that you take care of my wife and family. Please allow them to feel your arms around them as this thing progresses and I forget who they are. Please let them know in ways that only you can, that I love them from the very depth of my heart and though I know they will miss me, I will see them soon. My headaches are severe and I know that I am forgetting things more now than ever. I need to relay all of this now before I don’t have the capacity to do so. I love you Lord, and am putting all of this into your hands today. I will not take it back and will do what it is that you have planned for me. You are my provider and as long as I continue to follow you I will not lose this fight in the end, I will only gain from it. Thank you Father, Amen.
It is December 16, and 9:45 in the evening. Cindy has gone to bed and my brain is having a hard time slowing down tonight. I am so stressed out and know that I have to settle down and start thinking about my situation a little more rationally. I found out this week that my Dementia is “progressing rapidly” and my doctor is telling me that there is no cure, and no medication to even slow down the effects and symptoms. I’m not going to say that I was okay with the original time frame of five to seven years, but I had somewhat come to terms with it. Finding out now that that time frame has been shortened has got my head spinning full circle. My thoughts are all over the place and I am uncertain as to what I am supposed to do next.
There are so many positive things that I need to concentrate on, instead of dwelling on the negative, or at least what I consider to be the negative aspects of this terrible disease. I realize that God never promised that I would live to be 100 years old, or that I would skate through life’s journey without any complications. Life has been hard in many respects, but also richly rewarding. I married my high school sweetheart five years after we met at the age of 16. For years we have been able to end each others sentences, and know exactly what the other was thinking without asking. We have been married for almost 28 years now, most of which had been truly rewarding. Sure, we have had bumps in the road but have always been able to come through them strong and learn from them. The biggest positive is that it is me that has Dementia and not Cindy. I’m not as strong as she is and I know that I couldn’t handle it the way that she has been. I realize she is putting on the face and appearing strong for me, but I know she is as scared as I am. I have been wondering lately about what it is going to be like around here without me. Who is going to fix things that need fixing? Who is going to cut the trees back away from the rock walls when they blow down in the high winds? Will my bird feeders go empty, and force the birds to find free meals at another house? There are small things that I shouldn’t worry about, but it is in my genetic makeup that allows me to worry anyway.
I’m more scared about leaving my wife alone in this house that is so quiet when one is alone. We are finally getting a handle on cooking for just two people, and I wonder how she will be able to cook for only herself. It breaks my heart knowing that I am going to leave her alone, first by going into some form of nursing facility for people like I am becoming. I don’t want to put my wife in a place where she feels obligated to keep me home and take care of me when I cannot do it on my own. I don’t want to be that person that just sits in a chair all day staring into the abyss or be that person that sits and drools all day, and can’t contribute to society. I am so forgetful already and can honestly say that I do not want to be here not being aware of people or my surroundings. At least with this, there won’t be any pain involved. Not for me anyways.
I try to psych myself up by telling myself that we are all going to face death one day. I however will not have to face the trials of getting old, brittle bones or the initial process of getting there. I have joined an online group called Memory People, and for the most part they have been able to answer many of my questions. But at the same time it compounds all of the negativity associated with Alzheimer’s/Dementia journey that I have been put on. Every single day there is at least one death being posted and that part of this group can be overwhelming sometimes. I know though that I am strong and with the help of my family and my friends I will make it through to the other side. I am so very blessed in so many ways. God has given me so much and the least I can do for him is to accept the journey that he has placed me on. I will still love you Lord.