Sometimes I wonder why I bother to get up in the morning? Why not just stay in bed all day, or at least until my wife gets home from work? Especially on days when it is cold and wet outside? I’m not a very good house bound person, as I prefer to be outside in the dirt and on the lawn tractors taking care of what God has loaned to me for this short time while here.
I wish so much that I could go back to my job that I held for 17 years, and that the past two years never happened. I miss being a part of the community that I used to be such a part of. There is so much going on around me but I have no real idea what it is. I miss being a respected member of our town. Most days the only person I have any real contact with is my wife. The biggest reason is that this is how I now prefer it. Crowds scare me and meeting new people is no longer my thing. I miss the old me.
Dementia is a really weird disease that actually destroys parts of the brain, and in my case it is the frontal lobes that are being lost. My ability to reason is being taken from me and I no longer have sympathy the way that I used to, or as I should. My wife told me the other day that when she cries it doesn’t bother me the way it did even three years ago, and she is right. I don’t want to be like this, appearing as an uncaring husband and father. This is a very slow moving disease that is robbing me of who I was and molding me into someone that I do not want to be, and there is nothing that I can do about it. It is something that completely changes a person from who they were born to be and turns them into an individual with nothing more than the ability to take up space.
It is my hope for myself and for my family that if I have to go through this than it will be at a speed in which my family does not have to watch me as another person for an extended period of time. It’s difficult at times to be aware of what is happening to me, but that only seems to happen for a few short minutes and I’m off to doing and thinking something else. I’m scared that I might become a burden to those who love me most and that is the very last thing I want for them.
My wife tells me to live for the now and for the most part I try very hard to do just that. But truthfully, that is an impossible thing to accomplish, as it is in the back of my mind all the time. The type of Dementia that I have been diagnosed with is called Semantic Dementia and I read that typically a person lives for up to six years after diagnosis, and it is believed that I have had this for at least the past 3 and possibly four years. If it wasn’t for the constant headaches I would seriously guess that I had many years to live, but the headaches plague me day in and day out and cause doubt to enter my thoughts.
One thing is for certain, I will live and love my family for as long as I can possibly outrun this disease that is robbing me of cherished time spent with them. It’s hard to walk around the yard, lawns, and gardens and wonder what they might look like after I am gone? I wonder if my wife will want to continue to live in this house that we fought so hard for two years to get? I wonder if my kids will want to come home anymore or if they will prefer to stay away? I hope they choose to stay here and that the kids will come to support their mother, who I know will need them very much, especially during the first year or so. I cannot help but apologize to them for causing them pain and anguish, but take comfort in knowing that I will one day see them again in a place where there is no illness, pain, grief, or loneliness, only habitual love.