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Alzheimer’s & Dementia – Through the Eyes Of A Caregiver Part VII




Things seem to be going fine since I quit my job.  Mom seems more comfortable with me being at home all the time now.  On the other hand, I get to listen to her repeating herself all day instead of just in the evenings.  I know that I am definitely going to need to work on my patience.

An Awesome Best Friend

While I was still working, I was blessed to have made a close friend.  He worked in a different department but was required to come to our office at certain times.  He was so easy to talk to and we got along so well. He had just recently gone through a long separation and divorce, and I was going through my issues with mom.  We had plenty to talk about.

He is a very tall and handsome man.  I have to admit that I was attracted to him as well.  But it was so nice to have someone that I was able to talk to.  Him being tall and handsome was a nice perk! When I left my job, we remained friends and in constant contact.  He was definitely my calm.

A New Addition On The Way!

My oldest daughter and her husband who had gotten married months ago invited me and mom to dinner.  They were pretty busy with their jobs, so it was a welcomed invitation. We met and got settled at a table.  With our food order out of the way we enjoyed getting caught up on the goings on with each other.

Then the news broke!  My daughter told us that I was going to be a grandmother!  My mom was going to be a great-grandmother for the first time as well.  We were so excited! Does this mean I’m getting old? Yes, I started wondering these crazy things, but I was still super excited!  This was going to be a new experience.

Can You Repeat That?

As the days and weeks were going by, mom repeating herself and not remembering what she did or said two minutes prior continued to progress.  The majority of the time I tried to ignore it. That along with her talking to the people on the television. Just for fun, I’d ask her who she was talking to.  Usually, her answer was that she didn’t say anything. Okay, I guess I was just hearing things.

At certain times, I had to laugh, usually to keep from crying.  I felt so sorry for mom. She didn’t have a clue what was going on most of the time.  There wasn’t anything I could do to stop this horrible disease that was taking over my mom.  This disease was slowly but surely stealing my mom away from me.

Awaiting The Arrival

I was getting excited about the arrival of my first grandchild.  It’s so funny what mom remembers and doesn’t remember. She constantly remembers that there’s a baby on the way, but constantly asks if it’s a boy or a girl?  She can’t remember that part of it. So that has been a constant daily question…all day!

Finally, we get the call that it was time!  My granddaughter had arrived! Little Tenley was finally here.  So I got mom ready and we headed to the hospital to meet our newest member of the family.  What a wonderful feeling to hold your first grandbaby. And mom was able to hold her first great-grandchild.  Mom held that baby like a pro grandparent!

Keeping Mom Occupied

It was planned that when my daughter went back to work that I would be taking care of my granddaughter during the day.  I thought it would be good for mom to have the baby around the house. Not only to spend time with her great-granddaughter but therapeutically as well.  She would have something different to focus on.

Mom loved having Tenley here at the house.  She loved holding the baby and helping to feed her and getting to know her.  They bonded really well. Those two grew to be very close buddies. As Tenley started growing up, they picked on each other.  They had morning coffee together. They read books, colored in coloring books and played different games together. It really was like watching two little girls playing together.

My Continued Support System

A couple of times a week, my friend Rick, and I managed to get in a little exercise.  I felt comfortable enough to get away from the house for about 30 – 40 minutes and we would go walk the track at the University here in town.  It was a good stress reliever and we had a chance to chit chat and catch up on gossip. I was able to vent and relieve stress if I needed to and Rick could do the same.  It was a nice relaxing walk and I got some fresh air. I didn’t get outside that much.

This was really the only interaction with anyone outside of my mom and my daughter.  Rick was so easy to talk to. He listened when I was starting to have problems with finances since I wasn’t working anymore, and medical issues since I didn’t have insurance.  We could talk to each other about anything. I don’t know what I would have done without him to talk to.

Heart Attack on the Walking Track

One day while Rick and I were taking our walk on the University track, we were talking about my usual problems.  My diabetes being out of control since I didn’t have insurance being the main topic. We had both joked around saying we were never getting married because both of us were previously divorced.  We both were not in a hurry to jump into marriage again. I had been divorced for seven years and Rick hadn’t been divorced for as long as I have.  

Well, we were walking along and Rick just said, “well, what would you say if I asked you?”  I said, “if you asked me what?” He turned to me and got down on one knee, right there on a gravel track and said, “if I asked you to marry me?”  That’s when I had my heart attack! I was in total shock! Right there on the walking track, he was really asking me to marry him! I told him that I would say “YES”!  We hugged and finished our walk and he took me home.

Now, A Wedding To Plan

Now, we’ve got a date and a wedding to plan.  We told mom the news. She was thrilled. But she had to be reminded every day what was going on.  It was new news to her every day. So, I got to make her happy all over again every day. Rick’s main concern was to plan this wedding fairly soon.  He wanted to get me on his medical insurance so that I could get to a doctor and get back on diabetes medication and get my health back on track. I wasn’t going to be any good to mom if I wasn’t healthy.

Rick did most of the planning and scheduling of the things for the wedding.  He’s a good man! No, actually, he’s the one with a job and the funds, so he knew what he could afford.  But he did a beautiful job and we just planned a very small wedding with just a couple of his co-worker friends, my daughter and her husband, and my granddaughter.  My son-in-law would walk me down the aisle. We didn’t need anything big. It was planned for a few months out and I think it was a few weeks out that I went and found a dress.

Take Care & Be Well






    • robinarroues

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