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AshleyMWC
06-04-2007, 01:22 PM
Hello everyone- this is my first time posting on this board, but I have truly been inspired and touched by the postings I have read so far. So, now I come asking for prayers for my father...and our whole family. I guess a little background is in order...

I am 26 years old, and an only child. My parents are divorced. My mom is my absolute best friend in the whole world. My dad was diagnosed with dementia about 3 years ago..he was 56 at the time. No doctor is willing to make a "firm diagnosis" as to what type of dmenetia, but we are pretty sure it stemmed from a severe case of sleep apea. My father was as hard headed as it comes, and he refused to wear a mask at night to treat his sleep apnea. He most likely would have had dementia as he aged the doctors tell us, but this may well have fast tracked it 15 or 20 years! :sad2: Anyway, my dad is now in a nursing home, and he is nothing of the person I once knew. I was a total daddy's girl growing up- he was my biggest fan in everything that I did. He is getting pretty bad now, and today I just received a call that he hit another resident :eek: I know that happens with the disease, but it's never a fun phone call to get. He talkes very little, and stares into space a lot....a far cry from the highly successful Commercial Lender he once was. I find myself having a harder and harder time going to see him, even though I know that is awful of me- but I also know that he would never have wanted me to have to see him like this.

Sorry this has turned into a longer posting than I had planned, but thanks to anyone who has read it and can spare a few prayers. My mom is currently on a cruise (which she totally deserves, btw), so I feel kind of lost not having her to talk to. Sure, I have friends I can call, but I know they have no idea what to do or say. So, I have come to my friends on the Disboards. :love:

Thanks again for listening to me!! :hug:

Philagoofy
06-04-2007, 02:02 PM
I'm so sorry about your Dad and what you are both going through. I know how difficult it can be as my husband's father had Alzheimers and it was very bad.

I wish I could find words to comfort you or help. All I can say is that I hope he doesn't suffer too long and that you keep your memories close to heart always. No one should have to go through this, it is a horrible disease. I'm so sorry.:grouphug:

I also know how hard it is to visit him because it seems like he doesn't even know you are there. And it's so sad to see him this way. I can't advise you on what you should do except to think ahead, you may have regrets whatever you do but if you do visit a few times more that what you really want to, you may later feel less regret. But please don't take this as any type of judgement. No one can say what is right for you to do.

My thoughts are with you & your Dad.

Mackey Mouse
06-04-2007, 03:58 PM
Big hugs to you Ashley.....

You bet I will keep you and your family, most especially your Dad, in my prayers. It broke my heart to read what you wrote and although I have not had any first hand experience with this, I can relate it to when my Mom was in a coma after having a stroke during surgery. I had to force myself to go each day....she was not awake, did she even hear what I said, I have to believe she did, it was very hard to face that everyday. I hear you on not wanting to go.. he is so young for this to be happening to him and you are young to go through it, hugs again.

I liked what Philagoofy said here: "that you keep your memories close to heart always." It got me through the missing part of losing my Mom, and the missing part of her not being there for me to consult, but I always have the memories of her at my wedding, her with my children...I keep her with me everyday and that is what you need to do right now...Visit when you can, but remember him as he was and how he would want you to remember him, keep those memories close.

Deesknee
06-04-2007, 11:46 PM
Prayers said. I agree hold tight to the memories. It helps me to count my blessings everyday. Also, I assume since you are asking for prayers, that you have some type of faith. I have found it extremely helpful to say a prayer as I drive up to the nursing home. I ask my God for serenity to accept the things I can't change and the courage to change the things I can. More than once, something has happened in that short time frame that has kept me from going into the nursing home. Always when that has happened, it has been a day that is better for me not to have seen my loved one that resides there. Best of luck. You will continue to be in my prayers along with my other disboard friends.

mommasita
06-06-2007, 10:20 AM
:grouphug: Prayers said.

AshleyMWC
06-12-2007, 02:43 PM
I wanted to thank everyone for all the prayers and hugs, it made me feel great :hug:

A quick update ony my dad for anyone interested....well, I forgot to mention that the nursing home lost his glasses a couple weeks ago , and he is blind as a bat without them! Well, he got new ones Saturday and he can finally see. He recognized everyone who saw him over the weekend :banana: He is even talking a LITTLE bit more.

Now for the not as good news....my godmother went to visit him Friday, and when she walked in, one of the nurses on the ward was SCREAMING at the top of her lungs at one of the ALzheimers patients (who was a frail little lady curled up on the couch)! She was yelling at her to get up, get moving, yadda yadda yadda. Oh, that burns me up to no end. I know their job is stressful, but everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Once she saw my godmother she of course totally changed her tune. Too late, caught ya :scared1: Anyhoo, my godmother goes into my dad's room to find his air is not on (the room was about 88 degrees she said), he has no sheets or anything on his bed, and no toilet paper in his bathroom! This is the second time in two weeks mind you, that we have caught them with no sheets on his bed. When we asked them why, they said "We couldn't find any." Oh you have GOT to be kidding me....he had 3 sheets when he got there 4 weeks ago!! So, I guess I can see where he is frustrated and scared, and also not being very well taken care of after we leave!!!!! I am sooo filing a complaint this week with the Dept of Social Services.

Oh, and the news gets worse, the home called Saturday to tell us that they no longer want him to live there...yeah, kicked out! UGH!!!! So, we had to check him into a local hospital Saturday afternoon for "evaluation" until we figure something out. I am so mad that they are taking such poor care of him (and probably others on the ward) and then turning around telling us that he is the bad one. I know he has not so great tendencies, but he can't help it :headache:

Ok, I apologize for the rant, I just had to get that out!

withay
06-12-2007, 04:11 PM
First and foremost, I am praying for you and I hope you are doing alright.


My grandma had Alzheimer's. She got to the point that we had to move her from a nursing home to an Alzheimer's specialty facility. At the first facility, we found out (through the family of another patient), that nurses and techs were "teaching"/showing my Alzheimer's-stricken grandmother where the door was and how to get out. This way, if she went out the door, she was consider a flight risk and a wanderer and thus, cannot be under their care. To us, it seemed like the facility didn't want to care for her in the first place. In the specialty facility, we had many of the problems that you are discussing. We would go and visit my grandmother at 6:30 at night and the WHOLE ward would be in bed already, and all nurses/techs would be eating and watching tv in the day room.

Basically, if it helps, I know what you're going through and JUST how frustrating it is. Even though it was my grandmother and not one of my parents, I saw what my mom (also an only child) had to go through.


Alzheimer's and Dementia are horrible diseases. It is tough on the patient, and doubly tough on the family. My advice is to keep remembering your father as the man before he was stricken with Dementia. To this day, in my mind, my Nana is the beautiful soul that she was, only without Alzheimer's and confined to a nursing home.

I pray that you will continue to update us; I will be checking up on you. I'm keeping you and your entire family in my thoughts and prayers.

safetymom
06-13-2007, 09:41 AM
Hugs and prayers for all of you. I know it is tough watching a loved one decline. Keep posting here, it really does help.

hematite153
06-13-2007, 12:17 PM
I'm sorry for what you are going through. Watching a loved one decline is never fun and it always seems especially difficult when they are so young.

I hope that the hospital evaluation goes well. If you get lucky you could end up with a quality specialized placement. (Can you do any research on facilities in the general area and then make requests?)

My grandmother ended her life in a nursing home that made me cringe. Staff yelling, forcing food into people's mouths before they'd finished the last bite, etc. She'd been in a much nicer place but it was 4 hours away from my father and he wanted to be able to visit her more often. She loved the visits, but the atmosphere of the place must have contributed to her accelerated decline after the move.

Some ideas for visits (this is what worked for us but it might not work for you)....

My father liked to go at meal times. In the first place my grandmother stayed (which was near me) I could actually arrange in advance to come and eat a meal with her. But, the food was never to my liking so I didn't do this very often. (They also had a room that we could book if I brought in food and I did this more often.) But, after she moved, my Dad found that if he went and sat beside her during meals she would eat more and, in a worst-case scenario, they could always talk about the food. (Plus, it kept her from having the staff forcing food into her mouth.)

The other thing that worked really well was to bring pets. Do you have any pets? Did your father used to have pets? I brought my Mom's dog with me once because I was dog-sitting and happened to have her with me when I was going to see her. We were able to have an extended conversation about the dog's antics. My father brought his cat in a couple of times after that and it always went over well. We found that even though her mind had slowed such that she seemed like a different person the animals brought back a piece of her that we rarely got to see.

I wish you luck finding routines that help you with your visits and encourage you to remember the fun stories from your past--you might even be able to tell the same story multiple times per week. You will be in my prayers.

NHAnn
06-13-2007, 07:54 PM
Ashley, I'm sorry and will keep your dad and family in my prayers. So sad for such a relatively young man to go through this.

My 84 year old Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's yesterday :( We have suspected but did not want to face it, now we must. This is quite overwhelming, as my mom is already in a nursing home after an aneurysm and stroke 8 years ago. She's mentally actually pretty good, with some physical impairments and she rallied from a hip break and almost fatal bout of pneumonia following that last fall. Too many complications to go into here, but I came to the board today to see if I saw an ALzheimer's thread. Your post was on top of the board. My heart goes out to you.

LaLaroo78
06-14-2007, 08:01 AM
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Alzheimers is a terrible disease. My gram had it and it was so hard watching someone you love go through that. We went through a few different facilities with her because of the lack of care we felt she was getting. There is a book out there that really helped my mom. I think it is call When someone you love has Alzheimers (I will look at home and then post the correct title if that is not it). Stay strong. Remember if you ever need to talk you got your friends here on the Dis. :grouphug:

AshleyMWC
06-14-2007, 01:41 PM
Well, first off, thanks to all my loyal listeners and their loyal prayers. My dad is still in the hospital of course, and my uncle and I are going to move his things out of his last assisted living facility, tomorrow. After this hospital stay, he will be moving into a full fledged nursing home :sad1: Inevitable, but still, you never like to have to do it. Poor thing, he has been moved and shuffled so many times, I'm sure he is more confused than ever. Since October, he has been in the hospital 3 times (one time for 5 weeks!!!), and been in two different assisted living facilities. That's a lot of moving folks! :scared1: So, maybe this time will be the last time....keep your fingers crossed!!

And to everyone out there going through a smiliar situation, my thoughts and prayers are with you as well :grouphug:

withay
06-14-2007, 10:50 PM
That has got to be tough on not only your dad, but also your whole family! My thoughts and prayers are with your father, you, and your family!

Keep us updated!

hematite153
06-15-2007, 10:01 AM
Thanks for the update. I will keep your family in my prayers and keep my fingers crossed that this upcoming move holds.

Philagoofy
06-15-2007, 08:06 PM
:grouphug:

AshleyMWC
06-21-2007, 07:45 PM
Well, i wanted to update everyone on my dad today. We got some not too good news today. My dad is still in the hospital as you probably remember, but he has now developed what doctors think is some kind of infection in either his brain or spinal fluid. He was almost unresponsive today, so they did a spinal tap to test late this afternoon. One doctor even said that this infection may have been the cause for some of his aggressiveness, and not necessarily from the dementia. That's sort of sad for me to think about- guess we'll never know if it could have been caught earlier. Anyway, the doctors tell us that he most likely doesn't have too much longer, so it's just a wait and see now. I know that if God calls him soon, he will at least be free of suffering and pain- the way I want him to be. I'll let you all know as soon as I know more. Thank for the constant prayers and support.....who ever would have thought that support would feel so good coming from people you've never met :goodvibes


Oh, by the way NHAnn, I am thrilled to hear that Avery is having some good days now :thumbsup2

LaLaroo78
06-21-2007, 08:36 PM
Ashley,

Sorry to hear about the not so good news. I truely feel for you. I will continue to keep you and your dad in my prayers.

Stay strong!

:grouphug:

GraysMom
06-25-2007, 01:58 PM
:grouphug: to you, your DF and the rest of your family. I hope things improve.

AshleyMWC
06-25-2007, 02:43 PM
Continued thanks to everyone for all the thoughts, prayers, and :grouphug:

My dad didn't have a veyr good weekend, and doctors will probably be inserting a feeding tube later today. I know that he doesn't have long to live now, so we will just continue to pray for the best and least painful course of action. I'll be sure and keep updates coming as soon as I know them.

AshleyMWC
06-27-2007, 09:58 PM
Quick update before I hit the sack tonight:

We decided to take my dad's feeding tube out yesterday, and the doctors have assured us that he will not be in any pain, which is comforting. He has also developed pneumonia over the last couple days, which is pretty common, especially with his pre-existing heart condition. All is all, we are just making sure the nurses and doctors are making him as comfortable as possible for however long he has. We don't know how long he has, but our best guess is a few weeks- but really, who knows anymore :confused3

I am actually going to Ohio this weekend for a good friend's wedding, so I think it will be good to get away with my friends for a couple days. I know that there is nothing I can do here, and everyone insists I go....I do already have the plane ticket after all. So, I will update everyone when I return.

Thanks again for all the prayers and thoughts....it really does make me smile when I see your kind words :grouphug:

mommasita
06-27-2007, 10:18 PM
I hope you have a great weekend, and It will do you the world of good..

Continued prayers for your father :grouphug:

Mackey Mouse
06-28-2007, 04:59 AM
Oh Ashley.. I was so sad to read this.. I hope your getaway was enough to rejuvenate you when you get back. It is so hard to watch a love one fade away. Hugs to you, know you are making the best decisions for your Dad.

AshleyMWC
07-12-2007, 09:31 PM
Hello everyone. Well, I wanted to let everyone keeping up, that my dad passed away earlier tonight. I was at the hospital for about 2 hours, and that was all I could do. I just couldn't stand there and watch him take the last breath. I had a few minutes alone with him, and it was good. I know that he is in a better place now....a much better place than I saw him in 4 hours ago. It was the most awful thing I think I've ever seen, and even though he wasn't conscious, I really feel like he knew I was there. Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I'd like to think not. Thanks again for all the wonderful thoughts and prayers, they really do help me get through the days. :grouphug:

Mackey Mouse
07-13-2007, 05:22 AM
Ashley, I am so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. He was very young to have this happen and that just breaks my heart when people pass so young...

I have to tell you that you did the right thing spending that time with him and you are right, you did not have to stay till the last breath. I thought when my Mom passed it would be relief for me to be there for that last breath and know she was not in pain anymore, but it was not... As far as him knowing you were there, I believe he knew....even though not conscious, I think somehow they know...

Please know that I am keeping you in my prayers as you go through the next few days and the days after that......Hugs and do check in with us and let us know how you are doing...

Again, I am so sorry about your Dad.

LaLaroo78
07-13-2007, 06:27 AM
Ashley, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family.

:grouphug:

safetymom
07-13-2007, 09:07 PM
:grouphug: I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you all in my prayers.

mommasita
07-14-2007, 11:14 AM
I am so truly sorry....Prayers for strength going out to you and your family :grouphug:

AshleyMWC
07-22-2007, 01:31 PM
I just wanted to let everyone know that we had my dad's memorial service last wednesday, and it was really great. The church was PACKED and afterwards, I even found out that they had to pipe the service in donstairs via the pa system so people could sit in the nursery and listen. I know that my dad must have been looking down and felt proud that he had that many friends. We had the regular church-y (that's so not a word) service, but we also had 3 friends speak, and that was awesome. All three were from different parts of his life, so none of their stories overlapped. They told mostly light-hearted stories, and everyone was laughing and thinking about the better times. I actually only cried during the first song- my dad LOVED church music. The rest of the service I teared up a few times, but mostly I was just happy to hear everyone remembering the good times with my dad.

So, thanks again to everyone for all the prayers and suport, it has been wonderful! :hug:

Philagoofy
07-24-2007, 10:57 PM
My condolences to you Ashley. I haven't been on here for awhile so I'm a little late but my sympathies go out to you. I hope you continue to remember the good times with and about your Dad and hope that you find strength & love with your family and your memories. :grouphug: