Anxious about Dementia

So here I am, in my car, which is pretty hot. Probably have to open the windows to let in some air. Just going to make it hard for anything to be heard. Oh, oh, that feels good.
Okay. I’m on my way to the Alzheimer’s Association of Orange County, or whatever it’s called, Alzheimer’s dot org of Orange County. for those who want to check out the national Alzheimer’s US group. But I’m going to the local OC chapter’s educational series. The first one is Basics – Dementia Basics. I’m driving, so I’m not necessarily getting the title totally correct.
I’m actually pretty anxious going to it. Anxious because, well, this is pretty emotionally trying for me having both my parents with dementia right now. My mom’s struggling with what’s called vascular dementia, which is secondary to her stroke, and can be caused by heart problems, blood pressure, high blood pressure. All those things can damage the brain. Right? High blood pressure goes up, damage to the brain. So, and her stroke was the most damaging to the brain. Just horrible.
And, my dad has been struggling with memory loss for many, many years. This last year it’s just taken a real dive. He still has his social skills, but his memory is pretty fried, especially his short term memory. But he’s able to reason. His intelligence is there. It’s alcohol-related dementia. Some people are more susceptible than others. Have people drinking the same amount of alcohol. One gets cirrhosis. The other gets alcohol-related dementia. The other gets nothing. So, you never know what you’re playing with in terms of your deck, and you better take pretty good care of it.
I try to do my best. Well, I don’t do my best. I try to do my better. (Laugh) I don’t exercise enough. I know that. I’m taking cholesterol meds rather than strictly adhere to a low fat diet. I try, I look at the fat content in everything, but I just have my weaknesses, especially since my mom had her stroke. I’ve put on at least ten pounds, maybe fifteen. I think it’s about ten pounds according to my physician since her stroke, and it’s pounds where you don’t want to have it, on your stomach. That’s the area that’s not good for your heart.
Heart health is what I really have to take a look at now as somebody who is susceptible to stroke. My grandmother died, my maternal grandmother, my mother’s mother, died of stroke, and she’d had several TIA’s, which are like mini-strokes, before that. So, anyway, just checking in.


32 responses to “Anxious about Dementia”

  1. […] a long keen. Yes, I am keening, mourning the loss of my parents. They are alive, but I mourn their loss of cognition. Nick [my husband] has brought up a couple of times that we are 25 years away from where our […]

  2. Yep. Occasionally I go on a dog walk with Nick. Need to do so more regularly, but extremely fatigued. Ready to collapse…

  3. I love “do my better”!!! I’m going to use that from now on! I know you are humble when it comes to this family dilemma. I can’t help but continue to be amazed at how well you are facing this heartbreaking, incredibly stressful situation, anxiety and all. I hope that your meeting went smoothly. You’re in my thoughts often, and I will encourage you to care for yourself with diet, exercise and all those goodies, although guess who fell off the elliptical wagon when I got sick in December?

  4. I’ve had the same worry b/c some meds have side effects that mimic dementia symptoms. But proper meds protect the brain from harm, or so I understand.

  5. My mother and grandmother both had Alzheimer’s. I worry about getting it early due to psych meds but no studies on that. Sorry for the tough times you and your family are going through. In my prayers.

  6. Without a doubt. I’m glad that you survived the experience with your marriage stronger. I hope that your mind and body have had the chance to recuperate.

  7. Yes, it destroyed my mental and physical health, which were hanging by a thread as it was. It did almost cost me my marriage; however, in the end I think it strengthened that bond once we were back on our own. Even finding your parents in good care, there is still a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.

  8. Thanks. I can feel the pull of alcohol in my blood, so to speak, so I drink minimally to prevent becoming an alcoholic. Scary how toxic alcohol is. It’s a neurotoxin.

  9. Thanks. Will do. Have to recover from Sunday night. Haven’t written yet how I spent the late night and wee hours of the morning at the ER with my mom because she aspirated food and liquids. She’s doing well. Now on a dysphagia diet.

  10. Thank you, Mihran.

  11. Thank you so much. You are blessed to have your husband (and he, you) and your son and his husband. As they say, aging isn’t for sissies.

  12. My father thanks me, which I appreciate.

  13. Thank you. Caregivers suffer. Huge burden. Luckily my parents have the resources for me to place them in excellent memory care. I could never do it at home. My mental health, not to mention my son’s and husband’s peace of mind, would be destroyed.

  14. Yes. Helps to have excellent senior care. Couldn’t do it alone.

  15. It’s a still image with sound. I guess I should have clarified. I used YouTube, for I can type and do closed captioning.

  16. Hang in there. You sure are a great daughter.

  17. Kitt you are doing right by your parents, just don’t forget about yourself in the process. Take care!

  18. Bless you for all you are doing, both for your parents, and here sharing so much information. I’d never heard of alcohol related dementia. It’s all so random, it seems, how we are affected. You are wise to be so informed on topics that affect your genetics. Wishing you all the best, Kitt.
    Many hugs to you. This is such a stressful time. Take care of yourself. ? ? ?

  19. I can’t imagine having both parents so sick at the same time. You’re doing great, just try to remember to take care of yourself as well!

  20. Good for you for doing some research! I have some dementia in my family as well. It’s a scary thought. I’m glad you’re aware of the need to look out for yourself. Hang in there!

  21. Kitt – I never met a lady has a confidence and determination like you!

  22. You are such a good daughter. Your parents are blessed to have you looking out for them. Praying for all of you.

  23. Be proud of yourself for doing research, attending support groups and sharing on your blog. Many would be inclined to give up and give in to a natural feeling of helplessness. Your parents are lucky to have you, whether they’re able to tell you or not.

  24. My father was suffering dementia in his final years. As I was his primary caregiver I got the “brunt” of it. I don’t mean that as harsh as it sounds. I am sure you and others can understand. It broke my heart to see him that way. Your parents are lucky to have you but just know you have to be good to yourself as well. Sending hugs and prayers.

  25. My father is dead. My mother is either senile or still very strict. You are a good person for loving parents and caring for them. In later years, both can be a challenge.

  26. tough stuff you’re dealing with there. Hugs. <3
    Diana xo

  27. You are doing well, taking care of both your parents… with dementia… how incredibly difficult that must be. Lucky they have you for a daughter! Hugs for you. Btw the video didn’t play for me, it was just a still image with sound…

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