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Old 08-21-2009, 09:02 AM   #3
skimps46 skimps46 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Denver Co USA
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Re: Hello! I'm new..forced my parents to an AL..burdened by guilt.

ktfair,

Welcome to our family! We are a bunch of folks, going through what you are going through, in varying stages of this dreaded disease. There is a lot of wisdome here, and so much experience that it boggles the mind.

I learned so much from these incredible people! Even though my daddy is now gone, they were with me step by step as he progressed. And even though all of our stories will end the same way, our loved ones take their own jagged journey though Planet Alzheimers.

Here is something I learned that saved my sanity quite literally: If you had a 3 yr old child, and she wanted DESPERATELY to drink just a little glass of gasoline, would you let her? Of course not. If the same child REALLY wanted to play Barbies in the center of the road, would you let her? Of course not.

Now, what if that child threw a screaming "I HATE YOU" tantrum? Throwing things, threatening, crying...would that affect your decision? Of course not.

It's no different when the roles change and you become the parent of your folks. They LOOK like your folks. They SOUND like your folks. But the "imposter" has taken hold, and this disease makes them say and do things that they would never do normally. That was such a hard concept for me...but it's true. Now, you have to parent them. And tell them "no". And watch 'em have a coniption. And love them anyway.

Now that your folks are taking this long trip through this disease, they are or will be more like a reticent child that the mom and dad that raised you. Eventually, they will go from your "folks" to rebellious teenagers (see DGabriel's story), to headstrong toddlers. Then, babies once again where they need to have their diapers changed and food spooned into their mouths. And of course, the end stage where they will eventually pass on like my daddy did just 4 short days ago.

When you look at or talk to your parents, look at them objectively for a minute. You will see that the fits they throw are part of the disease. It's so hard to be cussed at, disowned, hated. We all are either going through it or have gone through it, so we do understand.

I will throw you a towel, as well. This one is pink, because that is a calming color. Wring it hard, and put all your guilt into it. No guilt allowed here - it's a negative emotion that will do you no good. (Heh. Guilt is my middle name, I am afraid, and it's a tough emotion to get rid of. But please try - it's important that you maintain objectivity). Post often, and keep a stiff upper lip.

Again, I welcome you to our little family -

...lil' deb

Last edited by skimps46; 08-21-2009 at 09:07 AM.