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Old 01-12-2012, 09:38 PM   #1
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And then it happened...

Maybe 3 minutes after my husband got home there was someone at the door. We don't get a lot of visitors. He came back to tell me Lisa from Spring Hills was at the door. Wow! My surprise knew no bounds. Just a week ago my FIL and I had visited the assisted living facility where she works. She showed us around. I liked her and the facility seemed really wonderful. So now she's at my door and all I can wonder is why. She came in and sat with me and my daughters at the kitchen table. My teen was doing homework and my toddler was doing her best to get Lisa's attention with the Smurfs Christmas movie. She stopped by to bring me some wonderful things just for my own personal pampering. And she wanted to know how things were going with my dad. She remembered it all. As we sat talking I kept thinking, "Do all facilities do this? If so, why hasn't anyone else? Why is she here?"
I tried to talk in code as much as possible with my daughter there but she is smart as a whip and I knew she had it all figured out by the time Lisa left. So once everyone was settled I called my oldest son downstairs to talk to him. My concern was that my daughter might try to fill in blanks on the way to school tomorrow and I wanted him to hear it from the horse's mouth. I also talked to my daughter later and she said, "I can help".
He told me last year when I was warning my kids about Papa's memory that he never wanted another person in his family to have Alzheimer's and promptly burst into tears. My husband's grandfather had it and my son remembers. So telling him all of this killed me before it began. The moment the words "Papa has Alzheimer's" left my lips I felt like dying would be a gracious thing. He cried. I held it together. The only time I cried a little was when I told him that I hoped to bring my dad here. I said, "As much as you would take care of Daddy, I will take care of Papa. He is my Daddy." A few tears and we moved on. All in all I believe God had His hand in Lisa's visit and I pray it is because He plans for my dad to move here soon. Maybe it was in preparation for his arrival and God didn't think my kids should find out right before the event but rather have time to ask questions and settle into the potentiality of it?
My heart hurts. Because my dad has this disease. Because my kids now know there is a diagnosis beyond memory loss.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:57 AM   #2
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Re: And then it happened...

Keysey, a good facility has people like Lisa. I did such follow up visits from time to time but I usually called first Hang on to the phone number of that facility for future reference!! It is all beginning to fall into place.

It is difficult to know what is right for the kids but on the flip side kids tend to adjust and rise to the occasion. The responses of the 6 grand daughters to Mom's Alzheimer's has been a study in itself. My daughter loves and feels it is necessary to spend as much time with Mom as possible. She gets the disease! But she is a product of her upbringing and her Mom She spent many years growing up in the long term care facility with me when I was working there. We have had long discussions about the disease, death, dying, and living your best with what life hands you. There are three that will come sometimes if you go with them. A little tentative but they try. There are two that find it disturbing. They would not visit with Mom at first but do a little better now. What you need to do is just what you have done. Talk to your kids. Let them know what is happening and how you feel. Listen to how they feel. You are doing well

Sometimes else I see is that when we calm our minds, things tend to start happening. Lisa's visit was a result of you looking for alternatives for your Dad. I have found that when my mind is filled with stress, concern, worry, anxiety... it doesn't work too well. Those emotions seem to paralyze my thought processes and everything grinds to a halt. When I quiet my mind it thinks better and the little things I do lead to good things. I truly believe that we are what we think and our world responds. Thoughts turn into emotions which determine our actions. Our actions define what happens. It's not what happens to us that matters as much as how we handle what comes our way This will work out in the end.... As Dad used to say... if it's hasn't worked out yet then it's not the end It is up to us to find the good in life.

Love, deb

 
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:03 AM   #3
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Re: And then it happened...

Deb,
I will definitely keep her number handy. She is a vibrant, sincere person and the facility was nice. The people there looked happy and well cared for.
My emotions are all over the place some days and others, I feel fine. Uncertainty makes me crazy. LOL
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:06 AM   #4
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Re: And then it happened...

You are not the only one. Uncertainty is my weakness as well. I just have to remember that it can never be as bad as I can imagine!! By calming the mind I am much better able to deal with whatever life throws my way. Sometimes it takes great effort and sometimes I am not completely successful but it does get easier with practice. I have survived it all so far and expect to in the future as well.

One piece of good advice I received was to give up the extreme thinking. This is not the worst that can happen. It is not devastating. It is bad and it is sad but not something that is going to defeat me Thinking that way gives me the boost and confidence I need to do what needs to be done Those days that my emotions are all over the place I tend to have a long talk with myself! I have been known to actually write down what I have accomplished so far and that does a lot to put me back in the right frame of mind.

Love, deb

 
Old 01-13-2012, 11:15 AM   #5
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Re: And then it happened...

I will try that next time I feel myself worrying too much. Right now, I'm just counting the days until I get there. Time will tell what will happen but I'm optimistic that it will be what's best for my dad. How are things going with you?
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:05 PM   #6
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Re: And then it happened...

Keysey -

I am so glad Lisa came to visit you. I never had an experience like that from a facility, so I would take that as a VERY good sign Just thought I would share a little bit about our thinking & emotions. I have had panic disorder since I was 18. It has taken alot of work on my part to learn how to get on top of my thoughts & feelings, because they can become a runaway train . It's called catastrophioc thinking, and it can be very paralyzing.

I agree with Deb (as always - love ya Deb ) about slowing your mind down. For anyone, that catastrophic thinking can happen, it's just been my nemesis because it just goes with the territory of panic, etc etc. This disease (of dementia) can take us to places emotionally that we've never been to before. I know it did me.

Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you and hoping for the very best outcome

 
Old 01-13-2012, 01:54 PM   #7
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Re: And then it happened...

Thank you, TC. I'll look up catastrophic thinking though I'm pretty sure I know just what you mean.
How are you doing? Praying all is well with you both.
Love, Lee
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:13 PM   #8
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Re: And then it happened...

Lee, I am getting a bit antsy! I have seen Mom for 30 minutes (while she was sleeping) in the last 7 days and that is NOT normal! I do call every day to find out how she is and what is going on but there is nothing like being there.

Funny... my facility angel was also a Lisa. I had talked with her when I saw the possibility of moving Mom and Dad here. Then I gave up on the idea. I had told her on Tuesday it was on indefinite hold. Late Thursday afternoon I got a call that changed all that. I called Lisa at 7 PM (on her personal cell phone) and ask if we could move Mom and Dad in Monday!! Uhhhh?!?! We had all the paper work done Friday, finished up the logistics on Saturday, moved them out of AL on Sunday, and moved them in their new location on Monday. Considering they had a 3 room apartment 3 hours away that was a feat! Every step of the way my Lisa was right there Everybody needs a Lisa!

Yes, it is called Catastrophic Thinking. Some do it chronically and to extremes but all of us do it to some point. There is always a way to mellow our thinking to help us function better emotionally.

Love, deb

 
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