Imagine a man who…
- Graduated from university with a first class honours degree.
- Worked for Rolls Royce.
- Became a further education lecturer, teaching mathematics and science.
- Served on his local council as a councillor for many years.
- Played several musical instruments and was well known in the jazz and big band scene.
- Composed and arranged music for bands/groups/ensembles/individuals.
- Avid football fan.
Now imagine another man – This man…
- Spends most of his time in bed.
- When up, struggles to stay awake.
- Is dizzy whenever he stands up.
- Rarely goes out the house.
- Doesn’t recognise people or places he knows well.
- Struggles to remember what he’s been told just a few minutes earlier.
- Has difficultly distinguishing between reality and fiction. i.e. He’s adamant about some things which we know are not real.
- Has lost some of the ability to perform everyday tasks.
So who are these men I’ve described? Well both are the same man, and that man is my Dad!
The first man I described was my Dad prior to the onset of vascular dementia, while the second is a current description of him.
Dementia is one of those illnesses which I think unless you’re directly affected by it, will think it’s just a big word for someone who’s forgetful…if only!
Life has been drastically changed in the last year for both my Mum and my Dad, as my Dad’s dementia has quickly progressed to it’s current state. Mum now has help Dad with most things as well as explain the same things over and over again to him.
It’s sad to see someone you know and love deteriorating before your eyes, especially as there is nothing we can do to prevent it. However I think what makes it even harder for my Mum in particular, is the fact that my Dad was obviously a very clever guy, but this illness has now reduced him to someone who doesn’t even recognise family or friends anymore.
I find it hard when with Dad, so I can only imagine how Mum feels coping with him 24/7 – Mind you at least the doctor agreed a couple of weeks ago to try and get her some help, as personally I felt she was taking on too much as I can’t be there with her and Dad all the time.
Dad’s told Mum a number of times in the last few months that he’s not got long to go – Mum was understandably upset by this, as I was when she told me. However the doctor still tells us that other than his dementia, Dad is very well for his age, so maybe it’s just because Dad doesn’t really know what’s happening to him that he’s saying this.
Last Friday was the 25th March, and on Friday, Dad apparently asked Mum what date it was, and when she answered it was the 25th, Dad started wishing himself “Happy Birthday”…There was only one problem with this…Dad’s birthday is the 25th of April not the 25th of March! So very sad.
In closing I’d just like to ask you to pray for my Dad, and also for my Mum as she cares for him as dementia is more than just someone being a bit forgetful, it’s a debilatating illness that affects not only for the sufferer but also their family and friends.
In addition, please pray for all those around the world suffering from, or caring for someone with demenita, it’s a tough life, and one that everyone concerned needs our prayerful support for.