Monday, October 11, 2010


Wow. It's been a long time since I've posted, and so much has happened. Some of it is good stuff: I got to go to Europe with Mitchell for a choir trip, and it was an amazing experience. The countryside in Switzerland is the most beautiful place I've ever seen. I miss it. Since some of my ancestors are Swiss, I wonder if there is some sort of genetic pull there for me. It reminds me of a dream I had of Heaven, and I told Alan I'd like my ashes to be set free in the foothills of the Swiss alps.

Another highlight of my summer was Isaac finally learning to ride his bike and then pushing his dad and me to go riding with him nearly every day. I didn't go as often as Alan did, but I truly enjoyed the times I did go. Twice we went to Minto Brown together and had a wonderful ride in the sunshine. We also went to an area closer to our house with a lot of bike trails. It used to belong to Fairview, an organization that works with people with developmental delays. It was closed and the property purchased by a developer. Unfortunately for the developer, the economy has led to a lack of sales. Fortunately for us, the roads and bike trails are all paved, yet the population is so low that we usually get to use them by ourselves.

After my last post, we finally got a diagnosis for my mom. It's Lewy Body Dementia.
For more information about this disease, go to

I'm still plagued with doubts. What if it's not? What if she's simply overmedicated? What if it's something curable? But we've explored all those avenues, and the specialists all tell us that there is nothing we can do except try to slow it down with medication and wait for the end. I've struggled with depression since May. It's a hard diagnosis to face. It's the second most common dementia after Alzheimer's, but it's more devastating. Not only does it kill sooner, but the end is drug out and exceptionally hard on the families. If it follows its normal course, Mom will become hostile and have hallucinations. So far that hasn't happened, thank God. She'll lose her ability to walk and to bathe and dress herself. She'll probably need to wear Depends and be changed and cleaned up by her care takers. In the very end, she will choke and possibly vomit when eating. She may not be able to speak or if she can, she may not recognize us. All of that is going to be too much for my dad to handle who is in poor health himself. Will she go to a care home? Will I have to quit my job to make sure she's cared for properly? Will dad be able to live alone, or can he go with her? So many unknowns.

Soon after we got that diagnosis, dad's heart rate and blood pressure became so low that he had to go immediately to the hospital and had a pacemaker put in. I left for Europe soon after that. Three weeks after I came home, on August 2, my brother-in-law Lynn died unexpectedly in his sleep. My sister needed a lot of help after his death (and will probably always need help in different ways--yardwork, financial, car repair, etc.). Her friends and church and other relatives helped in the immediate aftermath, but I'm not sure how much longer others can help her. I worry about the stress it places on my dad because he's trying to do as much as he can to help her now that Lynn is gone. But before that, Lynn was helping Dad with his yardwork. I feel like there is now too much need in our family and not enough strength/time/money to meet all the needs. It's stressful, to say the least. We're out of balance.

God is good. I claim that. I believe that. Despite my circumstances, I have faith that God will provide and equip me and others to persevere through this time. Mom used to tell me that when the hard times come, God gives us resources we didn't know we had. I trust she's right about that. Faith is a good legacy to have.

No comments:

Post a Comment