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  1. #1481
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    paleo-bunny is offline Senior Member
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    Is this Vacular dementia that your father has, Robin?
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

  2. #1482
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    Sure enough, making that move isn't easy. You will transition, and this will be a new normal, and joy will come in that.

    Until then, it's just working with the grief of change.

    Might I also recommend a boyfriend? When you get to new-normal. I suggest it. Stress reliever.

  3. #1483
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    Casual boyfriend, btw. I recommend someone in his 30s not looking for anything really but some fun. THat's the stress reliever part.

  4. #1484
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    I'm so sorry, Robin -- I think you have quite the understanding support group here - as many of us are in the same situation, have just passed through it or are seeing it very close on the horizon. You seem to be handling it well, and its very obvious you are a loving and devoted daughter. I'm sure you're dad appreciates all that you do, even when he isn't able to express it.

    Blessings on you and your dad.......... I will keep you both in my prayers.
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    I'm doing this because I'm worth it - because I'm worthy - because I love myself.

    Goals: Healthy mind, healthy body, happy soul.

  5. #1485
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owly View Post
    I totally understand wanting to feed him what he's most comfortable with. My grandfather only wanted very familiar food, to the point that he rejected foods he had learned to enjoy later in life. The more comfortable and familiar everything was, the better he was, not just with foods. Sometimes it seemed like his symptoms were less when he had all that stuff, I think because it was the least stressful.
    Yes, exactly. The mental stress factor has to be managed as well as the dietary stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by paleo-bunny View Post
    Is this Vacular dementia that your father has, Robin?
    According to the neurologist, this is called "Multi Infarct Dementia" caused by a cluster of small strokes.

    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    Sure enough, making that move isn't easy. You will transition, and this will be a new normal, and joy will come in that.
    Until then, it's just working with the grief of change.
    Might I also recommend a boyfriend? When you get to new-normal. I suggest it. Stress reliever.
    Casual boyfriend, btw. I recommend someone in his 30s not looking for anything really but some fun. THat's the stress reliever part.
    The new normal is explaining the basic details of his life to him *every night* like what his wife's name was, how many children he has (and that I am one of them) and what our names are, where he is, what he has been through medically recently. The other night, he thought we were on the island of Catalina (off the California coast near LA) and that if we didn't get a move on we were going to miss the last ferry back to the mainland. Hoo boy. That was interesting.

    And yes, there is some grief involved. Imagine if your beloved father forgot your birthday. That would hurt. Now imagine that he forgot your very existence. All the intellectually knowing that "it is the stroke talking" in the world does not stop there from being a moment of pain every time that happens.

    As far as a boyfriend, I don't have the mental time or energy right now to bother. If I need that kind of stress relief, there are always batteries.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomi View Post
    I'm so sorry, Robin -- I think you have quite the understanding support group here - as many of us are in the same situation, have just passed through it or are seeing it very close on the horizon. You seem to be handling it well, and its very obvious you are a loving and devoted daughter. I'm sure you're dad appreciates all that you do, even when he isn't able to express it.

    Blessings on you and your dad.......... I will keep you both in my prayers.
    Thank you, Tomi.

  6. #1486
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    According to the neurologist, this is called "Multi Infarct Dementia" caused by a cluster of small strokes.
    That is essentially the same as vascular dementia, which one of my grandfathers has.

    It's horrible to see the physical deterioration, and as for the deterioration in memory ... that is clear to see, yet he has moments of complete lucidity (unlike Alzheimers sufferers) where he comments on his condition with a very clear understanding. Also, he can still recall significant recent events. He is now in a care home (he lived independently up until a few months ago, aged 95). He has said 'I'm not going to leave this place am I?'

    He has been extremely restless which is apparently a sign of this condition, and by all accounts he has responded well to anti-depressants which have a calming effect. But I can't help admiring his energy and strong will to live independently.

    I'm sure that your father appreciates having you there and everything you are doing for him, even when he can't articulate it.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

  7. #1487
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    I can honestly say that I do not know what you are going though, I can only think of you often and hope that you are doing ok.

    Also, I wasn't meaning to spend that energy now. One of the problems that I see in my care-taking friends is that once the new normal becomes routine (ie, not as much energy as it is now, before it has become routine), then the routine takes over. And that becomes burdensome.

    A friend of mine in a similar situation discovered that finding (via the internet no less) a no-commitment boyfriend who was just there for fun -- going out for drinks, then some physical connection -- was really nice for her. It got her out of that routine, and back into being herself a bit. It decreased the struggle that she was going through, and it kept the routine from being a burden.

    And, it wasn't difficult for her to find what she needed; she was pretty amazed about how it showed up when she first asserted to herself/outloud that it would be nice to have that contact with another.

    You aren't there yet. I don't expect you to be -- of course.

    You are also more vivacious than the average bear, and I think a lot would be lost to you if you got lost in the common pattern of how this routine goes for many women.

    Or perhaps, I'm just trying to put myself in your shoes and my brain goes "oh, that would not be good."

    I'm also sorry if this is all terribly insensitive. I know that you are focused on your dad. I'm mostly focused on you. I really want you to be ok. And I know you are going through a big shift and a big struggle. I don't understand it fully, but I'm trying to.

  8. #1488
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    That feeling forgotten thing is awful. I'm so sorry, and I know that no amount of "it's just the..." takes the hurt away (although it can make it a little easier to bear). The hardest one for me was that my grandmother died after my grandfather's dementia got serious, and he would sometimes forget she was gone and look for her and then it was like new grief for him again and again. There's no way to make that easy (for him or for the people who have to tell him again and again).

    Please make sure you are getting support in this. My aunt was my grandfather's primary caregiver, and although she is an amazing, compassionate, determined woman, it was so exhausting for her and there was a lot of emotional toll that she didn't deal with until after he passed. We've had some good conversations about the strain that caring for an ailing parent can bring since my mother's illness was also long and difficult, brain tumours being another thing that can really change a person. Getting support and making sure you have respite time is really vital. Even if you can just have a few hours a week for yourself when you can get a caregiver in or something, it's really important to take it. Otherwise your love and caring for the other person can end up eating you up.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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  9. #1489
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    I so agree with the others Robin. You must look after yourself. You are Dads world, and if you get sick that won't help anybody.... so maybe just a few hours a week, actually an hour per day would be better, so as you can get some fresh air/me time.

    anyway just wanted to say that my thoughts have been with you over these trying times.
    Take care
    Aroha
    G
    "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

    ...small steps....

  10. #1490
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo-bunny View Post
    That is essentially the same as vascular dementia, which one of my grandfathers has.

    It's horrible to see the physical deterioration, and as for the deterioration in memory ... that is clear to see, yet he has moments of complete lucidity (unlike Alzheimers sufferers) where he comments on his condition with a very clear understanding. Also, he can still recall significant recent events. He is now in a care home (he lived independently up until a few months ago, aged 95). He has said 'I'm not going to leave this place am I?'

    He has been extremely restless which is apparently a sign of this condition, and by all accounts he has responded well to anti-depressants which have a calming effect. But I can't help admiring his energy and strong will to live independently.

    I'm sure that your father appreciates having you there and everything you are doing for him, even when he can't articulate it.
    Yes, now and then things are as clear as a bell. Then the machine slips a cog again. It's foggy first thing then pretty good around midday. Then toward afternoon things start to get confusing and he starts to get really agitated. Today he was convinced that he had left some tools out by a tree he was trimming and that he needed to go get them. (He did trim that tree a few months ago before getting sick and I put away the tool he had left out while he was in the hospital). I had to keep repeating that everything was fine and that I had taken care of the tools. This tree is on an incline that he could not stand up on. Then the minute my back is turned he has put on jeans and is heading out the door to go get his tools. Yikes. I'm going to have to put some kind of locking mechanism from the outside on all the doors.

    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    I can honestly say that I do not know what you are going though, I can only think of you often and hope that you are doing ok.

    Also, I wasn't meaning to spend that energy now. One of the problems that I see in my care-taking friends is that once the new normal becomes routine (ie, not as much energy as it is now, before it has become routine), then the routine takes over. And that becomes burdensome.

    A friend of mine in a similar situation discovered that finding (via the internet no less) a no-commitment boyfriend who was just there for fun -- going out for drinks, then some physical connection -- was really nice for her. It got her out of that routine, and back into being herself a bit. It decreased the struggle that she was going through, and it kept the routine from being a burden.

    And, it wasn't difficult for her to find what she needed; she was pretty amazed about how it showed up when she first asserted to herself/outloud that it would be nice to have that contact with another.

    You aren't there yet. I don't expect you to be -- of course.

    You are also more vivacious than the average bear, and I think a lot would be lost to you if you got lost in the common pattern of how this routine goes for many women.

    Or perhaps, I'm just trying to put myself in your shoes and my brain goes "oh, that would not be good."

    I'm also sorry if this is all terribly insensitive. I know that you are focused on your dad. I'm mostly focused on you. I really want you to be ok. And I know you are going through a big shift and a big struggle. I don't understand it fully, but I'm trying to.
    Thanks, Zoe. I know what you mean about routines becoming a grind but, in this situation, things are changing so quickly that there is no time to settle into routines and get bored.

    Quote Originally Posted by Owly View Post
    That feeling forgotten thing is awful. I'm so sorry, and I know that no amount of "it's just the..." takes the hurt away (although it can make it a little easier to bear). The hardest one for me was that my grandmother died after my grandfather's dementia got serious, and he would sometimes forget she was gone and look for her and then it was like new grief for him again and again. There's no way to make that easy (for him or for the people who have to tell him again and again).

    Please make sure you are getting support in this. My aunt was my grandfather's primary caregiver, and although she is an amazing, compassionate, determined woman, it was so exhausting for her and there was a lot of emotional toll that she didn't deal with until after he passed. We've had some good conversations about the strain that caring for an ailing parent can bring since my mother's illness was also long and difficult, brain tumours being another thing that can really change a person. Getting support and making sure you have respite time is really vital. Even if you can just have a few hours a week for yourself when you can get a caregiver in or something, it's really important to take it. Otherwise your love and caring for the other person can end up eating you up.
    My Dad sometimes doesn't know that my Mom is dead and thinks she has gone to the grocery store or something. When I have to explain it to him it's like all the grief of the first time she died all over again.

    I appreciate everyone's concern for my wellbeing. I am doing my best to take care of myself physically in order to have the strength to face each day. I'm eating really keto and it seems to help balance out my moods. I manage to get a lot of sleep since beddie-bye time around here is right after dinner (He's asleep now). It's like people with little kids who get to bed early and get up early. Not a bad way to go actually.

    So much of my day is just about sitting and talking with him. He needs a lot of things explained every day. I really feel like his energy/life force/whatever you want to call it is slipping away. I just hope, for his sake, that he is able to go in a peaceful, dignified, calm way.

    Quote Originally Posted by NZ primal Gwamma View Post
    I so agree with the others Robin. You must look after yourself. You are Dads world, and if you get sick that won't help anybody.... so maybe just a few hours a week, actually an hour per day would be better, so as you can get some fresh air/me time.

    anyway just wanted to say that my thoughts have been with you over these trying times.
    Take care
    Aroha
    G
    Thank you. I promise to get lots of sleep and remember to eat. G'night.

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