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Arkansas and Alzheimer’s

Last week was an impromptu trip to Arkansas to be with my mom who has Alzheimer’s Disease.  We have two sitters that help my dad out everyday.  When one needs to be off, it is much more work than one person needs to handle.  I received word that one of my sitters needed to be off, so I began to think and plan and decided at last minute that I would go to Arkansas.

I have some very strong words that I could attach to the word Alzheimer’s.  And to be honest, they aren’t appropriate I’m sure.  However, that stupid disease has stolen my mama.  Literally, it has taken everything I loved about my mom.  My mom is a person, but she is not my mom!  My mom would be horrified to know where she was today!  She was terrified that she would get this disease and her worst nightmares are true.  It makes me terribly sad for her, for my dad, and for my brothers and I!

Just thought I’d give you a glimpse into a week with my mom!

I took the dryer apart. My mom had so carefully stuck an entire towel down the lint opening. They told me it had not been drying good for awhile now. When I found the bath towel, I was so thankful that there had not been a fire.
For some reason, my mom has decided that she is going to destroy all my dad’s beautiful flowers. She literally pulls them out of the ground and as the case this week…pulls them out of the pots! I learned to quickly repot the plants. It truly is a wonder that any of these flowers survive!
This little vial of lotion…one could never know how thankful I am for this calming lotion!
My mom’s “gotta go” frequently. Not to potty either. She’s very agitated and wants to go home or somewhere else. After the car being unlocked and my mom sitting in it, I later discover the battery is ran down and it won’t start.
My dad has long since learned the secret to take care of my mom. Drive 20 minutes, get her an ice cream cone and amazingly the next 20 minutes she is quiet and enjoying her ice cream cone! I totally understand why dad takes her driving every night now!































Literally, these photos give you a glimpse.  A tiny, tiny glimpse into my week.  There are hundreds of stories I could tell, about living with Alzheimer’s, but I won’t.   What I can guarantee you, Alzheimer’s has taken everything that defined who my mom was!  And I mean EVERYTHING!

Some experiences brought me to tears!

My mom was so agitated one morning and she wanted to see her mama so bad. Imagine a two year old, crying for their mom.  That’s a good comparison.  That morning I was brought to tears at how lonely and scared my mom must be.

Some experiences, I just chose to laugh instead of cry.

Mom can say the darndest things sometimes.  Although most of the time she doesn’t make sense, every once in awhile she says something that just makes you laugh out loud!  After locking the car doors so my mom could not get inside, I told her that dad was at the farm and he had the keys.  It was obvious she was frustrated.  I asked her if she was mad at dad.  She said YES!  I asked why.  One of the few sentences she said all week that made sense followed my why question.  “Because he is supposed to be my number one.” Evidently her number one is supposed to leave the keys!!

At some points, I found myself frustrated.

The CNA was there to help with a bath one day.  My mom crossed her arms in front of her chest and stomped her feet on the floor when the CNA tried to get her clean.  I told my mom, if Krisann acted like that I would spat her, so she better obey before I spatted her.  Mom still didn’t obey!  She just stomped her feet some more.

I found myself amazed.

Krisann did so well with my mom.  When I was exasperated with my mom, Krisann would often walk up and reach out and take my mom’s hand and my mom would follow.  Krisann could sit down next to my mom and often times snuggle up to her and my mom would let her.  I was amazed over and over again at how much my sweet Krisann has grown and changed in her understanding.  She was amazing this week!

Many times, I found myself with a grateful heart.

I was thankful for the safety that God extends in the middle of Alzheimer’s.  My mom has not wandered away and gotten lost.  When my mom stuck a towel in a boiling pot of water before I could blink, she wasn’t burned.  Despite a towel taking up the entire lent trap, there had been no fire.  Grateful that my dad is so patient with my mom.  Thankful for two ladies who care for my mama every day!  That is no easy task.  Thankful for hospice nurse!!!!  Thankful that despite my crazy life, God allows me weeks to get away and be with my folks.  All week, over and over again, I found myself with

a grieving heart but also an overflowing grateful heart!




Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.

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  1. Beth

    Any words that have 4 letters would be appropriate to say about Alzheimers!

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