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Archive for July, 2007

I survived!

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After Sleep

This morning at 8am (as you can tell by the oodles of postings) I finished my first Blogathon.  My sponsors donated $70 for the local chapter of the Peoria Alzheimer’s Association and a HUGE thank you to them!

This was, as I said, my first Blogathon and I will definitely be doing it again next year.  I’ve got a few idea’s to drum up more sponsors next year and some better idea’s on how to pace myself a little better.  I vaguely remember 4am through 8am but I was pretty disoriented and I remember just stumbling around trying to put two and two together on my posts (so please forgive me if they make no sense, I don’t have the energy yet to go back and check them all).

I loved being able to tell stories about my Grandpa and I hope you all enjoy(ed) reading them.

Now.. I think it’s time for another nap!

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The End – #49

When Grandpa was 27 he had a heart attack. He was told not to walk up steps and to be very careful of his health. But there was no sign ever of there being a heart problem and it was very possibly misdiagnosed.

When Dad arrived on the afternoon of Grandpa’s death, Grandpa who had one time weighed 350 lbs he had dropped to a weight of approx. 130 lbs and he had no longer any conscious communication with people for several weeks and had lost the ability to swallow. As he lay there and we knew the time was close, Dad could watch him as his breathing slowed and finally stopped – but his heart continued to beat 2 minutes past his last breath. Slowed, became inconsistent and finally he slipped away from this earth to that blessed reward for which he longed.

For someone who had a weak heart, it was full of love and immensely strong. Dad says, the doctors were wrong.

===

Thank you for sticking with me through these past 24 hours. It’s been somewhat rocky and rough – but ultimately rewarding. A huge thanks to all of my sponsors:

Auntie

“Sindier”

Feral Not Homeless

Elizabeth.

And now… good night all!

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I’ve been taking 30 minute naps – and my sister Rose has jumped in to help me get through these last few hours by giving me phone calls and doing general cheerleading and encouraging. Thank you Rose!

Kathy left me a comment and her site is just too good not to share.  Please visit her here! God bless, Kathy.

(By the way – can you tell my last several posts have been made with me dog dead tired and unable to think? hah.)

We’re almost there!

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Gentle Giant – #47

I spoke with my dad last night and he gave me some of his thoughts on experiencing the disease first hand through his father.

Observations from a son’s perspective (and pastor)

 

Alzheimer’s, when first diagnosed and told to a person who is still able to understand what it is, instills fear in the heart of the person who has been diagnosed because they have an understanding of what it means both to themselves and their family.

 

In the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s, that consciousness as they remember the fear of the diagnosis and of their failing mental ability brings in to the person a measure of anger and many people who, in that early stage of Alzheimer’s, when they begin to lose the full awareness of their situation, anger is readily seen.

 

There is also, in all people, a desire to hide fear and insecurity and so they, many times, will try to play the game as if they know and understand you, but they are completely clueless as to what they are really doing. There eventually comes a point when the mask of fear and insecurity and the desire to be accepted is completely gone and you begin to see the true nature and character of the individual. At that point, some people are truly angry and insufferable, demanding. Some people become timid and childish and selfish. In Grandpa’s case he became, eventually, gentle, impish and fun-loving. The gentle giant of a man’s true character was finally seen.

 

Ultimately he became almost comatose, almost completely unresponsive to the surroundings in which he existed, however, if there ever was a response it would be to the singing of a Christian Hymn and to something that would spark that sense of humor such as the song.

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The Alzheimer’s Association is working to improve the quality of care for people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. To make sure that dementia care is safe and respectful for every individual, our Campaign for Quality Care has taken the lead in three ways.

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Grandpa and his twin brother, Grandpa Joe, lived out in the country in the Ozarks when they were younger. One form of amusement, I’m told, that they had was going out to the dirt road and digging a large trench in the road, just beneath one hilly spot. Then they’d sit back and watch the old Model T’s and Model A’s come chugging along and bounce up, down and up and down as they hit that one spot.

Apparently this caused a bit of a problem, because when Grandpa told the story – the Sheriff made a special trip out to his house to talk to his dad about the trench.

“Mr. Presley,” the Sheriff said, “could you keep your boys from digging anymore trenches in the road?”.

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