Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Words Are Important- Thanks For Yours

Neurons in the brain - illustrationImage by LoreleiRanveig via Flickr
Thanks for all the outpouring of well wishes, thoughts, prayers and words of comfort concerning my blog post a few days ago.  I really just was making a  journal entry because it helps me to pour things out "on paper".  It was long and rambling and written in one "take" just because I had to get it all out.  But, I make it public because I realize that as much as we like to think our journeys are unique, we share much more than many of us realize and that my experiences, in unforseeable ways, might help someone else.

I heard from my Uncle Jack this morning via email.  I had no clue that anyone in my family read my blog.  I have to say I'm a little embarrassed since I'm such a heretic from a long line of true believers.   My Uncle Jack is a brilliant writer and defender of the faith.  But, he didn't scold me.  He showered Ty and me with words of comfort and wisdom.  As I read his note telling me, so eloquently, that he didn't have the right words and how words are really useless in this situation, I realized how many times I haven't know the "right thing to say" but what I didn't realize that just saying that is useful in itself.  Somehow it's good to know that people are sharing in your suffering.  It's good to be reminded that people love you.  And, it's good to hear the stories (I've heard so many) of people who have gone through similar experiences. Ultimately, I don't think any of us wants to be alone.  And, just saying "I care about you.  But, I don't know what to say" takes the edge off of the pain.

I want to give a special thanks also to the Alzheimer's Association.  They have been unbelievably helpful over the last couple of years.  The people who work there are incredibly gracious, understanding and generous.  If you are ever in a situation where you or a loved is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, call them early and often.  They can save you a lot of time and heartache.

An update.  When I wrote the last post Sunday morning, I did not know that the second hospital (Ephraim McDowell in Danville,  KY) had told Ty's family that they did not have a room for her father. So, after leaving the Eastern State mental hospital in Lexington and driving to Danville, Ty's family spend the night in "chairs" in Danville waiting for a judge's orders to admit him to Eastern State.  The orders came Sunday morning.  But, then (due to state law?) they had to wait for a police officer to drive Ty's father over for admission since he would not sign himself in. That's not a high priority for the police.  So, after over 24 hours at the hospital in Danville, they finally got him checked in to Eastern State (the place Tim had taken him Saturday afternoon) Sunday around 10 PM.  I continue to hold out some amount of hope that maybe the extreme break we saw was the result of some sort of chemical imbalance and we can find the right medication or treatment to at least lessen his agitation.  We have been told Alzheimer's can accelerate rapidly. But, it's just hard to believe that he would have gotten this bad this fast.  Ty spent the entire day yesterday trying to find a facility.  But, what we are finding is there are very few equipped to deal with Alzheimer's patients with "behavioral" issues. Most are geared to providing care like feeding, dressing and personal grooming, none of which her father needs at this time.  They only have a few spots for patients who "wander" or are prone to anger.  The Alzheimer's Association is helping with the search.

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