Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Like A Boat

Like A Boat Abandon

     Sometimes in life we feel like our boat has been left on the shore and will never float again.   But all to often we hit a rock and crack the hull, then the water comes gushing in and we just start sinking.  We are not prepared to patch the crack and sometimes just plug it up with junk that will eventually come out and the boat will continue to sink.

This is the way I felt almost 7 years ago when I received the diagnosis of early onset dementia.  You don't really know what to think and it took the wind out of my sail, and caused my boat to run ashore and crack the hull.  I left my boat on the shore for several years wondering if it would be able to overcome the flood and winds of what life would become like for myself and more importantly my family.  I have run into some big waves, most splashing over and causing my boat to almost sink. Most of the time I would try to patch it up and keep floating.  Sometimes I wanted to let the boat sink and stop rowing.  That would have been selfish to just give up and cause more harm than good to my family.

I'm here now to tell you never give up.  The hull can be fixed and you can continue to float and row through life.
One of the key things I have learned is that "With God all things are possible".  Sure I'm not able to compete intellectually very well.  I have a terrible short term memory, can't do basic math anymore, can't multi-task, and get angry really easily. But, I function enough to foul people into believing that nothing is wrong.  Most of the time people will say you don't appear to have any problems.  I wish that was true, but unfortunately that is not true.

What is hard about the entire journey across the sea is that everyday, every week, every month, and every year that passes, I'm closer to slipping into total dementia.

I cling to my faith like a life preserver.  In James 1:2-3, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance".  Although I have been given and entrusted with a huge trial, I will not let my faith go. I see so many times that people with this diagnosis take a short way out.  Just last year I had two Facebook friends who had the same diagnosis decide that the waves are to mighty to keep the boat afloat and decided to sink.  Taking this way out is understood, but not fair to families.  I have to pray everyday that Jesus will keep my boat from sinking.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Dementia Will Get You Down

Dementia sometimes gets the best of you.  It drives a wedge between who you really are and who it has made you out to be.  The changes on different days can be unnoticeable, but on somedays they can be overwhelming.  Even though you may not recognize it, others do.  I notice on my good days I’m more motivated, and my bad day the motivation is gone.  I guess that might even be normal for people who aren’t suffering from dementia.  Some days I just want to sit in my chair and watch the water in lake behind my house or tv.  Then on some days I just want to sleep all day.  I believe it may be a mechanism in my brain that tells me my mind is tired.  Lately, it seems my mind is more tired than usual. 

Lately, life has had many changes.  We moved to Florida, we are not near the children or grandchildren which can take a toll on the mind.  I think where the stress comes in is knowing that my wife has an obstacle in the way when it comes to seeing them.  For some reason fathers in general except the distance more than mothers.  It’s not that we love the children less, it’s because we just don’t have those motherly qualities that mothers have.  My wife is a super mom and has always been one.  She loves the children more than life.  I believe that after children grow up and have their own lives they begin to forget just how important a mother can be to everyday life.  It’s taken for granted until a defining moment that requires only the love a mother can give, and then the mother may not be more readily available except by phone.  By phones is not good simply because a lot of times the child just wants a hug.  I’ve seen this in my own family as of lately and it hurts knowing the distance causes this separation.  I think overtime it will be easier.  We are able to facetime with the grandchildren which is always great to see them.  However, our children don’t seem to be interested in doing that and I don’t understand why.  Maybe it seems less personable. 

Yesterday, was one of those days that seemed to start out fine.  I walked 2.5 miles for the first time in many months.  I walk with my dogs and use an electronic leash on them.  I get a lot of funny stares because they are not on a physical leash.  I was confronted by a lady on my walk about not having a leash on my pets.  I explained to her that it was electronic leash and I have just as much control over my pets as she does.  As it turns out her problem was she didn’t like big dogs, (not my problem).  I went on to explain to her that my chocolate lab is my service dog, but that didn’t even help satisfy her mind.  If your pet is properly trained to listen and follow commands, you should never have a problem walking them without a leash.  That’s my belief and I’m sticking with my beliefs.

My thoughts on having dementia today; We all have battles some are easy, some are hard.  I am promised by God that I will never be given more than I can handle, Lord we are pushing the envelope a little too much on this one.  But, this does not hinder my belief that we have a just and mighty God.  I can either use this burden to inspire, or I can use this burden to diminish the value of life.  I have chosen to inspire and give hope to others that may be suffering with any type of disease.

Stay strong my friends not just for you, but for your family and The Lord most importantly.