- 4 years ago
This is something that my family has suspected for a while now, but it’s still hard to hear it officially from a proffesional. The doctor still hasn’t diagnosed him with what kind of dementia, but considering alzheimer’s is the most common form, it’s probably that. At first he started having trouble remembering things. Then he started mispelling words or using the wrong word in sentences. I first noticed the word confusion in a card that he sent me the christmas before last. My dad always was a super sharp and intelligent man, so that really struck me odd. I also thought it was weird when he couldn’t remember how to play a piano duet that we have played together since I was young. That was only the beginning. Now my dad calls me by my brother’s name, has forgotten the address of the home he has lived in since the 80’s, has no idea what a social security number is, what a credit card is, what year it is, etc. He also has been having trouble driving. Every time that I’ve been around him while driving I have seen him hit another vehicle. He was actually in a car accident two weeks ago while my mom was in the car. My parents are divorced, but my mom still makes a special effort to take him out to lunch, spend time with him, or take him dinner. The car accident really scared her though, and now she believes that he shouldn’t be driving. That is going to be a huge struggle though. My whole family and friends of our family all knew tht something was wrong, but my Dad refused to go to the doctor. Unfortunately you can’t make an adult go to the doctor against their will. Eventually my mom was able to contact his doctor and explain the situation. She ultimately made an appointment for him and kind of tricked him into going. They gave him numerous tests including a brain scan that led to his dementia diagnosis. The results of his memory test was particularly alarming though. He had no idea what a pen or a watch was, was unable to spell the word “word” backwards, couldn’t answer anythng number related among other things. It’s just really sad that my Dad will probably never be the same. I feel like the way he used to be, his real self is gone forever. Throughout all of this I have tried to be as patient as I can, even though he has lashed out at me several times when I have tried to help him with things he now finds difficult. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be for him to feel so out of control. He is only 67 and is otherwise completely healthy. He is actually has worked out daily for years and is in great physical shape. I’m really sad about this because deep down inside I was hoping that it was something less serious that could be easily fixed with the right medication.
Has anyone else dealt with a parent or other relative with dementia? How did you cope? Any advice? I don’t know what to expect from this point forward because it’s already so bad 🙁